Guest post by Amethyst Basilisk, written as a counterpoint to JM’s article, Evidence that Furry Is Leading the Rest of the World.
One of the best benefits from participating in a creatively chaotic community such as furry is the ability to be whoever you’d like to be. It’s an important outlet for many of us – our expressions tend to come out in terms of being who we feel we’re not necessarily allowed to be from a greater cultural perspective. Most of us didn’t fit in, wherever we came from. Most of us were too geeky – too awkward, even. Too loud and boisterous, too strange or too tweaked. As a result, we’ve fled to and cultivated ourselves a safe haven from emotional treachery. The only explicit laws against fantasy in most cultures are typically put in place to prevent fraud and violence. However, there also exists a social hierarchy which takes every opportunity to reinforce one’s alleged place in its expansive machinery. A plethora of societal and financial pressures as well as generalized threats on survival are applied in order to enforce this order whenever possible. A lack of order, as the host species appears to feel, is a formula for destruction.
Furries balk at this thought. Furries pretend to be whoever the heck they want to be, regardless of what others may think of them – at least non-furries, anyway. The community attempts to shed the societal pressures; intellectual disdain; and hatred toward experimentation; to craft crafts of provocative proportions. As a result, furries are outcasts for the things they enjoy doing, allegedly hated by the rest of the world for what’s perceived as anywhere from fun to enlightenment.
One of the sad ironies of cleverly crafted utopias are their abilities to mimic and even amplify the societal sundries they’re attempting to flee. Furry is Schrödinger’s Island.
Continue reading Evidence that Furry is Following the Rest of the World
HIV is scary.
This article is going to scare some people. Some will find it difficult to read because it makes them feel queasy. Some people won’t click the “Continue reading” button due to fear.
Fear is a natural response. All people are naturally risk averse. We prefer to pretend that scary things like HIV don’t exist. We prefer to be ignorant. We find the following topics uncomfortable:
- Furries who are HIV positive.
- The incidence of HIV infection.
- The symptoms you’ll experience if you contract HIV.
As Michael Harris, a gay Canadian journalist and author, wrote in 2011:
I live in fear — because HIV is a cipher for everything that constrains my sexuality and my potential for happiness.
The furry community is often perceived to be at risk of a HIV outbreak because we are closely sexually interconnected, far more so than a normal social group.
Continue reading Furries & HIV
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
It’s common for furries to look within the community for potential long-term partners. For many people who are serious about furry, like me and presumably many of the readers of this article, a potential partner is required to be furry.
It’s logical that furries will form relationships together, because furry is about identity. If your identity as a virtual animal-person is internally important, you’re going to want to share that with your partner and express that within your relationship. I can’t think of a better example than [adjective][species]’s own Makyo, who was married last week and posted a thoroughly charming picture of him and his partner in suit.
Furry is a very social group and it’s easy to meet new people, so there are a lot of opportunities for relationships. That is, unless you are heterosexual and male.
Continue reading It’s Raining Men
A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article talking about the preponderance of furries who re-evaluate their sexual preference after discovering the community. The experience is common enough to be a furry stereotype.
Many of you shared your stories in the comments, in the forums and to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today I want to post some of those stories. I’ve edited them all for length but I’ve done my best to retain the true voice of the writer. I encourage you to read the longer versions elsewhere on the site, and seek out more stories by asking around your furry friends.
Continue reading Re-evaluating Your Sexual Preference: Your Stories
There is a widely-held belief that new furries often re-evaluate their sexual preference after discovering the community.
Stereotypically, a young heterosexual male will begin socializing with furries – either online or in person – and will shortly re-evaluate himself as gay (or bi). Our young stereotype may think that furry helped him realize this about himself, and the experience will probably be a very positive one.
Confession time: my name is JM Horse and I am a stereotype.
I first heard about this phenomenon while reading about the community online. The then-popular Furvey, a long furry survey that people would fill in and post to alt.lifestyle.furry on Usenet, had this question (which I have lightly edited for clarity):
It is common for many furries to live as a heterosexual, and then through furry to discover their attraction to the same sex – is this the case with you?
This question has been asked since the mid-1990s. But is it true?
I asked Klisoura, who runs the Furry Survey. The chart below shows Klisoura’s data (visualized by Makyo), and it’s remarkable.
Continue reading Re-evaluating Your Sexual Preference
Last Monday I posted an article comparing born-again Christians to born-again furries, those of us who found their life’s ear-and-tail-filled path at a more mature age. The discovery of something so important and personal often leads to born-again furries (and Christians) to be evangelical about their revelatory experience.
I used this to introduce a rough truism – a closely-held extreme belief often belies a transformative personal experience.
We have all met furries who hold extreme opinions on various topics. These opinions are regularly infuriating – however there is often a personal story behind the opinion. And that story will help cast the extreme opinion in a new, more understanding, perspective.
This is a theme you’ve heard from me before and will likely hear in the future: that it’s important to be tolerant.
I want to continue the theme by talking about the so-called ex-gay movement. It is a great example that has an equivalent resonance within the furry community.
Continue reading Born Again, Again: The Ex-Gays
Hi folks, Makyo here. As mentioned, I’m taking a week off to get caught up on some stuff. This week’s article comes courtesy of Calamari. Enjoy!
As a reader of this article, you may or may not have seen a recent mini-documentary on the furry fandom, filmed by National Geographic. Although I’m not a subscriber to this fine organisation, I’ve read many of their articles. Time and time again they produce splendid pieces on interesting aspects of history, the environment, and culture. So my first thought upon hearing that they’d chosen furries to be the subject of one of their small documentaries, was confusion. Why had they let their standards slip this time?
Continue reading Guest Post: Fur on the Lens (Calamari)
One of the interesting things about running a blog is that you get to write about what’s important to you. And one of the interesting things about running a blog with more than one contributor (hi guys!) is that rather than focusing on the whole field, you’re more able to spread the labor around and focus on specific things within the field that are very important to you. Given that I’ve already written a more broad-picture article on gender and am now about to delve into another 2000 word essay on the same, it’s safe to say that I think the whole thing’s terribly interesting, and that furry itself is probably one of the more interesting subcultures in which to examine gender, sex, and sexuality.
Continue reading Eighty-Twenty
When I write a blog post – either on here or my personal blog – I tend to “stub out” the entry before I even write it, sometimes days or weeks before I get to it. It’s something like outlining, though not as structured as that implies. More like jotting down ideas in the order in which they should occur in the article, though more structured than that implies. For this article, the first line read: “witty comment about the standard furry – fake psych exercise to envision a default furry”. As an introduction, I was going to come up with some sort of goofy little quip about how one would envision the standard fur. I’m only referencing it instead, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s been done before. Countless times.
Continue reading The Default Furry