play '21 Questions' about The Furry Fandom!
Furry Fandom FAQ by Giles Gourry
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Updated January 2008
Note to Parents and those who are concerned:
If your child (or partner, etc.) has told you that they are a furry, or
somewhere along the lines of such, this resource is here to provide
information about what it is about. What they are contributing to or
practicing in is very likely
to not be an insight into witchcraft nor an insight into a risky cult,
since the Furry Fandom was not designed to perform in such a way.
Someone who has decided to be with the fandom is in a safe environment,
and is not obligated to perform anything questionable. The best thing
to do is to discuss your issues with the person you are concerned about
in a neutral fashion, and allow them to express their views and takes on things.
So what is this furry business?
not easy to answer this question because there are many answers and
subcatagories. However, the most universal answer revolves around the
interests related to anthropomorphic animals, creatures or in some
cases, items; the latter being the most popular.
answer used to be that it was the belief of having a spiritual
connection with an animal or is one in some format. While this still
continues to date, this definition is becoming less accepted, since the
furry fandom has changed dramatically in the seven years I have been
able to observe.
ok, then, what is 'Anthropomorphism'?
(án'thré-pé-môrfízém): n. Attribution of human motivation,
characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural
In other words, think of Disney's Robin Hood, he's a fox with human attributes, so he is an anthropomorphic fox.
So, in easier terms, what is furry?
simply, the interest of animals or creatures with near-human features.
This can be compared to someone’s childhood, always looking up to or
were interested with a specific animal-cartoon character; extending to
collections, artworks and roleplay. Furries tend to take this to a more
adult, respectable and independent level by the use of adult
responsibilities. However, the common definition has changed over time,
and has split into various systems of interest and belief, collated
together under the term 'furry fandom':
– The psychological condition, where the patient believes themself to
be a wolf and not a human, abandoning the human language and reverting
to a canine form. Since this is an unconscious series of actions, the
consideration that people who literally have lycanthropy are furries is
really down to a matter of opinion and can be a topic of debate. Some
argue that a furry must know their boundaries and be able to
differentiate between human and anthropomorphic, some say that
lycanthropes are furries by default as a matter of consequence.
are those who admit they are lycanthropic, but in truth, this is a
metaphorical state of lycanthropy – consider them to be otherkin. For a
start, they just told you in a human language that they were
– Contribute to the furry fandom with an objective more serious than
those below; taking the belief that they have an animal inside them in
spirit, anthropomorphic or otherwise. Common reasons include religious
beliefs related to totems, the concept of a guardian angel, and the
interaction with a specific species of animal to the point that they
feel as if they are one. Some partake in the concept that they can
morph into a specific animal under certain conditions (‘were-’), but
this is not necessary.
- General Furry Fandom
– The majority of the fandom, with a general interest in
anthropomorphic animals or creatures. This differs than those below,
since it favours the whole range, environments and concepts of
anthropomorphism, with its creative outputs, rather than a single
character with a specific format.
- Roleplay Furry
– Those who take part in the roleplaying aspect of the furry fandom,
but rarely hold a strong interest into the extended concepts. Often
taken as a form of temporary escapism, it also allows a fan of a
specific cartoon or character to just emulate the environment and
experiment into new storylines or ideas that the user would like done
to the character. This is where the classification ‘furry’ blurs
rapidly and is rejected.
- Furry Fans
– The now abandoned classification for someone who was new to the furry
fandom, when the definition leaned more towards otherkin principle. For
those who couldn't find their animalistic spirit inside of them. This
term was also used to define those who was interested in the fandom,
but did not want to take part in a serious manner [Roleplay Furry].
– This is the, in my opinion, derogatory term used by most of the furry
fandom to describe those who are not furries. Whether it had an
official origin or not, I find this term too harsh to describe the
majority of the world population and I both protest and refuse against
the term, despite it still being used in common language amongst the
community. It is akin to bullying and should not be tolerated.
the last seven years I have been a furry, the concepts, terms and
definition of ‘furry’ has altered. Those who just roleplayed their
favourite animals or characters used to be classed as furry fans; now
the term has been rendered defunct. As a result, it is increasingly
difficult to know those who take the fandom seriously and how only take
part for the roleplay value. While this may bridge boundaries between
classes, it also means that everybody’s interpretation differs
significantly, making it a ripe target for the media.
To conclude this, I would be classed as an otherkin.
