Furries In The Media|
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|Tuesday, June 28th, 2016|
THE FURRIES ARE IN TOWN - Anthrocon 2016
Thought you guys would like to read this and see the photos...
Anthrocon, the convention for those fascinated with anthropomorphics, returns to Pittsburgh June 30th - July 4th, 2016. If you see a furry this weekend downtown, don’t be afraid to say hello to these people who may be a bit different than you. Ask for a selfie or photo with them, and send them in to WTAE using #WTAEfurries.http://livewire.wtae.com/Event/Furries_2016
|Sunday, June 12th, 2016|
Furries Explain How They Developed Their 'Fursonas'
When people hear "furry" they instantly think of big, fuzzy animal outfits, called "fursuits." Not all furries have fancy, ornate ones, but many in the fandom go all out when it comes to their second skin. For those looking to take their involvement in the community to the next level, the creation or commission of a fursuit is an act of outward expression and serious dedication (often, a financial one).
Fursuits can be intrinsic to the identities or alter egos that define the lifestyle, and some furries even keep multiple fursuits for multiple personalities. Most furries have concepted characters—referred to as "fursonas"—that they choose to represent themselves, and the suits can help articulate certain aspects of each character. For some, the fursona is an elevated state of self, an expression of an inner animal. For others, it's more fantasy-based, a crafted identity, representing something they aspire to or deem important.
Fursuits are built by specific furries, many of whom make their entire living creating commissioned suites year round. While the cost of most fursuits hover around the $1,000-$4,000 range, they can cost up to $10,000, depending on intricacy, quality, and the reputation of the maker. While at Biggest Little Fur Con—the fastest-growing furry convention in the country, held in mid-May in Reno, Nevada—I caught up with a handful of furrys to find out about the genesis of their fursona and fursuits.
JEBRONI, aka "Certified Love Kitten"
Maine Coon Kitten
I'm Jebroni Kitty, and I come from Chicago. I came up with my character because I was trying to discover what I liked [within the subculture]. I took pieces of inspiration from things like Second Life to create my fursuit, and I've always been a cat. It's just how I've always acted and felt.
I love hearts, and I like blue and pink—the colors of my fursuit—because they just mix well together. I'm a big guy, but I wanted to be a house cat, so I'm a Maine Coon. Big, husky, cuddly, and very mild-natured. I became known as the Love Kitten after going out with my stuffed hearts, which I carry around with me a lot. I often give my heart out to people, and then other furries started calling me Love Kitten.MUKILTEO
I live on Woodbee Island in Washington State and this is my character Mukilteo. I have a website where I teach people how to make and build fursuit costumes, too. I have been in the furry fandom for a very long time, since 1998 or 1999.
Mukilteo was my first furry character, I had gotten this costume as a trade with another fursuit maker. This character is the bad dog. He wears a shock collar and he's a dog party advocate. He fights for Couch Rights and access to fresh water and walks to the park, and more treats! We want fresh bones and snacks!
I have another character, Matrices, and she's a gray dog, with folded back ears, and has a marking on her forehead. She's the one that really represents myself more so than Mukilteo, and she is the one I have as my avatar online. But Mukilteo is my fun one to take to the dance.
I know I'm a human on the inside, but it's fun to play around and have a different character for a little while. I've had the character so long... it's been about 15 years or longer.TROUBULL
Originally [my species pick] came from the ox in the Chinese Zodiac. The ox is the working animal, and I've always felt that in my life I have been the one working long hours, seeing things through, being someone people can count on. The bull and the ox are very similar, with the exception that the ox can be a bull and it also does chores. I've always identified very strongly with that.
Initially I started as a fox, just cause I had no clue what to do. All of my friends at the time were equine or horses, and I kind of felt like I didn't want to do the same thing that they did. I realized that not only was the bull interesting, but it was unique. In addition to that, there are all different kinds of pun-ish humor to it, like being the bull when cows are the ones that make milk—and milk can kind of be associated with something that's not appropriate.MARTIN FREEHUGZ
Furry Martin and human Martin are pretty much the same being. The only difference is that one's human and the other is a blue wolf. Everything I do as a human (mannerisms/actions/sounds) are all stuff I do in my fursuit. I do get more cordial and energetic as wolf Martin. I love seeing people happy and wolf Martin easily fulfills that need.
