Sorry that I’m late with this; there was just a lot I was trying to sort out this past weekend, and I think I’ll make this the post for the week. It’s going to be a while ’til I get back into the swing of things that is school after this past weekend.
I’ve said before that this was my first furry convention; there was a lot to take in and a lot of new experiences for me, but I had a blast regardless!
I didn’t stay at the hotel this was held at because I didn’t have enough money and, with me being the nervous wreck that I am, I’ve heard about what happens at furry conventions after dark. (I will not go into detail about this.) So I ended up staying over at a friend’s house for the weekend since he lived nearby. Next year, though, I’m thinking of getting a hotel room with people I know, that way I can be a bit more on my schedule instead.
Some general thoughts from this past weekend:
First off, I had to quickly adapt to the fact that I was surrounded by a bunch of weirdos in animal costumes (again, first furry convention). On top of this, I used to have this irrational fear of people wearing some kind of mask or headpiece since I was a kid; however, this has subsided quite a lot over the years almost to the point where I don’t mind it.
Secondly, this con has definitely forced me to get out of my comfort zone and try to be more social than I usually am. I’ve found that I have some social anxiety because it’s hard for me to initiate conversations with people on my own in a new environment, let alone people wearing fursuits, animal ears, or tails. Usually I’m more open if I’m in a familiar environment, if I’m with someone I know well enough, or if I’m in a small group or one-on-one interaction; going to a con makes no such promises when it comes to these, so it took a while for me to adapt.
Ok, so about what happened…
We didn’t get there ’til late afternoon, almost evening, on Friday, but we did stay a few hours and managed to attend at least one panel: Who’s Lion is it Anyway? (PUNS!). As you may have guessed, it was an improve comedy show run by the con staff, though they did invite anyone from the audience who was willing to make an ass of themselves. And, with it being improve comedy, it got awkward a lot; with it being at a furry convention, and if you legitimately know anything about furries, it got really awkward. Despite this, it was freakin’ hilarious!
But this was a weekend where I just had to roll with it…and that was fine by me.
They also had a Who’s Lion charity event panel on Saturday, though the actors were limited to con staff and volunteers. In a nutshell, it was just as awkward and hilarious as Friday night’s show.
Saturday afternoon was the fursuit parade; from what I remember, about 1/4 of the ~500 attendees participated. It’s pretty great to see all the different kinds of suits people come up with. Usually these are people’s fursonas, but there were a couple that could’ve been a random character they created or something conceptual, like a poodle wearing a poodle skirt (I wish I got a pic of that one). There were some cool ones, some ok ones, and some that were pretty wicked. I couldn’t get them all, and there were some non-parade pics I took, but here are a few of the better pics I managed to take:
Of course, what’s a con without places to spend a ton of money on unique, custom shtuff? I probably spent ~$110 on stuff at the Dealer’s Den, and yes I did budget this weekend out beforehand. (I realize this is probably miniscule compared to what I could’ve spent at the con.) There were quite a few vendors, not a lot but enough that there was a variety of stuff to get such as the following:
And yes, I did get a tail, a tiger tail to be exact; obligatory butt selfie below:
The closing ceremony on Sunday was nice, and the silliness still lived on throughout. It’s always interesting to see how many attendees were at the con, considering this is only it’s second year, and how much money was raised for the non-profit organization they had there. ~$8,000 was raised for this organization, the Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), most of which was from the charity auction (someone bid $2690 for a fursuit commission). I didn’t take any pics of this; I just wanted to just enjoy it and try to not fall asleep because I was really tired from this weekend by this point.
One final thing from this past weekend: It was really interesting to get a different perspective on furries. I knew there are real people behind all the fursonas, characters, visual art, comics, books, fursuits, animation, etc. but I never had much interaction with them other than the few furry friends I have and those I met online. In some ways, I was able to connect the faces behind the art…well, at least those I saw out of suit. It’s hard to really see the person behind the fursona or art when your only perception it their internet presence.
Anyways, I had a great time, even if it did take me some time to get used to everything! Shoutout to Alkali, Draggor, Xander the Blue, and all the other con staff for putting this on; I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next year!