Furry Fandom Addresses Bullying Incident

Tiger fursuit

Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno, Nevada was almost ruined for one young furry this weekend, but convention staff and the community came together to make sure she was welcomed and supported.

As reported by the victim’s mother, a 10-year old tiger named Emma was waiting for a group photo shoot in her costume when one or two adults in mouse fursuits (accounts vary) started bullying her. She was upset and left BLFC in tears with her mother, saying she never wanted to be a furry and didn’t want to ever return to the convention.

Tweet trying to stop the misinformation about the mouse fursuiters
Tweet trying to stop the misinformation about the mouse fursuiters

The matter was reported to BLFC staff, who responded by pulling the badge of an attendee identified in the incident. Word of the event spread rapidly via social media, which also led to other attendees in mouse fursuits being mistakenly connected to the incident. BLFC tweeted on Sunday: “In regards to the situation with several attendees having harassed a minor, all parties have been properly dealt with. We ask that ALL attendees be respectful towards one another and to report any bad behavior to staff immediate[ly]. Thank you.”

Standing proud with Emma Tiger

Several people at the convention sent encouraging messages to the young tiger and convinced her to return to the convention the following day. They staged another photo shoot so she could be included, and she has received many messages of welcome and support and pieces of artwork.

The matter appears to have been resolved to the family’s satisfaction. Emma’s mother posted on Twitter:

The situation has been handled thanks to @BiggestLittleFC, FLARE, and the wonderful community, the situation has been settled. The individual has had their badge pulled after a positive ID by Emma.

Again, Thank you so much everyone. To see this much support is truly overwhelming as my BF and I just wanted Emma to have a good time and be a part of the fandom that she loves. My BF was the one that asked for help Friday night, and he was just hoping to make a small video … to try and show Emma that the there were more people in the community that are good loving people than one bully and that she shouldn’t let the actions of one person stop her from what she truly loves. …

We were honestly just so blown away and overwhelmed that even trying to write this I am still in a daze of confusion and confusing emotions. We truly appreciate everything everyone has done to make my daughter smile again. When she got up Sat morning and wanted to return with us to BLFC, and to wear her tail and tiger hat with a smile, we were overjoyed just to see her smile when we came back today and started having fun like nothing had happened.

We love this community and to see let alone receive so much love and support from the community… just.. Thank you, thank you all so very much. Never change, keep loving and caring.

When Cons Go Bad: Dealing with a Disappointing Convention

At least your convention will never be as disappointing as Dashcon.

When you’ve gone to enough conventions, you’re bound to have an experience that just doesn’t live up to the hype. Maybe you don’t know anyone or no one is asking for commissions. Then to make matters worse, everyone around you is gushing about the ‘GREATEST CON EVAR’ while you’re sitting alone drowning your sorrows in a cold pizza from the cafe. It’s the sad reality, and sometimes can’t be helped. But often it can!

We here at ProudToBeAFurry.org prefer to look on the bright side of things, but sometimes looking for the positive first involves dealing with the negative. So over  a few articles, we will be going over conventions that can go bad– not just attending, but also disappointing experiences that artists and dealers might have. But we’ll also tell you how to avoid them, and what you can do to improve your con-going experience!

Continue reading “When Cons Go Bad: Dealing with a Disappointing Convention”

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!

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

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

Editorial: The Elephant in the Fandom

NOTE: This post is going to talk about politics. Even if we like to talk about fictional animals, furries are still human beings, and politics is at its heart how humans relate. “I don’t care/want to talk about politics!” is itself a statement of privilege– because that means you are in a position where you don’t need to care– and therefore paradoxical as it may sound that is still a political stance.

It has taken me a long time to write this post, for a variety of reasons, but more than anything else, it has been this post that caused proudtobeafurry.org to go quiet for so long after AnthroCon. As Editor-In-Chief I didn’t feel like I could in good conscience just keep putting up fluffy posts without addressing the issue, but I also had to work out just what it was I wanted to say.

