The Furry Community: One of The Most Misrepresented and Misunderstood Online Communities

Last week, in my blog about VRChat, I wrote towards the end that I am a furry. To some people, that term might not ring a bell, while to others, it might make their eyes roll in cringe. Furries have been subject to much flaming and hate online and offline, though most of that comes from a lack of understanding of the community. As such, today I would like to explain what exactly the furry community is, and my experience as a part of that community.

First, a Fuzzy Idea

For those that don’t know what I’m even talking about, furries refer to people who have a profound interest, usually sexual interest, in anthropomorphic animals. By “anthropomorphic”, I mean animals that look and act like humans. Think of the movie Zootopia, those characters are anthropomorphic animals. Generally speaking, furries will have a character that they identify with as themself, their fursona (stay tuned, I’ll show my own later). Usually, furries refer to each other by the names of their sonas. For example, many of my friends call me Laeroba because of this. All of this is the basic idea of what furries are.

Now that we’ve discussed what furries are, next we can talk about the community. Probably the biggest community of furries is on Twitter. This is where we talk about our sonas, interact with each other, and the like. Often furries pay furry artists to draw their characters for various purposes (yes, often porn). Furry conventions exist around the world as well. Think of Comic-Con or E3, but just a bunch of people walking around in fursuits, artists selling and promoting their work, dance parties, and more.

Next, Avoiding a Hairy Misunderstanding

I want to clear up two of the biggest misconceptions people have about our community.

Q: Is it true that furries genuinely believe that they’re animals, or act the same as animals?

A: Faaaaar from always. This is an incredibly uncommon thing in the community. Most people “play pretend”, simply joking to friends and others that they are their character. The realization that it is fantasy is pretty much always there, and of course, we rub this in people’s faces. This is a thing for fun, a lifestyle yes, but far from something akin to a cult.

Q: Are all furries sexually/romantically attracted to real animals?

A: This question annoys me like nothing else, so let me be perfectly clear: ABSOLUTELY NOT. 99.99% of furries find the idea of bestiality/zoophilia revolting like pretty much everyone else. Yes, there are the occasional bad apples, but they equally exist outside of the furry community. Being in the furry community doesn’t magically increase the chance of being attracted to your neighbor’s cat either.

And I want to be clear: yes, the furry community is irrevocably about sex. As much as one might want to deny that, the core of the furry community lies with a shared interest that is inherently, at least partly, sexual. But this attraction is to anthropomorphic animals and specifically anthropomorphic animals, not actual animals.

Lastly, a Fluffy Fox’s Experience

Who is this fluffy fox you might ask? Me! Well, my character Laeroba, to be specific. Though from a philosophical perspective, I created my character and act like him a lot, therefore in a way I am Laeroba. Anyway, semantics aside, when I refer to myself here, I mean both me, Casper, and me, Laeroba.

Laeroba the fox! Art by @lindserton_art on Twitter

The reason I explain this is because this is what generally goes on in my head. To most non-furry friends, I am just Casper. But to my friends in the furry community, or even to friends who are not themselves in the community but know about me being a furry, I am both Casper and Laeroba. It’s an interesting thought to me. If I ever got the chance, would I like to become my sona? Absolutely! I think I speak for a lot of furries when I say that we would love that. While all of this is fantasy and meant for fun, we make these characters because we identify with them, they are our simulacra as it were. It’s a form we feel mentally comfortable with.

An interesting thing I learned not long after becoming a part of this community, I learned about just how much of this community is also part of the LGBTQ+ community. By far the majority of the furry community, much like myself, identifies as gay, bisexual, trans, or other parts of the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, because the furry community is inherently sexual, sex is a much more comfortable topic among furries. I very regularly talk about sex with my furry friends, be it imagining our sonas going at it or recounting sexual stories.

I’ve been a proper part of the community for close to two years now. I see this community as my home. I have made so many friends here and learned to become comfortable with who I am and who and what I like. I fully believe I will be a part of this community for the rest of my life, as I’ve come to accept this is where I belong. It’s no exaggeration to see that the friends I’ve made here are like a second family to me, not just friends.

If you’re interested in seeing more, have a look at my Twitter account @LaerobaOfAzure (warning: VERY NSFW). Or if you have any questions, feel free to ask! 😀