|Synonyms:||furrydom, furridom, fur fandom, furdom, furries, anthros|
|See also:||Kemono, Fursuit, Feral (fandom), Yiff, Autism and Fandom, Cringe|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
A furry is an animal character that has been anthropomorphized (given human traits) and holds human sentience, or may also refer to those who are simply fans of these characters. As such, furry characters may by bipedal (two legs and two arms as opposed to four legs), wear clothes, speak human or non-human languages (unless they cannot physically talk), and may live in a human-like society. Characters who meet some of these qualities but not can still be a furry. Furries, in general, create fursonas for themselves, which represent their furry self or an alter-ego of themself.
The word "furry" is not strictly literal- birds, lizards, and any other sort of hairless animal may be considered "furry" (in the context of this fandom) although they do not have fur.
A furry is an anthropomorphic animal, that is an animal having some of the characteristics of a human; like being able to walk on two legs, speak human languages, use tools etc. Many cartoon characters are furries: Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, etc. And they make frequent appearances in childrens' literature such as the works of Beatrix Potter. They are not just a recent phenomenon either; furries also appear in Shakespeare and Aesop's fables, and in darker works like The Island of Dr. Moreau, Animal Farm, and every werewolf novel written. Fans of furry art & literature often refer to themselves as furries too. Online they typically assume furry identities, and have furry characters on role-playing systems like MUDs/MUCKs. For some of these furries, there is a deeper connection that goes beyond appreciation of artwork and stories. This can include concepts such as totemism and spiritual theriantropy. Whatever fuels their fascination with these animal-human hybrids, furries often have social gatherings - sharing stories, ideas, and art and generally having fun.
- Anthro: short for anthropomorphic. Anthro is used interchangeably with furry.
- Fursona: A a furspeech portmanteau derived from the terms furry and persona. Usually represents the person's main furry or main furry alter-ego.
- Furrspeech: The practice of changing words to be furry themed. Ex: somefur (someone), purrfect (perfect), facepaw (face palm), squick (squeamish/ick).
- Scaly: a term for furries with scales, such as dragons, lizards, dinosaurs, snakes, etc.
- Ferals are animals with more physically realistic body types. They usually walk on all fours, but they may wear clothes or speak. Ferals are sometimes seen as separate from furry rather than falling under the umbrella.
- Quad: short for quadruped, a furry that walks on all fours rather than bipedally.
- Fursuit: a complete, full-bodied animal consume for bipedal furries.
- Quadsuit: a fursuit that is designed for its wearer to walk on their hands and knees inside the suit.
- Murrsuit: A fursuit designed for sex while wearing the suit.
- Original Species: An original species is one created by an artist, rather than simply based on an actual animal. They are original characters more often than fursonas. However, some species, like protogens and dutch angel dragons have had fursuits made of them.
- Popufur: A popular fursuiter, a furry Big Name Fan.
- Poodling: Fursuits using only the head, hands/feet, and tail, while wearing normal clothes.
- Graymuzzle: An old-time furry, sometimes given the cutoff year of being in the fandom since at most 1991, or someone who has been in the fandom between 10-15 years.
- Yiff: The word for explicit furry content or sex, but once meant the sound of a fox.
- Lifestylers/Furry Lifestylers: Furries who hold the belief that there are certain aspects that must be upheld to be a furry, such as wearing fursuits, being a therian, or making furry art.
Discussion on Definition of "Furry"
Merriam Webster quotes Vox's Dylan Mathews, who said:
In the broadest sense, a furry is someone with an interest in anthropomorphized animals — that is, animals who have been given human characteristics, like an ability to talk or walk on their hind legs. That encompasses a wide spectrum, from people who are simply fans of TV shows and video games featuring anthropomorphic animal characters (like Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokémon), to people who develop a highly specific furry character ("fursona") they identify with, to "otherkin" who see themselves as not fully human on a spiritual or mental level.