Is this some kind of religion or cult or something?
transformation and anthropomorphism was closely linked to shamanism and
in the case of Catholocism, closely linked to The Devil. Many passages
in The Bible also states in various passages that it is wrong to
actively participate in being or acting out the part of an animal, due
to the concept that all animals class lower than humans (under the
order of God).
general, the furry fandom is not a religion; however it can be
incompatible with certain religions. For the majority, since this is an
interest rather than serious spiritual interaction, religion can
continue unhindered. For the more extreme furries, some partake in a
religious duality that combines both religious law with their own
interpretations, experiences and beliefs – this can be classed as
controversial to the main religious communities, and may not be
tolerated. I am a scientist, and have had many theological arguments,
battles and even attempts at conversion performed; not only do I have
to contend with the science vs. religion debate, I also have to defend
my furry beliefs too. This leads to many bouts of depression, I hate to
an observation of the world in the past 250 years, we seem to approach
science more often than religious text, and therefore go further than
what holy scriptures tell us to - we question ourselves as to who we
really are, and make our own conclusions as a result. This is my
conclusion and take it that if God wanted us to obey het* fully, het
would have kept us in a closed atmosphere and never ever let us examine
the world outside.
for the fandom being a cult, maybe. My opinion would be that cults have
a common goal, objective, system or methodology – the furry fandom
definitely does not have that any more. We are now a descriptor;
everyone has a different viewpoint.
argument to the reason that the furry fandom is a cult is its secrecy
to the public. This can be explained very simply by the fact that the
fandom has had very bad press in the past 10 years. Publications, such
as Marie Claire, Vanity Fair and Loaded reported on the extreme side of
the furry fandom and making it representative of the whole community –
the end results being the public perceiving furries to be a group of
sex-crazed zoophiles. Television interviews have done the same, with an
MTV documentary and the CSI episode (4x03: Fur and Loathing in Las
Vegas) concentrating on sexual activities whilst wearing a fursuit
(which I must add is more of a fetish that non-furries have as well as
furries - again, not a common occurrence in the fandom). The best
example is an interview with one of my friends, made for LWT's
Nightlife back in 1999 that can be interpreted as one of two things,
depending on how you listen to it:
of the press being more of a problem than a solution, the furry fandom
nowadays frowns on any future media coverage, and treads very carefully
when asked to provide information about themselves to those who are not
furries. All that I can suggest is that when you're reading up on
information about the furry fandom, learn with caution and an open mind.
- a beginner's guide to the fandom
- an insight into making love with animals and soft toys
* het – he/she/it; my descriptor for those who are not classed with gender. Deities are one of them.
You're just some fat 40year old, using this furry thing to cover for sneaking up on children and molesting them in privacy.
am 23 at time of press. I have never ever done anything so perverted,
let alone used my furry beliefs to create a buffer, so I could get away
is little I can say that can convince you that we are harmless; there
are always exceptions to the rule. Since the furry fandom nowadays is
commonly advertised and spread using the internet, the same standards
maintained when meeting others in person is just the same as if it
wasn’t a furry. Common sense, scrutiny and security will never let you
How many furries are there in this world?
of the year 2000, 1,000 furries live in the US and 200 in the UK, but
this has been known to increase rapidly, due to the internet.
answer the question, I personally assume 50,000 [14,322 confirmed]
otherkin furries worldwide, 20,000 [10,370 confirmed] being in the US
and 500 [356 confirmed] in the UK. On researching the population rise,
the number of confirmed furries seems to double every 2 years. A
television report in 2007 regarding all types of furry claimed a
population of 3 million.
Okay, I want to be a furry, where can I join?
The fandom is not a club, but if you want to know how to start being a furry, this depends on how far you want to go:
fandom isn't a group where you take a ticket and pick an animal at
random; these questions are part of what they call spiritual
enlightenment (but don't take it as some guru meditation, it's not that
those who just want a new character to roleplay, it's just a case of
imagination and design. Make up your character and enjoy yourself in
playing as it. Nothing else needed.
- For those who'd like to
take the fandom more seriously to the point that you are an otherkin,
do you truly believe that you have an animalistic sprit inside
yourself? (known as a fursona - a play on 'persona'). Do you know (or
want to know) what your real inner self is?
you do find out what your inner self is, I implore you to regard it as
a thing for life. I, myself do get quite annoyed when I hear of those
who just change their fursona as they see fit. However, fine tuning
like 'I didn't know it had a black splodge on its back, but I do now'
is acceptable; changing from a scaled dragon to a raccoon isn't really
what you would call an otherkin in my opinion – more of a general furry.
