So there I was, pretending to be a fox person (as all good stories should start), when I noticed something rather strange happening. It’s probably telling that it wasn’t me pretending to be a fox person that was the strange part, but I think by this point in my life I’ve so thoroughly integrated that aspect of myself, that avatar, that not having that at least at the back of my thoughts seems outlandish.
The something strange was twofold: first, I started noticing that the way in which I interacted with others when I was doing the fox thing, down to my speech patterns, was totally different from the way in which I interacted with just about any other part of my life. Additionally, that change in style had rather profound impact on the ways in which others interacted with me, or at least with this constructed avatar. The more I thought about it, too, the more I realized that this construction of our front-stage personalities goes further than just how formally, submissively, or whateverly we act, but all the way down into the nuances of language, the subtleties of inflection, and the smallest of gestures.
Continue reading Interpreting an Avatar
Tonight I test-drove a $40,000 pickup truck. Don’t get me wrong—I never had the slightest intention of buying the thing. As I made sure the salesman knew before I ever climbed in and turned the key, I was actually maybe, possibly interested in a baseline truck that costs about half that. My current plain-jane 4×4 is seventeen years old and has nearly 100,000 miles on it, you see, and the auto manufacturer I work for is currently offering large rebates to the general public and even larger ones to their employees to move the things more quickly, which sparked my interest. But the dealership had nothing but top-end super-fancy (read that “high margin, high profit”) stuff on their lot, so if I wanted to take a test drive it was a $40,000 truck or nothing.
Continue reading How Being Furry Saved Me Forty Grand
Did you know that I used to read tarot cards? I still have the embarrassingly large collection of decks, books, and other accessories that go along with the practice. I pull them out every now and then to remember the person that I used to be. I used to be intensely focused on the subconscious and all of the ways in which it wound itself through our waking lives. I used to daydream about spending the requisite hours necessary for a 78 card spread using every card in the standard deck, even if I only did it once, At one point, I even vowed to do one reading for myself a day for 78 days in order to write a book about the experience (an idea that crops up with just about every interest I pick up, I should note).
I’ve talked about change before, and I have even laid bare some of the changes I have gone through personally. Even though my fascination with tarot has waned, I still retain the general interest in the ways in which the subconscious works in our lives, and I can still appreciate the deep symbolism that goes along with it. I would be lying, in fact, if I were to say that there wasn’t some subconscious link tying me to the furry fandom. And, having had a few conversations on that point, I think that the same holds true for a lot of us here.
Continue reading Subconscious Aspects of the Fandom
First of all, I’d like to apologize for the dearth of articles, recently. It really weighs on me, and I feel that I’ve been neglecting one of my favorite things ever: writing too-long articles about animal people. Not all of my time was just sitting, twiddling my thumbs, though. I did wind up with a cool new job, and that panel for RMFC took up quite a bit of my time, actually. Most of what has been going on, though, at least in my spare time over the last few weeks, has been dealing with a few health problems that had me a little down.
My general solution to the anxiety and emotional weirdness involved with those sorts of things, when they get bad, is to seek out as many positive (pawsitive, if you will) things. The usual method is to ask on Twitter “what’s awesome right now?” I love getting the responses, hearing what people think is neat and cool, hearing all the wonderful things that are happening to people. “Exciting new development at work for me!” “Free bagels.” “My coffee.” As I poke my way through the replies, though, favoriting most of them, I notice that just about every icon has a muzzle and ears. So you know what’s totally awesome to me? Furries.
Continue reading Furries Are Awesome
One of the things I’ve noticed more and more as I continue to grow up – not sure I’d call myself a grown-up, yet – is the way in which the divisions in our life become both less clear and more profuse as time goes on. I think my first intimation of this came at about the time I was finishing up middle school (8th grade, in my district), and started secretly reading up on this whole “gay” thing, on the suspicion that I might fall into that category.
It wasn’t a really easy thing for me to accept about myself at the time, as I suppose it rarely is for a kid in the southwest States. Colorado is a unique state in that, while much of its area is of a more conservative, Christian character and not generally accepting of homosexuality, there is a stretch that goes from about Fort Collins on down south of Denver along the front range that tends to be more socially liberal and less religiously oriented overall, and certainly more open to differences in sexual orientation than the surrounding areas. I spent a lot of time growing up in that front-range area where most of those around me likely would’ve been okay if I had come out, and some of them would have probably rushed to tell me just how okay it is to be gay: Boulder, as a town, is almost intrusively cool with it. Even so, there was this sensation that if I were to leave the Denver-Boulder area, I would be immediately be set upon by both protesters and perpetrators of hate crimes both.
What can I say, I was a dramatic kid.
Continue reading Dimensions of Character
As mentioned before, I’ve been totally slammed by offline things over the last few weeks. It’s been crazy, it’s been fun, and it’s certainly left almost no time for the writing process besides thinking in bed before sleep. There certainly is a place for that in writing, however, and so I hope you’ll all forgive me for a post consisting mostly of introspection. Now that things have mostly cleared up, I hope that I’ll be able to get back into the swing of writing about the fandom in a less navel-gazey way. Until then, here are three ideas that I’ve not been able to get out of my head, recently.
Continue reading Three Meditations
It’s been a long time since we’ve done any open posts here at [adjective][species]. A lot of this is due to the sheer amount of personal stuff that’s been going on, but also, it’s been hard to think up any good topics! It would be nice to try something new with this one. I’ve talked before about how I got into the fandom – finding yerf, getting out of hand with it in high school, then calming down later on. We’re interested in the variety of stories from other people, though! What got you into anthropomorphized animals? What got you into the furry subculture? Heck, how did you find this website? Tell us about all of your beginnings!
Continue reading Open Post: Your Introduction to Furry
I had originally intended to write a different article this week, but due to recent events, I’m going to put that on hold. Since I had already started writing it and had limited time to come up with an alternative post, I decided to do something a little more personal. I hope you all don’t mind a bit of a fluff post this week. Apologies for the wandering train of thought, I had to hurry to get it up in time!
Continue reading Makyo’s Kaddish
Some things are better enjoyed alone.
Driving, for example! That we even use the phrase “back-seat driver” points to it being an endeavor best carried out by oneself. Typing, as well, and writing. And programming for sure; I know that I certainly have a difficult time with paired programming (because I’m right, of course). Exploring one’s own emotional state, plumbing the depths of one’s psyche, and working through one’s own problems are certainly meant to be solo adventures. Sometimes we just have to be solipsistic, separating ourselves from those around us to figure out what’s going on within us.
Furry, however, has become something that goes beyond solo. It has become a subculture, past even a simple fandom. It’s something to be shared, to be experienced with others, and I imagine it would be difficult to find an individual who would identify as a furry solely in a solipsistic sense.
Continue reading Interconnectivity
I’ve been within the fandom for about eleven years now, and only relatively recently (about a year ago as of this post) did I get into fursuiting. Prior to that, I must admit that I didn’t understand the concept at all, and even found it vaguely creepy. While I understood the desire to more physically look like your character, I didn’t understand how fursuiting would be the solution: it seemed like wearing a onesie of faux fur combined with slippers, gloves, and a ski-mask coated in fur-covered foam was rather more like some elaborate Halloween costume effect than getting nearer to one’s character. However, having gone suiting and wound up with a fursuit of my own, I think I’m gaining a better understanding of it now.
Continue reading Dressing up