A Fully Functioning Furry Fiefdom: A Boozy Badger Update
August 17, 2017 8:45 PM   Subscribe

The Boozy Barrister, AKA Lawyers And Liquor, AKA @BoozyBadger, writes about his experience at Indy Fur Con: The End Result Of A Series Of Bad Decisions.

When we last left @BoozyBadger, he had attended his first furry convention as a featured panelist and it was apparently a hit. He leapt into the deep end and wrote about his experience at the Super Bowl of furry conventions, Anthrocon (2, 3), which summarizes his experience and explores his experiences in Pittsburgh.

Following his weekend there, he made a series of bad decisions.

He's going to another furry convention this coming weekend, too.
posted by hippybear (21 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Being in Pittsburgh during anthrocon is certainly something to experience, especially if you were utterly unaware it was about to happen. A bunch of fellows in fursuits were at a gallery opening for my wife's work and we were not really sure what was going on.
posted by Ferreous at 9:06 PM on August 17 [7 favorites]

I love this whole thing because it describes so much of how the real fandom works. I mean, not furries specifically, just everything. I'm not really the world's biggest anime fan, but I fell in with a crowd of giant anime fans and we got along and now apparently most of what I watch is anime because watching anime is something I have people to talk to about! You think you're going to just pop your head into this weird space and take a glance around and then bolt, and the next thing you know, you're going to conventions or making up show watching spreadsheets to keep track of where you are in the 18 different things you've agreed to watch.

The furry stuff isn't my fandom, but there were really several points in the 90s where if I'd made better friends with one person online instead of another person, I totally would have ended up there. I love this thing about fandom where people just throw themselves wholeheartedly into it. It's infectious. And sometimes it's a train wreck, but the up side of not being one of the True Believers is that you're at best adjacent to the worst of the wank. But seriously, while there's some gross people--there are in any large enough group--the vibe that I've always seen from outside the fandom has been good: The furry fandom was LGBT inclusive way before a lot of things were. The furry fandom pays their goddamn artists. Apparently the furry fandom is also good to restaurants and Uber drivers and lawyers on the internet. Forget making fun of them--I'd hang out with them in a heartbeat, except I have about 3000 episodses of Yowamushi Pedal to finish watching first.
posted by Sequence at 9:11 PM on August 17 [27 favorites]

Anime fandom sounds a lot like the television equivalent of EVE Online.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 PM on August 17 [9 favorites]

The problem is, basically, jumping feet first into a really mature fandom: I'm 20 years late on everything and everybody wants to show me stuff and the 18 things I'm in the middle of isn't an exaggeration. I'm sure it's simpler for people who've actually been keeping up for all these years.
posted by Sequence at 10:14 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]

Aw, I like the magical booze fairy fan art.
posted by rewil at 10:51 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]

Just wanted to say that I am really loving the furry posts, hippybear. It's a community I know very little about, and that's much maligned in a lot of circles I move in (a lot of trans people have a hard time looking past the way third parties use furries to discredit trans narratives) and it's great to see them in a much more positive light, and hopefully be a little better at supporting the occasional trans furry that trickles into my support networks.
posted by Dysk at 2:41 AM on August 18 [13 favorites]

I thought this was sweet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:22 AM on August 18

One word "summer". Pictures of furries where civilians are in shorts just make me wonder about a hobby where one would be in a full body costume IN THE SUMMER?!? I'd be happy to dress up in the winter, looks cozy but, oh gosh, how do they avoid mass heat stroke?
posted by sammyo at 6:17 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]

Why I'm pretty much pro-furry these days: Syrian Refugees Get Put Up in Same Hotel As Furries. Kids LOVE It.
posted by Artw at 6:30 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]

I meant to check back with him after Anthrocon and see what his take on my beloved city and our annual influx of furries was, and forgot - thank you for this post! This was the first year I was able to head downtown and cheer on the parade, and it was super-fun. Off to read through the links now.
posted by Stacey at 8:06 AM on August 18

I'd be happy to dress up in the winter, looks cozy but, oh gosh, how do they avoid mass heat stroke?