Hmm? how can I 'find my inner self'?
Silly as it may sound, there are many ways, and the common ones are:
So I find my inner self, I'm a x, does this mean I have to buy a collar, leash, membership pack of any kind?
your own psychology. Sometimes, you see that you growl like a dog when
something goes wrong, or you meep like a cat under emotional distress.
The constant need to go faster, like a cheetah or leopard. In some
cases, it's that voice inside your head (not a schizophrenic voice – I
mean unconscious thought) that understands you and converses with your
mind. It's not hard, but don't worry if it is for you.
where you'd connect with your inner self and makes the description
process much easier. This may seem a bit too farfetched, but I am only
saying that it is an option, not a mandatory exercise.
is not mandatory to buy anything to display your furriness, but many
people to do to say they are proud of being a furry. Some have the
money to buy fursuits to display their pride; but for those like me,
who lack in the excessive money routine, the best investment is to buy
a collar and tag, which displays your pride to furries and non-furries
quite well. For those who are a little shy, you can just buy a pendant
or ring, or keep something close by. In the end, a collar is just an
obscure necklace to the standard human.
I repeat it is not mandatory to buy something.
Only do it if you want to show others you are a furry, or you'd like to
display furry-pride. I must add though that because of those in the
fandom who are furries for the roleplay value, it is very easy for
‘items of pride’ to be commonplace amongst a crowd of cosplayers, animé
fans and now non-otherkin furries. If you want to be known, it's pretty
much increasingly required to be unique or very obvious...but I suggest
you don't go to extremes as to do something permanent to yourself!
Are there minor categories of the furry fandom?
are, and I must state again that these are minorities amongst the crowd
of furries, therefore they only represent a small number of the
population. Regardless, they do exist, and therefore I state them:
To have a constant relationship with a pet animal or specific animal.
For example, your pet dog to the point of actually wanting to form a
loving relationship with it. I have met various furries who are
zoophiles, and their communications can be disturbing to those who
cannot comprehend their psychology. For myself, I am not one of them.
To enjoy and love stuffed versions of animals you love, such as keeping
and enjoying your Digimon beanies. However, the common definition goes
to the point of having intercourse with them. This is rare, but
tarnishes those who state themselves to be plushiphiles and do so in a
The enjoyment of someone (or yourself) being very large in size
(commonly in excess of 10'). Common stereotype states that they only
take pleasure in destroying cities, but this is not entirely true. The
abbreviation 'macro' describes someone who is of a large size
personally, and is used commonly in profiles. To further loosen the
term, macrophiles can also have only a certain part of their body at a
larger size, commonly used for the purposes of applying an increased
size of paws and phallic region to please those in the Yiff community.
The same as macrophile, but in this case those who enjoy or know
themselves to be very small, in regions of centimetres or even
millimetres. This is more rare compared to macrophilia.
The term coined for those who are furries, but with scaled skin rather
than a furry skin; examples being dragons, lizards, snakes, etc.
Scalies are welcomed and accepted as furries by the fandom, however
there is a slight seperation between the two, due to the use of an
altered vocabulary or psychology.
The term coined for those who take the animal instinct of
carnivorisation seriously; they believe in the predator/prey food
A group formed in 1999, now known to be defunct. This was the term
coined for the group of furries that decided to create a set of rules
(or more honestly, commandments) for the furry fandom. It never caught
on, due to some rules making the furry fandom less individual (an
aspect that the furry fandom craves on). The Burned Furs were quickly
ignored until their authority died. They are known to still be around,
but only as a packet of resistance to the modern furry world - a furry
I heard of something called yiff, explain what this is.
slang word used to explain sexual intercourse between furries; in
either their human form or fursona. It is rumoured ‘yiff’ was coined by
the fox furries and originated from the 'yiff' sound foxes make when
is very common for the word 'yiff' to replace the word 'sex' in the
fandom. A good reason is that it allows the shy to communicate better,
especially since there is no harsh tone in the word (unlike the sharp
'ks' sound in 'sex').
Do I have to ‘yiff’ to be a furry?
is not needed to be a furry, but it must be acknowledged that it does
happen. Some furries use it as a method of strengthening friendships
and relationships with other furries. There are many furries who don't
want to yiff and it's perfectly acceptable under the freedom of choice.
the reason above leaning towards the promiscuous, there have been
examples where it has worked extremely well. However, this does not
mean furries will yiff anyone and anywhere. The majority of these acts
are performed online, since it is more convenient, more interesting and
contains a lower risk.
