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Submitted on
May 24, 2009


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What "Furry" Really Means

Sun May 24, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Alright, what I'm about to say are FACTS about that weird word people call "Furry". What does it mean? Are you a furry? Is your friend a furry? Please read this and come to that decision yourself. And I swear to you that these are all facts (as hard as that is), and not 'what I believe'. So please don't just tell me this is my opinion.

Let's start at the beginning. Most of you probably know the word 'anthro', and that it means something along the lines of an animal that walks on two legs. But it's more than that.
The term "anthro" is short for "anthropomorphic" which means ANYTHING non-human that has human features. So yes, ANYTHING can be an anthro! If anyone has seen Disney's Pocahontas, the Mother Willow tree was an Anthropomorhpic tree! You can anthropomorphisize anything that's not already a human :) The Little Toaster is an anthro toaster, etc.

Now, it's pretty easy to see that animals have been anthropomorphisized a lot. Disney movies like Robin Hood all the way to my own gallery, where animals are seen smiling or talking or doing anything remotely human (and yep, Disney's "Bolt" and the "Warriors" books can technically be considered anthro).

So NO, furry does not describe a TYPE of anthro. A lot of people say that anthros akin to werewolves are called 'anthro' and the anthros that wear clothes and act more human-like are called 'furries'. This is completely untrue. There is no category of anthro animals! All anthro animals are anthro animals no matter how many human attributes they have! 'furry' is not a type of art or a type of character.

"Furry" is a word that describes members of the furry fandom. The Furry Fandom was 'started' a long time ago when people really liked the idea of anthro animals like Bugs Bunny or werewolves more than the average person. This is the start of the furry fandom. If someone is a 'member' of the furry fandom, they are, for the most part, called a 'furry' just as a member of the anime fandom is just an 'anime fan'.

Many people say a furry is someone who dresses up in animal costumes and goes to conventions. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who thinks they are an animal trapped inside of a human body. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to "yiff" (a word synonymous with "sex") or draws anthros having sex. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to have sex with animals. ABSOLUTELY NO.

Yes, there are some people that call themselves furry and do these things. But that definately does not MAKE UP what furry is! I know MANY furries who have never been in a costume (myself included) and I know MAAANY furries who know they are a simple human (myself included). And contrary to popular belief I know MANY furries who are not into sexual acts involving any type of animals (anthro or no) (myself included) and who are just average, regular people.

A furry is a member of a simple fandom! And how does someone become a furry?


It's that simple. If you don't like the stereotype that comes with the word 'furry' or you just don't feel comfortable with it, then you don't have to be one! It's not like furries are forcing all the animals lovers into their fandom. You can call yourself a furry if you want to, or you can say you're not if you want to. You don't have to go to conventions to be a furry, or like anthros a certain degree. Must I go on? Furries can be people from every walks of life, people who just think anthro animals are a cool idea to people who wish they could be an animal.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the term 'furry' comes with a lot of negative stereotypes, and if that's all that's stopping you from identifying yourself with the fandom then you should try and realize it's all words. You are who you are, and you know what you do or don't do.

The furry fandom is a great place if you want it to be. When it comes down to it, all it is is a group of people who think anthropomorphic animals are cool. They have conventions so they can share their interest, meet other people with the same interest, and best of all buy art that visualizes their interest (because furry fandom wouldnt exist without art, since anthros don't exist in real life :P). This is all that furry is.

Here are some links that may further explain the word "furry" and more about the furry fandom. If you are interested in this subject, I suggest you read them :)

What is "Furry"
What is "Furry Fandom"

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Xaran-Alamas Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for clearing that up, I was rather unsure myself :) (Though, I've long since learned that furry isn't just the sexual stuff)

I wonder why it is that people outside of fandoms/subcultures seem to like to highlight the extremes and especially sexual things that SOMETIMES are tied to them?

Seperate to that I've always found it a bit odd that people DO make such a big deal about people who like anthro animal characters as adults considering as children we're saturated with them. Why should that change when we get older?

Thanks again for the nice read!
Idess Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you, and glad you agree and enjoyed my post! It's old but still applicable :)

The media MUST find the 'weird' or shocking things about a story to be able to present it; shock value gets more readers, and more readers is more money. Here in America especially, sex is deemed something taboo. When the media sees furries they try to find the "dark secret" behind it that would give them a good story. Sex sells! Media loves the idea that some people have sex in fursuit (such a small minority of furries do but it only takes one to get the media..), and since sex is taboo then furries are an even crazier taboo. The media eats that up!
Over in Europe where sex isn't such a big deal (if I could count the times I've seen very sexualized German advertisements!), furry isn't really all that strange. People think it's fun and don't focus as much on the sexual aspects. The way they see it, and how we SHOULD see it, is this: Adults have sex. Furries are adults. Furries have sex. It's so simple it's sad that America demonizes sex so much XP It's just a fact that humans are sexual beings and so when there's a group of them, of course sex will be brought up and people will be having sex. That's what adults do!

It's just sad that's what so many people focus on. I do wish it was more well known what furry really is; a large diverse group of people who have varying affinities for animals and anthropomorphized animals :3
kibasnowpaw Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
furry is like all other fandoms out there it a Group of people that like somthing 

Anime Fandom = Anime
Comicon = Comic 

just to give some example 
the Furry Fandom is about anthropomorphic Animals it can be Comix, Cartoon, Fursuit, Fursona, RP, and much more 
you cant say Furrys its this because there so many Classes to it we have people the only like the Comic and we have people that  only like suiting and no matter if we like it or not there is people that only come for the Adult stuff but its all a part of the Fandom i have seen every part of what the furry Fandom offers and i have to say i like it all i don't judge if you here for fursuit sex fine by me if you here because you love Cute looking suit that also fine one or the other we still all Furrys 

When it come to America the problem with Americas is they afraid of what they don't understand and 80% of them are Christian and the are strong believers that's why Gay people and stuff like Furrys get stamp on like it some big taboo i cant understand why maybe its just i always been open 

and then we have the Media 
Media job is not to tell the trues but to get so many audience as possible but i have heard some good about the Media sometimes so it not always bad 
blazerhot Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student Interface Designer
This really cleared stuff up for me. You know your stuff
Idess Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you I'm glad it helped! :)
Coralnerd Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I mean the fandom/ art when i say "furry" or "anthro":

I call my self a furry since I wish I was an animal. I also enjoy the anthro art (mostly clean). As for why I wish I was an animal, i simply don't like our species. It's not that I don't like people, I just don't like the actions we have done which have harmed the environment; I also don't like how mean we are =p. I think of my self as a deer "furry" despite that fact I'm a reef geek. I absolutely love coral reefs, but I don't want to be a fish or aeropora sp. I am a saltwater aquarist as well, but you can't call me a hypocrite since I use all farmed animals. I choose deer since they are my favorite land animal, and I find them almost as amazing.
ndunsmo Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
If only I'd seen this way back when I was a member of the animelyrics forums trying to explain to the other members what a furry really is. Couldn't have explained it better myself.
Idess Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :)
DrMusic2-1 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010
Thanks for this informative journal, you really helped a lot of people here including me.

I only wish that :iconeyesglowyellow: and :iconmidnight-oyl: would understand.
Idess Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Professional General Artist
No matter what, there will always be people who don't want to think differently, and eventually you learn to just deal with them and their ways ^^
Other times, people are just trolls and should be ignored anway :P
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