Those of you who are probably a little new to subcultures heard just about nothing to the WORST on this one: Furries.
Marvel madness? rather “radness!”
Don’t know what a furry is? Feel free to look at the pic above and then come back.
Still with me?
A furry is basically what you just saw: an anthropomorphic character. Or you can spin the definition: a personified animal character. Just like comic-book fans, anime fans, kpop fans, hip-hop fans and Trekkies (RIP sir Nemoy) of Star Trek have their international conventions, furry cos-players,
costume players, have their own gathering events with all the same international buzz as San Diego’s best comic con. Let me list all the ways you might have seen one without knowing it: old ACME cartoons; the Pink Panther; Bugs Bunny.
Okay. What about REAL LIFE?
Well there’s Disney World, Your-local-neighborhood-amusement-park; Halloween and Harvest Festivals; the MALL; car dealerships? Highways? CHRISTMAS? (or xmas, I dunno)
You get the gist. Almost all of those are occupations. Sure! But therein lays my point. There are people who do it without being paid. IN FACT! People PAY to do THIS all the time.
The average convention fee ranges in prices roughly between $30-80 depending on the experience a visitor is paying for (i.e. 1-day, 2-day, V.I.P, etc.). That could be ANY convention. I paid for my first weekend-pass and found out about the furry subculture a few years ago when a couple of college-mates and I went to Pittsburgh’s 7th Annual anime convention: Tekkoshocon. Of course I heard the bad news FIRST. Our escort, a local cab driver, gave us his two-cents on the way there. Older guy, white, balding, rough-edged and middle-aged. He sounded like he’d SEEN some stuff. Long story short: furries were weird, fetish-driven on sex trips and almost cult-like. Huh. Rude. But I wasn’t surprised. Me, the anime fan, was already used to misunderstandings so I took his overall opinion as typical and with a grain of salt. I’ve never been one to be decked out in costume outside of harvest season no matter how many people looked at me and said, “You know? You should try dressing up as SO-AND-SO….” I give props to furries for the sheer WILLPOWER. Typical conventions in all their prone smelliness are difficult enough without donning a giant plush-onesie from head to toe.
Onesies. HA! Speaking of social exceptions… People outside the group, including ME, are prone to jump to conclusions about what they don’t know, so I just left any lingering questions in the air wide open.
I just didn’t expect to meet one so soon!
While waiting for the rest of my crew, I ran into a giant, neon-pink, CAT a few feet from a concession stand. Well, more like a mascot. Weird. No headdress. WAIT! A girl! So here I am shooting the breeze with some stranger who tells me about herself. There was a local furry convention nearby and she figured a good way to kill time was to check out Tekko. No arguments there. She was a sweet young woman, white, around my age and wore glasses, if my memory serves me. The girl mentioned how her preferred culture often got misunderstood and just talking with her showing me her casual self was enough explanation for me as it was.
That girl didn’t have to prove herself and didn’t owe me any explanation of the rightness or wrongness of her choice. No one in her niche does –or any positive niche PERIOD. I understood that perfectly. That was one of the most memorable moments of my first big-city anime experience. THAT and I got Eyeshine’s autograph ^_^!
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