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So, what is a furry? The term "furry" can be used to describe an anthropomorphic animal. An anthropomorphic animal (or "anthro" for short) is basically an animal with human characteristics, such as being able to walk on two legs or talk. The furry fandom itself is basically a celebration of these animals. It's a bunch of people with one common interest coming together to share that interest, whether it be in an online chatroom or a convention.
Ironically, many furries aren't very social people outside of the fandom, therefore, they make online persona's to fill in for them, and it offers a bit of anxiety reduction to talk behind a mask. A furry persona, or "fursona," is a special creation from the heart of the individual. A fursona can be anything the person wants it to be, from a normal animal, such as a wolf or fox, to a hybrid animal, a wolf/husky or a wolf/fox, or even mythical creatures, such as a dragon or Minotaur. Most fursonas have attributes that the person creating the fursona wish they had. For example: if a person was weak in real life, his fursona may be muscular. Not all fursonas are like this, though. Some fursonas match the person's personality perfectly. At the end of the day, a fursona is simply a creation that allows a person to step outside of themselves for a while and experience the world in a whole new way.
If you have ever Googled "furry," you have probably seen people in rather large animal costumes. These are known in the community as "fursuits." A fursuit can either be a person's fursona (and, in my experience, it usually is) or it can be another character the person has made, which is known as an OC. Fursuits are a way to make the fandom come to life in an enjoyable way. Most fursuiters are extremely friendly and adore the attention they receive from the public.
Now, as you may know, the furry fandom does have a reputation for being sexualized. While there is adult content in the furry fandom, it's not all sexual. The furry fandom is comprised of many young adults, so naturally, there would be some adult content. From my experience, the adult content is usually kept into its own corner and away from family friendly sides of the fandom.
The furry fandom is a special place with special people. Those on the outside looking in may see a bunch of strange people in animal costumes playing around, but I see hurting, shy, and incredible people coming out and facing their fears. The furries are indeed a group of people with a bunch of interesting psychological traits.
Prior to writing this article, I interviewed one hundred furries via a survey on sexuality and gender. Here are the results:
- 3%-Gender Fluid
- 1%-Transgender: FTM
- 1%-Transgender: MTF