There have been ample discussions across multiple years and platforms in which furries and non-furries have tried to decide what exactly counts as a furry. For example, some furries disagree on whether or not media-based anthropomorphic animals can be furries. Those who see media-based anthros as non-furries would classify a character like Timon from The Lion King as simply anthro, but not furry. Subsequently, this viewpoint would see any anthropomorphic animal fan characters as non-furry as well, such as any animal fan character of The Lion King. However, this perspective appears to be a minority. Wikipedia cites that it was media-based fandom itself that inspired the furry fandom, specifically "Kimba, The White Lion released in 1965, Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, published in 1972 (and its 1978 film adaptation), as well as Disney's Robin Hood as oft-cited examples." Another furry cited Zootopia and My Little Pony as being undeniably a part of the furry fandom. A furry survey conducted on Feb 2020, which had 162 responses, also showed that the viewpoint of media-based furries being non-furry was a minority (discussed later in this section).
These discussions have been going on for quite some time, as evident in a 1996 post on alt.fan.furry titled "History of the Furry Part 1." In this thread multiple media-based characters are given credit as being some of the earliest content, such as Gertie the dinosaur as being the first "scalie," and both Felix the cat and Mickey Mouse being seen as furries. However, a few others questioned whether or not such characters counted as furry, especially Gertie. More extreamly, some comments actually credited works of art and gods of ancient history as being furry, such as Anubis and a carved lion statue from 28,000 B.C.
There is also some discussion on whether or not one must actually participate directly in the fandom to count as a furry, or if they may simply enjoy what the community creates. For example, does a fan of Zootopia have the right to call themself a furry even if they don't make fan art, fan characters, fanfiction, fursuits, etc? Or does the enjoyment of furry media inherently make one a furry? One user on Quora asks a question regarding this, saying "What makes a furry a furry?" One reply from Allison Clevenger said: "some furries say you have to just like the art of anthropomorphic animals to be one, some say you have to own a fursuit or have a fursona." Allison also goes into depth discussing the difference between a therian (similar to otherkin) and a furry, saying that because most therians believe their soul is an animal, but don't exactly want a fursuit nor have fursonas, they aren't furries. They said: "You can be a therian and a furry, but there is an exact requirement to be a therian.
Nathan Gamble's reply to the Quora question discusses the difference between animal costumes and fursuits. They said: "Dressing up in an animal onesie or a mascot costume doesn’t make you either of these things - they might make you LOOK LIKE an anthropomorphic animal, but you’re not one, you’re a human in a costume."
Another user talks about how "furry" is self defined, rather than something innate.
I think it mostly just depends on how YOU see yourself.
A furry generally is someone who likes the idea of anthropomorphic animals, likes to draw them, or dress up as them.
But if you don’t see yourself as a furry, you don’t have to be considered one!And yeah, if you consider yourself a furry, then onesies do count, but not everyone that wears animal onesies is a furry.
The Burned Fur movement (a furry group dedicated to separating themselves from zoophilia and other sexual furries) discusses ideas of gatekeeping within the community, specifically calling gatekeepers "Furry Lifestylers." Their manifesto calls lifestylers "self-righteous." It goes on to describe furry lifestylers as people who claim one isn't a furry unless they act like an animal or believe they're an animal. Other things associated with furry gatekeepers in their manifesto are lycanthropy, shmanism, and veganism. And indeed, at a time in the 1990s there was a split between the alt.fan.furry group into a separate usenet group called alt.lifestyle.furry. It was here where "furry lifestylers" would discuss all the things that made their lifestyles furry, such as making fursuits, having animal identities, and spirit guides. Conversely, those of the Burned Fur movement believe that one can be a furry even if its only a hobby where one just "draws cartoon animals and enjoys Watership Down."
