Is there a regular club for Furries vs. conventions? A regular place to meet, say weekly, here in San Antonio!
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San Antonio is a great city, and it is a pawsome town in which to be a furry, too! For one thing, you have a fur con right there. It's called the Alamo City Furry Invasion (www.furryinvasion.org) and is held in October at the Marriott Airport Hotel. There are many other ways to connect to furries in your area. Thanks to user SAFurry on Reddit, who saved me a lot of research, here is a list of links that will prove helpful to you:
Good luck and have fun!
How do I stop the oncoming flow of hate towards the furry fandom? I hate how I'm persecuted for wanting to wear a costume. I understand that yes, there is a bad side to the fandom, but that's not the whole thing. Take Indigo_Raptor, for instance. They were so young, and yet they supposedly killed themselves because of hate. I really don't like how everyone stereotypes furries as 'The fandom that f*ks cheese graters and dogs for fun." And the people who bark at me in the school hallways--my fursona isn't even a dog; Neon's a cat! And if I'm a furry, and I don't go around barking at people, how come they do? We as furries have given the rest of the world more than enough reason to at least accept us if not love us.
How do I stop this? Is it even possible?
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(Note: I could not reply to you via email because you used a school email server, which blocks emails from unknown sources like this one, so I hope you see this on my website.)
Furries such as yourself all make the same mistake in thinking that normies are specifically targeting the furry fandom with their behavior towards its members. Actually, what you and others are experiencing is one facet of a phenomenon with humans: social predation. This is the characteristic in society in which those at the top of a hierarchy (the "top dogs," shall we say) and other members below who follow said hierarchy attack those at the bottom or outside the accepted norms in order to keep the status quo intact.
You see this kind of behavior in other animals, too, not just humans. Wolves, as most know, have their alphas and betas keeping the omegas in line; monkey troops actually go to war with other troops they feel are impinging on their territory; animals ranging from pronghorn sheep to elephants have been seen expressing bullying behavior, too. The higher an animal is in the hierarchy, the more aggressive it tends to be.
Humans behave just like the "lower animals" in this respect. In areas such as business and politics, of course, there is a clear hierarchy involving job titles and salaries and power. In the school, titles might not be formalized and complete with a salary, but they are still there in loose terms such as "that lunch table belongs to the popular kids, that one is for the jocks, nerds and geeks over there, and the losers sit outside on a bench."
Groups that adhere to social norms and that gain status through achievements (real or imagined) such as winning a championship game or wearing expensive and stylish clothes rise to the top of the hierarchy. Those who challenge the status quo by being different are filtered to the bottom of the glass. Such is the fate of furries because we aren't "normal."
But targeting furries per se is just an excuse. Anyone outside the "normal" range will be subject to violence and bullying. In the recent past, for example, such violence was directed at African Americans (and still is in many ways, but somewhat less so in schools now). People will also be targeted for their religion or nationality, as is seen in all the violence still going on today against Jews, Muslims (labeled as terrorists), Sikhs (often mistaken as Muslims because haters are stupid), LGBTQIA people, the handicapable, and more.
Bullies and haters are violent and nasty not just to keep the outsiders out, but also because this behavior reinforces the status quo hierarchy and creates a social bond (however unpleasant) with a group's leaders and all their toadies.
So, when you ask, "How do I stop furry haters?" you are asking the wrong question because you don't stop them. They are a part of social behavior in humans that will always be there, and you will be attacked for anything you might be or do that is considered "not normal."
Before I continue, it is important to note that if bullying becomes violent or dangerous in any way, you need to report it to your school administration and, possibly, local authorities if it gets really bad. There are laws against bullying (go to https://www.stopbullying.gov/ for more information on that).
When it comes to annoying teasing behavior, there are a couple of strategies you can pursue:
Whatever strategy you try--or maybe you have one of your own--the important thing is to not show any weakness. As Nick Wilde explained to Judy Hopps, you should never let them see that they got to you. Don't give them that power.
Will this stop the bullying? Maybe, maybe not. As noted above, you can't really completely stop it, but you can sure keep it from bothering you.
Remember, it's not about your being a furry; it's about them using bullying to maintain their social status. Is that pathetic? Yes, yes it is. And you don't have to buy into their pathetic displays of insecurity.
