What's a Furry? Do You Really Want To Know?



Furries

Furries are fans of dressing up as animals.

Like most baby boomers, I have friends who have no use for computers and see no need to be connected online … whatever that is.

You need to get aboard with this stuff, I tell them, or you are going to be left in the dust.

Not that I am a wiz myself. In fact, some years back when I was undergoing computer training, I had an instructor tell me I was a real Luddite. I took it as a compliment. I thought it was a fancy word for geek.

I was reminded of the myriad of ways a computer makes life more interesting last week when I came across this headline on the Courant's home page

"Portland Library Bans People Dressed As Animals."

This was followed later by a headline that read:

"'Furries' Not Welcome At Portland Library"

What the heck was going on here?

Now, granted, since the repairs to the Arrigoni Bridge began a few years ago, very few outsiders venture into Portland. But still, you would think word might have leaked out that so many residents were now dressing as animals that it was necessary to ban them from the library.

To my great relief I quickly learned this was not the case. Portland residents were not dressing in mass as lions and tigers and bears ... at least in public. What they are doing in the privacy of their own homes …

Anyway, Portland's library board had decided to add animal costumes as being banned by its dress code. The board took the action because young children tend to be trusting of people dressed in costumes and they wanted to head off any potential problems.

While this explained the ban, it still left open the matter of what exactly is a furry?

This is where my Dick-and-Jane level of computer literacy came into play and in a matter of minutes I learned:

Furries, or "anthropomorphist," are people who like to wear animal costumes to which they attach such human characteristics as speech, walking upright and wearing clothes.

The subculture to which furries belong is called furry fandom.

The furry fandom is believed to be 80 percent male.

Contrary to belief, the overriding appeal of furry fandom is not kinky sex.

Bottom line: I now know enough about furries to give me the willies.

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