“Furries” are people who dress up in animal costumes but unlike Halloween, are far from benign fun. They are often associated with bizarre perversions, as I have written about here and here. However, they have continued to grow in popularity worldwide and are so much recognized that CNN did a story about them describing them as “misunderstood”:
The furry community has a message for the rest of the world: Their culture is not about sex.
In fact, people in the furry community are largely annoyed about how their community has generally been portrayed by mainstream media outlets.
Most feel like depictions of sexual fetishists wearing furry costumes and cavorting at wild parties are inaccurate and downright unfair, say experts.
For the unaware, we’re talking about a worldwide community estimated at hundreds of thousands strong who call themselves the furry fandom.
They’re made up of old and young, all genders, CEOs, blue-collar workers, singles, couples, parents, students, LGBTQ and straight — all who celebrate fantasy animal characters with human traits.
How do they celebrate? To each, their own. The different ways run the gamut.
For example, do you have an unusually powerful fascination with Bugs Bunny?
Well then, you might be a furry.
Maybe you like to doodle original animal characters that reflect your alter-ego or persona, aka your “fursona.”
Again, you could be a furry.
What if you love your animal character so much you want to wear a costume of it?
You very well may be a furry.
For many furries, putting on their costume sparks a fascinating metamorphosis.
Take longtime furry Joe Strike. When he puts on his reptilian costume, Strike transforms from self-described “pretty mellow guy” to a character he calls Komos.
“I become very sinister — very forceful and intimidating,” says Strike, author of a book on the fandom called “Furry Nation.” “It’s so much fun to become that other person — this kind of mysterious, alluring character. Some women really take a shine to him and it’s really a blast.”
Because the colorful furry costumes get the most attention in the media, it supports the perception that furries are all about costumes. But they’re not.
In fact, the co-founder of the first furry convention doesn’t own a costume at all.
“If you honestly believe that furry fandom is about costuming, then you’ve missed the point,” says Rod Stansfield, perhaps better known in the community by his pen name, Rod O’Riley. “Saying furry fandom is about wearing fur suits is like saying ‘Star Trek’ fandom is about wearing pointy ears.”
In the 1980s, Stansfield and his partner Mark Merlino — during visits to science fiction conventions — realized the furry fandom was becoming a bigger thing of its own. By 1989 they organized an “experiment” they called ConFurence Zero at a Holiday Inn in Garden Grove, California: the first known “furry convention and seminar.”
Although only 65 people showed up, including only two or three in costume, ConFurence Zero started a movement of sorts.
It gave momentum to the fandom, later resulting in similar conventions such as Califur, Canada’s VancouFur, Australia’s ConFurgence, Eurofurence and Anthrocon, which is now held yearly in Pittsburgh. Last summer’s Anthrocon, one of the biggest, drew about 8,400 people, including nearly 2,000 in costumes, according to the event website.
“We don’t feel like furry fandom is something we created, it’s something that was there,” Stansfield says. “We were just the guys who introduced it to itself. We just came up with a goofy new way for fans to talk to each other — actually meeting, face to face. People took that and ran with it.”
Three decades later the fury fandom is much bigger, using the power of the internet to reach out, organize, engage with each other and share — via videos, podcasts and art.
Pocari Roo, Barton Fox and Stormi Folf are just a few of many furries who host video channels on YouTube discussing fursonas, affordable fursuits and other topics. “I simply want to help the world understand our fandom a little better,” says Stormi Folf, who prefers to use his fursona “for reasons of privacy and safety.”
“I’m known as a furry but only family and close friends know my real name,” he said.
It’s a subculture just like any other — including unique terminology.
For example, a “greymuzzle” is an older member of the furry fandom.
“Bronies” are fans of the “My Little Pony” toy, TV and movie franchise.
A “therian” is someone who feels an intense spiritual identification with a nonhuman animal.
A “babyfur” is interested in age play and young or childlike characters.
Milfurs are furries who are current or past members of the military.
Here’s one more: Furries who are into costumes are called fursuiters. And yes, #FursuitFriday is a real hashtag on social media.
The fandom has grown big enough to get the attention of academia. A group of scholars has established a continuing research project at furscience.com tracking furry attitudes and backgrounds by asking them to answer questions on surveys.
“Demographically, it’s mostly white. They tend to be sort of middle class and they tend to be what you think of as nerds,” says MacEwan University instructor Dr. Courtney Plante, who runs the study along with researchers at Niagara County Community College, Texas A&M University and other universities.