Hope that helps,
Furcon Age Policies
What age generally do you have to be to go to a furry convention? Is there a set age or what exactly?
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Every convention I know of has an age policy. A typical one would be that if you are under 16 years of age you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian; if you are 16 or 17, you must have signed approval from a parent or guardian; if you are 18 and older, you're good to go. Sin City Murr Con in Las Vegas is, obviously, for 18 and older ONLY because of its very adult nature.
That is in the United States. Other countries are different. For example, I am led to understand that UK conventions do not allow minors at all. Same with Eurofurence in Germany and Furdu in Australia--you have to be 18. Asia cons can vary, I believe. For example, Furs Upon Malaysa allows furries as young as 13 to attend, but 13 to 17 year old furries must have an adult with them.
Anyway, you're likely only interest in U.S. cons, so short answer is you will need a parent to come with you. If you aren't sure, just visit the furcon's webpage and they will have the age policies posted there.
I am new to the furry/fursuiting community and have suddenly risen to popularity in a little over a month. It has been a great opportunity and has really made my life amazing. My only worry is not knowing what to do with it all. I worry that I soon will be labeled as a popufur and not be seen as the person I am but instead for my fame and name. I don't want that. I just was a simple person like the rest of all of you. What do you think I should do? It's impossible for me to talk to all of my fans, but I also don't want them to feel ignored and used. Thank you for the time.
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Interesting question, and thank you for posing it. To address this issue properly, one must first define what a "popufur" is. If you ask 50 furries what a popufur is, you will likely get 50 different answers. Like most things in the furry fandom, crystalline definitions are nowhere to be found. Heck, furries can't even define "furry" to everyone's satisfaction.
So, let's just go by Papabear's definition: to be a popufur, it is not enough just to be popular and have a large following; you must also be full of yourself, crave attention, behave in ways that are designed to attract attention, get angry when you don't get that attention, and, basically, be a furry for the reason that you are obsessed with being validated. This, as you might imagine, makes for a rather unpleasant personality. Popufurs are in the fandom because they discovered a subculture that, unlike in the mainstream, gives them attention and validation, and not so much because they love the anthropomorphic arts in their own right. In other words, they tend to be narcissists.
If the above does not describe who you are, then--at least, to this bear's mind--you are not behaving like a popufur. So, the question might next be: Why are you suddenly so popular? My guess is that you have either made or purchased a pawsome fursuit and that you are a good fursuit performer (since you mentioned fursuiting specifically and not, say, being an artist). This likely means that furries glom onto you for the very superficial reason that they like your fursuit. If, therefore, you wish to take a little attention off yourself, take the fursuit off and attend furmeets and furcons sans suit for a while. You can then more easily gauge how much people like you for you.
This is not to say you should quit fursuiting. I mean, I love fursuiting myself because I think it's wonderful how it breaks down barriers and people like to give me hugs and pose for pictures, which are things they would never do if I am just strolling through a hotel as myself. Fursuiting is great fun, so don't quit. What I do recommend for you, though, is that you spend more time exploring other aspects of the fandom, such as literature and gaming and movies. Diversify.
Meanwhile, when you DO fursuit, don't let it go to your head that furries give you so many compliments. Just thank them kindly and go on with your life. Don't try to "brand" yourself, don't strive to increase your following, don't be a media whore (forgive my French). Just be your fuzzy self and enjoy. Be gracious, be kind, be humble.
Hope that helps.
I began dabbling in the furry fandom when I was 19, and in college (early 2014ish). I went to a small college, and I didn't know a whole lot of furries (though I did know a lot of bronies), so I hung around with other furries on the internet. I have never been to a convention, though I've always wanted to go, but didn't have the money, the opportunity, nor my parents's approval. I have never owned a fursuit (the closest thing to one I owned was a Kigurumi until I donated it due to my parents continuously mocking me over it). Then, I got a really nice engineering job in Jacksonville. I thought I was set, and could participate in conventions, meet actual furries in real life, not just behind a screen, maybe acquire a fursuit. But due to the sensitivity of the job, I had to undergo an extensive, and highly intrusive "background investigation" (i.e. list every social media post, alias or "identity" I have ever held, credit card history, list people I was close with, etc.). I panicked. I wasn't sure if my association with the furry fandom, let alone having a secret fursona, was going to be a liability, or even prevent me from holding the job. In a frenzy, I shut down every furry/fursona-related account I had and disappeared off the internet, I didn't even tell anyone why.