I decided on a wolf because I've always respected their raw primal power. A wolf is ferocious, yet still has the ability to be charming and lovable. I decided to pick blue as the primary color on me for a couple of reasons. For one, blue is extremely rare in the animal kingdom (a blue wolf in real life would have a very hard time surviving).
I'm a bit idealistic toward the sustainable lifestyle and the struggles of life. Living a normal, stagnant life is not my intention. Living as an outlier humbles me. Experiencing the lows and savoring the highs is what life is about. Being blue in the wild would make life tough... Just the way I want to experience it. Darwin would be disappointed in my fursona. Also, blue is my favorite color.RABID RABBIT
English Spot Breed Rabbit
I decided on the name a long time ago. My original fursona was a crazy rabbit with a straight jacket. When I got my fursuit, I wanted a happier and toony character that was easily approachable. My name, "Rabid," had already stuck, though. I decided on the rabbit because I've always loved them and felt a connection to them—perhaps because they, like the coyote and fox, are the tricksters in mythology. Unlike the coyote and fox, they are not predatory and are not nefarious.
I identify with my fursona and do consider myself and my fursona as one in the same. I have two new fursuits commissioned from Rabid Rabbit. Between fursuit commissions, conferences, and other activities, I'm sure I will spend about $10,000 this year on my furry lifestyle.Visit Zak's website here
to see more of his photo work.
|Tuesday, June 7th, 2016|
The Fastest Growing Furry Convention in America June 5, 2016
Yep, its growing fast!http://www.vice.com/read/photos-of-the-fastest-growing-furry-convention-in-america
The stigmatization of furries, the online taunting and trolling, is something that's plagued the community (known as the furry fandom) since it began popping up in mainstream media and on TV shows like CSI, ER, and Entourage in a consistently ruthless "look at these perverted freaks" sort of way. But, in reality, furries are some of the nicest, fun-loving, and respectful people—people who just happen to feel more like themselves when roleplaying as anthropomorphic woodland creature in custom-made fursuits.
As with most underground social groups, the best place to see all your like-minded friends is the convention scene, and Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC) in Reno, Nevada was no exception. Every year, nearly 50 furry conventions take place across the US, and BLFC is the fastest growing con on the circuit, tripling its attendance in just three years. This year, from May 12 through 15, approximately 3,500 members of the furry fandom attended BLFC, making it the third-largest furry convention in the US. According to the organizers, some estimate that the four-day event brings in upwards of $3.5 million to the city. Nervous and excited, I hopped on a plane to America's biggest little city to meet up with Martin Freehugz, a furry friend who got me more interested in the subculture, for my first ever furry convention.
Upon arrival to the resort, I was greeted with a wave of fursuiters strutting on patterned casino carpets, together representing species that spanned the entire spectrum of the animal kingdom. If you can think of it, you can fursuit as it. Dragons, lizards, deer, wolfs, foxes (lots of foxes), eagles, and even some original animals the furries have made up, like the Dutch Angel Dragon and other adorable fairytale creatures come to life.
At BLFC, the emphasis on fun, cuteness, and creativity was everywhere. There was life-size Yahtzee, go-karting, video games, board games, and copious amounts of dancing. At night, a series of fandom fave DJs blasted the crowd with EDM and trance. Getting lost in the lights and lasers among a crowd of fuzzy, wide-eyed animals on two feet was an overwhelming experience. I found myself dazed and half-crying, but also overjoyed in a way I hadn't expected.
I roamed the halls with Martin/Freehugz in his blue wolf suit, who seemed to know everyone. In fact, everyone seemed to know everyone—you couldn't go 20 feet without seeing an attendee gleefully stop a fursuiter for a hug and a picture. It became apparent that the fursuiters were the local celebrities of the scene, and certain suiters were extra famous, with huge online followings.
The other celebrities of the con were the artists, the people who draw your chosen furry charterer's representation, or fursona, in a variety of mediums and scenarios, such as homemade accessories, badges, comics, and more. Free of corporate sponsorship, the "dealer's den" hosted artists and makers selling their wares to a crowd more than ready to spend. The organizers of the event even told me the dealer's, collectively, were expected to make somewhere in the $100,000-200,000 range.
