I'm not sure what to consider myself, or what it takes to "properly" be a member of the furry world. I've enjoyed kemonomimi (anime-styled humans with animal ears and/or tails) for a long time. I've enjoyed furry art from time to time if I find the style particularly to my liking.
I also realized tonight that I actually feel somewhat incomplete without a tail. If I had the money, and the implant/prosthetic technology were available, I'd get one. No question. Yet I have no fursona I am aware of. I don't know what animal I would be, or how I would identify within the furry world. Is tailed human an option?
Am I a furry? Should I try to find an animal to identify with? What would you recommend? Thank you for your help and for considering my question.
* * *
Good question, and thank you for it! There seems to be an ongoing debate among furries as to what “qualifies” people to be furry. Unfortunately, some furries have set themselves up as judges of the community as a whole, pronouncing sentences on people and declaring some as furry worthy and some as not. Nothing could be more absurd.
There is only one qualification for being a furry: do you like art, stories, etc. that involve anthropomorphic characters? If the answer is “Yes,” then you’re a furry.
Now, I can see the confusion here. When one mentions “anthropomorphic animal,” one usually thinks of a character that displays mostly animalistic features—fur, muzzle, tail, paws, etc.—while just having a few human characteristics, such as the ability to speak a human language, walk upright, and so on.
Kemonomimi characters are much more human than animal, usually sporting only furry ears, maybe a tail, maybe whiskers, but they definitely appear very human. However, there is still a very definite blending of animal and human features in kemonomimi, and, therefore, in Papabear’s mind it falls into the furry world. It is definitely a subset of furry, but it is still furry.
Now, bear in mind that Papabear is not the spokesfur for the community and my opinions have no weight. I’m sure there may be those who disagree with me and that is their right. But, again, if you ask this ol’ bear, you are a furry who is interested in kemonomimi.
One last note: Fur-curious, do not let other people try and define who you are. Only YOU can do that. If trolls and popufurs get on your case and say you are not a furry, that is their opinion, but if in your heart you are a furry, then you are a furry. If they give you more grief, you can respond like this Frenchman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OzIMHowtL8.
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.