2016 and 2017 have been a rough year in the United States. Our elections were manipulated, all the worst elements of our society were empowered or even exalted, and it has been a near-daily deluge of horribleness ever since. The “alt-right,” which is an over-polite term for a massive knot of fascists, racists, homophobes, and misogynists, have come out from under their rocks and are now waving flags and running people down in the street.

Not going to lie. The situation is bad. Vocal chunks of America are trying their hardest to recreate 1930s Germany, for reasons that range from misguided to downright delusional. The good news is that even larger chunks of America are fighting back– and we have the historical example to realize what we’re up against. The alt-right will go down and go down hard, eventually: the inevitable end for the whole mentality is self-destruction. But the rest of us are still going to have a big mess to clean up by the time it’s all over.

Where does furry fit in to all of this? Well, furry is a geek-heavy subculture, and geek-heavy subcultures are being deliberately targeted for infiltration and subversion. The phenomenon has been widely reported, and Dogpatch Press has done a very good job of breaking it down in particular reference to the furry fandom.

So now we have these people calling themselves “alt-furry.” FFS.

These people have been around, of course. Back in the ’90s when I was hanging out in alt.fan.furry/alt.lifestyle.furry they were around. They were generally spurned or at least ignored, for reasons ranging from The Geek Social Fallacies to a more basic “Ain’t got time for your crap.” But in 2016 and 2017, just as the alt-right was crapping all over American society, these people started crapping all over the furry fandom.

The avowed policy of proudtobeafurry.org is that we celebrate what we like, instead of complaining about what we don’t. But as much as we wish to highlight that which is good, it would be hypocritical to ignore that this conflict is going on around us. We are here to talk about what is awesome in the furry fandom, and that includes Inclusion, Creativity, Positivity, Tolerance, and Love– but that also means we stand in direct opposition to “alt-furry” and everything associated with it.

“It’s just a joke!” and similar rationalizations also get no pass from us. “Pretending to be a jerk” is inherently a jerkish thing to do. Pretending to advocate genocide “for the lulz” is no better than actually advocating genocide. Trolling by its nature makes people unhappy and is a mean-spirited behavior.

We are proud to be furries, and we oppose anyone who would bring the fandom down. Fascists and bigots of any variety are not welcome here until you discard those poisonous views and behaviors– and even then you will have to work to regain the fandom’s trust.

-The Gneech

Road to Anthrocon: Interacting with Fursuiters

Suiting Up, by tiger_tomWhen many people think of furry conventions, they think of fursuits with their flashy colors, animal faces, and lots and lots of fur! Whether toony or realistic, fursuits are the most noticeable and vibrant aspects of furry conventions. They are walking, talking (or squeaking) art, most of which costs upwards of thousands of dollars. Plus, they’re downright adorable.

But it’s not all fun and games for fursuiters. Between the heat of all the fake fur, poor vision and walking around wearing basically clown shoes for feet, things can quickly go bad for them. This is why it’s up to us non-suiters to be aware of fursuiters and know how to act around them. Here are just a few tips to help you get ahead in interacting with fursuiters.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: Interacting with Fursuiters”

Road to Anthrocon: What to Pack!

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/110466270@N03/11184804426

When it comes to packing for conventions there are usually two mindsets: the people who started packing two months ago and the people who start packing two hours before their flight. With only weeks before the convention, no matter which you are it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to take with you.

Some of these are going to be basics that you should take for any long term trip away from home; others convention specific items. Since this is a furry blog, there will be some furry specific items that you should consider taking as well.

And I don’t mean the cat. Take the cat out of the luggage.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: What to Pack!”

Road to Anthrocon: What to do!

Source: Anthrocon 2016 Opening and Closing Ceremonies Highlights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIQin-0itlY)

Anthrocon’s panel and events schedule has been released, so what better time to start thinking about what you’ll be doing at conventions. Some people come to conventions just to hang with friends, but for most of us there are a lot of panels and other events to do and see. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially when there are multiple events that you want to be at happening at the same time. Time travel is not permitted at conventions, so you’ll need to learn how to schedule yourself.

Even if you aren’t going to Anthrocon, check out the online event schedule for reference. There will be a quiz later.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: What to do!”