After a night of dubstep, hugs (furries love hugs), and spiked chocolate milk, it was time for the highly anticipated Fursuit Festival. While most fur cons have a parade of fursuiters, BLFC opted for a Festival of Fur, where nearly 1,500 fursuiters gathered for a giant group photo before breaking out into dancing, games, and a plethora of organized photoshoots. An announcer could be heard over the loudspeakers saying things like "Predators vs Prey photo shoot at station four, Blue Fursuiters at station one, Malamutes on five." Two parents and their fuzzy little offspring, all in fursuit, skipped by me and my heart grew two sizes. I watched as they disappeared into a sea of neon fur. See more photos from the convention below.Visit Zak's website here
to see more of his photo work.
|Saturday, May 7th, 2016|
THE SALON: Inside the fascinating, misunderstood world of furries
“The Lion King’ is an extraordinarily sexual film”: Inside the fascinating, misunderstood world of furries THE SALON: Inside the fascinating, misunderstood world of furries
Furries are adults who assume creative/fantasy identities and dress up in fur suits. They are often ridiculed for their behavior, which is, by and large, assumed to be sexual. The new documentary, “Fursonas,” available on VOD now, attempts to demystify members of this subculture by—ahem—fleshing them out as humans.
Directed by Dominic Rodriguez (himself a furry, a wolf named Video), the film introduces characters like Diezel, who found his inner furry by working as a mascot; Skye, who enjoys the friendship and dance competitions at furry conventions; Freya, a mother who hopes her young daughter will find the same appreciation she does in costume; Bandit, who sees furry-dom as a way to memorialize his dog; and Grix and Quad, a gay couple who are equally comfortable in suit and out.
Then there is Uncle Kage, a chairman at furry conventions, who manages the way furries talk to and are represented by the media. He criticizes Boomer, a furry whose outfit is made of paper, not fur, and who went to the extreme of trying to legally change his name to Boomer the Dog, which is also the name of his favorite TV show/character; Chew Fox, whose appearance on “The Tyra Banks Show” discussed a furry taboo (apparently being a furry is like being in Fight Club); and Varka, who provides sex toys to furries, but is now fursona non grata at conventions.
“Fursonas” gives these men, women and animals an opportunity to express their thoughts about perception, tolerance and rejection. Salon spoke with Rodriguez about his film, his fur fetish and this fascinating subculture.
“Fursonas” attempts to debunk the myths about furries. Why do you think there is such curiosity, or misunderstanding regarding this subculture?
I think that when Uncle Kage was on a panel at a convention (Anthrocon), there was an insightful comment about the media, who came and pried into the underbelly about furry meetings being about sex. Because of defensiveness in the community and that attitude, there is more of a stigma. There’s a reaction from the community that thinks that the media is out to get us. That’s why we have to share all these other sides of furries. Being a furry is a positive beautiful thing in furries’ lives. People who aren’t furries want answers. They don’t understand something that they aren’t a part of.
How did you get the approval to make this documentary?
It was not approved by Anthrocon. The Anthrocon media policy is that if you are going to shoot [footage] there, you have to show the finished film to the board of directors. They recommend changes, and if you don’t make those changes you have to take that Anthrocon footage out. We didn’t, because we disagree with that policy. It’s against the rule, but it’s not against the law. We’re not looking to make the furries or the convention look bad. Scenes of Uncle Kage at the convention are available on YouTube for free. We weren’t sneaking around; we wanted to show what was right in front of our faces.
What were your criteria for the Fursonas you showcase in the film?
At first it was about finding people who would talk to me. I didn’t know anybody in the community. I reached out to people with costumes. Not everyone has a fur suit. I think the costumes are cinematic, and that the furries who wear them are passionate. They invest money and time in their suits and I wanted to talk to passionate people. I sent out 100 emails, half the people responded, and half of them spoke to me. I traveled to meet folks, but Boomer lives 20 minutes from my house. I wanted to get diversity. I didn’t know much about these people and their lives until I met them. People like Chew Fox, Varka and Uncle Kage were more people I sought out because I wanted to tell their story.
What observations do you have about why people become furries? Is it infantilization? Fantasy/role playing by unleashing the inner animal? Is it a mask to increase confidence? Is it a sexual fetish? Or all of the above?