Glee. We've got us some self-righteous little pokers down here. Ya see, just drawing cartoon animals or enjoying "Watership Down" doesn't make you furry. Nooooo, you're not GOOD enough. You're not furry if it's just a hobby. If you don't think you're the astrally projected soul of a wolf trapped in a human body, or you don't answer the phone with a "meow," you're not furry. Yep. Don't you feel terribly inferior now? Christ on a fire engine, what some people will try and force on you. I've always found the fact that 90% of Lifestylers consider themselves misplaced foxes, wolves, dragons, lions, tigers, or something equally powerful and noble, open to a special brand of mockery. Amazing coincidence how fantastically superior they all were in their animal lives, isn't it? Maybe if I occasionally came across a Lifestyler who claimed to be a reborn cockroach, I wouldn't be so cynical. I'm sure Freud would have a great, detailed explanation as to why people build up fantasy worlds for themselves like this, but I'm content to call these types Crackpots.Burned Fur 
A Reddit discussion on r/Furry was held on May 19, 2015, called "Definition of What's Considered Furry." The original poster asked the forum what they considered to count as furry, and said during their time online they'd come across two main viewpoints, quoted as as: "Anything featuring animals prominently is furry, or at the very least has elements of furry. Ergo things like Star Fox, Secret of NIMH, Redwall, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Lion King, and Kimba the White Lion would be furry," and "anything produced by a furry featuring animals is furry. If a work is produced featuring animals but the creator(s) is/are NOT furries, it is NOT considered "Furry." Some of the responses are as follows.
Any animalistic yet anthropomorphic character. Animalistic meaning it needs to be animal (plushes, robots, yes even pool toys). Anthropomorphic means most commonly having human traits like bipedal stance, but it also includes human intelligence/speech.
I can see some debate on stuff like TLK and FNAF. They're not inherently furry. They're not intentionally made as the same anthropomorphic characters we make in the fandom. FNAF are animatronics, empty souls basically (ironic) and were used for a simple jump scare game. TLK is a Disney movie, animals are more admirable among children, and you can't really have a cartoon where the animals don't talk, or aren't relatable to by the audience.Furries in the fandom, we make those specifically as animal characters with human personality. Fnaf got adopted to the fandom, and now the fans make them furries, giving them personality and life basically. TLK also, it was adapted outside of the movie into the fandom.
I don't think it really matters. I'm just hanging out here 'cos I like funny animals and weird aliens.ArgentStonecutter
I tend not to get into definition wars myself, but to see people posting their balls off over at Fur Affinity Forums trying to disassociate The Lion King or FNAF from being "Furry" because it wasn't "Made by Furries" just kinda jerks me the wrong way...
2 is the old, all furry is anthro but not all anthro is furry if I recall correctly.Corperk
What is a Furry Survey
In February 2020, the What is a Furry? Survey asked internet users how they defined words like "furry" and "fursona." The demographics between furries and non-furries was a nearly even split, with 50.6% identifying as furries and 49.4% as non-furries. It was advertised in several online locations, including: Toyhouse, furry groups on DeviantART, the furry Reddit, Tumblr, and Furrypile. There were 11 required multiple choice questions and one optional written response. It gathered 162 responses, including from from the surveyor herself. The results may be viewed here. Among the 162 respondents there was little disagreement on whether "furry" is a matter of self-identification or not, as 80.9% saw it as a self identifier, being the overwhelming majority.
68.5% believed an animal character who "neither walks nor talks" can be a fursona, while 31.5% disagreed (it is assumed this is about certain species of feral characters, which do not usually walk in a bipedal fashion). 19.8% believed having a fursona automatically makes one a furry regardless of how they identify. 80.9% believed furry is a self identifier and 19.1% did not. A more wordy question presented a scenario in which an artist who only draws The Lion King characters says they are a furry, though they are restricted to one media-based source. The majority, 90.7%, believed that yes, this person would qualify as a furry. 9.3%, said they wouldn't.
The fandom's main forms of expression are visual arts and fursuiting, and because it cannot be agreed upon whether or not characters/fan characters based on media count as furries, fanfiction involving bipedal/talking animals may or may not be included in the fandom. Furry conventions are popular and furries have their own economy, which has been described as socialist and punk by Dogpatch Press, a popular furry news outlet. These values and differences have led some to question whether furry is even a "fandom" at all.
Discussion on if Furry is a "Fandom"
Furry fandom, also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom, refers to the fandom for the furry genre of literature, art and entertainment. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of artists, writers, role players and general fans of the furry art forms who gather on the net and at conventions.
