On the public’s perception of "furry"

Second re-post from F4L, from a Round Table group discussion of anti-furry prejudice (edited from the original)
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I’m older than most furs I know. I didn’t discover the fandom, or the feelings that lie behind it, until I was about to turn 50. On the other paw, I’d always been a fan, at least of the artwork and the portrayal of animal characters with human characteristics, which I came to through comics and ‘cartoons’ — the Disney, Warner Bros., and Hanna-Barbera classics everyone knows, and some maybe less well-known (Max Fleisher, for example, who created Betty Boop and also did some feature-length animated films like Gulliver and Hoppity Goes to Town.)

While I was learning about the fandom, I was also learning about roleplay online in MUCKs and MMORPGs — but I never got involved. I didn’t feel like a furry, I just enjoyed the art (yes, including the naughty stuff!). I have not been a fur until I joined Second Life — but I did so with the express intent of being a fur there, full time. I have never worn a human form in SL, not even during Orientation.

Meanwhile… Long before joining SL, I did see that infamous episode of CSI. I already knew what fursuits are — and I knew that some people on the fringe get kinky about them. I also knew enough to understand that not every fur behaves that way. BUT — I know the power of ignorance, and what some have called “complacency”, the laziness people get about letting others do their thinking for them, so I realized that many viewers of that program would assume that all furries are fursuit fetishists.

So…. when I joined SL, I kept it to myself. Primarily not because I was afraid of a bad reaction from people about being a fur, but to avoid comments like, “Second Life? Why don’t you get a real life?”  At the time, I had some co-workers who played World of Warcraft together, so I talked to them about virtual worlds and the differences between SL and WoW, and I was open with them about not being human… but they’re used to non-human “characters”.

What I’m getting at: I personally have not received bad reactions about being furry. I now do my editorial thing at TQR: Total Quality Reading as Lalo Telling, who openly pops into that site from Second Life. I use the same photo there as the one you see here, too. I also have Twitter and last.fm accounts in that name, and with that pic. Not once has anyone called me a freak, a pervert, or questioned my sexual orientation or proclivities in any way.

On the other paw: furry sims in SL are quite often attacked by “griefers” who seem to have been indoctrinated with the “all furs are freaks and pervs” mentality. It’s never been a personal attack on me, but on my community.

I want to know: What personal experience of anti-fur prejudice have you had? What have you done about it? What other bad/wrong portrayals of the fandom and/or the people in it have you seen, besides that single ep’ of CSI?

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Commenters to this re-post are welcome, including those who harbor anti-furry prejudice.  Tell me why.

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3 responses to “On the public’s perception of "furry"

  1. Thanks for the link! I'll add you to my blogroll. For the record, I love Furries, Nekos, Faeries and even humans. There is good and bad in every group. As long as beings treat themselves and those around them with respect, it's all good :)

  2. =^..^= was just digging around here and saw this post….aw, you already know how I feel.

    For those of you readers that don't…try this, go with a closed mouth and an open mind to Luskwood.
    Stand around for a bit…listen to the chat…
    Read a few profiles…Look at some rezz dates.

    And be willing to accept the friendship and genuine care you will find there.

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