Art Spot: Blending In, by -Lofi

Blending In, by -Lofi
Blending In, by -Lofi, c/o FurAffinity

Love the atmosphere and sense of mystery about this piece. Is this cat infiltrating some secret organization? Hiding from someone? They’ve got a mighty mischievous twinkle in their eye…

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Furry Community Calendar for February 2018

The Newspaper Journalist, by FangzahnBisclavret
The Newspaper Journalist, by FangzahnBisclavret

February Calendar Page

Creative/Literary

Conventions

Got a furry fandom event or deadline coming up soon? Drop us a line via submissions@proudtobeafurry.org with the event, date, location (if applicable), and any other pertinent information, and your event/deadline/whatever will go up on the list of events!

Art Spot: Steamcycle by Leo Magna

Steamcycle by Leo Magna
Steamcycle by Leo Magna

Originally a $10 sketch, this piece has a lot of personal meaning for me, as it inspired Fagin from Arclight Adventures, which led me to write Sky Pirates of Calypsitania, a novel which I love and am still determined to see published, dammit! 😉

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Furry Event Calendar Taking Submissions Now!

Anthrocon 2017 Fursuit Parade Photo, courtesy AnthroCon.org
Anthrocon 2017 Fursuit Parade Photo, courtesy AnthroCon.org

Starting this month, ProudToBeAFurry.org will be hosting a calendar of upcoming events in the furry community, and we would like your input! Conventions, local meets, registration or submission deadlines, whatever it may be, we’re interested! Drop us a line via submissions@proudtobeafurry.org with the event, date, location (if applicable), and any other pertinent information. We’ll also post summaries of upcoming events periodically, to help everyone keep on track.

Let’s have some fun!

-The Gneech

Roar 9 Furry Literature Anthology Submissions Due

Roar Volume 7 Cover, Courtesy of FurPlanet
Roar Volume 7 Cover, Courtesy of FurPlanet

FurPlanet’s ROAR anthology series of general audience furry stories will soon be closing submissions for Volume Nine, with the theme of “Resistance.” As editor Mary Lowd states in the submission call post:

We can be generous in how we interpret “resistance,” but all stories must be furry. That means an anthropomorphic animal figure should be significantly featured in your story — it could be anthropomorphic in body or only intelligence. We’ll consider any type of furry fiction from secret life of animals to fox in Starbucks — as long as it’s excellent. Though, the editor does have a preference for stories where the animal nature of the characters matters — if the reader can’t even remember the species of the characters by the end of the story, then that’s not a good sign.

We are interested in underrepresented voices. If you have personal experience relevant to your story, feel free to mention it in your cover letter. For instance, if your story is about a space unicorn and you are a space unicorn (or a research biologist who studies space unicorns), let us know. We are not interested in stories that involve rape in any way.

Details on the submission process and payment rates can be found at MaryLowd.com.

-The Gneech

Art Spot: Echo the Bat, by Myke Greywolf

Echo the Bat, by Myke Greywolf
Echo the Bat, by Myke Greywolf

Always love seeing the ways furry artists (including fursuit creators) solve anatomical “problems” in art, and bat wings are always a challenge. Clearly Echo here has it well in… hand?

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

“My Furry Identity” by Kyell Gold

Kyell Gold banner
Via KyellGold.com

This article was written by Kyell Gold for his blog. He has been kind enough to let us reprint it. Thanks, fox! ;D

One of my college friends transitioned from male to female a couple years ago. One of the things she told me as she was in the midst of her transition was that when someone called her “she,” it gave her a good feeling, a little thrill. Among the many small and large details she shared of her transition, this one stood out to me, and through it I got a much better feeling of what she was going through.

Transition is a process (loosely speaking, and with the disclaimer that this is my understanding from the words of others) of asserting your external identity to match your internal one. But our external identity is not only defined by us; it’s confirmed and reinforced by the people around us, in intentional and unintentional interactions. We have only a limited amount of control over those interactions, and that feels really untenable. We can tell people what pronouns to use, how to affirm our identity, and so on, but ultimately (as we have seen in countless examples over the last few years), it’s up to those people whether to follow our wishes or not. So any example of someone affirming your new identity, especially unsolicited, feels very good.

The reason this detail stuck out to me is that I could identify with it. I’m not transgender, but that same feeling of having an internal identity somewhat at odds with what is presented to the world, is at the core of many in the furry community.

Let me hasten to say that I don’t mean to compare the experience of coming out as transgender to that of being furry. Transgender people face a great many more challenges; gender identity is so ingrained in our culture that it’s difficult just to get people to consider that someone’s gender identity might be different from the gender they were assigned at birth, and gender plays a role in so many parts of our culture that it’s impossible to avoid. The reason I used this example is that people who are aware of the struggle of being transgender understand the idea and the feeling of someone’s gender identity being affirmed by outside society, and I wanted to use that particular aspect of being trans to highlight something that most outsiders don’t understand about furries.

