Furries are individuals who share a strong interest in anthropomorphic animals, to the point where it becomes a part of their life, and can affect how they view themselves and others. Furries' interest in anthropomorphic animals is typically shown through making characters and stories based around them, dressing up and behaving as said characters, making drawings of themselves as these animals, and similar. Furries sometimes include the brony community, however the two are largely separate.
While being a furry is not inherently LGBTQ+, much of the furry community is on the queer spectrum, and may even have identities relating their furry identity to their queer identities. It is discovered that heterosexuality is a minority amongst the community, with only around 28% identifying as straight, and 72% identifying as gay, m-spec, or otherwise queer.
A recommended video to watch in order to better understand the furry community as a whole is linked here. It includes the voices of many furries, and they touch on their experiences with the community, society, and some even speak on the childhood experience of noticing anthropomorphic animals in media.
A fursona is a term used to describe an alter ego or character created by furries. Furries will often create characters to represent themself, or to represent an identity they wish to portray in the furry community. Fursonas are often drawn, painted, or otherwise illustrated and giving backstories, likes, dislikes, and similar to them.
Furries will often roleplay as their fursonas over the internet, sometimes even going as far as to roleplay as them in real life (ie; buying fursuits that appear as their fursonas, meeting at conventions with other furries and acting out their fursona, etc.)
There is no limit to how many fursonas one may have, as many furries choose to create multiple fursonas.
While furry is typically associated with anthropomorphic mammals, there are fursonas that do not have fur and/or are not mammals, and some furrsonas aren't even earthly beings, and can be based on myths, legends, other-worlds, etc.
- Taurs: fursonas that have an anthropomorphic top-half and a non-anthropomorphic bottom half, similar to a centaur except both halves are some form of non-human.
- Avians/Featheries: fursonas that are a species of bird (fictional or not) in anthropomorphic form.
- Cetaceans: in the context of furries, cetaceans are fursonas based upon aquatic animals, typically dolphins, whales, and sharks.
- Scalies/Herps: fursonas that are of the reptilians or amphibious type, typically referring to dragons and mythical reptiles.
- Sparklefurries: fursonas that consist of multiple bright and vibrant colors.
- Furrsuits/Fursuits: suits that are made to appear as anthropomorphic animals, typically to be worn by furries at home or in conventions (usually appearing near-identical to one of their fursonas.) Only an estimated 13% of furries have furrsuits.
- Anthros: furrsonas that behave in a human-like fashion, often being portrayed as living in fictional societies as humans would.
- Ferals: furrsonas that behave in a non-human (and often wild) fashion, while still being anthropomorphic. This can also sometimes refer to animals with a non-anthropomorphic physical form combined with human-like behavior (examples: talking, human-like personalities, or human-like relationships).
Alterhumans vs Furries
While furries do not all identify as non-human, studies show that 1 in 3 furries identify as alterhuman (usually as therian) making a large amount of the community on the alterhuman spectrum. Out of these non-human identifying furries, 8-14% report feeling physically non-human, while 38-53% report feeling spiritually or mentally non-human.
While 1 in every 3 furries identify as non-human, a non-human identification is not a requirement in being a furry, as being a furry is defined as taking a strong interest in anthropomorphic animals, not in how one identifies themselves in terms of species.
Sexual furries are furries that participate in sexual acts that overlap with their furry identification. When the furry fandom first begun, the fandom was a space made up of adults, many of which took place in sexual activity. Although this changed overtime, and the furry fandom now includes individuals of many ages and sexual preferences, there are still furries who take part in sexual activities (such as adult furrcons.)
While it should be acknowledged that sexualizing all furries is not okay, it should not be ignored that furries can be sexual, and that there is nothing wrong with that.
Some terms for sexual furries include the following:
- Murrsuit: a furry costume constructed for sexual purposes (as regular fursuits can be hard to function in.)
- Yiff: a term for when two or more furries are participating in something sexual with one another.
- Murr: a term similar to a purr, but with implications of sexual interest.
While sexual furries are fairly common in NSFW spaces, and are involved in the community, they are not what makes the furry community as a whole, and it should not be assumed that all furries are sexual in nature.
There are many misconceptions amongst media when it comes to furries, especially sexual furries. Listed below are some of the many misconceptions.
It is a common misconception that being attracted to fursuits, furries, fursonas, and similar makes an individual zoophillic. This is not really the case, as a majority of the furry community does not experience zoophillic attraction. Zoophillia implies attraction to animals (which are unable to consent;) being attracted to furries, however, does not imply that, as the majority of furries/fursonas are able to consent.
Another common misconception is that furries are simply creating fursonas and suits in order to please a fetish. While this is the case for some furries, it should not be assumed that all furries join the community for this, as many join the community for non-sexual reasons.
Some furries find that their queer identities are connected or effected by their furry identity. Some examples of this are listed below.
- Furrinic: a furry that only experiences attraction to and/or only wishes to date other furries.
- Furrygender: a gender that is connected to ones furry identity.
- Sparklefurgender: a gender that is connected to sparklefurries, colorful animals, rainbows, and internet nostalgia.
The furry community is said to have originated at a science fiction convention in 1980, when a drawing of a character from Steve Gallacci’s Albedo Anthropomorphics initiated a discussion of anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels, which initiated a discussion group that met at science fiction and comics conventions. Despite this, many fans consider the beginning of the furry community to be much earlier, using older examples of anthropomorphic animals within cartoons as evidence of this.
During the 1980s, the increasing number of self-professed furry fans began to publish fanzines, developed a diverse social group, and eventually began to schedule social gatherings. By 1987, there was sufficient interest to stage the first furry convention.
As the internet grew accessible, there arrived more means for furries to socialize, and thus they gained higher visibility and began to grow rapidly. Many members of furry community have cited the historical usage of anthropomorphic animals in world mythology as an inspiration (including Egyptian, Greek, Japanese and Native American traditions.) Aesop's Fables is also commonly cited on lists of furry resources.
The first furry flag was coined by Reddit user u/FakeFrysk on August 13th of 2018. It has no confirmed meaning.
The second furry flag was coined by Reddit user u/AtomicFurry76 on March 16th of 2019. Blue is for loyalty and pride, white is for purity and safety within the community, and yellow is for positivity that emanates from the community.
The third furry flag was coined by Tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags on August 17th of 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The LGBTQ+ furry flag was coined by Twitter user @FursonaPins. It takes after the harmony/community flag, and is specifically supposed to be trans and POC inclusive, while being dedicated to queer furries.