Many years have passed, and I managed to make normal friends IRL (still single though). And to this day, no one in my current circle of friends knows about my past furry life. Making it more complicated is the fact that most of the people I know have a very net-negative view of furries (one of them even jokes about how he used to bully furries on 4Chan). But that is a separate issue. I want to meet people who share my interest in furry stuff. And now that the social stigma around furries has (sort-of) lightened, and become more mainstream, I figured I want to get back into it.
Over the past few months, I started to contemplate jumping back in to the fandom, and find people who actually share my hobbies and enthusiasm, but it has been years. Everyone I knew before online has run off. Most of the furry groups in this state are now defunct, save for Megaplex and maybe Gainesville Furs. And most of the surviving groups seem to be geared towards much, much younger (just barely out of high-school) furries. I want to create a new local-ish group to meet, but I'm afraid no one in the fandom even knows me, and I have no clue what a good furry meet would even look like. Is there a way for me to start over, despite being out of it for so long and jumping in kind of late? Or has my time passed and I should just close the door?
Tactical Furball (age 27),
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Dear Tactical Furball,
The past is the past and is, often, best left there. My advice to you would be to start anew as if you had never before dabbled in the fandom. You don't have to change your fursona name if you don't want to, but just start creating accounts on various social media and gaming (if you like) sites, reintroduce yourself and have fun. If someone recognizes you from the past, simply explain what happened and that you are coming back to the fandom. Most furries will understand the circumstances that led to your earlier decision to leave and will be glad you returned.
As for furmeets and running them, they can be whatever you like them to be. I would suggest setting up a page on MeetUp.com and see if you can attract some interest there. Meetups can be anything from movie or game night at your place to bowling or bar meets (for the older furs), going to parks or beaches or the lake or camping. Whatever you wish.
If you like, I invite you to join my Facebook Greymuzzle group. Over 2,000 greymuzzles there, and I'm sure you'll meet some in your state if not more locally. (Remember to answer the questions to join or you won't be allowed into this closed group).
Finally, as for your coworkers and nonfurry friends, that goes on a case-by-case basis. You should know your friends well enough to figure out which ones are cool and which ones (like that guy who torments furries online--you should dump him) are not. Tell the ones who are cool and don't tell the ones who are butt munches.
I’ve heard of this term "species dysphoria." Is this a valid term? I sometimes feel like I’m just going crazy, but I still just don’t know what I am. There are days I feel like I am a human being, but there are days where I just don’t. It stresses me. I hope my best friend doesn’t judge me for it. I have a very good feeling he wouldn’t; he’s always a very open-minded person and a huge sweetheart. But I’m scared about the chance of him rejecting my possible identities. However, I do remember we talked about how there are so many things in this world we probably don’t know the truth to and probably never will, and he explain that he does believe that maybe it can be possible for someone to be some kind of therian deep within their being. So, I do know he’s a very open-minded person.
I am in my 20s now. I turned 20 recently. I feel like my body has been going through so many strange feelings. I always try not to think about the worst-case scenario, but it’s hard.
I just worry I’m going crazy. I want to talk to my therapist about it, but I’m worried she’ll misconstrue [this].
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There is, indeed, such a thing as species dysphoria (called Species Identity Disorder among mental health professionals), the feeling that you are inhabiting a body that is the wrong species. Are you familiar with otherkin? Otherkin are those who feel, for one reason or another, they are not human. This can mean they feel "other" in a spiritual/psychological sense or that they are actually, physically different but are concealing their true form under a human guise. I have met otherkin who believe they are from another world that faced some kind of cataclysm and they had to come here and take human shape in order to survive. Others believe they come from another dimension or that they are of an angelic or demonic origin. Some of these otherkin are in an animal form, some are more like a species of elf or other humanoid (but not human) race.
Species dysphoria is comparable in some ways to sex dysphoria (often incorrectly, in my opinion, called Gender Identity Disorder since "gender" just refers to social standards of what is "male" and "female" while "sex" is biological) in that both involve feeling that your physical form does not match who you truly are. It is interesting that psychologists are coming to accept sexual dysphoria as a real thing, but species dysphoria is regarded as a type of mental illness. But I have to ask, if one can feel that they are, say, a woman in a male body, why can't one feel as though they are, again as an example, a lion or a dragon in a human body? (Unfortunately, while surgery can replace male parts with something simulating female anatomy, the same is not true for turning someone into another animal--just don't watch the horror movie Tusk.)
