A Human in Fur-land: What I learned at the Rocky Mountain Fur Convention
I'm taking a piss in the bathroom at the Crowne Plaza during Sunday's closing dance for the Rocky Mountain Fur Con. I'm not trying to eavesdrop. But it's sort of hard to tune out this particular conversation.
Kiernan Maletsky Fur Con attendees were strictly required to keep it PG-13. And they did, barely.
Two guys are talking about their poor showings in the dance off. One guy says he wanted to do the worm but couldn't because of his pants. His friend says, sympathetically, "Yeah, I bet one of those rings would get caught on your cock."
That's what happens at the furry convention. Just when you've completely adjusted to the culture, and all these people in animal costumes seem either normal or adorable, someone can't do the worm for fear of getting his cock entangled in his pants.
I should emphasize here that most of the furries are friendly, no more freaky than I am. I would be perfectly fine having almost any of them babysit my kids. I think.
Three furries scamper up the 16th Street Mall, posing for pictures with smirking twenty-year-olds. It's Sunday afternoon and I'm lost, but spotting the furries assures me that I must be close now. I wrote down the wrong address for the convention and I've spent the last twenty minutes wandering alone through the cavernous Downtown Sheraton. I should ask someone. Maybe they're up on the fifth floor or something. But I'm embarrassed, even though I know the stuff about furry sex is probably exaggerated. I'm sure Rocky Mountain Fur Con is not a giant orgy of enormous cartoon faces and anonymous underage genitals. But you can see it in the looks on the faces of the people the furries pass on the mall. The backwards glances, the mother holding her child close. The perception is out there that these people are devious, possibly even dangerous.
I like to think I'm pretty open-minded, but I catch myself hesitating as yet another Sheraton employee walks by me and nods in greeting. I'm not with the furries, I think.
That's a horrible attitude. We all have our own weird little thing; it's just a matter of perspective. I walk towards the front desk but turn away at the last second as a family approaches to check in. Pathetic. At last, I swallow my pride and get the doorman's attention. He asks me if I need valet parking.
"No, I'm good. Do you know if the Fur Con is going on here?"
"Not that I know of. Hey, do you know what conventions are here this weekend?" he asks another employee standing nearby. He looks back at me. "Fur Con?"
"You know, the people dressed up like animals," I say, trying to look disinterested.
"Oh no. No, that's not going on here," he says, not disdainfully but hurriedly all the same.
The furries are crossing Court Street now. One of them is dressed as a rabbit. His (her?) ears flop up and down with each padded step. Two women stand on the curb, gawking and muttering with suspicion.
Furries, I learn, are not just people dressed as cartoon animals in giant mascot outfits. Many furries have slightly more subtle getups -- just a tail or ears. Some have no costume at all. For several of the Con's attendees, furry fandom is just a thing they like rather than a thing they are. They collect the drawings of anthropomorphic animals and participate in online forums, but that's about it.
For most of the people at the Con, however, it is an identity. They've got an animal alter ego with a name, and that's what they prefer you call them. If you believe the rhetoric, these people are their "fursona," as in they are talking animals trapped inside human bodies.