There’s a new, trending hashtag on Twitter that was started by my friends Wolfletech and Rhye. The goal for this is to allow furries who don’t own fursuits (financial reasons, no desire, or tried it and didn’t like it) and furries who don’t/can’t draw get noticed. Though, I’ll be honest, Wolfletech says it better:
Recognize others who do great things for this fandom that they may not even realize. Be the community we all love and enjoy, and let us know
— Wolfletech (@Wolfletech7) July 28, 2017
And that's the reason for this, everyone contributes to the community even though they don't think so!
— Wolfletech (@Wolfletech7) July 28, 2017
And I’ve come to know some great people in this fandom, regardless if they draw/own a fursuit or not. Even if they do draw or fursuit, they’re still genuine people who don’t let those get to their head, should they become well-known because of it. They have those talents and window of opportunity that, quite frankly, tend to get more recognition for one, simple fact: we’re a visual fandom that tends to have a short attention span. Yes, there are people in the fandom who have neither or only one or the other, yet still get recognized because of some other talent, a non-artistic contributor to the fandom, or, unfortunately, infamy for…something. I would make a list, but, if you’ve been in this fandom long enough, you’re probably already thinking of a few people in the fandom who fall under the latter description.
I’ve already written a short post when I “joined the fandom” back in early 2015 titled, “Thoughts on Being a Furry”. Some of my thoughts and feelings since writing that have changed; some have not. I’ve experienced quite a lot in this fandom during those two years, and I still love being a part of it, despite its flaws.
It still holds true that I wasn’t a furry when I first discovered this furry thing back in middle school, even if the focus was solely on the lewd stuff. If you only like anthropomorphic animals just because…you like them and think they’re cool, great! But that shouldn’t be the only reason why I would consider myself a furry; frankly, it all comes down to identity.
Why do you think so many newcomers in the fandom are so adamant about creating their fursona? Or why do they feel like they need to identify with one or more speices? Honestly, this is what furries ask about when they first meet each other, from what I’ve found, and it makes sense. Some just…picked an animal because they liked it for one reason or another; some took time to choose their species, looking at which ones they see themselves at the most. It’s almost like a character creator in a MMORPG, but no limitations; the sky’s the limit.
For example, me and @pheonixtheblade had a great conversation about why we chose our fursonas. It took me a while to find it, but here’s the tweet that started it; take a look at all the replies when viewing on Twitter.
It's what I love about furry: It's a form of self-expression that's…quite unique in itself.
— 🐅 Ricky Tigoat 🐐 (@tigerwriter93) April 5, 2017
(By the way, I don’t think I’ll ever change the header for this blog, nor change my current icon for my profile. Yes, I already have two fursonas and I’m pretty set on portraying myself as a tiger, but I really enjoy the artwork I’m using right now, both of which are beautifully done.)
Not only does furry allow me this freedom of self-expression, but there’s a huge creative freedom I get if I wanted to write stories featuring anthropomorphic animals. So long as the characters and world feel realistic for the reader, the sky’s the limit. I’ve heard of and read stories that take place in a fantasy or sci-fi world, where anthro characters would be expected, to stories where everyone’s an anthro and it is what it is; no magic or freak science experiment or natural phenomenon. Also, the furry fandom doesn’t follow one, singular franchise: if it has anthropomorphic/feral animals in it, furry’s will be all over it. Honestly, that’s the only requirement when it comes to creative work in the fandom (mainly for art, stories, and games), and I love the simplicity of it.
The following is from my article I wrote/mentioned earlier:
However with furry fiction, I can write whatever story I want with whatever characters I create; I can put these characters into environments and locals I’ve created. I don’t have to stick to someone else’s created world and characters. Plus, it’ll give me a challenge to write characters that can express both human and animal characteristics, behaviors, and instincts.
Going back to identity, I’ve considered myself a writer before getting into furry. However, since going deeper and deeper into the fandom and exploring it, it showed me a “meta-genre” that’s both interesting and challenge to write in. I also am glad there’s a small writing community within the fandom; but, I’ll admit, I never socialized all that much within this sub-community. One thing I do like about the writing sub-community is how close-knit they are. We’re a visual fandom with a short attention span; it’s rare anyone is willing to read any length of story, unless it’s a quick smut piece they find on FurAffinity or SoFurry. Despite that, it’s awesome there’s even a writing community at all, let alone three major furry publishers, as well as a number of smaller presses; some even take on publishing independently, either solely on their own or through an online publisher such as Smashwords. There’s no shortage of quality furry literature, both online and in print or ebook format; you just need to dig a little.
So, really, you could say being a writer is what makes me furry. And yet, I could’ve just as easily write within the furry “meta-genre” for that audience, but in no way identify as one nor get involved with the community. Would I still be considered a furry then? I know there are artists who are like this: they like drawing anthro characters, be it for personal or professional reasons, and that’s it; they don’t identify as a furry or get involved with the community, even though others would claim they are. It annoys me quite a lot when furries claim “Oh, so and so likes this movie or this show, so they’re automatically a furry!” No…No they’re not. Maybe they like that movie or show because…they think it’s a good movie or show, and that’s all. You can’t nor shouldn’t force an identity upon someone.
This is #whatmakesmefurry: I chose to be one and engrossed myself in the fandom since making that decision. And despite all the weird, the strange, the downright disgust that I’ve found in this community, it doesn’t compare to all the positivity, creativity, and joy I’ve seen and experienced. It’s been a trip these past two years, and I can’t wait to see what the next two years in furry will bring, good or bad.