The definition of anthropomorphic is the idea of giving human characteristics to non human beings.
Currently two major communities fall into this category, My Little Pony fans, or “bronies,” and the more infamous “Furries.”
Often people assume that Furries are looking for sexual attention.
This can’t be further from the truth; the reason people ‘suit’ is so that way they can act silly or run around and act like an animal for fun.
Furries are people who like the idea of giving human qualities to animals.
Though much like other communities, they have different sub groups within them.
Starting around the 1970s, the idea began as a bunch of comics that artists put together to tell a story using animals as the main characters.
The idea was not new.
The concept has been around for quite some time with Looney Toons and Garfield.
I became intrigued by the idea.
I think it would be awesome if my cat could sit down and play video games with me instead of sit and demand love and food.
For most people it spawns from a love of animals, others find they share traits with animals, for me, humanoid animals is a cool concept.
The most common association with Furries is that they all have a fur suit, and not every one of them wants one.
A fur suit is essentially an animal costume for a human, akin to a mascot. Typically people have them done of their own characters, and try to make them all unique.
Over winter break I went to a convention, Further Confusion (FC) because I wanted to understand what actually draws people into the community.
When I arrived I anticipated a bunch of overweight, sweaty people dressed as foxes and wolves whom I didn’t want to associate with.
Much to my surprise I found something different.
Almost all of the people there were college level students and a few people above 30.
Everyone was open and accepting, and the convention was a lot of fun.
One of my largest surprises was that people at FC acted more appropriate in public than people at anime/manga conventions.
Fursuits are no different than the cosplayers who dress up for comic or anime conventions.
They simply want to dress up and have fun in a community that accepts them.
The idea is to have an escape and the ability to act freely without being judged, a concept which is not different than when people read a book, play a video game, or watch movies.
Another error in judgment comes from the belief that people in the community actually think they are animals.
They are a minority within the furry community, and it is simply their belief that they have spirit animals or guides.
It’s a belief that is akin to Native American belief structures.
If you want to know more about the community, I would recommend actually speaking with a few people who identify themselves as furries.
You might be surprised that these people are more like you than you would think.