Not every furry sees "furry" as a fandom, but rather a community of like-minded people. However, it is common for the majority to call it the "furry fandom," as evident in any simple search online regarding furries. In the "What is a Furry Survey," 84% of the 162 respondents saw furry as a fandom, even though the survey was also half non-furry. Reputable furry sources, such as the website for Anthrocon, also refer to furry as a fandom. Still, there are those who disagree or even see it as a gray area.
Per a Twitter discussion:
I think one of the reasons I find the furry fandom so appealing and cool is that it facilitates an identity around creation instead of consumption. It feels more like a community than a result of a good marketing campaign.
Been saying this for years. My husband and I always compare furry cons to Renn Faires rather than comic book conventions.
One of the respondents to the What is a Furry survey said:
I don't think its a fandom because there is no content to be a fan of aside from the most basic thing- animals. And that makes no sense, since you don't call people who are fans of cars the "car fandom".
In the end what may make furry a fandom or not is dependent upon the community itself and how they define themselves in relation to other types of fandom. Though there are furries and non-furries who see furry as not a fandom, most do indeed label it a fandom. Individual furries may not necessarily consider themself a part of a fandom despite this.
A study in 2015 done by [adjective][species] took a look at furry demographics among convention goers. Before getting into the data the staff gave a disclaimer: "The Furry Survey is voluntary, which means that our dataset is self-selecting. It's not possible to perform a census of the whole of furry, so we only know about furries who fill in the survey." However, they believe their dataset is large enough to be consistent and have noted it matches other studies, such as the International Anthropomorphic Research Project.
Between 2009 and 2013 [adjective][species] found the average age of furries to be 23. Their study also showed men to be the majority of the community and women to be a minority. They expanded upon this to find that women furries are also more likely to be furry artists. It is also sometimes said that furries are usually gay, but the studies are mixed on this. Furries are "evenly spread across the Kinsey spectrum, from heterosexuality to homosexuality," but Vox reports that less than 30% of furries are "exclusively heterosexual." [Adjective][species] also noted that "about one in six furries self-identify as a zoophile." 
A Pittsburgh-based research center reports that up to 15% of furries are autistic.
The International Anthropomorphic Research Project's website contains several studies on the demographics of furries, even down to income and employment. Most of their studies are done at Anthrocon and are compiled from multiple studies over multiple years. They discovered that furries' annual income does not differ much from the general American population, most furries are full-time employees and/or taking full-time education courses,, and the majority are white and one third of them are atheist or agnostic.
Furries are also said to frequently work in IT; a common running joke among artists is that commissions by rich furries pay their mortgages or rent- the joke usually involves said furries in IT, or furries who are doctors or pilots. Overall, furries seem to have some demographic similarities to bronies.
One can cite classical mythology, traditional folk-tales, fable, lycanthropy, children’s lit, hunting magic, totemism, and animal stories. We have always lived with animals, and thought about them...
But funny animals are specialized critters... We don’t communicate with animal spirits, wonder how we will be reincarnated next on the wheel of life... The point is, we are NOT ancient Greeks, Amerinds, feudal peasants, Hindus, or Druids. We do NOT think of animals as these people did...All the same, before furry fandom there were furries – artists and fans such as myself who drifted into either science fiction or comics fandom...
While humans have been drawing and dressing up as animals for millennia, the modern furry fandom is said to have begun in the 1970s or so, emerging with influence from the Science Fiction Fandom, Western comics fandom, as well as animation by Disney, Osamu Tezuka, Chuck Jones, Don Bluth, and others. Some credit Fritz the Cat’s comics from 1965 as being a major early influence, especially on zines. Other early influential furry media was the Redwall novels which started in 1986, and the Watership Down novel from 1972 (with accompanying animated film in 1978, then TV series in 1999).
Originally they were called "funny animals," with the term "furry" only gaining popularity later, and having been completely replaced with furry in the 2010s. Reportedly, the term "furry" had its first usage in the 1980s and, according to one account, was coined by a non-furry who called himself Doctor Pepper, though there is not enough documentation to be certain of the term's origins. In "How Furries Became a Fandom", writer Clare McBride traces major influences on the fandom from Looney Tunes to Disney's Robin Hood, from Animalympics to the Renaissance Age of Animation in the 1980s, up to the release of Zootopia. She says:
Assuming that the Internet bred furry fandom is an easy assumption to make. It’s certainly the assumption I made, despite running with a crowd of scene kids and furries in Bush-era suburban Georgia. But furries—fans of anthropomorphic animals—go back both further and not as far as you might think.