The project’s website says more than 75% of furries are under age 25 and about a third identify as “exclusively heterosexual.”
Sixty percent of furries who answered surveys reported part-time or full-time enrollment in postsecondary education.
“They often like video games, computer games, board games, anime, science fiction, fantasy,” Plante says.
Dancing is also big among fursuiters. In addition to costume dance events at conventions, nightspots have been getting involved. For more than a year now the Eagle Bolt Bar in Minneapolis has been hosting “Suit Up Saturday,” where 20-30 fursuiters, show up every week, the bar says.
An overwhelming percentage, 84%, identify as male.
A female artist in the community who calls herself InkTiger says the mostly male fandom hasn’t been a big problem for her. “There’s some sexism in the fandom, as there is in any other part of society. I don’t think it’s any more pronounced in furry than anywhere else.”
But what does research say about fursuiters and sexual fetishes?
“We find that, with most furries and their fur suits, there’s no sexual element to it for the vast majority of fursuiters,” says Plante. “It’s because they want to be a cartoon character in the real world.”
But just like any other group, furries acknowledge a small element of sexual activity during gatherings. In the community it’s known as “yiffing.”
“Yiffing can refer to anything from affectionate hugging or nuzzling to totally going at it,” says Strike. “It’s definitely part of the fandom but it’s not what the fandom is all about. If I had to throw a percentage on it I would say maybe 15%, give or take.”
Stansfield, co-founder of the first convention, says it’s sad the furry fandom is mischaracterized as a “sex style.”
“Everything created by human beings has some degree of what people think is attractive — and attractive is a big, broad unquantifiable word — however you define that.”
A lot of furries have some kind of bullying history. Researchers found they reported “significantly more bullying than the average person.” According to furscience.com, 61.7% of furries reported being bullied from the ages 11-18.
Compare that with bullying rates among US students grades 6-12. About 28% have reported being bullied, according to stopbullying.gov. Internationally, a World Health Organization survey of 35 countries found 34% of all young people reported being bullied at least once in the past couple of months.
“Research shows that furries benefit from … interaction with like-minded others in a recreational environment, which is associated with greater self-esteem and greater life satisfaction,” the website says. Experts don’t know if this benefit within furry culture attracts victims of bullying but it could contribute to helping bullying victims heal.
Strike explains it this way: “When they put on the fur suit and they become somebody else, it is very liberating. You’ve sort of left behind that human person with all those inhibitions and problems. You become this kind of free spirit. You become somebody else who you’re not the rest of the time.”
The fandom tends to be shy, Plante says. Costumes make it easier to socialize “without fear of being judged.”
Bottom line: Research shows that for the most part, they may be more “normal” than you think. “The interesting part of the story is just how surprisingly normal furries can be despite having a strange hobby,” says Plante.
The future looks bright for the furry fandom. Plante estimates the fandom is between 100,000 and 1 million people — and growing. “I don’t think it will ever become mainstream, because it’s an unusual hobby to have. But I think as time goes on, it will be normalized in the way ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ fans became normalized, in the way ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans became normalized.”
If normalization does come via movies, Stansfield hopes technology will pave the way for it by making it cheaper and easier for furries to make Hollywood-quality films.
“The turning point will be when we get to the level where a fan can make a Pixar movie in their garage,” he says. “When that happens, more and more of the entertainment community is going to notice.” (source, source)
As noted, the “furry” phenomenon began with two sodomites in the early 1980s and has grown with each year. While the story above says that the action has nothing to do with sex, the reality is quite to the contrary, as sodomites are significantly over represented within the subculture at a minimum of 50%, and in addition show a clear fascination with cartoon pornography involving animals and even actual human-animal relations:
When compared with the general population, homosexuality and bisexuality are over-represented in the furry fandom by about a factor of 10. Of the US population, about 1.8% of persons self-identify as bisexual and 1.7% as homosexual according to a 2011 study from scholars at UCLA. In contrast, according to four different surveys 14–25% of the fandom members report homosexuality, 37–52% bisexuality, 28–51% heterosexuality, and 3–8% other forms of alternative sexual relationships. Approximately half of the respondents reported being in a relationship, of which 76% were in a relationship with another member of furry fandom. Examples of sexual aspects within furry fandom include erotic art and furry-themed cybersex. The term “yiff” is sometimes used to indicate sexual activity or sexual material within the fandom—this applies to sexual activity and interaction within the subculture whether in the form of cybersex or offline.
