A furry is a person who is interested in or creates fictional anthropomorphic animal characters who have human traits. This group of people make up the furry fandom. Furry characters (called fursonas, especially when referring to someone's personal furry characters) can walk on two legs or talk. Another word for a "furry character" is an anthropomorphic character, which means a character which has some human features.
Many different stories have furry characters. Fairy tales and mythology often have animal characters who talk or do other human things. Books, comics, children's books, video games, and toys can have furry characters too. Some of the most popular cartoon characters are furries: Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Disney's Robin Hood, and Scooby-Doo.
Sometimes, people draw porn of furry characters to fit their sexual interests. Quite a few people believe this represents a large part of the furry fandom, and it gains significant news attention.
Furry traits[change | change source]
To be a furry character, an animal needs to look or act like a human in some way. Here are some of the ways:
- Showing their feelings like humans do, by smiling and frowning
- Walking on two legs
- Wearing clothes
- Living in houses or working at jobs
It's also important to say here that there's also "feral" sections of the fandom. They focus more on the animal aspects of the character, and most feral furry characters don't talk or do many human activities.
Not all of these features have to be on a furry character for it to be a furry character. Some furry characters can be thought of as "fursonas" without walking on their hind legs or having jobs.
A character does not need to have fur to be a furry. A lizard or bird character that has these features could also be a furry, although they may also be called a "scalie" or an "avian".
Furry characters in art[change | change source]
Humans are good at reading human body language, but less good at reading animal body language. Art showing animals smiling or frowning like humans makes it easier for humans to know how the character is feeling.
Because humans have been around animals for a long time, humans expect certain animals to act certain ways. Art that gives humans animal traits tells people what to expect from those characters. For example, many cultures see foxes as clever, so many people will assume a fox furry character is clever.
Fairy tales and mythology[change | change source]
For thousands of years, people have told stories and made art with furry characters. Egyptian mythology has many gods who are part animal and part human. Roman mythology has a story about a minotaur, which is part bull and part human. The werewolf of European mythology is part wolf and part human.
Cartoons and video games[change | change source]
Many cartoons have furry characters. Examples include:
Many video games also have furry characters. A few examples:
Furry fandom[change | change source]
In the modern day, people from all around the world make up the furry fandom. Many of them meet and talk to each other the Internet, but they also meet in real life. Furry websites like FurAffinity and DeviantArt let people share pictures, stories, music, games, and animations that have furry characters.
Fursonas and role-play[change | change source]
Furries often make up a "fursona", or anthropomorphic animal character to represent themselves in the fandom. Often, but not always, the fursona's species is that person's favorite animal. These people sometimes talk to each other role playing as their fursonas. Role-playing isn't exclusive to furries, but it is a big part of the community. These role-plays usually happen over instant messaging or forums, but sometimes happen in real life.
Furry conventions[change | change source]
Furries sometimes meet at conventions to talk about their favorite characters, buy art, make friends, and show off their fursuits. These meetings may also have music, dancing, and parties. Conventions are usually held in large hotels, so there is enough room for hundreds or even thousands of people.
The largest furry conventions are Anthrocon, Midwest FurFest, Further Confusion, RainFurrest, Furry Weekend Atlanta, and Eurofurence. Many others happen all around the world each year.
Fursuits and other costumes[change | change source]
Some furries dress up in "fursuits", which are cosplay costumes that look like ones fursona. Fake fur is used to make these costumes, so they can be many different colors. Some fursuits look very much like real animals; other fursuits look like cartoon characters or legendary creatures.
A person who wears a fursuit is called a fursuiter. Fursuits may cover the person's whole body, or just part of it. A fursuit that covers the whole body is called a "full suit." A suit that covers only part of the body (usually the head, arms, and feet, plus a tail) is called a "partial suit" or "partial." With a partial suit, the rest of the body is covered with clothes to hide the person inside.
Fursuits are almost always one-of-a-kind. This is because they are often based off of a person's fursona. Some are made by the person who will wear them, others are made by other people who make them for money.
People usually wear fursuits for fun. Sometimes people feel less shy in a fursuit because no one can see who they are. This can make them feel more comfortable dancing, playing, hugging, meeting people, or being silly. People may also wear fursuits to be a mascot for a charity or event, usually one related to animals.
Slang in the furry fandom[change | change source]
Like many groups, the furry fandom has its own slang. "Murr" is a word used to show you like something or find it attractive sexually. "Scritching" is gentle scratching; in the furry fandom, this is a way to show you like someone, like hugging. "Yiff" is a slang word for sex, and comes from the sound a fox makes during sex. A "fursuit" is a cosplay costume that looks like a furry character, or "fursona". A fursona is an anthropomorphic animal character someone makes up for themselves. The word “snoot” is slang for snout. Furries often "boop" snoots; this means gently pushing or tapping a fursuiter or furry's nose, usually done as part of roleplay, as a greeting, or for fun. The word "beans" refers to the paw pads of an animal, fursona, or fursuiter. "Poodling" is a word used to describe someone showing their skin during partial suiting. A lot of "graymuzzles", or older furries are against poodling because it "breaks the magic". Breaking the magic means to get out of character while fursuiting.
Sexuality[change | change source]
Only around 20-30% of furries identify as heterosexual. 28.8% of furries identify as homosexual, 23.4% identify as bisexual, 16.5% identify as pansexual, and 10.5% identify as Asexual. The rest either don't know (5.8%) or identify as something else (4.9%). Around 3.2% of people in furry fandom admit to being sexually attracted to animals, or zoophiles.