In mainstream culture, furry fandom is largely known by a reputation best codified by the 2003 CSI episode “Fur and Loathing,” which depicted all furries as sex-crazed fetishists utterly heedless of prosaic concerns like dry cleaning bills. Even in geek culture at large, furries remain a niche among niches—and often a convenient punching bag for geeks of all other stripes to say, “Well, at least I’m not like those weirdos.”
Which is why I find furry fandom so interesting as someone outside of it. Fandoms that develop in isolation or otherwise non-traditional ways fascinate me, and furry fandom operates on a wavelength that owes more to old-school science fiction fandom than contemporary media fandom. It’s a creator-centric fandom that places more value on generating original material than fanworks, and it can extend into a lifestyle in a way that media fandom can’t.
While anthropomorphic animals have existed in folklore for nearly all of human history, furry illustrator Taral Wayne posits that furries actively resist association with their ancient counterparts. In the program book for 1992’s ConFurence 4, they explain: “Furries draw their imagery from a common background of Saturday morning cartoons and comic books, and have imbued these images with meanings that could only arise from growing up in the boomer years.” While every furry, of course, is different, one only has to look at the cheerful cartoon aesthetic of most fursuits to realize that furries are more Bugs Bunny than Bast.
...The dawn of the millennium saw a steady increase in numbers in furry fandom, as those who discovered they were furries during the Renaissance Age of Animation found their kind online. These numbers led to the rise of both regional conventions such as Furry Weekend Atlanta and international conventions such as the UK’s RBW and Australia’s MiDFur. The rise of DeviantArt, SheezyArt and FurAffinity also provided ways for furry artists and writers to connect with each other and share their work in a space expressly designed for them. (FurAffinity is to furry fandom as Archive of Our Own is to media fandom.)
How Furries Became a Fandom 
Fritz the Cat is thought to have encouraged the creation of a zine called Vootie in 1976, which is posited as the beginning of furry fandom in "Everyone's A Furry 2k16" by Colin Spacetwinks. Vootie may have been the first apazine to accept only funny animal comics. While Vootie was designed out of the belief that comics were too serious, ironically, a funny animal comic anthology called Albedo Anthromoporphics from 1983 was born out of the belief that funny animals weren't being taken serious enough.
In the early 1970s, Mark Merlino, a frequent con attendee and funny animal fan, started the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, or C/FO. This science fiction club would screen bootlegged versions of Japanese anime. Their mascot was a funny animal. Members of the club would animate her to place as bumpers for the bootlegged anime showings. At the same time, funny animal zines were growing in popularity. A large portion of them would include nudity or sexual images. The art styles used in these early zines sometimes has hints of anime stylization, likely influenced by the C/FO's anime showings. The C/FO would place advertisements in some funny animal zines. Eventually, Mark Merlion took control of a BBS called the The Tiger's Den, which was mostly full of funny animal fans.
An extremly contentions funny animal comic was Omaha the Cat Dancer, a soap opera from 1978, which was condemned by law enforcement in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, based on claims of depicting bestiality. This led to the creation of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Furry artwork continued being distributed in zines and comics until the 1990s, when the Internet revolutionized the fandom with FurryMUCK, Furcadia and other sites dedicated to roleplaying and artwork.
Furry, as we currently understand and picture it, doesn't really exist until 1976, with the creation of a zine called Vootie, by Reed Waller and Ken Fletcher. It called itself the "Fanzine of the Funny Animal Liberation Front" - and that's a little marker of history itself. The term 'furry' to characterize the community and its art output hadn't quite come into usage yet. It's all "funny animal", taking off from the name of the genre itself, featuring characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, et all. You know 'em.
Here's the cover of Vootie issue 0, give you a feel for where things were at the very start - more or less - of this whole group.
Didn't expect Spock as a talking ape, did ya?
