Last weekend was supposed to be the 23rd annual Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. Anthrocon is the largest Furry convention. With an average attendance of over 9,000 attendees, there were a lot of people disappointed. Luckily a duo of Furries themselves made a documentary about the history of the fandom aptly titled THE FANDOM (2020). While a fantastic celebration for its members, THE FANDOM also works as an explanation to those of us outside the subculture about what it is and how it all began.
While it has previously been touched on in the News Blender, most of us only have a passing knowledge of what Furry subculture is. At its base, Furries are fans of anthropomorphized animals. In other words, animals with human characteristics. So how does one go from being a fan of THE ARISTOCATS to being a full-fledged Furry?
THE FANDOM traces the subculture to what is accepted as the first two Furries–Mark and Rod, two guys who met at a science fiction convention in the 1970s. The two bonded over their love of animal characters and Japanese animation. From the sci-fi cons grew anime cons, and from the anime cons came the first Furry conventions and fan magazines.
As the decades passed, the Furry fandom subculture reflected what was going on in the world around them, from the AIDS crisis to the birth of the internet, and most recently their own problems with the alt-right contingencies. And, while the documentary doesn’t shy away from the sexual deviancy many equate with Furry fandom, you realize how much more to it there is.
While other documentaries have been made about the Furries, this one was the first fully produced, directed, and Kickstarter funded within the community. Unlike other documentaries made from within a community, this was painfully honest about the problems they faced as well as their successes. All in all, a very fascinating and surprisingly human look at a group that is often the butt of jokes:
Question of the night: what unusual fandoms do you consider yourself a part of?