One Month ’til AnthroCon!

A really well-packed fursuit?
Source

Every year is the first year for someone! AnthroCon is only a month away, and now is a good time to check out Inkblitzer’s excellent “Road to AnthroCon” series:

You might also want to check out When Cons Go Bad: Dealing With a Disappointing Convention, because it happens from time to time.

There are a ton of great furry conventions out there; here at ProudToBeAFurry.org we tend to focus on AnthroCon or Midwest Furfest because they are two of the largest and the ones we tend to get to the most often.

We’ve got more articles on the way, including post-con depression (PCD) and how to get through it, ways to find and make friends at conventions, and more. Stay tuned!

-The Gneech

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”

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

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!”

Road to Anthrocon: Staying Healthy

Con Crud by ReallyReallyBigBang, via DeviantArt
Con Crud by ReallyReallyBigBang, via DeviantArt

“Con crud.” You’ve probably heard of it, and if you’re not careful you’re probably going to get it. People love to share hugs at conventions, but they also love to share their germs too. That door handle you’re going to touch? At  least two hundred other people probably also touched it in the past hour and any ten of them could be sick.

You need to take care of your body while you’re busy having fun. It can get very easy to skip meals, skip showers and even skip sleeping altogether. If you’re not careful, you might end up with a very bad post-con. Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: Staying Healthy”

Road to Anthrocon: What to Expect

The calm before the storm
Source: Anthrocon Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/groups/anthrocon/

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of getting prepared to physically go to a convention, it’s time to mentally prepare ourselves. For some of you this might be the first time that you’re going far away from home. Or it may be the first time in a social setting with many people of varied backgrounds and beliefs. Furries are a vibrant and colorful fandom, and when we get together at conventions we can really let our true selves show. For some that can be a bit overwhelming.

My first convention was a bit of a culture shock, but yours doesn’t have to be. These are just a few of the things that you may see and experience at the convention. None of these are intended to spook you, only to give you a heads-up of what to expect.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: What to Expect”

Photos from FurTheMore 2017

FurTheMore 2017 was the fifth year for this convention, and it’s grown to over 1,000 attendees! Here are some photos from the convention at the Tysons Corner, Virginia, Sheraton.

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