A little personal story I would like to share:
My journey into the furry fandom was a long journey. It was in the 1990s when my obsession with werewolves influenced my internet searches and I came across the furry fandom. I always admired the art and stories that came from the anthro world, even though where I lived there was no local furry community. My contact was limited by the internet technology at the time: my poor family wasn't going to shill out top dollar a month for a 1 to 3 hour window of internet time.
As I went to college in the early 2000s, and the internet became a larger and more diverse place (not to mention cheaper and more accessable) I learned of the larger furry community that was growing. Still, I lived in an area that was not very cosmopolitan and thus never, to this day, have met other furry in real life (at least one that is open about it). This was also the time I learnt about fursuiters.
I hate to admit it but my first reaction was "Really? What losers. I mean it's one thing to like art and stuff, but dress up and pretend, come on." Now, to my credit, I never trolled or insulted anyone particular, but I always would agree with my friends that fursuiters were too weird, strange, and had personal problems.
Then one day I was just browsing around and I caught a youtube video of a fursuit (a wolf) surrounded by a crowd at a con doing multiple backflips. I was impressed. I couldn't do a backflip (I'm overweight), and it was hard enough for someone to do multiple backflips in sequence- yet here was this guy doing it in a heavy, movement and sight restricting fursuit. Well from there I began to look at other videos, mostly of fursuiters doing impressive acrobatics, but also doing funny things and acting cute. I began to admire them, and also become envious.
Now these days I defend fursuiters, even though I never met one in real life (as far as I know). It's funny because I also admire cosplayers and other geeky artists who sink their heart and soul into their creations to express something they love.
My friends are always asking me when I'm going to get my fursuit whenever the topic of furries rears its head. I don't plan on getting on one anytime soon (I couldn't afford one to begin with), but I always joke thay "Hey, it would be a great way to lose weight." Even my non-furry friends agree to that.