Dear Monsieur Bear,
What makes someone a furry? I have been interested the fandom for awhile, and think about it a lot, I have a sona, and talk to furs, like my awesome mate, and role play, is this "furry behavior"?
How can you help me come to terms with being a furry? I'd appreciate it.
A Curious Fox
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I believe that should be “Mon Cher Monsieur Ours” in French :-P It’s interesting the way you worded this as “come to terms with being a furry,” as if you were dealing with your sexual identity or a genetic disease. This is telling me that new people coming into the fandom like you (and I see this all the time) are immediately getting the impression from other furries (and elsewhere) that there is something wrong with you if you like being a furry.
I really wish everyone—furries in particular—would get over the idea that we should be ashamed of ourselves. We should not be.
What makes someone a furry? Just this: you like movies, comics, drawings, costumes, etc. that involve anthropomorphized animals. That, in essence, is all it is. That’s how the modern fandom started back in the 1980s, with a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy fiction buffs who got together because they liked things like Albedo and Omaha the Cat Dancer.
So, that’s how it began (although anthro characters have a long history dating back to ancient mythology), but as the fandom developed, we saw the rise of what is called the “furry lifestyler.” These are people who, shall we say, take their furriness much more seriously. To them, it is not just a subgenre of sci-fi and fantasy, but rather has spiritual and psychological overtones. Many furries identify strongly with their animal side, usually with a particular species (for me, it’s bear). Going back to Wikifur, here’s a good introduction.
There is no strict definition of furry, really. Make of it what you wish. And be very wary of furries who try to define it or insist that you are not furry because you don’t fit their idea of furry. (The word for such people is “douchebag.” Can you say that? Douchebag. I knew you could!)
You say you have a fursona and socialize with furries and, yes, those are some things that are furry. You don’t need a membership card or a secret pawshake to be a furry. If you feel like a furry, clap your paws! :) Then click your heels three times together and voilà! You’re furry!
Don’t stress or fret about it. Chill out and enjoy the fluffy ride. And welcome to the fandom.
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