An outsider’s view of furries, as presented by the media, often focuses on people who dress up in costumes, or the activities in the fandom–artwork, writing, charity. By so doing, they miss the point of what the furry community is about for many of its members. When I was asked to describe the furry fandom to someone outside of it who was curious about it, their first question was, “Why is your avatar that of the animal?” (referring to my Twitter icon, one of many illustrations of my red fox fursona).

I hadn’t thought before that what we consider a basic cornerstone of our fandom could be so mysterious to an outsider. Of *course* we use our fursonas as avatars. That’s how we represent ourselves to others in our community. But it’s deeper than that: that’s how we represent ourselves to ourselves.

For some people, I think, choosing an avatar upon entering the fandom is a little like picking teams in laser tag: you run for whatever color your friends are. But for many of us, the species of our fursona matters deeply. Animals are imbued with a good deal of meaning through our culture, from Aesop’s Fables through Le Roman de Renard and countless Disney movies, and most people know a few basic facts about a lot of animals. It’s not hard to find an animal you identify with; even people outside the fandom can come up with an answer if asked, “What kind of animal would you be?” (Try it. You’ll get some amusing answers.)

In fact, I use that question to explain the furry fandom to outsiders sometimes. I’ll ask them, wait for the answer, and then tell them, “Furries are just people who have thought about that question a lot.”

We think about that and we share those thoughts with each other. And here maybe you’ll see what we have in common with my friend from the beginning of this post. I think that if I were an animal, I’d be a fox. There are a number of reasons for that: as a kid, I was never physically adept, but I got by on my wits–these are cultural stereotypes of foxes. I’ve been uprooted and uprooted myself a bunch of times, and always adapted to new surroundings–and the red fox is the most adaptable of carnivores, successful on multiple continents. Foxes in mythology are crafty but often not malicious, an ethos I identify with.

I'm a fox!

So this image of myself as a fox isn’t just picking a mascot for my life. It’s tied up in how I view myself as a person and how I want to be viewed by others. And when my friends and other furries say, “Hey, fox,” to me, I get that little thrill of affirmation that other people recognize the identity I’ve chosen and acknowledge it.

Several of my friends have told me privately that they feel the same way. I once made an impression on a friend who is a husky by telling her, “You *are* a husky,” so much so that she wrote about that small moment in her recap of the convention. And this, I think, is the part of the furry fandom that so many in the media miss, that so many outsiders don’t see. We don’t pick our animal avatars just for fun; we don’t wear expensive costumes because we like dressing up. We wear badges at conventions with illustrations of our fursonas or characters we relate to; we get costumes made of them; all of this is so that we can represent to the world this internal identity that is so important to us. Why it’s important is a whole other matter, maybe as impenetrable to outsiders as an unfamiliar gender identity or cultural identity. But the why shouldn’t matter as much as the fact that it *is* important.

Happy Holiday Season from ProudToBeAFurry.org!

[MD] Winter by Wildering on DeviantArt
[MD] Winter by Wildering on DeviantArt

Alas, your ever-loving blue-eyed Editor-in-Chief (that’s me) got pummeled by life changes this month– new house, new job, and of course Midwest Furfest, so posts have been a bit sparse here.

But let’s talk about Furfest 2017, shall we? It was huge this year! From Kodi’s summary post:

In 2017 we had a little over 7,000 attendees on-site, and we were incredibly humbled to see over 8,700 folks attend this year’s event from the United States, Canada and all over the world to help make this year’s event very special.

For those at the closing ceremonies, it was pretty obvious that our executive team on stage (myself included) had a hard time keeping ourselves composed. With so many additional investments in new things like the convention center, and in building a solid ‘back-office’ foundation for the organization, we weren’t sure how much we would be able to donate to our charity.

But that didn’t matter, because our community shined very bright, and demonstrated again to the world that while we may be silly and creative, we are also spectacularly generous.

During closing ceremonies alone, the audience rushed up to donate over $12,500 – providing a total donation of $85,000 to C.R.I.S.P. The funds will be used by the charity to help people all over the Chicagoland area help keep their animals; offsetting financial challenges due to illness, injury or other situations that could otherwise cause an animal to be sent to a shelter or euthanized.

Of course, AnthroCon will probably leap-frog over MFF in attendance this coming summer– that’s how these things go– but either way it’s amazing to see furry fans coming out in such numbers to do such amazing things at a time when so many people are stressed and doing their best to cope. I was at the closing ceremonies myself, and I can report first hand that there was a lot of love and the best of humanity in that room.

Rock on, furries. 2018 is going to be amazing!

-The Gneech

Seeya Next Year, Orange by Kenket

'Seeya next year, orange.' by Kenket
‘Seeya next year, orange.’ by Kenket

What is there to say here that isn’t obvious just from looking at the picture?

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.