Tag Archives: furry culture

A Second Life

Furry life is real life, kinda.

Ever had a furry friend disappear? That doesn’t happen in real life.

It’s an important event when someone close to you, non-furry, dies. Friends and family gather and mourn and celebrate and reflect on the life of the person they’ve lost. If the deceased was young, people lament the life that will never be lived. If the deceased is old, people talk about the value and brevity of a full life.

Celebrating life and death is important, and it’s something that is often denied to the furry friends of the deceased. Let’s say that I, your humble furry author, slip on some ice on Harleyford Street’s sloping pavement and get struck by an aggressively-driven number 36 bus this Thursday morning. You, gentle furry reader, will probably find out about this over social media a few days later.

Continue reading A Second Life

Of course trigger warnings and safe spaces are a good thing…

…we furries use them all the time.

We note when something is NSFW. We tag art describing potentially offensive content, so people can opt to ignore it. We write about rape and murder and we make sure our readers are forewarned. Here at [a][s], we mention controversial topics in the opening sentences, giving readers the choice before they click through to the entire article.

A trigger warning on a recent article here at [adjective][species]. By mentioning the potentially harmful content, the reader can decide whether to read on.
A trigger warning on a recent article here at [adjective][species]. By mentioning the potentially harmful content, the reader can decide whether to read on.
Sometimes, furry edges into expression of extreme ideas and concepts. And on the whole we do a really good, uncomplicated, uncontroversial job of balancing the desire to freely express ourselves—however bizarrely—without unduly freaking out furs who would prefer not to deal with that right now, thanks very much.

Recently here on [a][s] we published an article by Angriff that worried itself with the potential for trigger warnings and safe spaces to unreasonably impinge on furry freedom of expression. It’s a contrarian point of view compared with most of [a][s]‘s readers and writers, and it generated a lot of discussion – most of it in the right spirit.

Continue reading Of course trigger warnings and safe spaces are a good thing…

Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and Fandom

Guest post by Angriff. Angriff resides in southern California, where he fursuits in the local furry scene as an imperial Prussian officer-bedecked utahraptor or eagle. He is an Army reserve officer, and his ancient Egyptian fantasy film Eye of the Bennu (trailer here, rent/buy here & here) received two awards at the 2013 PollyGrind film Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Angriff is on Fur Affinity.

Visit some colleges today and you will see ‘trigger warnings’ on lessons, notifying students the material therein may cause flashbacks to PTSD or other emotional stress. Other professors have simply given up teaching certain subjects lest they ‘trigger’ their pupils (1)(2)(3). Entire public areas on some campuses are designated as ‘safe spaces’ where people can go to escape things that ‘trigger’ them, including arguments that they disagree with. For example, feminist Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at a college where she detailed her objections to certain schools of modern feminism. Afterwards a ‘safe space’ was set up specifically for those who felt ‘harmed’ by her mere arguments, regardless of their merit (4). Yet it is not just institutions of higher learning that are implementing trigger warnings: many websites in various fandoms are doing the same. Some furries are likewise starting to give trigger warnings online, or else informing other furries that certain material ‘triggers’ them.

Continue reading Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and Fandom

A Furry Talk with a BDSM Interest Group

Guest post by George Squares. George is a speculative fiction writer with a background in biological science. He enjoys discussing and researching pop culture and fandom history.

I had never been to a BDSM club. Yet, I was invited to do a paid talk at one August 9, 2015 hosted at the non-profit gay social venue Impulse in Charlottesville, Virginia. The BDSM group who rents space at the club monthly is made up of queer and straight members, and they hire speakers to cover topics they might find interesting or pertinent. Quite a few of them were interested in furry.

My opportunity to speak came from a chain reaction that started New Year’s Eve 2014 at a board game party. During a Cards Against Humanity round, a particularly unpleasant guest (who was not invited again) started railing on furries in a half-hearted attempt at humor. Two of my friends joined in on the heckling, and I finally decided to tell them that they had the wrong idea.

Continue reading A Furry Talk with a BDSM Interest Group

On Postfurry

I’m not really sure how I wound up getting involved with the postfurry community.  I mean, I can point to the moment that I found furry itself and how what went from a curious interest built into something decidedly more (a passion? an obsession?), but the same isn’t necessarily the case with postfurry.  If I start tracing the lines backwards, rather a lot of them converge on one critter in particular, Indi.

