Whether you’re curious about the furry community or already decided to participate, allow me to extend you a warm welcome to the furry fandom.
Since you’re probably new, here’s a quick primer on the landscape of our community–good, bad, and indifferent. This is the sort of information I and many of my friends wish we had when we first joined the fandom.
The Furry Fandom
Furry is a decentralized, participatory community that is largely online and deeply rooted in Internet history.
You can estimate about 10% of the human population to be LGBTQIA+, but that number is closer to 80% for furries.
As a consequence, our community is largely sex-positive (but not necessarily sexual), queer-friendly, and openly tolerant to people with diverse backgrounds.
Our community is vibrant, art-centric, and generally able to laugh at ourselves.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows all the time, so let’s address the elephant in the room and talk about the bad parts of the furry fandom.
The Bad Parts of Furry
Remember when I said, “Furry is a decentralized, participatory community” earlier? This is both a strength and a weakness: It’s challenging to effectively expel terrible people. Consequently, while most of the furries you run into will be reasonably cool, there are undoubtedly some bad eggs.
It would take me years to comprehensively list all of the badness within any community–let alone one as large as ours–so I’m going to make a few broad strokes for the sake of brevity.
Furries that describe themselves as “Conservative” are almost exclusively the sort of right-wingers that were okay with (if not participating in) the insurrection of January 6, 2021.
Right-wingers range from the milquetoast pseudo-centrists like PeaceWolf to open insurrectionists like Diezel Raccoon to the guy who made a fursona named Foxler (Fox + Hitler) complete with a red armband.
Even if you like to think of yourself as a tolerant and open-minded person, there is nothing positive to be gained by associating or interacting with right-wing furries. They aren’t your log cabin conservatives.
Think of the sheer cognitive dissonance it requires to be openly right-wing and/or evangelical in a community that’s 80% LGBTQIA+ (which is almost always a target of right-wingers and evangelicals, at least in America). And then realize these assholes possess it in spades.
Furry Valley (formerly Furry Menagerie)
Dogpatch has a very long Twitter thread explaining the myriad reasons why you almost certainly want to avoid the group calling itself Furry Valley.
Furry Valley is a cult of personality that tries to welcome new members with “love-bombing” and then hold them hostage with doxing. A lot of the groups in the Furry Telegram list have FV’s tendrils in them, which serves as an unfortunate recruitment funnel for unsuspecting furries.
My recommendation here is: Look before you leap.
If the group description mentions Furry Valley, avoid it. If the rules (pinned message, usually) mention Furry Valley, leave it. If you report a pro-FV message to the mods and they allow it, block them and leave it without further incident.
The Fuckboi/Party Scene
There is a contingent of furries that go to furry conventions to do a lot of drugs, have a lot of sex, and go to a lot of private room parties–and not actually participate in the community at large. This is the same contingent that causes a lot of the “30 is gay death” talking points to resurface in the furry fandom.
Predictably, this churns out a lot of unsavory personalities running virtually unchecked by our larger community. After many years, this has become toxic beyond the point of being salvageable, best demonstrated by the organization and attendance of an illegal and unofficial furry convention during the COVID-19 pandemic:
They’re selfishness turned up to 11. Avoid like the plague–especially since most of them are more than willing to infect you to have their own fun.
Genuinely Terrible People
There are a lot of people that don’t fit one of the above categories, yet are still awful, so here’s a small sample of furries that should be avoided.
The Twitter thread has receipts, should you wish to know more about them.
The Good Parts of Furry
Much has already been written about the good parts of the furry fandom. Furries improve everything. Even at an individual level, the furry fandom fosters friendships. I highly recommend reading these other blog posts for a complete picture of the good side of the fandom.
Easily 95% of the people I’ve met in the furry fandom have been genuinely kind, caring, conscientious, and generous. There’s probably some sampling bias and self-selection at play here, admittedly.
How to Get Started?
Don’t bother with local furries, at least out of the gate. Regional groups tend to be catch-all for people who have little in common beyond geographical location, and a lot of local groups are very bad at moderation.
First, find a group with common ground beyond just “we’re both furries”.
- If you like tabletop games, find a Telegram or Discord group about furry tabletop games.
- If you like video games, find a furry Twitch streamer and hang out in their community and get to know the folks there.
- If you’re interested in science and technology, consider joining the Furry Technologists group on Telegram.
- If you’re interested in art, consider joining art websites like FurryLife or FurAffinity.
And then… talk to people. The ball’s in your court on that one.