"To them we were cartoons come to life"
March 9, 2016 12:54 PM   Subscribe

VancouFUR, Vancouver's principal furry convention, occurred at a hotel that was also housing Syrian refugee families (many with small children). The kids loved it, and so did the convention attendees.
posted by scrump (51 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, I suppose this is about as far from ISIS values as one could get. Good job?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:07 PM on March 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


You know, maybe we could avoid taking cheap shots at furries in this thread, just for a change?

I've had furries in my circle of friends and workplaces for literally the better part of 2 decades, and I've never seen behavior from any of them that even came close to the grotesque shit perpetrated by a subset of the average-looking white men I've known.

Beyond that, it's really difficult to see much difference between furries and the cosplayers at, say, ComicCon, yet one is considered normal and the other one is OH GOD FREAKS RUN AWAY.
posted by scrump at 1:08 PM on March 9, 2016 [71 favorites]


Yeah there wouldn't be any snarking about a games or comics convention sharing a space and bringing the fun to refugee kids, even though there would be just as much culture shock diving into internet games/comic culture and just as much porn. This is awesome and heartwarming.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:11 PM on March 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'd be hopeful the long term effect is, "The people you are calling deviants were kinder to us than you ever were."
posted by charred husk at 1:13 PM on March 9, 2016 [68 favorites]


This is so great. Big smiles.
posted by Jalliah at 1:13 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd bet that many of the kids have some familiarity with full costume mascots, on TV or in person, but not in the context of a genre convention.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:14 PM on March 9, 2016


You know, the geek hierarchy was supposed to be a joke, not something that geeks were expected to enforce.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:16 PM on March 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


My biggest question for the furries is, how the heck do you survive in those suits --- is the venue AC cranked down to freezing?!? 'Cause its gotta be miserably hot & sweaty in that fur and with those heads on....
posted by easily confused at 1:24 PM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sometimes the world cooks up a juxtaposition and all you can say is "I would not have expected that". Glad everyone had a good time.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:27 PM on March 9, 2016 [18 favorites]


This makes my heart very glad. Thank you for sharing it!
posted by palomar at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's where I'll unveil the ultimate in furry cosplay I've been tinkering with...

Furry Sanders: Let me be purrfectly clear
posted by ian1977 at 1:30 PM on March 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Furs and AB/DLs are top of the "perverts to make fun of" list. But I have known more kindness and basic human decency from them than I have many other groups. So, in a time when to be a leader in the political party controlling congress you have to hate Syrian refugees the hardest, we should all try to be as humane as the Furs instead to just regurgitating the same tired jokes. And if you have questions about how Furs do what or why, go and actually talk to one. You won't get Teh Furs from doing so.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:31 PM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


[Couple comments removed, being lazily/lulzily shitty about furries feels kinda last-decade and it'd be great to skip that henceforth.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:32 PM on March 9, 2016 [42 favorites]


Oh man, I wish I'd been there. If anybody needs a big fuzzy hug, it's those kids. Thanks for sharing, scrump.

matildaben: Yeah, we did, and even when a bunch of MeFites pipe up and say "hey, that's me, and that's not how it is!" it doesn't seem to matter to some folks. Some people are going to make fun of people no matter what.

easily confused: Phase-change cooling vests, wicking polypropylene undersuits, lots of fan breaks, tiny fans in the costume heads, more ventilation than you'd expect, and the ability to forget how hot you are because you're having so much fun.
posted by hackwolf at 1:33 PM on March 9, 2016 [23 favorites]


My biggest question for the furries is, how the heck do you survive in those suits --- is the venue AC cranked down to freezing?!? 'Cause its gotta be miserably hot & sweaty in that fur and with those heads on....

Some fursuiters will don industrial grade cooling vests under the suit, and the more elaborately constructed heads will have fans mounted for air circulation. I know Furry Weekend Atlanta offers a private room with spot coolers and ice water where suiters can take their heads off and rehydrate, and I understand many other conventions have similar setups.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:40 PM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Man ever since Trudeau got elected Canada is knocking it out of the park with its rebranding campaign. This shit should be taught in B-School for the next decade.
posted by My Dad at 1:41 PM on March 9, 2016 [25 favorites]


The "how the hell do people keep cool" question juxtaposes quite nicely with that video of Adam Savage and Chris Hatfield in spacesuits at comic con linked from the Mythbusters thread.
posted by quaking fajita at 1:42 PM on March 9, 2016


Paradoxically people dressed as animals prove humans are basically OK.
posted by Segundus at 1:44 PM on March 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


the video with the dragon is fucking adorable
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 1:45 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


the video with the dragon is fucking adorable

Phrasing? Are we not doing phrasing anymore?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:47 PM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


[A few more things deleted. Reload and make sure you're not ghost-replying, and, yes, for fuck's sake, maybe save discussions of strangers' sex lives for threads that are actually about that vs. Kids Have Rad Time With Folks In Costumes.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:48 PM on March 9, 2016 [36 favorites]


so great
posted by zutalors! at 1:49 PM on March 9, 2016


I don't have a link, but there was a Furcon pic with a group of kids all hugging the one Giant Fox and grinning.

That pic is friggin beautiful and made me cry.