Indi (art by Cinna)
Indi (art by Cinna)

Indi has been a friend for quite a while now, actually.  Ve is most often seen around as a synthetic coyote-otter hybrid – a coyotter, or simply yotter – with glowy markings that range from cyan to blue to purple.  Indi, being synthetic, along with ver gender identity, is the source of ver pronouns, ve/ver/vis.

I think I’ve known ver for about two or three years and we’ve connected on a lot of different levels, from our shared interest in mead and other tasty drinks, to our paths along the road to genderqueer identities that share many similarities.  We’ve acted as part of a support network for each other with some frequency, and that, probably more than anything else, served as what passes for my entry point to postfurry.

Continue reading On Postfurry

This One Time at FurCon…

How I Went From Ridiculing Furries to Cheering them On in Five Panels or Less

Guest post by Isaac. Isaac is that guy who is still pretty much a human, but definitely not Mundane.  He likes red pandas, chocolate, and improv.  You may have seen his apology post on Reddit, found him putzing around the FurNet IRC, or attempting to become America’s Next Top Popufur on Twitter as @isaacapologist.  He will be at Midwest Furfest, probably. Say hi.  Be gentle.


In many ways, I like to think that I ended up at a furry convention in the way that many furries end up at a furry convention:  alcohol, combined with an unhealthy sense of curiosity.  But the reality, I think, is even a bit more interesting than that, so I’d be happy to expand on the perfect storm of circumstances that led to my attendance at FurCon 2015, and subsequent headlong fall into the rabbit hole that is the Furry Fandom.

It’s December.  I’ve just recently moved to the Bay Area, to help out a friend with a new job working in the Silicon Valley.  He’s much the introverted type, I’m much more of the outgoing type, and he invites me to live out in CA for a few months to help him get acclimated and make some new friends.  As I’ve since discovered, neither of us is really good at ‘going out’ to make friends, we rather prefer to just organically meet people.  In practice, this works out about as well as you might imagine.

So, we are spending one of our many weekends in our living room, drinking wine, he playing video games on his computer, me watching Netflix, and I stumble upon the documentary about Bronies. I, being mildly intoxicated and fascinated with countercultures, decide to indulge in the Brony documentary.  I then decide to indulge in a second Brony documentary.  By this point, I am both fabulously drunk, and fabulously fascinated.  I have an inception-style we’ve-got-to-go-deeper moment:  If there are two documentaries about Bronies, there’s got to be one about furries.

Continue reading This One Time at FurCon…

The Fandom and its Fursonas

Doug Fontaine is a writer, ployglot, and generally talkative otter. Read more at his SoFurry account.

This article will touch upon the reason having a fursona is so essential for many members of our community. Whether we have a spiritual or a more down-to-earth relationship between our normal and furry selves, the fandom accentuates what is otherwise a purely personal fantasy.

Continue reading The Fandom and its Fursonas

Americentrism

Americentrism is the tendency of some Americans to assume that the American point of view is the dominant one. Expressions of Americentrism in furry are almost always benign, but they are everywhere.

America is a big place and if you live in the US—more so than just about anywhere else (save perhaps North Korea)—it’s sometimes easy to forget that the rest of the world exists. Americentric comments probably go unnoticed by most Americans, but for the rest of us, they are a constant reminder that Americans can appear self-obsessed or (at worst) ignorant.

Americentrism usually manifests as a subtle slip of language. The effect is similar to language that reinforces social norms, for example when someone assumes that a doctor is male, using “he” by default. One mistake doesn’t do any real harm, but if you’re female and exposed to this assumption over and over again, it can have a cumulative effect.

I have a couple of examples from my American cohorts here at [adjective][species] coming up, but first let’s take a look at a recent example by one of the giants of the furry community.

Continue reading Americentrism

No Beale Street, Nor Second Avenue North

(I promise— it takes a while but this column eventually gets furry.)

About a month prior to this article’s release I suffered some serious heart troubles. Little permanent damage was done, and the timely high-tech treatment I received was so successful that I actually feel better now than I have for years. It wasn’t nearly as a big a deal as it sounds when spelled out here. But, I have to admit, such a life-event can get a man to thinking. Another major life event is also looming up close for me— in roughly twelve weeks I’ll retire at last from my much-disliked factory job and be able to write or do whatever else I please full-time. I’ve worked very hard for this for a very long time, and saved money when it would’ve been much easier to spend it. In fact, I’ve been counting down the weeks for almost two years. Between the two, well, for the last few days I’ve been downright philosophical.

Continue reading No Beale Street, Nor Second Avenue North