Hey guys! I hope everyone is getting excited for Furry Weekend Atlanta, coming up in like Two (!!) weeks. I’ll be there running around all Thursday through Sunday, and I am looking to photograph some new people! I’ll have my camera with me always, so feel free to ask for a picture anytime, but I am also looking for a few people to follow around and photograph a little more in depth than just seeing them out on the floor and stopping them. So if you or a friend would like to hang out/get photographed at the con, just contact me on here or even in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will also be carrying and selling my BOOKS which really help to offset all the costs of getting to these conventions, so please buy one if you like the work! 10 Dollars, just ask for one!
On Friday night at Anthrocon I went to an Indian Restaurant with a group of friends. On the way back, one girl, Catdaddy, was carrying part of her fursuit, when a bike gang spotted us and shouted, “You’re furries, right? We’ve been looking all over for one of you guys! Can we get a picture?” She said yes, and an entire battalion of bikes pulled off to the sidewalk to pose together with her. I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of the bikes during any of the photos, but they definitely seemed excited by the looks on their faces.
It’s hard to pinpoint one exact feeling I had about the fandom, I felt a lot of things then and I still do now! Sorry for a long response!
I can say that I was unsure of it, more self conscious about it. I was a freshman in college when I started this project, and I was afraid of what associating with the furry community would do to my social and artistic reputation.
I remember I went back home to PA for a break; I had made plans to visit with some local furries and photograph them. I told my parents “I’m working on a project but I’m not going to tell you what it’s about.” I didn’t want to show peoples faces in my pictures. In part because I knew other people felt secretive about the fandom, and they wouldn’t want their faces shown, but also because I felt that what people actually looked like wasn’t important. I told people that it wasn’t about sex at all, that it wasn’t weirdoes, that that was an idea put forth completely by the outside media.
Now, in my senior year in undergrad, after three years of working closely with the fandom and thinking critically about my experiences, a lot has changed. I no longer doubt the validity of this project. I no longer worry over being associated with furry culture, or seeming weird. I have come to wholly embrace the idea of weirdness in my life. I try to fill my world with it. I recognize that “furry” means different things to every furry I have met, and every single opinion is real, it is what they experience.
My interest has become less focused on doing away with pesky stereotypes or trying to paint a clear image of the furry fandom, and more set on displaying how I experience the fandom. It isn’t about showing what furry culture is or isn’t. It is about exploring a community in-depth, marveling at their intricacies and presentations.
A friend Michael Arthur wrote a fantastic article on the ways in which the fandom itself has changed over the last few years, and in it marked an important point in saying “furry is less about ‘we are’ than 'we can’.” That idea has carried over into my viewing of the fandom and its worth in regards to society at large. Not everyone needs to be a furry. But I think everyone should know that there are people out there doing things like this, right now, and forever. And that they are no different from anyone else, except that they have found a new way to find and create meaning in their lives.