I love it when geeks (of all stripes) are just excellent human beings.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:50 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been at least as bad about Furries as anyone else and still I am taken aback. Man, the lengths (we) people will go to to rationalize being unkind. Particularly jarring in a thread about two disparate groups of marginalised people being kind to each other.
posted by gingerest at 1:53 PM on March 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


Furries being awesome, and Canadians being awesome. (They've taken in ten times the Syrian refugees the US has.)
posted by zompist at 2:11 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Awwww. This is awesome.

Also, A+++ on the naming of the of the convention.

Note: name could be adapted to work well in Surrey if a backup locale is ever required for future conventions....
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:14 PM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Note: Abbotsford as well.
posted by Cosine at 2:18 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hartford has to have one, yeah?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:22 PM on March 9, 2016


Damn furriners... (I kid!)
posted by AJaffe at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have always gone with the idea - whatever makes you happy baby. It is most likely not the thing that would make me happy, but you aren't trying to please me. But the kindness and joy I saw in the photos made me super happy !!! SO WINS FOR EVERYONE!!!!
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That'll do, Canada, that'll do.

seriously, stop being so fucking awesome, you're making us look even worse
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:26 PM on March 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


Seriously, you're a child who fled your homeland and are in a strange place and then Disneyland shows up one weekend.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:26 PM on March 9, 2016 [45 favorites]


This is adorable.

I'll admit I was one of those people who didn't get furries until one of my friends became one. I've known him for over 20 years, and it's not just that it makes him happy, it's part of who he is. I wish more people had friends who are out furries, because in my world, they're the last identity group for liberals to make fun of.
posted by Ruki at 2:34 PM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




Furry Sanders: Let me be purrfectly clear


Bearnie Sanders surely
Leader of the 99furcent!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:49 PM on March 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


"The people you are calling deviants were kinder to us than you ever were."
That's one more reason we call them deviants.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:56 PM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Bearnie speaks to his constituency.
(or if the deep image link doesn't work, try here)

posted by hackwolf at 3:01 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this sweetness.
posted by y2karl at 3:25 PM on March 9, 2016


Seriously, you're a child who fled your homeland and are in a strange place and then Disneyland shows up one weekend.
So, the hotel where this was held is actually in Richmond, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver; just across the Fraser River, from Vancouver proper. Richmond's population is above 60% immigrant, with 50% identifying as ethnically Chinese. I think it's awesome that these kids are staying in an area which truly epitomizes Canada's ethnic diversity, and that their first experiences here demonstrate that people from every background can not only co-exist, but actually thrive.

Furries in this polyglot mix must have them and their parents beaming with glee. Kudos to the attendees in going out of their way to leverage their hobby to provide joy and welcome to some derserving kids, and for being sensitive to the cultural gulf they have helped to bridge here.

I think it's also worth noting that the hotel where they are temporaily housed is a coporate/convention facility, in the main business district, and not some 2nd-rate dive in a motel strip somewhere. Good on the Liberals for choosing to treat these people with real dignity while they make this difficult transition.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Furries being awesome, and Canadians being awesome. (They've taken in ten times the Syrian refugees the US has.)

To be fair, gven the proximity to the border, I imagine there were some folks from the US at the convention as well. I'd be surprised there if there weren't a few Americans in the mix here.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:22 PM on March 9, 2016


Searched out the con website, and right there on the front page, they have a Clean Room contest. Awesome.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


There were a fair number of Seattle folks there, I think.
posted by hackwolf at 5:18 PM on March 9, 2016


hackwolf: There was a sizeable contingent of Seattle folks, myself included. Rainfurrest has moved from Seattle to Spokane, meaning Vancoufur is now the most local furry convention for people living in Seattle.
posted by seiryuu at 5:37 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think any refugees to Canada who get settled in Vancouver have kind of won the re-location jackpot. This is just a sample.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:01 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Aw, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by town of cats at 6:31 PM on March 9, 2016


Lots of Seattle furries up there too, VF attracts a lot of PNW furries.

I've been seeing all these incoherent tweets from my drunken party-hopping fur friends full of the cutest damn pictures of refugee kids hugging suiters. It was the best. Also a photo of the letter sent to all the folks there for the con warning them about the situation and telling them to, you know. Be chill.

Hell of a lot better than the weird tension between Further Confusion and the girl's volleyball tournament that shares the San Jose convention center...
posted by egypturnash at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Rainfurrest has moved from Seattle to Spokane, meaning Vancoufur is now the most local furry convention for people living in Seattle.

Um... I have a little bit of news to share with you, then...

Hell of a lot better than the weird tension between Further Confusion and the girl's volleyball tournament that shares the San Jose convention center...

Never been there, heard LOTS of stories, doesn't sound like fun.

Califur shared the hotel with some sort of businessman body building weight lifting club something or other group one year that i went... that was peculiar, especially in the elevator lobby.. giant men and giant animals
posted by hippybear at 1:20 AM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


This needs to be made into a feel-good buddy comedy. I hope Fox Searchlight is paying attention.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:33 AM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a little off topic but I just came across this story of Syrian refugee kids getting their first experience of snow with a trip to Arrowhead provincial park, with more great pictures that make me proud to be Canadian.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:49 AM on March 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


What if Justin was secretly in one of those furry suits in Vancouver, like that scene in Henry V
posted by Bwithh at 9:24 AM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not off-topic, at all, sevenyearlurk. Awesome images of the immigrant experince here are exactly what this thread is about.

Thanks for the awesome link! Sniff.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:55 PM on March 10, 2016


Dang, PB, that little girls smile is so great I'm getting misty-eyed.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:12 AM on March 11, 2016


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