Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: parades

Fearless Furries Celebrate 20 Years at San Francisco Pride

by Patch O'Furr

Photo by AniMajor

Sunday, June 26 marked 20 years of furries at San Francisco Pride. (See the 2019 event and history or the Pride tag for more.) The Norcal Furries made a welcome return after no official parade marching for 2 years of a pandemic. They brought their own float, and it all came together so smoothly, it made an incredibly positive memory.

The biggest change from past years was no longer using rental trucks or Burning Man art cars. This year, Norcal Furries built their own float on a trailer. It was a wonderful asset. Using other people’s was always less than ideal (constrained by costs, time and logistics for loading/unloading, and even height with streetcar wires). All of that was easier under self management.

Read the rest of this entry »

Furries at Toronto Pride: “one of the largest marching groups of the entire parade”

by Arrkay

Welcome to Arrkay, a member of the Toronto furry scene (home of Furnal Equinox), and the bird who creates and produces Culturally F’d, a Youtube show that explores anthropomorphic artwork throughout history, culture and mass media. See Arrkay’s tag for previous stories. He’s sharing his story today by request of Patch who just marched with furries at San Francisco Pride. Here’s Arrkay’s on-the-scene report from Toronto Pride.

It was a terribly populated affair, with covid still ringing in the back of my head. Pride in Toronto was as busy as ever. Me and my partner just walked the street fair once, which was enough to satiate our curiosity and for me to buy some new sunglasses. It’s a strangely foreign feeling seeing this many unmasked people in one place.

Parade morning

My signs were made, and my flag was bundled up into my tricycle with water bottles, lunch, a vape pen of mint flavored cannabis and sunscreen. My outfit was a second-hand hyena agenda tank top, some compression shorts usually worn for fursuiting but with a complimentary jockstrap on top. I zip-tied a flag and protest signs to my trike. “Learn Queer History” and “Teach Queer History” with taglines “Always been here, always will be” and “No More Shit!” (a rallying cry from the 80’s bathhouse riots in Toronto).

Cardboard signs that read "Teach Queer History, always been here, always will be" and "Learn Queer History, No more shit!"

A crowd of furries accumulated near the group check-in site. Unfortunately it was nowhere near where we were supposed to muster. Not that it ultimately mattered, we wouldn’t be marching for a couple more hours. Navigating the dense crowd with a large orange trike was difficult, but everyone was generally polite and made way for our slow moving group of animal headed queers.

One of the groups we shouldered our way past was the New Democratic Party, with leader Jagmeet Singh visible with his pink turban.

Read the rest of this entry »

Furries return to the 2022 San Francisco Pride parade

by Patch O'Furr

Coming Sunday June 26, 2022

The SF Bay Area has the world’s most dense population of furries, but back in 2012, SF Pride didn’t have activities for the love of anthropomorphic animals. They had a parade contingent in 2002-2005, but it needed help to start again. (See a 2002 video or the Pride tag for more history.) 

Whose job is it to make it happen? Everyone’s. In 2012-2019 I was one of the organizers for award-winning floats in the parade, with hundreds of supporters and members. In 2019 (the second year to get an award) we won “Absolutely Outrageous” out of more than 200 parade contingents. The parade was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but finally, it’s here again.

The Nor Cal Furries are going this weekend with a new trailer, built by @Zoren and @MrDisk0Dog and funded by community donations and volunteers to give everyone an experience to remember. (Funds still accepted, anything extra will pay forward.) Here’s how great it was in 2019:

PARADE INFO FOR THE FURRY CONTINGENT:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fundraisers open for Pride events with furries in San Diego, LA, and San Francisco

by Patch O'Furr

Furries return to San Francisco Pride – June 28, 2020 

Back in 2012, the weekend celebration of SF Pride didn’t have any activities with anthropomorphic animals. Maybe they would just stay in their dog houses, or sit on eggs and wait for their terns, or whatever they do alone. That seemed like a loss when the SF Bay Area had the worlds most dense population of furries.

Why shouldn’t they go to Pride? Companies, schools, and all kinds of interest groups do. Pride is a statement about love that any group can support. But they didn’t seem to have any activity since a parade contingent around 2002-2005. (It’s not well documented, but the original organizers told me about overcoming some of the most friction for it from other fans, in fear of fear itself.)

Whose job is it to make it happen? Everyone’s. That’s why in 2020, I can report 8 years of starting and helping to organize award-winning floats in the parade, with partners like @Zoren, @StevenTigeron and hundreds of supporters and members. They’re coming back with a newly purchased trailer to have for the future. Generous donations last year covered it, but now they need to build a float on it and give everyone an experience to remember.

You can help on GoFundMe. Donations are matched by Spottacus.

Read the rest of this entry »

17 years of progress with the Norcal Furries at San Francisco Pride.

by Patch O'Furr

Followup to Get furry at San Francisco Pride 2019. See the Pride tag for much more.

Photo by Zenith

Photo by Wusky Husky

For the 2019 San Francisco Pride parade on June 30, the Norcal Furries had their biggest turnout yet. A hundred members made the street their stage with cheering audiences on both sides. They won the “Absolutely Outrageous” award out of more than 200 parade contingents, their second year to get an award.