In "Furries from A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism)" by Kathleen Gerbasi et al, published in the journal Society and Animals (August 2008), the authors surveyed over 200 furries at a convention and found that nearly half (46%) had, to a lesser or greater extent, some feeling that they were not entirely human. This coincides fairly well with my experience with furries in that about half of them feel they are furry while the other half are hobbyists and are just doing this for fun (in the same way as a Trekkie might dress up as a Vulcan at a Star Trek convention but never considers themselves to be an actual Vulcan).
So why do many furries feel this way? There are a couple of possibilities, and I will just touch on them here (this could be a book, seriously). One possibility is social. Many furries feel rejected by (or reject) humanity and their own humanness, which leaves them feeling disconnected to the extent that they literally do not wish to be human. When one feels this way intensely and long enough, it can become ingrained in your very being. Another possibility depends on whether or not you feel reincarnation is possible and, perhaps, furries with species dysphoria are recalling former lives as some type of animal (or even alien species). The third possibility has to do with empathy: a deep connection with another animal, one so intense that it begins to fill one's own being. This is kind of how I feel about bears. I feel very connected to these beautiful and majestic animals, almost feeling like they are a part of me.
Or, we could just be crazy.
But I don't think it's that last one. The definition of "crazy" to me means that our perception does not match reality. But if the reality is that we are deeply connected to another species, are we truly crazy? No. No, I don't believe that. Also, if we are really crazy, it would make it impossible to function in this world.
This all keys into a core belief of mine: we are not our bodies. Even many "mainstream" humans believe this. They believe we are our "soul." But our soul or spirit or essence or ego is not the same thing as our flesh. Our flesh is just something we use to travel around in this reality. The spirit that is within us is connected to all spirit that inhabits this universe. Truly, we should not limit ourselves to thinking that we are just Homo sapiens. That is just a species. You know what I think? I think many furries (and others who don't know about furries or are connected in other ways) have freed themselves of the constraints of species and open themselves up to an interconnectedness with all creatures and spirits.
Don't let it "stress" you if sometimes you don't "feel human." That's just you reaching outside of your physical limitations. That's just you stretching your spirit and embracing the life that is all around you. Just like a man who refuses to let society say they can't wear a dress or makeup if they choose to, you are rejecting having others impose upon you their standards of what you should look and feel like.
Bottom line: you are not crazy. You're merely struggling with trying to live up to the limitations imposed upon you by our neurotic society that insists on making everyone look and act like we are all the same.
But we are not all the same, are we? Instead of fretting about it, embrace it, explore this otherness you are feeling. You can still do that and function within our lame society. You can attend class or go to work with your human persona firmly in place, but when you have a quiet moment to yourself, you can explore outside your physical self and the rigid standards of humanity. What's cool is that you have an entire furry community that you can talk to about it and who won't call you crazy because we sympathize and empathize with you.
Hope that makes you feel better.
Hi, I really need help. At school I’m constantly bullied for being a furry, it has be happening for 4 months. A whole sixth-grade class will bully me when they leave the cafeteria. They supervisors helped on the 3rd month, but they still bully me. Whenever they walk past my lunch table I always get quiet and fell very uncomfortable. It has also been making extremely emotional lately. Do you have any advice?
Skyla (age 11)
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I won't ask how the entire school discovered you are a furry. They know, so now you need to deal with that. You have done the right thing by telling the school about the bullying (and I hope you have also told your parents). Keeping adults informed of what is going on is important. You should also keep track of bullying that happens to you, either by writing it down (include people's names when you know them) or taking pictures of video with your phone (if you have one). If you are being bullied online or on your phone, block all bullies. Do not interact with them; do not reply to them. Just block them. Bullies thrive on knowing they are bothering you, and they slink away like wounded weasels when they know they can't affect you.
