Furries In The Media|
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|Thursday, February 9th, 2017|
Even Furries Are Fighting Fascists
Ran into this on Twitter. Interesting. You can read the whole thing online:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/even-furries-are-fighting-fascists
---------------------What's a community built on principles of extreme acceptance to do when actual Nazis show up in their midst?
Beginning in January, Red started getting calls from groups of furries who wanted her help fighting Nazis.
Red—who did not want me to use her real name because members of her subculture who speak to the press can be blacklisted from events—knows her stuff. The 26-year-old Chicagoan has been dressing up in a fur suit since 2008, and joined Antifa International three years later, after getting involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Antifa International (for anti-fascist) is a group dedicated to fighting right-wing politics, and to achieve that mission antifas are prepared to do anything up to and including punching Nazis. But Red, who believes fascist rhetoric should be met with a closed fist—or paw—wasn't sure the furries were prepared to do what it took.
"Most furries find any kind of violence abhorrent," she told me.
The furry fandom is one of the most inclusive subcultures on the internet. Many furries are queer, and most are used to being ridiculed for their "fursonas," anthropomorphized animal avatars that are used in roleplaying that sometimes (but not always) gets sexual. But even the furry community isn't immune to the political upheaval sweeping through America. Instead, it's a microcosm—albeit an odd one—of the culture war that the rest of the country is consumed by. The furries who called Red faced a question all too familiar to many people today: What should be done about far-right figures coming out of the shadows?
To be clear, Nazis are not new to the furry community. All the way back in 2007, a group called Furzi clashed with Jewish users of the game Second Life, which is a popular place for furries to congregate. Several members of the fandom told me that the ideology has festered among some furries ever since. More recently, a group called the Furry Raiders has become emboldened by the campaign, and eventual victory, of Donald Trump.
The Raiders are led by Lee Miller, a 29-year-old Furry who goes by Foxler Nightfire—a blue-eyed character who wears a red-and-black armband that should be familiar to any student of world history. Although he's been a known quantity within in the fandom for years, Foxler drew wider attention in January when he tweeted out a picture of himself with the hashtag #altfurry.
In late November, before "alt-furries" or "Nazifurs" attracted media attention, group called Antifa Furries formed to try to address the growing problem. Its goal is to get Nazifurs banned from events and to encourage furries to get involved in politics—efforts that seasoned activists like Red think are insufficient when it comes to combatting the far right.
Red told me that when members of the Antifa Furs called her up to ask for advice, they didn't like what she had to say. Though being "anti-fascist" seems like an obvious position to take, especially at a time like this, many antifas advocate property destruction and other forms of lawbreaking—which, Red said, the Antifa Furs weren't up for.
"Everyone jumped on this antifa bandwagon, but they are getting in over their head," she told me. "It's not for all liberals. It's for anarchists and for communists. It's not for people who wanna hold a sign or sign a petition. It's for people who are willing to do whatever is necessary to stomp out fascism."
logo courtesy of Antifa Furries
Instead of fighting Foxler with violence, the Antifa Furries decided to go with a strategy of trying to convince people to boycott conventions that didn't ban the Furry Raiders from attending—a fairly roundabout way of ostracizing one's enemies.
Fiver, a soft-spoken 20-something member of a group called the Antifa Furries, told me that furries—who tend to be both gentle and geeky—may be reluctant to expel problematic community members because they're afraid of being as intolerant as the people who bullied them in high school.
"While we do desire to be as accommodating and accepting as possible, this attitude has also required the acceptance of Nazis who will turn around and tell you that if you don't accept them, you're the real fascist," he told me.
When I talked to Lee Miller, who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, he told me he's been into the fandom since he was 12. According to the high school dropout, his Nazi-esque armband originated as a Second Life accessory—but it's difficult to pin him down on what it actually represents, or what he actually believes. During the course of our conversation, he oscillated between claiming ignorance and irony. When I asked why he won't just take off the armband to end the drama, he unspooled a story about how the character of Foxler was based on his deceased father and that changing it would be tantamount to disrespecting his memory. When I asked about his politics, he said that they're starting to change in reaction to all the backlash he's received from people offended by his outfit. Before all of this, he used to look exclusively at 4Chan, he says, but now he's starting to read about "SJWs" and "safe spaces" and getting more involved in what might be termed slightly more mainstream right-wing modes of thought.
"Why are people trying to control my existence or tell me what I can and can't do when it's within the law?" he says. "I've never really driven into politics, but I need to get more serious about them now that all this is happening."
Miller says he originally supported Bernie Sanders, but now agrees with at least some of Trump's views. He also admires Trump's campaign tactics and the way the orange-faced provocateur played the media into giving him coverage. Meanwhile, furries aligned against him say Foxler/Miller has emulated these tricks. They say that he'll say anything to anyone as long as it increases his popularity and gets him more followers. It doesn't matter that he's bisexual, or that his boyfriend is a minority, because aligning himself with white nationalism has given him a platform. His backstory and its apparent contradictions make him vaguely similar to Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right personality who has built a whole career out of saying things calculated to piss off the left. Miller even attended a Yiannopoulos event last month in full furry regalia.