“Once again we beat corporations who spend thousands on their floats with just a bunch of GoFundMe donations, and a couple of people looking very fuzzy!” (- Vance)

It’s rare to get a public spotlight like this anywhere outside of convention hotels. There was no cost for just showing up to join. It was the first Pride for many members, and it wasn’t just about queer visibility, but also engaging allies and freedom of self-expression for all. It looked like a party but the reason for it wasn’t forgotten. 50 years ago, Stonewall was a riot against hate, but fun without fighting is an answer to the question — what did they fight for?

Read the rest of this entry »

Get furry at San Francisco Pride 2019 — Here’s the info you need to dance and join the parade.

by Patch O'Furr

Paws for thought.

The Popdust blog asks: Do Furries Have a Home in the LGBTQ+ Community? Well, I can say a lot about it from organizing for Pride since 2012. (Read to the bottom for past news, or try this 2017 San Francisco Furry Pride story by Smash.) The 2018 parade had the best furry turnout ever — I estimated over 100 came. They won the Absolutely Fabulous award. Whether or not that represents The Gay Agenda at large, SF’s “largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation” opens a home (or a kennel) for us.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 2018 San Francisco Pride parade, furries and parties – what’s happening and how to join!

by Patch O'Furr

Before you read about fun with the SF Bay Area Furries, remember why Pride matters. A local furry posted about being a target of an unprovoked homophobic attack this week with a photo of a black eye. He got a lot of support and hundreds of comments, but preferred to keep the post friends-only. And while there was one bad thing, expect hundreds of good things for everyone involved.

Now, here’s how to join us animals for one of our biggest events of the year. Let’s prowl and howl for an all-weekend rager!

Read the rest of this entry »

Bay Area Furries, here’s the info you need to attend San Francisco Pride.

by Patch O'Furr

In front of millions at San Francisco Pride 2015! (Thanks: Chrisastro.com)

Bay Area Furries are marching in the 2017 San Francisco Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25.  It’s one of the largest and most colorful events in San Francisco and will be on TV.  There have been better and better responses each time, and 70 or more are signed up.  Get ready for the best parade ever!  (See previous announcement about how to join, and the Meetup page for RSVP and discussion.)

Here’s what you need to know:

Pic by Vincent.

Marchers: Arrive at 100-150 Main Street. Be no earlier than 9:30am and no later than 11:40.

Volunteers: Arrive at 100-150 Main Street. Be no earlier than 9:30am and no later than 11.

To arrive from BART, exit at Embarcadero Station. Go up on the Main St. / Beale St. side.

Watchers: Be anywhere along the Market Street parade route, and the parade starts at 10:30.

Parade start: 12:30pm-1pm. (Last time we were in the parade, starting was delayed by hours due to being way more busy than they planned.  Do be patient, but don’t be late. The parade doesn’t wait for latecomers.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: Street fursuiting is the most fun furry experience

by Patch O'Furr

Repost from Flayrah, 5/3/2013:

San Francisco hosted the 14th annual How Weird Street Faire last weekend, with the theme “WEIRDI GRAS: Carnival of Peace.” An informal fursuiter outing was organized through Meetup.com and its active Bay Area Furries group (independent from the mailing list), which runs many local events each month. I offered changing space at a nearby apartment, and scored a pair of “Disco Pants” for costuming, direct from the office of local web-based fashion startup company Betabrand. Afterwards, Betabrand was cool enough to post photos of modeling the pants on their “Model Citizen” section. (There’s more photos on Reddit.)

2013-4-28-howweird3_0-288
Left to right: Kitten, Meerk, Patch. Background: Ty Cougar.

Any news media story that covers furries is likely to focus heavily on fursuiters, and their striking visual appeal and fuzzy glamor. Fursuiters can’t represent the whole of furry fandom, when “furry” is a vague and broadly defined umbrella over anything related to anthropomorphic animals- but I think it’s OK to consider fursuiters the expressive, theatrical soul of furrydom. There is an element of “ambassador” role to their hobby. Without the 15-20% of furries who wear fursuits and costumes for role-playing, you’d just have regular unglamorous nerds saying “meow! I’m a cat”. That’s what crazy people do.

Of course, I’m kidding: Call me the most crazy of all, but I prefer the term fabulous. I like to put on silver disco pants and a Husky partial, and get on the subway to go dance and hug random people, under the influence of blasting techno music and magical substances in the air. They get so entranced by a giant sparkly talking dog, that they hand over their babies for photos. That actually happened several times this weekend at the How Weird Street Faire. I didn’t know where those babies had been, but I let them touch my paws anyways, even more carefully than when I pick up my chihuahua (who gets super confused and never knows whether to trust me when I dress up.) As far as I can tell, everyone loved the experience, even the astonished babies. Those photos might provoke some interesting questions when they grow up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fursuiting at San Francisco Pride 2012

by Patch O'Furr

(Flayrah news: 6/26/12)

The 42nd anniversary of San Francisco Pride happened this weekend. People from all over the world filled the city to celebrate. It was too large and fabulous for words, so I can only personally comment about fursuiting at some street parties. There was no organized furry event or mission, just a good opportunity to wear a costume.

The last organized furry participation was a float in the 2005 Pride parade, arranged via BAF and its mailing list. (I heard that there was some negligible drama about connecting furries + LGBT, but it stayed internal, with positive reactions elsewhere.) Due to logistics and cost, it hasn’t reoccurred.

San Francisco Pride parade, 2005

However, one of the organizers posted on Facebook: “The SF Pride committee bugs me every year to bring the Furries back, and that’s just what I am going to do for 2013! That’s right, for the 2013 pride parade there will be a Furry float!” (Yay!)

Read the rest of this entry »