The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

Furries: Friends or Foe?

Rowan Larson

Furries have been around for nearly fifty years, yet there is still an extensive amount of misunderstanding about the fandom. Ultimately, a Furry is someone who enjoys anthropomorphic characters; however, this love for human-like animals reveals itself in a very unique way.

The most recognizable way Furries connect with their love for anthro-animals is through fursuits. Many people in the fandom specialize in making suits, although many people end up making their own. This is due to the exorbitant costs charged by makers, though the high prices are for good reason. Every fursuit is custom-made, typically by hand, to match one’s fursona. Makers of the suits are usually found on websites Etsy and Shopify, with Instagram as a popular advertising site for their products.

Fursonas are the most significant aspect of the Furry fandom; they give the same energy as personas, except it is an animal or creature the person connects with. Creating and connecting with ‘sonas’, as furries refer to them, can be a lengthy process. Furries often go through numerous sonas before settling on one to be their main character. Yet, people generally do not stop collecting additional characters, and some even have multiple fursonas. Similar to fursuits, sonas can surprisingly be purchased; in fact, there are entire social media pages dedicated to designing and selling premade fursonas.

Many chose to bring their sonas to life in the form of suits, but even more, give them life through art. Instagram happens to be home to a plethora of Furry-based accounts. Often, people within the community dedicate large portions of their lives to producing furry art. Furries commission people like this to draw their fursonas in various ways.

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Art is an amazing way to show off one’s sona and their personality. While art comes in the usual forms like headshots and full bodies, Furries have unique art pieces that are exclusive to the fandom.

One of the biggest Furry masteries is badges. Badges are by far the most common form of furry art produced; that is because they serve a very important purpose.

A badge takes the place of a nametag while a Furry is wearing their fursuit in public. They are essentially the representation of one’s sona. These interactive name tags are most useful at Furry conventions, so others can easily determine who is who. This can be very helpful, as some fursuiters’ sonas do not speak while suiting.

Furry conventions consist of a vast number of attractions: small businesses, panels, dances, and other activities for people to participate in. Gatherings like these are a good way to meet other people in the Furry community and get more involved.

Conventions typically revolve around raising money for animal charities around the world, as feeling strongly about animal welfare is naturally a universal Furry concern. Furries across the globe have come together for many other social issues as well. The fandom usually has a strong presence in animal rights protests.

There is a large stigma that sexualizes the Furry fandom by assuming all the participants have a certain kink, when in reality not all of the community is not concerned with including a sexual element into their activities when suited. This fandom is an astounding group of people the world refuses to recognize. The media continuously defames these people and their good deeds by spreading misinformation and hate, yet they never stop enjoying themselves and attempting to spread positivity.
The Furry fandom is an extraordinary community that continues to expand every day. Everyone may not understand, but Furries will continue to bestow the world with creativity and passion.

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