by Michæl W. Bard
©2006 Michæl W. Bard
As someone has pointed out, Im not really on the outside looking in. Especially given that the basic definition of a furry is someone interested in anthropomorphic animals, and that includes anybody who likes, say, Bugs Bunny. So, consider this a column of my learning about my furriness, as opposed to my examining the culture as an outsider.
In pursuit of my exploration, I went to a local Halloween gathering of furs. I had a partial fursuit (more on that in the future), and went expecting to meet a few people, get involved in the local furry culture, and generally poke my head in and look around.
Well, I poked my head in. I just didnt expect the house hosting the party to be crammed, literally crammed, with furries.
Now, Im actually a fairly shy person. Especially in large, strange groups. However, standing outside the door looking in, fleeing really wasnt an option. So I went in and clambered over the massive mountain of shoes (almost literally) and tried to socialize.
A few observations:
The biggest difference wasnt that they were furries, and I was learning what it meant to be one, it was that the majority were in their twenties and Im in my forties. A huge cultural divide. So, theyre talking all about anime, MMORPGs, showing various internet Flash videos on the TV, and all kinds of other stuff that I know of, but that is completely foreign to my life. It was interesting.
As it was a Halloween party, there were a few costumes. There was a cardinal fursuit lounging on the couch right in front of the partially open screen door (I think he (?) had the right idea), a flame-orange lion who moved around, and three wolves. Two I saw only briefly; one lounged around more, frequently taking his head off. Yes, fursuits are hot!
There were actually more conventional Halloween costumes. A scarecrow with full mask that had to be as hot as some of the fursuits, a crossdresser (for Halloween only as I understood it), a pirate, and a few other similar costumes.
As to art, there was only one person doing rough sketches. I think it was too crowded for anybody else.
And, as to the house, well, it was fairly typical, except for the walls having nothing but animal pictures on them. There was the usual collection of videos (helped the host try to find a horror movie, but we had no luck), basic furniture, etc. The number of pictures was fairly impressive, as was the amount of artistic equipment. Certainly more than I had, but then I live with non-creative types.
So, what were the furries I encountered like?
Well, given the mass crowd, I only interacted with a few.
One was the artistwe discussed digitigrade motion in anthros a bit. Seemed like a nice person. There was a man in his early twenties who was sort of on the outsideI wasnt the only newcomer thereand we had a chat about online art and writing. There was a gentleman in his forties who wanted to be a writerhe was blown away when I told him I was a writer who had actually made money writing. And there was a Star Trek fanfar more of one than me. Oddly, he didnt know about the enhanced Star Trek that is being broadcast now.
In other words, normal people, except for their interests. I guess I shouldnt be surprised.
Oh, and about 90% of the persons there were male. Again, I had been led to expect that by my researches, so no surprise there.
So, was I scared away?
Though nervous, I talked to strangers along the fringes, relaxed, and had a bit of fun. So, Ill keep going
Hopefully to a smaller gathering next time. :)