Ricochet's Furry Q+A
Welcome curious traveller to the world of the furries. We're all animals here you know, some tigers, some wolves, some are lots of animals combined into one, some are different sexes, some wear artificial fur. You see, we spend a lot of time thinking about our animal side or just enjoy the company of thousands of other crazed "furfans" who talk on the internet, meet at cons, and generally have a good time. Furry. For many, it starts as that, but as you get to know many furs, you may realize this furry stuff runs much deeper in yourself and your new friends, or it doesn't run deep at all. A good friend now may become a memory later if they move on and you don't. You may decide that the furry world has become something you don't want to participate in anymore. This furry stuff can be very serious indeed.
A few of my non-furry friends who have learned about this stuff, seem well, a bit, uneasy. It's not easy to call yourself furry anymore. There has been a lot of negative "press" about furries on the television and on the internet. We've gone from being just strange to "sex-craved furverts who do unspeakable acts wrapped in fake fur" (Thanks MTV, ER, Vanity Fair.) You read that and see some big names in media and wonder why anyone would call themselves furry if all that bad press is out there. Well, realize that popular media likes to take a small portion of any group, and exposes it to sell their wares. I find all the reports in mass media very TRUTHFUL (even humorous) about that little part of furry. Too bad they don't talk about the good this furry world has done for so many. When I first found the furry world, I too did a radio report on how strange this stuff was. Furries have many definitions. There are plenty of choices of how you can see yourself in a furry world, from someone who is merely a fan of furry artwork and characters, to somefur who just wants to grow some fur. Um....yeah. Don't run away! When I learned there was a definition for what I had lurking within back in 1996, I could finally tell my friends who I was. I'm only too happy to blurt out:
"UNTO THE WORLD: I'M A FURRY!"
Now, before they cart me off, I'll explain what furry means to me. Ricochet has been in my head in one form or another for many years, but I was never sure what to make of it One night in late 1996, I got time to myself to explore the internet on a computer at a school I worked for. I surfed the internet for things I'd be interested in. That night, I was no longer alone. That made all the difference in my life I had just purchased my own computer a month before and thought I'd never need the internet. I had an internet hookup within a week. I said I felt "no longer alone." What the hell does it mean? Within my noggin, I had visions of a costume I wanted to do, and a intense imagination that had been suppressed but never went away. I was hoping for a place where interaction with others would be easier because a self-conscious image couldn't hold me back. In the furry world, it doesn't matter how different you are, because we all share the same basic thing in common. That "thing" also happens seems childish and silly to most. Therefore, to find so many who share similar interests, and a place to express things I couldn't elsewhere, well it's just plain liberating. A good example is being able to go to a Saturday matinee of "Cat's Don't Dance" with a group of furry nutjobs, not one less than 20 years old, and not feeling embarrassed about it! Many furs don't say a damn thing to their friends, but are completely different around other furs or in another city. That release is worth every penny.
The Yiffnet Denizens Circa 1997
Release? Yup. Since I have found the world of furs and let furry define the real me, I get comments like, "you're different", "you've changed" ,"you're so much at ease now", "Nice Slacks!" It's true. I expanded my personality and became a fur. I'm not different, I'm better. To put it all in perspective, a close non-fur friend spoke these words: "I've liked you since I met you, and if that (furry) stuff's been there since then, why should it change my mind about you now?" I hope everyone keeps friends like that.
Now, does all of this seem silly?
Many of you reading this may not understand, and that's okay.
Many of you may be drawing the wrong conclusions right now...that's okay.
You see, my I heed the words of a wise woman who spoke up during on-air tomfoolery at a radio station I worked for, "You better keep one foot in reality mister."
It is a very truthful statement, and very wise, even if the foot is a paw.
ONE PAW IN REALITY.
Now, yer average shrink would probably have lots of fun with us furries. They'd try to pick apart our brains about why such elaborate imaginary personas are created. (They might say it's sort of an imaginary friend we never got rid of.) I never had an imaginary friend. I never "talked" to Ricochet. Who I am wasn't because I needed to create a "wall" or a "shield" for anything bad. In fact when I finally adapted Ricochet to myself in a non-character sense, I got an entirely new perspective of who I've been and who I am. Ricochet made me creative. I made myself Ricochet.
Okay, so what the hell does that mean? Many people share some "animalistic tendencies" with certain species, they just aren't aware of it or care to know. Furs however, have discovered these tendencies, and seem to have much stronger ties to those traits. The beauty of being furry, is that this "part" of you that society and your inner self repress for fear of being branded a " wierdo", can be easily expressed with other furs all via the internet and gatherings. We adopted the features and sensibilities of the animal inside and used that to be better people. For me, finding and adopting the definition of "furry" meant destroying the walls that made me so HUMAN, so that I saw life clearly and started having fun for a change. So many things we learn in a human world would be much better if there was some animal logic applied, some things not. That's what anthropomorphics is all about.
Many furs spend hours trying to figure out what exactly brings them to the furry world. I too have tried, and have several theories too complex to get into. I'll simply say mine started at a very early age, and snowballed into some very trying and very alone moments. Now that I'm here, those things went away. I have complete, logical definition in my life for the first time ever. Is that all I needed? No. Sammy Davis would sum it up this way: "Hey man, it's a kooky kooky thing these furs. They're like stuffed animals that talk. Some of them are bad MUTHERF.....(shut your mouth)...just talkin' about Furries! Mr. BO-JANGLES.... I need a bottle of Jack."
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