True Story: I’m A Furry

An interview with a Furry who shares the why and how behind this often misunderstood hobby. Super interesting! >> yesandyes.org
This is the story of Jakob and his furry hobby.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Jakob, I’m 22 years old and I’m a trained multimedia designer. I’m from Aarhus, Denmark but I’m planning a move to Copenhagen, the capital. I currently work freelance, as much as possible, to get some experience in my field, as I’m newly graduated. And – more importantly, for this – I’m a Furry.
For those of us who don’t know, what is a furry?
A furry is a very wide-ranging concept. But at it’s core, a furry is an anthropomorphic animal, meaning it’s an animal with human characteristics.
A common example is Bugs Bunny – A rabbit who walks upright like a human, talks and thinks like one. In its essence, a furry is such a character. In the furry fandom, a ‘furry’ is more commonly used to describe the people in the fandom or their, so-called, Fursonas.
A fursona is the persona that most fans create to represent them, in the furry fandom. It is a character that we familiarize and identify ourselves with. There’s really no rules to the creation of a fursona and there’s a whole range of people doing it in new, exciting and interesting ways.
What are the biggest misconceptions about furries?

One of the biggest misconceptions hail from an episode of CSI, where the detectives visit, what is apparently, a sex-club for furries. The episode portrays furries as people having sex in animal costumes. A sex-cult, if you will. I will not deny that there’s a pornographic or even sexual side to the furry fandom, because there is, to some people. But it is a minor part of a much larger spectrum.

There’s porn of characters from Star Trek, Star Wars and Twilight as well – Pornographic material is a normal bi-product of any fandom. But the rumor of furries being all about sex, is surprisingly well-cemented, which annoys a great part of us. We want to show all the really positive and social sides of our fandom as well.

When did you first become interested in furry-related stuff?

I think it started, for me, when I started snooping around the site DeviantArt.com, back when I was some 15-16 years old. I noticed people making furry artwork there, started following these artists and even began liking several of the characters that was created.

For a long time, I didn’t know there was more to the fandom, than the artwork I found on the internet. Eventually I began role playing with friends I got on the internet and got to know some actual furs. I still expected there’d be no fandom to speak of, in a small country like Denmark.

But an American friend of mine told me to check LiveJournal for danish Furries, and lo and behold – There was one. She told me about the danish furry forum and from that day on, I was a full-fledged furry.

Do you have a particular character or animal you feel connected to?

My main fursona is a white ferret, named Khain. I picked the ferret for my fursona as I feel I have a lot in common with the ferret – bouncy, playful, a trickster, silly and always picking for the center of attention. Apart from that, I really love ferrets and I really want a pet ferret, some day.

People create fursonas for all sorts of reasons and there’s no “right” way to do it. You can create a fursona solely based on the fact that you like that particular animal or you can base it on some deeply buried feelings or experiences.

What do you actually do when you’re doing furry stuff?

Usually, at meetups – called furmeets – we simply hang out, talk, look at art or go to a café for a cup of coffee. The more distinct activity we do, is called a Fur-walk. We dress up in costumes of furry characters, called fursuits, and go for a walk in the public.

We do this because it’s one of the most rewarding activities I know of – People get so happy when they see a big, fluffy dog or cat come waltzing down the street. Kids run up to get a hug, people take pictures, there’s laughing and good times! I’d recommend it for everyone, but a lot think it’s odd to dress up as an animal.

Then there’s the conventions, around the world. Usually each is held once a year and there’s furry conventions all the way around the globe. Here, artist, fursuiters, writers and just general fans meet to share several days, in the sign of furrydom. There’s art auctions, dance-parties, theatre, comedians and pretty much anything that’s fun or interesting.

How have your friends and family reacted to your involvement in the furry community?

Very positively, actually! My parents, at first, was worried that it was some crazy sex-stuff I had joined, but once I explained my interest and what it entailed, they readily accepted it.

I don’t say they fully understand, but they accept it. As for friends? Well, they mostly think I’m a nut-case. But a nice, friendly, huggable nut-case. Usually people accept me being a furry, once I explain what it is to me. Some people think it’s a religion, some think it’s a life-style. And it is to a select few Furries – but to me, it’s more of a hobby. A constant, life-changing hobby.

What does furry-dom bring to your life?

It brings a sanctuary from the daily life. For instance, when I put on my fursuit and go out to meet people, I forget any problems I may have and I fully commit to the here and now.

My character allows me to explore new sides of myself, removes any anxiety for acting in a public area (since acting is basically what we do) and just lets me have a good time. Apart from that, it’s brought a plethora of friends into my life, that I wouldn’t want to be without, today.