Short periods of time in full-body suits with lots of breaks, cold drinks, and occasionally cooling equipment built into the suit. Probably we'd have more success preventing heat illness on the job if OSHA had awesome furry art to illustrate their materials (they do not.)
posted by asperity at 8:07 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]

occasionally cooling equipment built into the suit.

This includes ventilation fans in the head, vests with pockets designed to hold packs of chilled gel, or at the more expensive end of the spectrum, shirts with tubing to let chilled water circulate.

Another solution is to forgo the full-body suit for a partial. For furry characters who wear clothing anyway, you can skip the layer of fur wherever the clothing would hide it. Pair of arms w/paws for what would be visible out of the T-shirt sleeves, shoes built to look like hindpaws, a head, and a tail to hook to the pants.

And for the majority of the fandom, for whom suiting is not the be-all/end-all goal of their involvement, it can still be fun to just stick on the tail and a pair of ears on a headband. I can personally attest that method is certainly much less likely to cause heat stress, especially at southern conventions like Furry Weekend Atlanta.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:19 AM on August 18 [4 favorites]

This was great. A week from today I'll be deep in Algonquin Park with a few hundred furries at Camp Feral and I can't wait!

He's very kind in his assessment of "Uncle Kage" -- some might call him officious and self-important given the same evidence. I had the dubious pleasure of meeting him at Toronto's Furnal Equinox earlier this year... he was hanging out in the bar trying very hard to get people to buy him drinks (like, literally holding out his empty glass and pouting).
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:15 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]

The dear Uncle and his Gryphon are sort of hitting an odd spot in their place within the furry fandom. It's been interesting to watch over the past several years.
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on August 18

Oh man, I love your furry-community posts, hippybear. They're always such an oasis of charm and joy.
posted by pseudonymph at 11:56 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

That guy's blog is always a delight.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:08 AM on August 19

much maligned in a lot of circles I move in (a lot of trans people have a hard time looking past the way third parties use furries to discredit trans narratives)

This seems bizarre to me because I've met more trans persons through my involvement with furry than I had in any other sphere during my entire life, including when I was writing for the local LGBT newspaper.

Furry seems to be full of people all along the spectrum of queer, including a very high percentage of genderqueer/trans/non-traditional-presenting people. And what is great about the fandom is, there are no questions. Hell, if you've just met a purple wolf/deer hybrid with 7 tails and horns that grow candy as fruit, then meeting someone who presents in a non-traditional way is just another being to meet.

I really respect furry for being a space where people are completely free to be utterly self-expressive. I'm a nearly-50-year-old dude with a giant grey beard and tend to wear 501s and concert shirts and work boots, but at a furry convention I paint my fingernails green because I'm a green wolf and green fingernails are fun when you're on the dance floor during the nightly dances and there is nothing I love more than getting to dance and I don't have a fursuit but I have a giant green yarn tail I made myself and my character is designed to be me so I can put on a sleeveless flannel shirt and a black leather kepi and I'm being my wolf in the real world and I never feel more free in public than when I'm dressed like that and I don't even understand why that is true but it is.
posted by hippybear at 1:40 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]

The fursuiter photo from the inaugural year of Furrydelphia, the con that Boozy was raising money for that made him go to IFC last weekend.
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on August 19

This seems bizarre to me because I've met more trans persons through my involvement with furry than I had in any other sphere during my entire life, including when I was writing for the local LGBT newspaper.

It's the way "well if I say I'm a dog that doesn't make me one" followed by pointing to furry communities as 'proof' of transness being mere delusion is common that does it. That, and there was (I definitely think was more than is) some co-option of trans narratives from some furry circles (though that's pretty much Internet drama from back when the trans Internet was very small indeed). Also, while trans people make up a large proportion of furries, furries don't make up a large proportion of trans people (though both are disproportionately represented in the other, I reckon).
posted by Dysk at 5:55 PM on August 19

Vice just posted an article about one of the regular furry events here in Toronto that might be of interest.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:36 PM on August 22

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