Sexual attraction to furry characters is a polarizing issue. In one survey with 4,300 furry respondents, 37% answered that sexual attraction is important in their furry activities, 38% were ambivalent, and 24% answered that it has little or nothing to do with their furry activities. In a different online survey, 33% of furry respondents answered that they have a “significant sexual interest in furry”, another 46% stated they have a “minor sexual interest in furry”, and the remaining 21% stated they have a “non-sexual interest in furry”. The survey specifically avoided adult-oriented websites to prevent bias. Another survey found that 96.3% of male furry respondents reported viewing furry pornography, compared with 78.3% of female; males estimated 50.9% of all furry art they view is pornographic, compared with 30.7% female. Furries have a slight preference for pornographic furry artwork over non-pornographic artwork. 17.1% of males reported that when they viewed pornography it is exclusively or near-exclusively furry pornography, and only about 5% reported that pornography was the top factor which got them into the fandom.
A portion of the fandom is sexually interested in zoophilia (sex with animals), although a majority take a negative stance towards it. An anonymous survey in 2008 found 17% of respondents reported zoophilia. An earlier survey, conducted from 1997 to 1998, reported about 2% of furry respondents stating an interest in zoophilia, and less than 1% an interest in plushophilia (sexually aroused by stuffed animal toys). The older, lower results, which are even lower than estimated in the general population, were due to the methodology of questioning respondents face-to-face, which led to social desirability bias. In contrast, one comparative study from 1974 and 1980 showed 7.5% of sampled students at University of Northern Iowa reporting zoophilia, while other studies find only 2.2% to 5.3% expressing fantasies of sex with animals. (source)
The interest in such a perversion as “furries”, which has shown steady growth worldwide throughout the West according to trend research, also has risen in direct correlation with the trend towards interest in the sexualization of cartoons, and is a very popular recurring theme on 4Chan’s “/b/” (Random) board (Note: Not safe for work or children, browse at your own risk). This also follows the trends of the increasing influence of the LGBT in society, where the idea that one’s “sexual identity” is determined by one’s will gives way to many forms of license. One sees a similar concept in BDSM circles, where members engage in something called “pony play” where people dress up as animals and in an openly sexual way, parade in a form of public voyeurism acting as animals and, according to the people involved in it, there is a sort of possession that comes over the participants once they “put their gear on”, transforming from a human to an animal:
1:15-1:38: “When ponies put on the gear, it puts someone into what is called “pony space,” and I see a lot of people that once they put the gear on they actually turn into horses.” Woman: “When I put the bit in his mouth, it’s like a ritual between us. He needs that transition to get into headspace, and I can feel through the bit when he changes from human space to pony space.”
The same kind of “animal play” can be seen at LGBT parades, where sodomites dress up as horses or dogs and are “walked” by their handlers in what appears to be the same kind of “metamorphosis” described earlier on:
This statement is curious, and it raises the most important aspect of the “furry” culture to discuss, and that is the idea of “spirit possession.”
A nkisi, or spirit-possessed statue used in Afro-pagan rituals.
In African paganism, the nkisi is an object onto which a spirit is called down and is “attached” to through the performance of a ritual. After which, wherever the nkisi goes, the spirit follows like a dog on a leash, and it is from this that a person who wants to work “magic”, such as a witch, can harness the power of the spirit attached to the nkisi for a particular end. These rituals can include everything from not just working “good” or “evil,” but how the witch, sometimes called a “nganga,” works with the nkisi, including up to being possessed by the spirit attached to the object. This is almost identical to how in furry “culture,” when the “furry” puts his “fursuit” on, he stops being himself for that moment and takes on the personality of the “character” in the fursuit and in so doing “goes through the metamorphosis” into the creature he is pretending- note the highlighted text above for that word, metamorphosis.
This same word is what the conservative defender of sodomite child rapists Dennis “fifteen year olds, not eight year olds” Prager said in an episode of the Dennis Prager show, where he noted that he will “honor” men who “go through the metamorphosis” to become a woman:
This is the video. For those who did not see his comments on sodomites and children, click here.
Again that word: Metamorphosis.