Thanks so much for sharing, Jakob!  Do you guys have any (respectful!) questions?  Are any of you into furry stuff?

photos by wikipedia and Karl Xydexx Jorgensen // cc

30 Comments

Sarah @ Marvelous-Darling

My city hosts one of the biggest furry conventions, and it's always exciting to see the fursuits! I love the craftsmanship that goes into them – you can see some really amazing work. Great interview!

Reply
Anonymous

yeah, whatever a persons beliefs might be about the furry-dom, the amount of dedication that goes into those suits is undeniable :p

Reply
Mel

Oh my goodness, I've never heard of this before but it sounds so interesting! I think it's awesome….and honestly…If you'd come walking across the street as that big white fluffy guy….I would probably start squeeling…hug you and wouldn't let go forever 😉 how can somebody not get happy? totally awesome.

Reply
Jakob Vestergaard

You'd be quite welcome to hugging – It's what I'd be there for! 😀

Well, there's short-sighted people out there, sadly. Good thing fursuiting in itself is enough to make one ignore those people. 😀

Reply
Anonymous

I really like your comment "to me it's more like a hobby" – I totally understand where you are coming from! People have all sorts of different hobbies and as yours doesn't do any harm to anybody then I say well done you, go for it! Also – that Furry suit looks really warm and cosy.

Reply
Anonymous

From what I've heard, it -is- really warm and cosy. But imagine wearing that thing in the summer. -.- That gives me the impression that he really commits to (and loves) his hobby. =)

Reply
Jakob Vestergaard

It's warm, but not really cozy. During summer, it's pretty important to keep hydrated, unless you want to end up a shriveled mummy. I wear a balaclava under the head, to protect the head from sweat. 🙂

Reply
Jakob Vestergaard

I'm so happy seeing this up! I really hope I did the fandom justice with my answers. I tried bringing out the best! 🙂

And yes – I'm the one in the interview. 😛

Reply
Alisha

This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing your story, Jakob. And thanks, Sarah of coming up with such interesting interviews!

Reply
Vanessa

Thanks so much for sharing this! I regularly attend pop culture conventions, and I'd seen furries at these events. I never quite understood what the Furry culture was all about and I was kinda curious. This was such an interesting read.

Reply
Jess

I'm definitely a furry, no doubt in my mind, especially after reading this great interview. I'm at my happiest wearing my fox ears & tail, brown-red with blue tips. I love the word fursona, think I'll start developing mine.

Reply
Anonymous

Its really interesting but in poland and countries in Europe this sub-culture isn't accepted by many peoples, maybe only a thousand is a furryes(sorry i have only 16 years and i don't know English well 🙂 and i dont knew how to write it XD) and many peoples say that's wrong to dress like animals bcs they think of it as a sexual context 🙁 but 40-20 years old peoples think its funny to do it but they won't dress like that 😉 so there is a question for jackob, do You meet some furries from poland? please reply as fast as u can 🙂 o and i will be glad to mail with you to now more about furry fandom , my mail is : kacpermailpro@gmail.com

Reply
Anonymous

This is coming from a fellow furry, I am so glad there's another good furry interview out there that I could direct say, my parents or grandparents to. Thank you so much!

Reply
Johnathan

I’m making my first ever fursuit for a cosplay, and was looking for other hobby fursuiters just to make sure I wasn’t getting in over my head and your interview here calmed all my worries! Thanks for sharing!

Reply
Anonymous

help, i’m convinced i want to be an animal like to get belly rubs,i wear ears and a tail, sleep like a cat and just want to be an animal but my friends just think i’m a furry what do i do

by the way i don’t really know what a furry is sooo

Reply
Anonymous

Trying to define exactly what a furry is – and what we do, is like defining other subcultures, such as “steampunk” and “gamers” – thousands of individuals with one interest in common; and it’s pretty open to interpretation. Furry is a way of expressing yourself, and it is up to you to take it in your own direction.

If you want to roleplay a cat and cuddle up with other like-minded people, the furry community is a good starting point for creating and developing your cat-character. You may or may not identify yourself as a “furry”, but many of us have the know-how and experience in costume/fursuit -design, and we’re generally a helpful bunch.

You might want to attend a local furry convention, and take part in one of the fursuit workshops, to gain some hands-on experience in design and materials.

Reply
Anonymous

My brother has decided to be a furry and at first I didn’t understand but now after reading your story I understand a lot better thank you. Btw he’s only 13 and I’ve been sworn to secrecy to not tell our parents. Which is fine with me. And he’s decided to take up the wolf fursona. I’m going to send a link to this story to him maybe he can come up with a name and where hes from and what not. Thank you for helping me understand a lot better.

Reply
Gamle_

Hey fellow furry
Im kind of new in the fandom. Currently im making a fursuit, but i dont know anyone else in the fandom. How/Where might i find others?

Reply

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