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FutureStarrWhat Is a Furryor
The term “Furry” has been used to describe a gamer or fan of a particular game, book or show. But a new breed has emerged. Gamers, cosplayers and enthusiasts of animal culture and animal politics are connecting to one another through social media like Instagram and Tumblr. They’re creating a new culture with new ideas and new possibilities.
Convention attendees were a bit older (24 to 27.1) on average than online furries (23 to 25.6) but in both cases the group skews quite young. Perhaps reflecting that, only 3.8 percent of furries have one or more children, according to survey evidence. Furries don't make significantly more or less money than the general US public and tend to be significantly more left-leaning politically. And they're much likelier than the public at large to report a non-straight sexual orientation, with well under 30 percent reporting exclusive heterosexuality.
The phrases furry lifestyle and furry lifestyler first appeared in July 1996 on the newsgroup alt.fan.furry during an ongoing dispute within that online community. The Usenet newsgroup alt.lifestyle.furry was created to accommodate discussion beyond furry art and literature, and to resolve disputes concerning what should or should not be associated with the fandom; its members quickly adopted the term furry lifestylers, and still consider the fandom and the lifestyle to be separate social entities. They have defined and adopted an alternative meaning of the word furry specific to this group: "a person with an important emotional/spiritual connection with an animal or animals, real, fictional, or symbolic." (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Although the adjective furry dates to the late 1600s with the meaning "consisting of fur," the derivative noun didn't take root in the English language until about the 1940s as the name for a fur-bearing animal (e.g., a bunny). A few decades later, the noun underwent a peculiar development in meaning. First, it began being applied as the name for a non-furry human who is a fan of furry animal characters—such as those featured in comics, cartoons, and games—that are humanlike in appearance and behavior. Furry then was used to designate a person who dresses up in a costume resembling such a character as well as an online user identified by an image of an anthropomorphic animal. These senses of furry are, perhaps, surprising to those unfamiliar with the community of furries that began to coalesce in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s, and into the 21st century. We're working on defining them. In the meantime, we'd like to enlighten the uninitiated.
Adult interest in anthropomorphic animal characters isn't as unusual as one might think—actually, it goes back to childhood. Children have been entertained by humanlike animals for generations. A few standout examples are the decades of animated cartoons and movies produced by Walt Disney and Warner Brothers, classic animal stories like Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and video games like Sonic the Hedgehog. Perhaps you enjoyed these diversions while eating a bowl of cereal promoted by a talking "silly rabbit" or a tiger named Tony. The fact is people from an early age have always been amused by anthropomorphic animals and evidently for furries the fascination with them burns strong beyond childhood. (Source: www.merriam-webster.com)