For many people it incorporates all of the above. But for plenty of furries it is one of the above. There is enough of a sexual component to the fandom it can’t be ignored, but I don’t know how many people are into it sexually. That is not something that people are comfortable talking about. Which is totally fair. There is an innocence brought to it because of the silliness of putting on a costume, running around and having adventures. There was never a scene in the film where we explain why this person does it. It’s not about the why, it’s about the who. It was important to get to know the people. I don’t have any definitive answer.
How did you become a furry, and what have your experiences been?
For me, I was interested in this since I was 12. I thought so much about what made me a furry. My experience is just my experience. It’s not reflective of all experiences. I feel like it has something to do with growing up with the Internet and being obsessed with movies and cartoons. “The Lion King” is an extraordinarily sexual film. When I found furry porn, that was it for me. It’s really beautiful. When I think of the question “Can porn be art?” I think furry porn is the answer. You humanize it and bring it into emotion. Videos of people fucking takes the humanity away. For me being a furry started as a fetish. I don’t know why anthropomorphized anatomy does it for me. As I worked on the movie, I got more into the scene and there are so many aspects that I enjoy. I wasn’t into fur suits at first, and then, when I met Grix, he owned that character and made it approachable and fun. There was nothing awkward about that, and that inspired me to get a fur suit.
What can you say about the difficulties of “coming out” as a furry, which is addressed in “Fursonas?”
When you ask, “How do you come out to your parents as a furry?”—you don’t have to. I understand why people want to be honest with themselves. I feel like I didn’t choose this. That’s how deep it runs for me. That’s why people feel the need to come out. It’s so in line with their identity. I’m lucky—I have a really awesome family. They have been supportive of me talking about these things. But not everyone has supportive people around them. I understand how Diezel might feel, keeping his furry life separate from his work life. The movie is important to show people expressing themselves, but also acknowledge the difficulties of that situation.
“I hate to bring this up,” as Uncle Kage says journalists will ask, “but what is all this about sex in fur suits?” Were you tempted to depict sex scenes with furries?
I think that is part of the fun for me as a director and revealing things to the audience that has preconceived notions, and playing with those. Someone says a line and it puts the image in your head. But I didn’t want to hold back, so I needed to show the indulgence of Varka with the cum lube. That’s my money shot.
There has been controversy in the furry community over Chew Fox’s appearance on “The Tyra Banks Show.” She said something that was harmful to the community, but truthful for her. What are your thoughts on what she did?
I think that Chew Fox was not trying to hurt anyone. The most important thing was her being honest about herself. People will say she was trying to throw us under the bus. I don’t agree with that at all. I’ve had to go into the media and now talk about being a furry. I’m now very self-aware. I wouldn’t go on the “Tyra Banks Show.” It’s an exploitative treatment of its subjects. Boomer made a point about that there is no bad media. No matter what it is, there is some truth coming through. So when he goes on “Dr. Phil,” it’s more about him being on the show. “They can do what they want,” he says, “It’s me coming through, there is some truth coming through.” Many furries have responded well, and there’s a difference between how [they and] non-furries respond. A furry who interviewed me thinks Chew Fox was delighting in upsetting furries, and that’s wasn’t obvious to me at all.
How do you think your film will play with furry and non-furry audiences?
I wanted to make something furries and non-furries can get something out of. As far as who is going to accept furries, if you’re going to watch it to laugh at them, I hope you will be moved by these stories. But there are people you will never convince, and that’s fine. I’m more interested in furries’ reactions. It’s played well with non-furry audiences. It’s meant to be about more than this community and where they are right now. I’m interested to see how it will play with furries because we’re all passionate about being furries. I was terrified when I showed the film at a recent furry convention, but so far, all the furry screenings have been extremely positive experiences. It has provoked thoughtful discussion. We’re having conversations, and dialogue is positive.
More Gary M. Kramer.
|Sunday, April 24th, 2016|
|Friday, April 8th, 2016|
|Saturday, March 26th, 2016|
|Tuesday, March 15th, 2016|
|Friday, February 26th, 2016|
|Monday, February 15th, 2016|
|Saturday, February 13th, 2016|
|Friday, February 5th, 2016|
|Thursday, January 14th, 2016|
A Documentary About "Furries" Competes In The Slamdance Film Festival
( Collapse )
Furries in the documentary "Fursona" come to Utah to compete in the Slamdance Film Festival
Furries in the documentary "Fursona" come to Utah to compete in the Slamdance Film Festival
“Fursona” is a documentary premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City on Jan. 22. It’s a first time effort for director Dominic Rodriguez that focuses on the world of furries, people who like to dress up like animals. “I think that part of what the journey of the movie was the struggle and making a good solid definition because there are so many people in it," said Rodriguez.
