I am what you would call “furry” and I have been to several local cons. I don’t really live the “furry” lifestyle in as such that I wear a tail, bark at people, eat out of a dog bowl, or wear a collar. I have certainly been caught “Mooing” at the cows though. I do spend years and years writing furry stories (no yiff... sorry).
I don’t really have any problems with my furriness; I am open, and not prejudiced to almost anything or anyone. In hindsight, I would say that I was very young, about 10 years old, when I can say I had a truly furry-moment.
I have noticed that in the “Fandom” (people who are actively social with their furriness), that there is a very high percentage above the general population of people with conditions considered not “normal”. Many of my furry friends have Asperger syndrome or other autism disorders, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or Dyslexia. The Fandom also exhibits a very high percentage of Gay/Bi members.
Myself, I am not Gay or Bi, but while growing up, I was slightly autistic with some classical tics now associated with Tourette's syndrome. I admit that even in my adult years (Nearly 50), I am still not as social as most people, and my brain registers data differently than other people I work with. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I make very good wages and I am the only one where I work who has ever earned the highest award for excellence from the company (in the last 25 years).
The mystery to me is why does the Furry Fandom attract the people it does?
Is “Furry” some undiscovered psychological symptom of another condition?
Please answer this mystery for me so that I can sleep peacefully again.
While this column is intended as a way of offering some advice about personal problems, and not to answer such questions as “what is a furry?” I’m going to read in between the lines of your letter and guess that you are troubled about your furriness, even though you say you “don’t really have any problems” with it.
You describe yourself as a furry who doesn’t follow the “furry lifestyle,” who isn’t interested in writing yiffy stories, and who does not suffer from serious psychological issues, except for mild autism and Tourette’s. You also seem to feel that most furries behave like dogs (wearing collars and drinking from bowls), are gay or bi, and suffer from learning disabilities or other problems such as Asperger syndrome.
I think you would be interested in reading a couple of surveys that have been done on the furry community. The first one was very recently posted right here on FNN at http://www.furrynewsnetwork.com/2012/01/mixed-venue-survey-delineates-furries-therians-otherkin/. The other one is an ongoing survey that is quite interesting at http://www.klisoura.com/furrypoll.php. You can take the survey yourself there and then see the results here: http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2011.php.
I think that, once you read about these surveys, you will see that the furry community is a lot more diverse than you might think. A LOT of furries are heterosexual, for example, and a lot are really not all that interested in yiff. At least, not any more than any other healthy individual.
For Papabear, a “furry” is simply someone who is interested in anthropomorphic characters in fiction, art, and so on. It is, in a real sense, a subset of the same group of people who enjoy comic book or Star Trek conventions. Comic book fans, sci-fi/fantasy fans, and furry fans all have something in common: they enjoy creative, escapist literature and art.
Like these other sorts of fandom, the community of furries is complex; generalizing what a “typical” furry is can be quite a misguided pursuit. For instance, you are very much a furry, though you do not meet the “definition” of a furry as a gay or bisexual male with a learning disability who drinks from a bowl and doesn’t have a good job.
You ask why the furry fandom attracts these sorts of people, and my answer would be that it attracts them for the same reasons that it attracts you. So, if you explore your own reasons for being drawn toward furries, I think you will find your answer.
Bear hugs to you, Blue-Moo. Papabear is glad you have a good job and are enjoying the fandom.
Thanks for your question!
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