In the 1991 horror film Silence of the Lambs, the concept of “metamorphosis” was a critical theme that Clarice Starling, played by actress Jodi Foster, used to solve her case against the sodomite murderer Jame Gumb, played by Ted Levine. In the film, Gumb is a sodomite murderer who places the cocoon of a particular moth species into the mouth of each victim. This species, known as the “death’s head moth” (Acherontia Atropos), is meant to represent Gumb’s “metamorphosis” from a man into a woman, from powerless to a sense of power, just as a helpless larva becomes a living moth through death and being reborn. In the words of Ted Levine during his character study for the role of Gumb:
To find the character, Levine frequented transvestite bars. “Some of the people there had hormones and augmented stuff, but they all had penises and they’d all get out there and lip-sync to Barbra Streisand and the latest thing,” he recalls. “They were female impersonators and they were wonderful.
“I talked to a lovely, probably 5-foot-1 Hispanic boy-girl and bought him a drink,” he continues. “I asked, ‘Why do you do this?’ He said, ‘When I’m a dude on the street, I’m just a little Puerto Rican motherfucker. When I’m here, I’m a hot Latina mama.’ It struck me that it was about power. He was a pathetic excuse for a man on all kinds of levels. But by trying to become a woman, he gains power, and hence the moth – the larva turning into the butterfly, the whole thing blossoming – it was the same impetus as a female impersonator, but it became psychotic. It was donning the cloak of feminine power.” (source)
There is a scene in Silence of the Lambs when Gumb is putting on his makeup as he “goes through the metamorphosis” into a woman:
Take note of the song playing. This song is called “Goodbye Horses” by a singer named Q Lazzarus, who appeared out of nowhere and then seemed to disappear into nothing. The song is filled with occult imagery, including rune stones laid out in what appears to be something for a ritual:
Note the circle of rune stones at :55. Runes are commonly used in Nordic paganism, with roots that may stretch back to the Turanian basin and Hindu Kush.
The entire concept of “metamorphosis” is that of a sinister, false spirituality that is an attempt to seek and acquire power for one’s own means through a transformation from one state to another, representing a death of the previous self and the assumption of a new identity. It is one form of the same ideas found in African paganism with the nkisi and spirit possession that spread with the slave trade to the Western world and still exists today with practices such as Santeria, Macumbe, and Palo Mayombe. The difference is not in concept or degree of evil, but in the particular cultural context, for what Ham shows and does in the open in full violence to see, Shem and Japheth do the same but in a way that is not immediately obvious but no less sinister or less effective in realizing the exact same ends.
A similar form of occultism is also found in the American music and film industry, where celebrities or musicians claim they “connect” to outside forces in order to “channel” their character into themselves. One of the most famous songs discussing this was The Door’s song “Break On Through To The Other Side,” in which lead singer Jim Morrison, who was described as a “shaman” by his band, was talking about the attempt to “connect” to the supernatural:
In the ancient world, homosexuality was associated with domination and power. It is the reason why armies would sodomize the losing army or prisoners of war, and why human sacrifice often had a homosexual component, such as the Aztecs using a penis-shaped knife to perform their demonic and bloody rituals.
An Aztec sacrificial knife. Note how the blade and handle is meant to represent a person with an erect phallus.
Nothing has changed from the past, except the means and presentation, but maintaining the same philosophy with the same ends as before. Be it “furry fandom,” “pony play,” the legitimization of sodomy, or outright sodomy, there is an unbreakable union between sodomite behavior, occultism, and the pursuit of power at all costs and with respect to none because all are forms of power seeking by all means. Whether one seeks the absolute domination over another in a physical sense, the domination of another by sexual means in a way that is outside of the genitive purpose of sexuality and for selfish reasons, or through attempts to harness those preternatural forces on the other side of the veil that is this world, because they are roads that lead to the same destination it is inevitable that they not just cross, but become but a series of lanes on the same highway leading into hell.
The “furry” phenomenon is not merely a bunch of homosexuals indulging in bizarre animal sex fetishes, in spite of what they say to the contrary. It is a manifestation of the revival of the occult that is a natural growth of the acceptance and legitimization of the LGBT as well as the absolute legal and personal removal of Christian morality and her replacement with the ideas of darwinian naturalism. It is legitimizing the same evils but by a means particular to the current place, time, and cultural context.
This was the world in the days of Noah and in the days of Christ, and just as God came with justice and mercy in the days of Noah, with mercy in Christ, so when Christ returns not as a babe, but as a man he will bring justice to restore that which has been out of array. If times change but man does not, and the lessons of the past are a guide to the future, the rise of Sodom, the collapse of the Faith, and the return to pagan practices in the many forms they espouse are a warning to the wise to prepare yourselves accordingly, for all things must end, and the final decision administered by God, who is Mercy and Justice, will be in accordance with one’s life and works.