This brings us to the most important way to fight bullying. It's not fighting, of course (if you are being physically threatened, report it immediately to the school, your family, and even police). No, the way to fight bullies is to show that what they do doesn't bother you. By this, I don't mean doing what you described where you "get quiet and feel very uncomfortable." That is exactly the kind of reaction bullies like because they know they are getting to you. Bullies do what they do because they can only feel better about themselves by putting other people down and making them feel bad. Groups of bullies (like that 6th grade class) bully a kid that they feel is weak; groups do this as a way to bond socially with each other (they have something in common in that they make fun of a kid they all think is below them). This is wrong, but this is how a lot of immature people behave.
If you feel confident about yourself and who you are, then bullies can't affect you. For this to work, you have to be comfortable with being a furry. Since you are just 11 years old, I have to guess that you are a furry because you simply enjoy cartoon and animated animals and like the idea of pretending to be like one of these characters, right? There is nothing wrong with that. Liking anthropomorphic (humanlike animal) characters is something that millions of children and adults enjoy. That's why animated movies like Sing, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and Zootopia are so popular, as well as cartoons like Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and PAW Patrol and book characters like Winnie-the-Pooh and the heroes in the Redwall stories. There are a lot of reasons why people of all ages like stories featuring animals who talk and act like people, but it would take too long to describe them here in this column, so let's just acknowledge that millions of people read and watch such stories.
If kids at your school ask you why you are a furry, just say, "Well, I just like cartoons and movies and stuff (like the ones I mentioned), like a lot of people do. I even bet you like them, too, right?" Ask them to mention some shows they like, and I bet at least some of them have furry characters in them. And if they ask if you pretend to be a character like that, just say that this isn't weird either. People dress up as monsters for Halloween or Marvel and DC Comics heroes at Comicon. People also like to play video games in which they pretend to be comic book heroes or even (shocking!) furry characters like Sonic, Angry Birds, Spyro the Dragon, Starfox, or Crash Bandicoot. Ask them if they have ever played one of these, and if they have, well, they have enjoyed a furry game!
Once you see that you have nothing to be ashamed about, then their teasing will be senseless and have no power over you. Now, I realize that part of the problem, too, is that you want to be accepted by your schoolmates and not mocked by them, right? Everyone wants to be accepted. But you should only want to be accepted by people who are dope. If you talk to people, you will get to know who is awesome and who isn't. Bullies are phony, and you don't want them as friends. If bullies tease you, my reply is always, "Wow, that would really hurt my feelings if I cared about your opinion or who you are." See, you have to take away their power. You do that by not caring who they are or what their opinions are. People who are mean just to hurt people are not worth your time.
To summarize, this is how to deal with this problem:
One last thing, if the bullying gets really bad, call the Stop Bullying Now Hotline at 800-273-8255.
Remember, the special people in the world are not normal. Dare to be weird!
Where to Find Furries Near You
Do you know any sources on where to find furries near San Antonio, Texas?
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Easily done. You know, there is the Alamo City Furry Invasion, right? Go here https://www.furryinvasion.org/ to learn about this con. Going to a local con is a great way to meet people. Also, there is the Mission City Hero Fest coming up December 11! It is for both furries and anime fans. Go here https://furdar.org/group/90-san-antonio-furry-connexion to register while there's time!
Next, go to San Antonio Furry Connexion hosted at Furdar at https://furdar.org/group/90-san-antonio-furry-connexion. That site will give you information on local furry events. Next, broaden your scope to encompass Texas and you will find some more furcons to attend, such as Texas Furry Fiesta in Dallas as well as the Arlington and Plano Fur Meets. There is also a Houston Furry Meetup group at https://www.meetup.com/houtxfurries/. I'm not sure how mobile you are, but it doesn't hurt to connect to other furry groups in your state to make connections.
Sad to say there WAS a Texas Furries group from about 2012 to 2017, but it closed its doors for some reason.
Furdar.org is a great way to find what out things going on in your area, furrywise. As well, you can create an account on Furmap.net, which shows you locations of registered users. I just went on there and found 7 furries in San Antonio.
Check it out!
Finally, there is another option for you: sometimes, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. So, why not start your own San Antonio Furmeet! Start by going to the resources I mention above and then announce your intention to start your local meet. Register an account at Meetup, or create groups on your favorite social media outlets.
Hey there, Papabear!!
I think this might be the third time I've written to you. I was able to follow your past advice, and it turned out really well!