Now, I want you to read the above and pretend you’re asking this question regarding members of another group.
It is very easy to misinterpret this information, but I am being honest
and apply to everybody in the world – furry and non-furry. Secondly, DO
NOT take what I said above as a final definition! Each furry is
different, and therefore it is very difficult to explain all of the
reasons for yiffing in the fandom. Scruples are about the same as the
Do I have to be gay/lesbian to be a furry?
There are many hetero (30%) furries, so the answer is no.
from the percentage, the majority of furries are gay/lesbian. A
rational explanation comes that quote 'gay people tend to think more
about their surroundings and question life, thinking outside the box
much earlier than hetero people'. There are many hetero furries, so I
repeat with gusto the answer is no.
you are reading this in concern over your child/partner/whatever being
gay, their choice in being a furry is not necessarily a stepping stone
to being gay, nor vice versa. In this case, communication of issues and
expressions is the best course of action to take.
Do I have to be an internet nut to be a furry?
Not required, but a great help. The internet is used for three purposes:
What are these meets they talk about?
- To make new furry friends
- To organise and publicise furmeets
actually use the search resources to find a furry who lives close to
you, so you can meet up personally and make a new friend.
(usually monthly) is where a group of furries meet up in a major
town/city and socialise, sometimes scouring the area to look for events
and shops of furry interest. Imagine a group of all your friends
meeting at one place and doing some fun stuff.
Do I have to go to a meet to be a furry?
You are always a furry whether you attend a meet or not – it is not
like you have to pass an initiation to prove your worth. But I do
suggest going to a meet because it is a very good weekend to have and
you will never forget your first few meets.
What does a meet consist of?
I typed this in 2004...
example is meeting at a pub in the town/city at 1pm on Saturday, where
you socialise with all the furries who come for a few hours. After
about 5pm, the pub chucks you out and the group splits into about
three, each one going to and doing a certain something [like shopping
for plushies, going to cinema, etc.] The day usually ends with being at
an arcade with all the furries. You can then go home if you so desire,
or if you want to stay for another day, then a kind furry offers you a
place to sleep at night. The day returns and you pretty much meet again
somewhere else and split up again to do whatever the group wants to do.
Then as the night creeps in, the furry count lowers until it's just a
few who decide it's too late and go back home."
this has somehow reduced in activity. Furmeets still go strong and
regular, but there is often a lack of organisation. Therefore every
meet now starts in a central area (usually a pub or bar in the central
part of the city) and the order of the day is decided on the fly there.
Previously where there used to be two groups that went off to do
pre-planned things, it's now that about 5 to 8 smaller groups split off
to do their own thing, acting on their own agenda and with their own
secluded group of friends. The rise in mobile phone communication now
means that one of the reasons people attended meets, to communicate
with other furries, network and share news, is now defunct. This isn't
to say that it's pointless to go to a meet, but it is best to go to a
meet with someone you know, so you don't risk being left behind when
everyone else leaves suddenly and don't include you.
Where can I find more information about meets or make myself known in the furry fandom?
http://www.ukfur.org/ - main directory and networking site of all confirmed furries in the UK
http://www.londonfurs.org - Furmeet in London every three weeks
http://www.northernfurs.org.uk/ - NorthernFurs; Furmeet in Northern UK every three weeks
http://www.hantsfurs.co.uk - HantsFurs; Occasional furmeets in Southampton/Portsmouth (about 2-3 a year)
http://furry.wikia.com/wiki/WikiFur_Furry_Central - Peer reviewed furry related wiki
http://www.furnation.com – the common host for furry websites
http://us.vclart.net/vcl/ - Vixen Controlled Library, furry art
http://www.furaffinity.net/ - FurAffinity, furry creativity site
http://ifpl.cattech.org/ - Internet Furry Proximity Locator; used to search for furries local to your area
I don't want to be a furry; my friends will think I'm weird.
they're not your real friends if they think that. Go get some new ones,
the furries will be all too keen to befriend you if you make the effort
to talk and be positive.
feel I must comment on how to break it to your parents when the time
comes. Sooner or later, they’ll find out – the best course of action is
to be honest. If you are an otherkin or a furry, tell them you are a
furry. I did stammer and get nervous explaining myself, but it was done
by just coming out with it and not stalling. Nothing will make things
more worse than letting the matter simmer, and allow them time to think
the wrong thing.