“I had called myself a furry but I never really understood it until I was about 17 years old. I went to work as a mascot for a Single A baseball team, surprisingly as a raccoon. And the first time I got in that suit and that mascot was just completely surreal. I mean, I could be as energetic, as happy, as crazy as I could be and people loved it." - Diezel
"Since it’s different to everyone that is in that community," Rodriguez said., "it’s hard to say something that is all inclusive.”
Rodriguez who is a furry himself, said he wanted to shed some light on the furry community. However, because of the negative media coverage in past years, it’s difficult to do.
“There’s a lot of fear in the furry community about it being misrepresented," he said.
You can see furries all around at amusement parks, mascots at football games, and sometimes even on Main Street promoting a company or event. For some furries, it’s a profession, while for others, it’s a lifestyle.
“So many of us are into creating art and street performance basically with our fur suits.”said Cameron Liddiard, a furry who lives in Utah.
“A lot of furry conventions have dance competitions because there is a big dance art community in the fandom. It’s different than any other fandom because like here, no one cares who wins, everyone supports everyone, and like it’s just a big family.” – Skye
Throughout the documentary the audience is exposed to conflicts within the community. Everything from how to be a furry, to politics within their society.
Uncle Kage is a researcher by profession and is also a chairman of Anthrocon, a furry convention. He wears a lab coat at his speaking engagements opposed to his furry costume.
“I’ve got a professional reputation that I have to maintain.” - Uncle Kage
Another fursona is Boomer. He’s the antithesis of Uncle Kage who made his own costume out of clothes and shredded paper. He sweeps parts of his hair on top of his head making puppy ears.
“I love furries so much I want to see all kinds of people have it and enjoy it if they’d like to. And I’d like them to see all sides of furry, you know good and bad, whatever it is. I don’t think there’s much bad to it. People try to discover themselves in different ways.” - Boomer
“I didn’t want to just turn it into, like this tight, neat, little story. I wanted to get to know the people so we spent years,” Rodriguez said. “Like when I first met Boomer, I was shocked by his lifestyle but then the more I got to know him the more insight he shared with me and I sort of realized what a good handle on all of this he has.”
Rodriguez realized throughout the making of the documentary that something complex can still be positive.
“It doesn’t necessarily need to be like a PR piece to still have an overall positive effect,” he said. “I think if furries are portrayed as humans, you know as like flawed human ... that isn't necessarily a negative thing.”
And when all is said and done, as Rodriguez said, he hopes people walk away with a better understanding of who they are.
“It seems so strange at first,” Rodriguez said. “I hope at the end of it it’s not about furry anymore for the audience and they've just gotten to know these people. But see them as people and I think that is so important to me.”
|Tuesday, December 8th, 2015|
Midwest Furfest 2015: More than 5,000 gather in Chicago for Furry Fandom convention
Dated December 8, here is an article in the International Business Times
, about Midwest FurFest 2015:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/midwest-furfest-2015-more-5000-gather-chicago-furry-fandom-convention-1532293
Concentrating more on photographs, the article's text reads:
More than 5,000 people gathered in Chicago for Midwest FurFest 2015, a convention for "furries" – lovers of anthropomorphic cartoon animals, many of whom dress up in life-sized fantasy animal costumes. Members of the furry fandom often create their own "fursona" – an animal character. This avatar allows them to express characteristics quite different from their own personalities. About one in five adopt a fursona of a different gender – around 80% of furries are male.
Conventions like these offer furries and fans of anthropomorphic culture the opportunity to socialise. According to FurFest's website, the convention allowed delegates to "come together to celebrate... art, literature and performance based around anthropomorphic animals". There were lectures and art shows, as well as adults-only private parties for subgroups of the fandom. Attendees raised more than $60,000 for animal charity Save a Vet.
|Friday, November 13th, 2015|
|Thursday, November 12th, 2015|
|Thursday, October 15th, 2015|
|Wednesday, October 7th, 2015|