On to the question.
Thanks to you, I was able to tell my parents about my interest in the furry fandom, and they are accepting of me! They just see it as a hobby, and are going to help me make a fursuit! But there are a few things.
I don't know if I should tell them about the sexual side of the fandom. I mean, almost all fandoms can get sexual, but the furry fandom is known exclusively for it.
And second, how do I tell them about me wanting to go to a furcon? There's one coming up in 2022, but it's really close to my sister's birthday, and I feel like they'll say no.
Normally, I would be fine with that, but the con coming up is the only one in my state scheduled next year.
What do you think I should do?
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Dear Candy Bear,
I'm glad to hear that your parents are being pretty supportive of your furriness.
When it comes to sex in the fandom, you should certainly know that the furry fandom was designed for adults, not 13-year-olds such as yourself. Neverthless, many young kids are attracted to the fandom because it is fun and creative and playful and they like the idea of pretending to be an anthro animal.
The way to avoid any upset on your parents' part when it comes to adult imagery is to make certain you are 100% transparent with them. That is, you don't hide anything you do online or on your phone. Indeed, you should encourage their supervision of your activities. It is not just the fandom that has X-rated stuff. It is all over the internet.
Do your parents monitor what you do online now? They should, but whether they do or not, you should have a sit-down discussion with them about online porn, trolling, and child predators. Have an honest discussion about this. They will likely feel you are very mature and smart for doing so. What you say is, basically, this: "Mom, Dad, we all know there is a lot of bad stuff online. Some of it is pretty scary. I want us to talk about it and I want you to help me stay safe online, including in chat rooms and stuff. There is a lot of porn out there and also I have heard there are adults and mean kids who like to bully you and even threaten you. I want to talk to you about how I can keep safe online and still have fun talking to friends and doing my hobbies and doing stuff for school."
I think they will be proud of you for opening such a dialog. In the meantime, keep away from furporn. That means, for example, stay away from websites like FurAffinity, which is filled with X-rated art. Maybe stick with furry chat groups on, say, Facebook, which has strict policies against sexual imagery and harrassment.
When it comes to cons for someone your age, of course it is best to have your parents there with you. That said, I'd like to suggest you try a virtual furcon first. There are many of them, especially since the onset of COVID. One going on right now is Furality, which uses VRchat. Oh, and you might want to sign up for VRchat anyway. It's cool. Here is a list of online furcons you can check out: https://en.wikifur.com/wiki/List_of_online_furry_conventions. The beauty of that is that you don't have to travel!
Now, to participate in a con (online or not), you'll need to register, so you will likely need your parents' help with money (cons are anywhere from $30 and up) and also get them to sign a consent form, probably, because you are a minor. Hopefully, they will do that, and, again, encourage them to watch over you. A virtual con is much cheaper than a real-world con because there are no hotel or food or travel expenses. It's a nice introduction to furcons. Eventually, though, you will want to go to a real, brick-and-mortar furcon, but let's leave that alone for this coming year and address it in 2023.
Oh, and have fun at your sister's birthday. Cherish these times with your family. Sisters and brothers are great. I love my sister so much, and I hope you do, too!
Okay I would like to ask you if I ever want to start a furcon at other countries. I am seeking profits and the furcon is a non-profitable furcon. What are your best advices? I found you through a YouTube video by "Scar The Furry."
Vinny (age 19, Malaysia)
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Founding and running a furry convention is a highly complex and work-intensive endeavor. (And THAT is likely the understatement of the decade for this column). I don't recommend you pursue it unless you have a LOT of help from people, especially people who have helped to run a convention in the past. Also, don't expect to make money running a furcon. You will be lucky if you break even. Establishing and running a furcon is a labor of love, not a way to make a living (although some companies like Corgi Events LLC are trying to do that). Many furcons declare themselves nonprofit organizations by contributing some or all of their profits to a charity. This has the advantage of making the furcon tax-free (at least, in the U.S.A. it does; I have no clue how this works in other countries).
I've attended cons and volunteered at them, but I have never tackled the administrative side of a con. Here is a link with some advice from someone who knows more about such things. There are a lot of good insights on that web page to give you a pretty well-rounded idea of all the work that is involved. This is from an American perspective, though, and you will need to check laws and regulations in (in your case) Malaysia.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.