Liberty, equality, and kinship of furs.
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By Grisli Aklark
When I first let it be known that I wanted to start this project, The Furry Post, I was met with some naysaying based on the fact that I haven’t been around on the scene for as long as some had. I was told that I couldn’t represent certain interests, because I wasn’t of a certain gender identity, a certain sexual orientation, or a certain age. I think that’s a load of bull.
Furries do not always need to assume fursonas. Furries do not have to like art. Furries don’t have to engage in sexual contact with other furries. Furries don’t have to go to conventions, furries don’t have to wear fursuits, and furries don’t have to wish they were animals.
The first furries, our forefathers, wore no suits and assumed no fursonas. They were simply interested in anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels, and they got along just fine. I think every one of us needs to take a step back and think about that.
We, as furries, need to recognize that every person has the right to be what they want to be and do what they want to do.
Us, the community, should be accepting and willing to guide them, if they seek help. We should not, under any circumstance, tell them not to do something simply because it doesn’t fit with the general furry paradigm.
A new fur is a precious gift. We should treat it as such. We are already looked down upon by many facets of general society. We should do what we can to be as open and transparent as possible in order to dispel myths and end the disgust that many people hold over furries.
All furs are created equal. Male, female, intersexual, hermaphrodite, transgender, none of the above or other – what does it matter? Why, of all things to judge another furry about, would so many people pick gender?
It needs to be perfectly clear that we not only tolerate, but accept every type of gender identification. The same goes for sexual orientation and a whole host of other factors. Judging a person (or a person’s fursona) based on one of these factors is closed-minded and childish.
Furs have come a long way in accepting different types of fursonas, but we still also need to work on our acceptance of those who choose not to assume fursonas. There are many, many people out there that love anthropomorphic characters to obsessive levels, but won’t involve themselves with the fandom because they don’t care to live that lifestyle.
If we open our doors and our hearts to everyone, we will find open hearts in return.
The idea of kinship and brotherhood in the furry fandom is the most difficult for some people to grasp. We should accept and love each other way more than we currently do.
Too often, the first interaction between two furs is cold, judgmental – it’s a time to size up somebody.
I did this for a while. I find it especially common among those furs who assume the fursona of an aggressive or violent character. This needs to stop.
We are a small enough fandom as it is. Alienating people right from the get-go can scare off precious new furs. It almost happened to me. I almost caused it a few times.
We should love one another and leave the real-life drama at the door. We are a community of individuals; every one with a real life and real problems and real opinions on a host of subjects. These should remain in check while we make art, while we role-play online, and while we hang out at conventions.
We are a brotherhood, in the most open sense of the word. We should each be happy when we meet a stranger who is also a furry. If you meet a new fur, that person is already your brother. Keep that in mind before you pass judgment.
This fandom is ill. We are divided easily by trivial issues and enormous events. Many furs suffer from the viral tendency to look upon the negative before the positive. We need to stop and reevaluate our decisions.
Occasionally, one of our brothers or sisters might do something reprehensible, disgusting – criminal, even. This statement will be controversial, but it’s not our place to judge. It’s certainly not worth leaving the fandom over. Too often, today, furries react not only to the action of a person, but to the actions (and non-actions) of those around them to that original event.
Love is the root of this fandom. We’re not a political party. We’re not an activist organization. We’re a fandom. If you’re going to stand on a soapbox, take off your fursuit first. Let’s keep this a positive, love-centered fandom.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.
Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.