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Furries, Furry Fandom, Furry Community

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Justin Pavlina

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Furries, Furry Fandom, Furry Community

Furry is a queer identity demonstrated through the three dimensions of "queer"
Queer in practice
Queer as an umbrella term for non-normative identities
Queer as a theory, analytic, or critique
Furries, Furry Fandom, Furry Community

What Is a Furry?
Furry Fandom
- the appreciation, promotion, and production of stories and artwork which features anthropomorphic animals, and the exploration, interpretation and examination of humanity and human values through anthropomorphic expression

A History of Furries
Anthropomorphic Animals
Science Fiction Conventions
1980's Furry Parties in San Francisco
Independent Comic Books
Furry MUCK
ConFurrence and Anthrocon
Queer as an umbrella for
non-normative Identities
Queer as a theory, analytic, or critique
By: Cindy Cicierko, Brian Ayers, Justin Pavlina,
and Celeste Anderson
GNDR-G 350 Queer Theory
Sponsor: Dr. Marlon Bailey

"There is no race, no gender, no age. It's just people being themselves. They project themselves onto theses characters. These people put suits on, and it's like, this is me. You're talking to me. You're not seeing my race or my gender. Just me."
Anthrocon 2014
Rika "Rika Fox Pawzer" Keener
The Queerest Queer - The Furriest Furry
Gayle Rubin's Charmed Circle
Species Identity Disorder and Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
Prior to the removal of the term in the DSM-V, GID was described as meeting this criteria:
1. strong and persistent cross-gender identification and
2. persistent discomfort with one's sex or sense of inappropriateness within one's gender role of assigned sex
Gerbasi et al. proposed a construction of a Species Identity Disorder that followed the similar criteria: persistent feeling of discomfort or inappropriateness concerning one's human body, feeling as a non-human species trapped in a human body
Private, Personal Relationships.
- Not all relationships are entirely in the public eye.
- Private, solid relationships are built. Some are complex and require further queerer analysis.
- "Mother" & cub relationships uncharmed
- caring for significant others as one would a cub
- used mostly in long term relationships
Queer in Practice
The Process
Develop a Fursona
Create an artistic rendition
Develop partial Fursuit
Complete a Fursuit
Openly identify as a Furry
- an animal character given human-like attributes, such as sapience and often a humanoid form
- a full-body animal mascot costume worn by a Furry fan
Criticism on Furry Fandom
Furry Gender System
Stigma highly affects the furry community
-Makes highly stigmatized individuals more vigilant on stigma
Furries 4 Life
- The stigmatized furry creates the standardized/essential furry characteristics
- threatened by stigma, members of the community adopt these characteristics as their own.
- highly stigmatized groups more likely to be manipulated by stigma.
Non-Normative Identity
Trans* Identity
Furry Identity
"Queer is a critique of the tendency to organize political or theoretical questions around sexual orientation per se. To 'queer' becomes a way to denaturalize categories such as 'lesbian' and 'gay' revealing them as socially and historically constructed identities that have often worked to establish and police the line between the 'normal' and 'abnormal'"
-Siobhan B. Somerville
Someone who permanently changed social gender through the public presentation of self, without genital transformation
Someone who temporarily transforms species through public presentation of self through different avenues like art, fursuits, conventions, sexuality, and other avenues of transformation.
May take steps to physically transition outside of presenting preferred gender like taking hormones
May take further steps to identify with hybrid animal-human sense of self by wearing fursuit outside of conventions or performing as specied identity during sex
Handling/Confronting Criticism
There are two common ways to go about handling criticism:
- One is to educate the critic on Furry practices and how they're not as queer as one may think.
- An easier way to go about this is to simply avoid the situation altogether. This practice will minimize confrontation and encourage/preserve a neutral relationship with the critic.
Any questions?
Full transcript