Here's a fun - and important - piece of furry history for you. Artist Taral Wayne says he sent a letter to the editor, Reed Waller, asking "why isn't there more sex in funny animals?".
Waller's response was to publish the very start of Omaha The Cat Dancer in issue #8 of Vootie.Never heard of Omaha, you say?
Furry conventions had their start as "Furry Parties" inside singular rooms of larger science fiction cons. Furries were often treated badly at these cons, accused of being gay and/or zoophilic. The ill treatment from other fans is what led to furries creating their own cons. The first furry con, Confurence 0, had sixty-something attendees, two of whom dressed up as animals. A few months after Confurence 0 the Baycon staff did make a statement that Furries were in fact welcome, from the 1989 Baycon progress report: "I have to admit that I haven't the slightest idea where this one came from. There were some tasteless fliers put out by individuals who don't like Furry Fandom. It was annoying, but not nearly enough of a disturbance to make us even consider blackballing an entire fringe fan group." 
One post from Baycon reads:
SKUNK F**CKERS REHABILITATION
- ARE YOU SEXUALLY AROUSED BY PICTURES OF ANIMALS WITH HUMAN GENITALIA?
- DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY RELATING TO HUMANS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX?
- DOES YOUR HAMSTER RUN WHEN HE SEES YOU COMING?
SKUNK F**CKERS REHAB CAN HELP YOU! WE OFFER ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING:
- REALITY TRAINING
- HAIRBALL REMOVAL
- GENDER RELATION COUNSELING
- SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC
- BASIC ANIMAL ANATOMY
- SPECIES ABUSE RECOVERY PROGRAM
WE CAN GIVE YOU A LIFE!!!© 1989 SKUNKF**CKERS REHAB INC., a NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
Newsgroups and Lifestylers
On December 18, 1990, Tozq created the newsgroup alt.fan.furry, abbrivated as a.f.f or AFF. This makes it one of the earliest places for furry fans to meet and chat, even before Furcadia, which came in 1996 out of alt.fan.furry user Dr.Cat. Wikifur states that it was notorious for flamewars. And indeed, there is even mention of this being caused somewhat in part by the Burned Furs movement during 1998-2001, when the movement was most active. However, Burned Fur cannot be blamed for flamewars alone, considering their relatively short lifespan next to the newsgroup.
The newsgroup is for readers and fans of a subgenre of fiction dealing with anthropomorphic characters. Publications which publish appropriate articles and fiction include THE CENTAURS GATHERUM NEWSLETTER, ALBEDO anthropomorphics, CRITTERS, YARF!, BIRTHRIGHT, and many other professional and amateur publications too numerous to mention here. This newsgroup is in part a replacement for alt.fan.albedo and alt.birthright (although I do not know if rmgroups will be issued for those or not; I didn't start them or this group either, for that matter) as traffic was too low in those two groups, and they were too specialized as well. So perhaps in some ways, you're right; it is for people who are fans of furry things. (Also feathery. Birds count. :-) ) However, you didn't get the point, probably because you're not aware of any of these publications. (Sort of like rec.radio.ham would be confusing to anyone not familiar with the term "ham" for amateur radio broadcaster... 'is it radio made of ham, or people who ham it up on the radio?') - R'ykandar.
R'ykandar Korra'ti, Dec 20, 1990.