This is too vague, is there a textual or audio/video database to gather more information?
http://www.slycat.co.uk/index.php?id=6 - Video database of furry events and furry fandom
http://pressedfur.coolfreepages.com/ - Pressed Fur Press; Media coverage of furry events and furry fandom.
http://www.foxbox.de/gallery/ - Check the ‘Real Media’ section
So smartie-pants, since you're answering all these questions, give me a case study of how you became a furry.
since I was about 14, I reached a point where I had a question that
kept bugging me - why are dragons were portrayed as bad in stories and
books, when if you looked at it with a scientific eye, they seemed to
be civilised and majestic creatures. I was also getting my hand into
sketching manga (with bad results) and suddenly, in 1999/2000, I
watched a late night Friday show on Channel 4 (the logo had a spiked
apple, the programme was also well known for its 'legal things to smoke
that will get you high' section - I think it was called Spiked. Someone
PLEASE help me find out what it was!)
interviewed a person who was talking about the furry fandom, with a
tail wrapped around his waist like a belt. I felt a form of respect for
the guy and events from my natural development reached its peak during
a trip to Efteling in the Netherlands in August 2000, ending in a
discovery that I may have a dragon alter-ego. This was done without the internet or any other furries whatsoever (other than the one on TV). I was now what would have been a furry fan, but didn't know it at the time.
I got into the internet a year later and published artwork of myself as
a dragon (Artportfolio 2-1 and 2), plus admiring other's artwork, I
checked into it some more and found out about the furry fandom that
way. My draconic spirit soon developed with a mixture of meditation
(spontaneous decision) and a higher thirst for dragon-based information.
the middle of 2001, I was considered myself a furry and was discovering
my new furry name by combining certain markers in the past year.
Giles - Giles from Alundra looked so cute, and made me want that name instead my human name for many years.
Gourry - Gourry Gabriev from Slayers – a role model to me. My favourite manga character yet.
EuDraco - Eudraco Magnificus Occidentalis; the Latin name for Western Dragon
October 2001, he got kidnapped by some evil spirit, but I eventually
saved him by making a wonder in the area of interest - an arson
attacked building. Couple this with a house fire the next month, all my
furry resources were destroyed, apart from the basics - my artwork, my
dragon statuettes and my sanity. Whether you think of that as a load of
spiritualist crap is by opinion, however I felt that it was something I
had to do, and it was done.
I was to start afresh. My room is now much tidier and more organised,
with a subtle hint of furry when you walk into the room...however, my
dorm room at university is a place a furry would love to have! And as
I'm getting older and independant, I have now done some major things. I
have a furry partner in love; I know a few furries who live a mile from
me and I have at the time of press, have had been to about twelve
furmeets in London and about three furmeets in Southampton.
must admit, I've had my friends and enemies - the key is time and
patience. Oh, and in your first furmeet, don't take things seriously -
some will make fun of you, some will make you think you'll never fit
in, and then there'll be the true friends. Good Luck!
What is this SLICKED principle that you believe in?
SLICKED principle is a peaceful way of explaining your opinion of how
the furry fandom would best operate. It is also to express your
dedication of how you and your fursona co-exist. The 7 different ideals
Simplicity - The Furry Fandom is a simple ideal of life. There shouldn't be any complications on how you should be.
Links - To be a furry, a good link should be maintained between you and your fursona.
Individuality - The fandom relies on the freedom of being yourself and that conformism is not mandatory.
Complexity - The fandom is simple, but the people who are part of it have complex and variation in their lives.
Key - The fandom relies on each other to exist comfortably. Together, we're the key to the future of the fandom.
Effort - Nothing is a cakewalk, if you apply effort to being with your fursona, you'll reap many benefits.
Duality - Your fursona is equal with your human side; a dual-personality that merges as a beneficial one.
symbol is a small 25x25 image, to show the belief (and concern) that
the fandom should stay small, and to never be given mass participation.
The fandom is more fragile as more people participate with less
dedication. The symbol is made of a rainbow of colours in a hexagonal
shape, to show the variety of people that makes the fandom, the same
hexagon is mirrored and superimposed (to represent duality) to create a
simple mathematical square (complexity). The lines between each circle
forms the key that represents the future of the fandom.
not the best symbol to represent something, but it has meaning. The
symbol is free to distribute and use, but I would like either credit or
a link back to my website.
Well, that's 21 questions of furry. Any more questions, feel free to ask at my email address or IM :)