‘Furry Fandom’ is a social media trend

Sophie Dorrance-Minch, staff writer

Are you strongly fascinated by animal characters? If yes, then you’re a furry. Do you like to draw animal characters that reflect your persona/alter-ego? Again, if yes, then you’re a furry. Do you love your animal character(s) so much that you’d like to cosplay as them? If yes, then you’re a furry.

What is a furry you ask?

Furries are a community that focuses on people who are enthusiasts of animal characters and they create animal personas/alter-egos, which are called “fursonas” in the “Furry Fandom.” They have their own subculture related to anthropomorphic animals who have human traits.The furry fandom is currently a large fandom that communicates through social media and conventions.

Fursonas are like an idealistic version of the person themselves and they use that fursona to interact with other furries in the fandom. Given the fantasy nature of the fursona, individual furries are free to create representations of themselves which are unbounded by reality. As such, furries give their own fursonas an age, gender, personality, and physical characteristics. Over time as furries use their fursonas to interact with people, they begin to share the same self-concept as their fursona and accept their idealized self as part of them. This may be due to using their fursona repeatedly around others, which helps then validate their fursona as part of who they are.

Some facts about furries are: the furry fandom is comprised predominantly of white males in their teens to mid-twenties, they represent what’s expected in a geek/nerd culture (above average school performance, an interest in computer & science, and a passion for video games, sci-fi, fantasy, and anime), they’re more likely to be transgender, non-heterosexual, and other lgbtq+ identities. The lgbtq+ statistics in furries reveal how open the furry fandom is considering that it embraces the norms of being welcome and non-judgemental.

The popularity of furries is largely attributed to digital culture. The anime and geek cultures tend to overlap with the furry community, especially with fanart. Many people online find furry fanart of characters they’re familiar with and tend to become curious and search for more of that fanart. The internet has a lot of furry fanart out there and it can be found in any fandom, which explains why furries are so popular nowadays, especially with gen z.

TikTok, a popular social media website among teens, also contributes to the furry fandom’s increasing popularity. The reason why furries are so popular on TikTok is because of how short their content is and kids don’t have a long attention span, so they easily become attracted to furries. TikTok is also known for its lip-syncing, comedic videos. That and well-known memes are displayed and furries emerge from them, especially furry vs gamer wars. Some furries actually claim to be gamers and some gamers identify with certain aspects of furries. 

Media also shows content of furries that explain the misunderstandings, thus making furries seemingly less threatening. With more people understanding furries and not expecting the stereotypes, such as furries being a horny fandom, they feel more comfortable about furries and sometimes become one themselves.

Overall, furries are a very welcoming and nice community and they are individuals just like us.