"Furry Lifestylers" may have seen themselves born out of alt.fan.furry, and would go on to split from the newsgroup into their own. Lifestylers were furries who believed in order to be a furry certain practices had to take place, such as making/wearing fursuits and art, or having certain spiritual beliefs such as therians. Lifestylers are one of the furry types that the Burned Fur movement fought against, as they seemed to believe that they were gatekeepers for the fandom. Tim Gadd wrote this on lifestylers and the need to split the newsgroup:
'Furry lifestyle' as a definition encompasses a broad range of activities, interests and beliefs. Such topics include, but are not limited to animal identities, alter-ego's and spirit guides, the wearing and making of fursuits, collars and other furry clothing, plush toys, theriomorphosis, and general philosophical discussion - and to the personal experience of _being_ furry - socially, sexually, and psychologically These latter concerns are related only tenuously to artwork, film and literature, and attempts to discuss lifestyle topics on alt.fan.furry have led to ongoing and frequently criticism. For the past several months the debates, and often outright flames on this subject have continued virtually without interruption. Furs interested in discussing lifestyle issues now acknowledge that a.f.f is not a suitable venue; indeed that 'lifestyle' and 'fandom' topics are so semantically distinct as to require separate newsgroups. alt.lifestyle.furry has therefore been conceived, as an alternative furry forumTim Gadd
Due to the flamewars and disagreements between alt.fan.furry and the lifestylers who resided there, alt.lifestyle.furry was born in June 1996 (also called ALF or The Homestead). Created by (Tirran (Ron Orr) and Tim Gadd (Lupercal), this new newsgroup split the fandom well in two. However now there would seemingly be fewer arguments between lifestylers and regular fandom members, as they had their own forum for discussion. Roleplay on alt.lifestyle.furry was much more accepted than at alt.fan.furry as well, which was a draw, though reportedly some members would begin roleplaying in conversations where others were debating. In the mid 2000s there was mass trolling, and since 2015 the newsgroup is considered rather dead, though alt.fan.furry itself still receives many new topics and replies as of 2020.
The furry fandom, being so large and old, has had several controversies surrounding it across the years. Some of the earliest issues to arise are in reference to sexuality and erotic works. Some believe that furries are sexualizing animals, thus consider furries as those practicing zoophilia/bestiality. Responses to this view within furry fandom vary. The Furry Survey covers issues such as human vs. animal identification and zoophilia. [Adjective][species] noted from their survey of furries at conventions that "about one in six furries self-identify as a zoophile." There was also an early disdain for "plushies" and plushophilia, or erotic art of stuffed animals, as early as 1996, based on discussion surrounding it from the alt.fan.furry newsgroup. Many non-furries are squicked by the furry identification and alleged sexualization of animals. This is explicitly demonstrated by putting them on the bottom of a graphic from 2002: The Geek Hierarchy.
While there are communities of furries who participate in zoophile art, most furries publicly decry them. For example, the Burned Fur movement was created to explicitly form a group of furries who publicly disapprove of zoophilia and other practices deemed sexually deviant (such as furries attracted to stuffed animals). They cite that this is one of the reasons why people call furries "skunk-fuckers." This has led to some furry zoophiles to create secret secondary accounts where they post their explicit zoophile (or underage) art, a practice especially rampant on Twitter. This has lead to some well known popular furry artists being suddenly outed as having secret Twitter accounts for controversial art. For example, in Jul 2020 a popular furry on Twitter named SethPup was revealed to run a secret Twitter account where he would post drawings of his fursona having non-con sex with dogs and puppies.
Another issue in relation to sexuality is the concept of the murrsuit. A murrsuit is a fursuit designed to have sex in. While the majority of furries wouldn't consider doing this, there are some furries who consider fursuit sex their specific kink. This has lead to some sigma among fursuit wearers, that those who wear fursuits may be secretly getting off on it. According to Tumblr user Daffodi1 accusing fursuiters of using fursuits for sex is a serious accusation, and "publicly wearing a fursuit that you wear during sex is considered a sex offense."
Furries have long attempted to understand why they are hated and how best to respond to it. Some believe the fandom should be made more family-friendly to appeal to the mainstream, while others argue that furries are hated because many are autistic and/or LGBTQ (needs citation). In the late 2010s, the phrase "Keep Furry Weird" became common, albeit controversial, in response to the Furry Converse Advertisement sponsoring a Brazilian convention. Furries are often mocked with terms like "furfags," "skunkfuckers," and other derogatory language. Furry art sites constantly suffer DDOS attacks. In 2014, a furry convention was attacked with chlorine by an unknown person; 19 furries were hospitalized and people could have died.
Typical fursuit by joecifur, inspired by Meerkat Manor
quadsuit of Wolf Link from The Legend of Zelda by Beastcub
A poodling suit by CordlessGryphon
Fanfiction and Literature
Note: Not all furries consider media-based works to be "furry" and may not count fanfiction as furry art.
