Furry Fandom FAQ
What is a furry?
Furries are people who have a strong interest in animals with near-human attributes (also referred to as anthropomorphism). Think of a typical Saturday morning cartoon in which animals can walk and talk, but still maintain the physical features of an animal (e.g. fur, paws, tails, etc.). Furries come in all shapes, sizes and interest levels. Many furries have “fursonas” they identify with, some do not. Furry can be considered a hobby, an identity, a grassroots community and more. There’s no wrong or right way to be a furry.
Wait, so what's a fursona?
Furries often closely identify with one or more anthropomorphic character, which is called a fursona. For some furries, their fursona is a mix of themselves and a single animal. For others it can be a hybrid of several animals. And some furries have multiple fursonas. Some furries role play or chat as their fursona online and some identify with their fursona as an avatar or artistic shorthand. Many furries also attend local meet ups or larger furry conventions as well. Some furries will make a physical suit of their fursona (called a fursuit), though these can be expensive and most furries do not.
OK yeah, what’s the deal with the furry suits?
Furries who wear fursuits are only one part of the furry community—however they do receive a disproportionate amount of media attention. It’s a common misconception that all furries have or want a fursuit. For some furries, a fursuit is a vital and liberating way to live out their fursona. For others it’s not. It’s a big community running the gamut from casual online fans to people who see their fursonas as something spiritual.
So are there people who are casual furries?
Of course. If there’s one message we can’t repeat often enough it’s that there is literally no wrong way to be a furry. Many people, especially those who are new to the community, are more casual about their interest. Some furries will draw or commission drawings of their fursonas, but never attend an event as their fursona. Some furries may never make the leap offline—and that’s okay. All are valid.
What kind of animals are popular?
Well first, it’s important to say that the furry community is endlessly diverse, encompassing all kinds of animals, real and mythical, and no animal is more or less valid than the others. That being said, the 20 most popular fursona species are: Wolf; red fox; dragon; domestic cat; tiger; husky; dog (other); feline (other); fox (other); artic fox; rabbit; kitsune; lion; canine (other); raccoon; leopard; grey fox; coyote; horse; and river otter. But fursonas can run the gamut from hybrid species, to mythical creatures (e.g. dragons, unicorns) to extinct species (e.g. dinosaurs). There’s actually a wonderful collection of data from several years of worldwide furry surveys by [adjective][species] at http://vis.adjectivespecies.com. It’s worth checking out!
OK, so is this a sexual, romantic or platonic thing?
It's different for different people. Furry fandom is first and foremost about identity, and identity is complicated and rolls up into a lot of things, including sex. For some furries, being a furry is deeply connected to their sexuality and they may only date other furries and or become aroused by sex with other furries (often called yiff or yiffing). These furries might use platforms like Ferzu as a furry dating site. For many furries, however, being a furry is more a way of life and social environment than it is a sexual thing and their focus is on the furry community and making like-minded friends.
Can't I just hide this part of me?
Sure, you can hide any part of your identity. Would we recommend that? No. If you’ve known you were a furry since you were a kid, it’s a safe bet those desires aren’t going anywhere. You can repress them in a similar manner to the way an “ex-gay” can repress their desires—but you will get a similar result: Namely, a lot of shame, disappointment and sadness.
But it’s so… weird.
Hey, we’re not gonna debate you on that one. Mainstream society will probably always think we are weird. But why on earth would you let those judgmental, conformist normals stop you from having fun and being you? Besides, behind closed doors they’re probably getting whipped, or diapered or foot worshipped. Everyone’s kink or interest is weird to people who don’t share it. Don’t let their BS keep you from living the life you deserve.
How can I meet other furries?
Online is a good start, but there’s also an abundance of furry conventions where you can meet other furries in person. The largest events are Anthrocon in Pittsburgh, Midwest FurFest near Chicago, Further Confusion in San Jose; Furry Weekend in Atlanta; Furry Fiesta in Dallas; RainFurrest in Seattle and Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno. There’s also a large annual furry convention in Europe, called Euroference.
How can I learn more?
Honestly, the best way to learn more is to dive in and start chatting with people!