A couple of Articles on Furries that were in my bookmarks.
Furries have gotten an unjustified bad rap, according to a new article in The Guardian. In popular culture, from CSI to Entourage, furries are almost always shown as weird sexual fetishists who get their thrills skritching and yiffing in the fur pile. It turns out, most furries aren’t in it for the sex at all. As the Guardian piece explains,
“We researchers are horrified by that stuff,” says Kathleen Gerbasi, a social psychologist who has researched the furry community extensively. “Because it really doesn’t represent the reality we see in the fandom.”
In her experience, people have either never heard of furries or they have a wildly distorted idea of it. As a result, fur fandom have become far more stigmatized than other similar nerd niches, such as anime and cosplay.
Long before the Internet itself was invented, Walt Disney and Warner Brothers invented furries.
Assuming that the Internet bred furry fandom is an easy assumption to make. It’s certainly the assumption I made, despite running with a crowd of scene kids and furries in Bush-era suburban Georgia. But furries—fans of anthropomorphic animals—go back both further and not as far as you might think.
Furries. You might know them as “the people who dress up in the giant animal mascot costumes.” Or, depending on the media you consume, you may also know them as “the people who think they’re animals and have a weird fetish for fur.” Or, just as likely, you have never heard the term “furry” before outside the context of your pet dog or the neighbor with the back hair who mows his lawn without a shirt on every Saturday. Regardless of what you have or have not heard about furries, it might surprise you to learn that there is a team of researchers who have devoted their careers to studying this fandom. Perhaps even more surprising is what nearly a decade of research on the subject can tell us all about how we relate to animals, how we understand ourselves, and how we benefit from letting our inner child run wild every so often.