As for how a furry might be radicalized in the first place, one hypothesis among furries is that members of the fandom congregate on anything-goes image boards like 4Chan, which are also frequented by members of hate groups like Stormfront that will deliberately appeal to lonely nerds. The Raiders, like a fair number of those on the far right these days, can claim that they're just conducting a social experiment or trolling, but their opponents say that's just an excuse that they use to hide their honestly bigoted views.
"Foxler is all about grooming and manipulating people that don't feel like they belong anywhere—and, let's face it, most furries feel like they don't belong anywhere," a Colorado-based furry named Ash told me.
Ash is a 28-year-old who, like Miller, lives in Colorado and has been working to ban Foxler and his crew from local meetups. Armbands are now almost universally disallowed from the local scene, she told me, and Foxler is also not welcome at a local bimonthly dance party called Foxtrot. One problem, however, is that since people in the community are almost always in disguise at these events, it's impossible to tell who is secretly an alt-furry. Ash and others have been monitoring Twitter and trying to suss out who's been communicating with the enemy, but it's been tough.
Her big target is the Rocky Mountain Fur Con, which is set to take place this August in Denver. Anti-fascist furries claim that members of the Raiders are on staff there and that the con has been silent about their pleas to ban Nazis because they fear violence like the chlorine gas attack that sent 19 Illinois con-goers to the hospital in 2014.
Sorin, the con's chairman, declined a formal interview but instead issued a relatively middle-of-the-road statement: "Rocky Mountain Fur Con does not support or condone discrimination or violence in any of it's forms and is saddened by the hatred and division that has been caused be [sic] a small minority of our community on both sides of this issue."
That division, like the larger one afflicting America, isn't likely to heal anytime soon.
"It's so strange that this is also happening in our community," Ash told me. "But since the fandom is growing exponentially and the group is getting bigger, we were bound to pick up a small sliver of people that are completely off the wall. Foxler would be that sliver."
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.
|Sunday, January 29th, 2017|
Milford man charged with 2009 child rape
Not the sort of news article the furry fandom wants or needs, but I am posting it here because of its serious nature, and because it seems to have had limited coverage which is in danger of disappearing completely behind a paywall.
The original article was here:http://www.theintell.com/news/crime/milford-man-charged-with-child-rape/article_cf00a42a-e4e4-11e6-8431-77cb8a46662f.html
Milford man charged with 2009 child rape
By James O'Malley, staff writer 21 hrs ago 0
A Milford man has been charged with raping an 8-year-old boy inside his home in 2009.
Kenneth C. Fenske, 57, of the 2700 block of North Old Bethlehem Pike, was arraigned Friday before District Judge Gary Gambardella on one count of child rape, two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, according to court records.
Each charge against Fenske is graded as a felony of the first degree.
His arrest comes as the result of a joint investigation by Bucks County Detectives and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, court papers show.
According to a criminal complaint, the boy, now a teen, told investigators Fenske raped him several times in 2009 during a series of "furry" parties at Fenske's home.
"Furries" are adults who dress in animal costumes, the complaint says. For some, it is done as part of a sexual fetish.
The boy told police that Fenske, who went by the furry nickname "Lupine" and dressed as a red fox, would remove the costume during the episodes of abuse, the complaint says.
Arrest papers also reference an instance in which the abuse occurred at a "party apartment," but do not provide additional information as to the apartment's location.
The boy told investigators he was the only child present at these parties, and would go dressed as Kellogg's cereal mascot Tony the Tiger, the complaint says. The boy allegedly told investigators that during these parties he would play the video game "Rock Band" for a period of time until Fenske asked him to come upstairs where, in a guest bedroom, the abuse occurred.
A call to a cellphone number listed in the arrest affidavit and associated with Fenske went straight to a voicemail inbox for "Ken Fenske of Anapode Solar and Fensys Ltd." A message left Friday was not immediately returned.
State records list Fenske as owner of both Anapode Solar and Fensys Ltd., with both entities registered to his Old Bethlehem Pike address.
Court records show the district judge set bail at 10 percent of $750,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 13.
Fenske is the third man to be charged with abusing the same victim.
David R. Parker, 38, of Stroudsburg, Monroe County, is facing charges in his home county of child rape and related counts, as well as a handful of child pornography charges in a separate case, according to court records.
Jeffery Harvey, 40, of West Wyoming, Luzerne County, faces charges in neighboring Lackawanna County of unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a cellphone, involuntary deviate sexual assault and statutory sexual assault, court papers show.
According to arrest papers, Harvey was arrested June 28 when he thought he was meeting a teen boy for sex, but instead was greeted by agents with the attorney general's office.
The complaint says he allowed investigators to search his phone, where they found text conversations between Harvey and Parker about abusing the boy.
Upon his arrest June 29, police say, Parker admitted raping and abusing the boy over a number of years.
Messages left after-hours Friday with attorneys for Harvey and Parker were not immediately returned.
James O'Malley: 215-510-9372 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @omalley_intell
|Sunday, September 11th, 2016|
|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
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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|