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GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY

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Furry subculture makes GC its habitat as an RSO

A wild wolf was spotted prowling the streets of Milledgeville. After further investigation, it became apparent that the wolf was in fact Sollux*, a GC student and co-founder of the GC Furries Club.

 

A “furry” is a person who likes to personify “anthropomorphic animals,” said fellow club member Annel Tempest.

 

Anthropomorphic animals are those that are given human traits like walking on two legs or wearing clothes. 

 

Furries dress up as animals in many different ways, including “fursuiting,” when people dress in an animal suit, wearing tails or ears or even just acting like an animal. Dressing up is not the only characteristic of being a furry. 

 

“Members of the fandom must choose a ‘fursona,’ a character that that person makes up,” Sollux said. 

 

A person would then fully embody that character by dressing like their animal and acting out their favorite characteristics.

 

There are an infinite number of fursonas to choose from. In the case of the GC Furries, fursonas of members range from basic cats and dogs to chinchillas and snow leopards. 

 

After choosing a character, furries commission artists to professionally draw and make images of their fursonas.

 

Lastly, they pick the perfect name to embody their fursona, such as Sollux or Annel Tempest. 

 

Dylan Mathews, a writer for “Vox,” reports that the furry fandom includes people with a fetish for having sex in their animal costumes. The act is known as “yiffing,” a name made to portray the sound foxes make while doing it. 

 

With an interest this bizarre, it’s no surprise that there are people who engage in kinky sex. However, it is clear that this is not necessarily a common characteristic of the fandom. 

 

“Sex in a fursuit, that’s just a person’s kink, and no furry I personally know does that including myself and the club,” Tempest said. 

 

Other members of GC’s branch of the subculture say that furry sex is quite rare and even taboo within the furry fandom. The costumes themselves can be priced up to $2,000, and the wait for the handmade suits to arrive can take years, so members of the club find it careless to ruin something so expensive by having sex in it. 

 

The club started when two student furries decided to reach out to the furry community at GC by posting fliers around campus imploring people to join the GroupMe. 

 

“Turns out, there was more than I expected,” Sollux said. 

 

Currently, the club has 17 active members. They meet twice a week and often travel to Atlanta to meet, hang out and party with up to 50 other animals. 

 

Meetups typically have diverse turnouts. The club’s most recent furry meetup was at Atlanta’s Atlantic Station, where 22 members of furry clubs gathered from across the state, with 11 more on the waitlist. 

 

Members of GC’s club are working toward attending Furry Weekend Atlanta (FWA), the world’s fourth largest furry convention. According to the FWA website, the convention hosted more than 3,000 furry enthusiasts in 2013.

 

Furry conventions can include writing panels, dance competitions and raves, said Breeze, another GC Furries member.

 

The subculture has an increasingly large following all over the country. According to Emily Gaudette, a writer for “Inverse Culture,” the number of attendees at furry conventions across the U.S. has risen to between 2,000 and 6,000 per convention since 1990. 

 

What’s behind this rising rate of furry fandom members? 

 

“There’s always been a lot furries in America, but just like homosexuality before President Obama, they were all in the closet,” Tempest said. “Being a furry wasn’t very accepted.”

 

Now, Tempest often sees people walking on the street with tails hooked to their belts or ears on their heads.

 

This cultural phenomenon is extremely misunderstood, according to the members of GC Furries.

 

The creators of FWA describe the fandom as a hobby not so different from that of Star Trek fanatics, comic book fans or even medieval times reenactors.   

 

Although the club centers around a common interest in being furries, that is not the sole pur

 

pose of the group.

 

Tempest describes the club as a safe space for people trying to explore their interests. 

 

We’re 100 percent open-minded,” Tempest said. “There is no discrimination, and a person won’t be bullied or trolled. We come down hard on that kind of thing. If anyone’s looking for a weird group of friends, we’re probably it.” 

 

*All names of GC Furries members are of their fursonas.

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