- Possibilities-- Watership Down fanfic
- A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On-- Zootopia fanfic
- Ninja Wolf Saizo
- Traditions (or, Goat Story)
- In a Cat's Eyes
- Furry News-Cast (Youtube channel has been terminated)
- The Fandom: A Furry Documentary
- THE 9 LEVELS OF BEING A FURRY
- The Failure of Rainfurrest
- I'm a Furry. Ask Me Anything
- All the Single Furries!
See also Wiki Fur's list of fanzines.
- FurNation (Furnation shut down in 2017)
- Furry RP Haven
- So Furry
- Wolf Home
- An internal perspective and rant about furry fandom, Archived version Praxonomist (June 2008)
- Will Furries Ever Go Mainstream? by EJ Dickson
- The State of the Furry Zine, 2006
- The Furry Doc: An Interview With Tommy Bruce, who documents Furry Fandom in photography and art
- 1993 News Coverage of Furry Fandom (one of the earlier news reports), Archived version
- Wikipedia: Furry Fandom
- Introduction to Furry 101
- Dogpatch Press, furry news reporting cited by Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Vice, and more
- WikiFur -- Furry community wiki in many languages
- ConFurence archive, scans of early fandom ephemera.
- Useful Notes/Furry Fandom on TV Tropes
- Furnation (broken link) Note: It is difficult to determine from the archived version of this site whether it did indeed contain the quote as referenced, but an alternate source can be found here.
- What is a Furry?, Merriam-Webster. Circa 2015 (Accessed 7/4/2020)
- Editor's Note: From the editor's disagreement on this page. See talk page. (Patchlamb, 7/4/2020)
- Furry History, Wikipedia. (Accessed 7/4/2020)
- Furry Fandom. Circa Sept 21, 2019 (Accessed 7/4/2020)
- History of the Furry Part 1, Alt.fan.furry, May 5, 1996. (Accessed 10/21/2020)
- What Makes a Furry a Furry?, Quora. July 7, 2019 (Accessed 7/4/2020)
- Alt.Lifestyle.Furry, Wikifur. (Accessed 10/20/2020)
- Manifesto, Burned Fur. (Accessed 9/30/2020)
- Definition of What's Considered "Furry", Reddit, r/Furry. May 19, 2015 (Accessed 7/4/2020)
- "Furry Socialism: You’re Soaking in It!" by Tempe O’Kun and Dralen Dragonfox, July 17, 2018
- "How furries resist a commercialized fandom", Dogpatch Press, May 22, 2019
- Furry Fandom, Wikifur. (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- What is a Furry, Anthrocon. (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- 9 questions about furries you were too embarrassed to ask by Dylan Matthews
- [adjective] [species] furry demographics, August 24, 2015
- For Some With Autism, Furry Culture Offers Comfort And Acceptance by Sarah Boden
- Furscience Income. (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- Furscience Employment. (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- Furscience Ethnicity, (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- Furscience Religion. (Accessed 7/5/2020)
- Furry 101
- ,Furries (Down the Rabbit Hole) by Fredrik Knudsen
- Funny Animal, WikiFur. (Accessed 10/20/2020)
- How Furries Became a Fandom by Clare McBride, July 19 2017
- Furries|Down the Rabbit Hole, Youtube. Timestamps: 6:05, Aug 13, 2018. (Accessed 10/24/2020)
- Omaha the Cat Dancer: Cultural Impact on Wikipedia
- Everyone's A Furry 2k16Everyone's a Furry by Colin Spacetwinks
- Furries (Down the Rabbit Hole), YouTube
- Baycon progress report 1989
- Who Dealt This Mess, Burned Fur Wiki, Circa 2006. (Accessed 10/20/2020)
- Lifestyler FAQ, Tigerden, Mar 24, 2019. (Accessed 10/20/2020)
- Plushies Unwelcome?, Alt.fan.furry, Jul 25, 1996. (Accessed 10/21/2020)
- TW: Animal Abuse and rape, Twitter. Jul 30, 2020 (Accessed 8/2/2020)
- If they can fuck in these..., Tumblr. Aug 1, 2020 (Accessed 8/2/2020)