Thoughts on just what furry is to me
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I blame Bugs Bunny.

I guess that, like many things, this bears some explanation.

First - and I bring this up because this seemingly comes up a lot - I'll make a few things clear. It's not all about spooge (i.e., porn) and yiff, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm not in it for the sex.

Now then, for those curious, it might help to look up the furry fandom on Wikipedia - this will give you a good insight as to what this furry thing is.

Now then, I've noticed that there are a few types of people when it comes to furry: those who have never heard of it, those who have heard of it and are unfamiliar with it, and those who have heard of it and are familiar with it. Of the second type, you get three very basic subtypes: those who are actually curious on what this furry thing is, those who have heard the negative aspects and simply want nothing to do with it (and God forbid you try and tell them otherwise), and those who have heard of it and are a bit weirded out by it, but keep an open mind about it anyway (and may even be interested to some degree or another). There are other permutations, but I could be here all night typing about that.

Where I fall in the spectrum is that I am, indeed, a furry fan, and have selected a bengal tiger as my phenotype of choice - largely because it "feels" right. Within this, my interests lie in the conventions, costuming, and the artwork to varying degrees, as well as some of the social aspects of it. I think most of it is in the social aspects: one of the peculiarities of the fandom is that many therein tend toward being social outcasts, and having grown up as such, I - and for a while, my ex wife - just kind of fell into it.

In the chair where I sit

Perhaps there are other aspects. One thing I recall from before I got into the fandom was trying a tiger costume on at a rental shop, in particular, a unitard type costume - and I distinctly remember walking out of that store feeling an awful lot like those stripes had somehow burned themselves onto my own skin, and this sensation had kind of hung on for a few days - and I have to admit it was quite enjoyable. Never mind that I really wanted to walk out of the store with that costume. But I digress.

So what is it to me? Well, the thing with the unitard is an aside, but it's pretty much the social aspect and what I outlined above. I tend toward imaginative creativity, and quite honestly, this just expands on what is already there. At the same time, it has become a mechanism for me to express myself a bit better, and also a vehicle in which I find myself more able to take certain risks that, as a mundane, I would not take for fear of some imagined recriminiation.

So this establishes what it is to me. It probably helps then to explain what I perceive furry to not be.

Before I continue, consider something else here: furry fandom is no more or less weird than any other such thing that has any sort of following. There are those who are thusly devoted to any fantastical thing you can think of - Japanese animation, Star Trek (and, in fact, science fiction as a whole), Doctor Who, World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons (and the rest of such role-playing gaming)... the list goes on, conceivably infinitely. But the point here is that these fandoms will appear absolutely weird and scary to those who are woefully unfamiliar with them, and even then, for those who are familiar with them, these fandoms even have their weird elements and extreme "lifestyler" fans about them. Trekkers have full-time Klingons and Starfleet members, World of Warcraft has people who do the body paint thing, anime has people who speak less Japanese than I speak Spanish at a Mexican restaurant, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

First, as an extension of what I'm not in it for, the fandom, at its base roots, is not a sexual fetish. It is to some people, no question, and it certainly has its sexual aspects to it, but at its base roots, it is not a fandom devoted to sex.

Second, while I consider it to be a means of imaginary escape, it is not - to me, at any rate - a lifestyle that I devote every waking hour to. Frankly, I have some responsibilities to meet - both as a student, and as a human being. At the end of the day, it's still Dennis the Human who crawls into bed at night.

Third, it is not, unto itself, a spiritual thing. I suppose that, for my life, it has lead me to things spiritual, allowed me to find other things to explore, and has ultimately served as a path to find those things that are beyond whatever bubble I was finding myself in for a while. But, more than anything, it is a means to an end.

The spiritual side of this

Some of you may recall a previous version of this page where I talk about furry fandom in conjunction with Christianity. I suppose this is where some people go off on a tangent to talk about how it caused them to see the real light, or showed them that Christianity was of the Devil, or that they're now atheists, or something like that. You're not going to get that out of me. While I've found a different spiritual path, know that there are many Christians in furry fandom, and I support their walk - especially those who can keep their heads out of the clouds! But while the fandom may have been a part of why I walked away from Christianity, it did not cause me to walk away from it. For the Christians, that was ultimately my decision for many reasons - and there are other things that I cite that really have nothing to do with furry fandom.

I will still maintain, all this said, that there is nothing in Christianity or Furry Fandom that are mutually exclusive. For the Christians out there, the problem only comes up when something you're into interferes with your walk in Christ. Exactly where that sits is up to each individual who reads this.

As to me, well, I found things more earth-centered as a spiritual way for myself. Perhaps in all of this, though, I found a patron (matron?) in Bast - perhaps it's my preference to cats that bring me to this. Maybe it's this thing for the tiger that drew me to this. Odd, but it works, I suppose. Doesn't seem to be harming anybody.

In closing...

So that's where I stand. Hopefully, you hit that back button or go somewhere else on the 'net at least considering what I have to say about the whole mess. What you do with this...well, that's your thing, isn't it? =^_^=

© Dennis Carr - all rights reserved
Last modified Sat Sep 7 2019 22:31:21 PDT