Furries: Friends or foes?

If you look around the Oswego State campus you may see a large number of people quietly walking to class in their Oswego sweatshirts. You will see even more people in heavy coats and jackets barricading themselves from the unholy winds. You may just see that one superhuman being in flip-flops and cargo shorts. If you take more than a passing glance at your peers striding past, however, you may start to pick up on something a bit strange. There are some individuals who are not only dressed for the weather but also dressed as an animal.

When I say dressed as an animal I do not mean head to foot lions or elephants walking around campus wearing a backpack and Uggs. I mean people you may not think are anything but random strangers who just happen to have cute bunny ears on their hooded sweaters or random tails on their jeans. While some of these people may be just that, some are what is well known in the online world as "Furries."

"Furries" are people who have an interest in anthropomorphic characters (characters that are animals with human qualities or vice versa) in television shows, cartoons, magazines and books. Most "Furries" dress as their favorite character on an occasional basis and are just merely enthusiastic about that specific one. Some perhaps dress as multiple characters depending on the day and some are living the "Furry Lifestyle."

The "Furry Lifestyle" seems a somewhat ridiculous concept to the rest of us. What it is are people who live dressed as an animal because they feel emotionally or spiritually connected to that particular creature for whatever reason. Some of these particular people may just wear cat ears on a hat or could actually be fully dressed in mother bear garb.

These people also launch themselves into a messy arena of Furry eroticism in which "Furries" enjoy engaging in sex with other "Furries," often called "Yiffing."

The "furry lifestyle" is an extreme level of furrydom. While none should fear these strange persons you may want to take note of their way of life. "Furries" are people who are so confident in themselves they are not ashamed or fearful of dressing as an animal and acting contrary to societies norm. Maybe the next time you come across someone who enjoys something as much as they do, we can keep that in mind, treat them with respect and admire their fearlessness.