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A Furtopian Newcomer's Guide to Being a Furry.

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See Reply post # 2 further below for more information. ;)

These are some of the most "basic" questions I see members ask about being a furry and what furry means to them.

What is the anthropomorphic (furry) fandom?
IMO, the best answer comes from the Anthrocon convention website. The following quote has been read, seen, and heard countless times throughout the anthropomorphic (furry) fandom.

--- Quote ---Anthropomorphic or “humanized” animals have been with us since the dawn of civilization. From the gods of ancient Egypt to the advertising icons of the modern day, people of every culture have created fanciful creatures simply by imbuing animals with human traits. Only within the last two decades has anthropomorphic or “Furry” fandom been recognized as a distinct fan-base in its own right. Fans are found in all corners of the world, and come from all races and ages and creeds. We are bound together across the most daunting barriers by our mutual admiration for these beasts of myth and legend who, by simple reflection, give us a better window into ourselves.

A large number of anthropomorphics fans are employed in scientific or technical fields. A significant percentage have college diplomas and many of those hold advanced degrees. This, perhaps, is what leads many casual observers to raise an eyebrow. “Why would someone like this be into cartoon animals? Isn’t that unusual?” If we look at the world around us, however, we will see that anthropomorphized animals are an integral part of our culture. We use them to represent our political parties. We talk to our dogs (and some even imagine they talk back, though in their own way). We put a tiger in our tank. We cheer for mascots—anthropomorphic animals dressed in team uniforms—at our favorite sporting events. Our casual observer may simply be unaware that it is only in the last forty years that cartoons and cartoon animals have been relegated to the world of children. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and their ilk were once targeted primarily to an adult audience, their productions filled with innuendo and biting political satire. Fans of anthropomorphics today simply have not forgotten those roots. The average Furry fan is cast from the same mold as the science fiction or sword-and-sorcery fan; all of us imagine strange and thrilling worlds and try to picture ourselves living in those worlds.

Today, Furry fandom is instead an artistic and literary genre that is practiced and enjoyed by tens of thousands worldwide. We count among our ranks professional sports mascots, animators, cartoonists, puppeteers, artists, illustrators, and writers, as well as those who simply think that it would be a wonderful thing if animals could walk or talk like we do. If you as an adult still occasionally like to flip to the old cartoons, or have a stuffed animal sitting on the dashboard of your car, or buy cereal because it has a cool tiger on the box, you may well enjoy what our fandom has to offer. We invite you to visit any one of our many gatherings worldwide to see for yourself what Furry fandom is really all about.
--- End quote ---

What is a furry or furry fan?
A furry is a person who enjoys anthropomorphic culture, and/or anything else that is animal related such as, but not limited to the following: Art, Stories, Poetry, Music, Costuming, Games, Cartoons, TV shows, Movies, Crafts, Clothing, etc.  However........not all people who love animals/anthropomorphics might consider themselves furry for one reason or another.

What does it mean to be furry?

This is a loaded question as there can be so many different answers and definitions from so many people. Ask ten different people what furry means to them and you're bound to get 12 different answers.  :D Furry means something different to each and every person in the furry fandom. Some see it as just a curiosity. Others may get into furry for spiritual reasons. And still others may have furry encompass their entire lives/lifestyle. You are a furry only if you want to call yourself one. If you have a interest in animal cartoons, stories, mascot costumes, love animals, etc., then you may be a furry or wish to call yourself a fur.

Can I be interested/join in the furry fandom, but not be a fur?

Sure. You don't have to be a furry or call yourself a fur to enjoy the furry fandom if you don't want to. For example, Furtopia has had plenty of members join in the past who have been curious about furry but have chosen to stay human and not create a fursona, etc.

What qualifications, skills, experience, etc. do I need to be a fur and be in the furry fandom?

None. Furry is not a job. It's a hobby/interest/fandom of people coming together to enjoy animal/anthropomorphic arts and crafts. There's no "pre-requisite" to be a fur and enter the fandom.

How will I know if being a fur and being in the fandom is right for me?

The only way to know for sure if this is something you truly want to be in, is to actually participate in furry activities and get to know the people in the fandom, as well as doing research on what the fandom is all about. Once you've met other furs, gone to furmeets (social gatherings), furry conventions, drawn artwork or built a fursuit, etc., then you'll be able to gauge just how much, how little, or how far into the fandom you want to get into. You'll start to get a feel for what you do and don't like.

How do I start being a fur? What do I do? Where should I begin?

Again, there's no pre-requisite to being a fur and joining the fandom. A lot of people start out by looking for furry forums/websites to join, or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) services to talk to others on, to begin their journey in the furry fandom and get to know other people. There's no right or wrong way to "be" a furry.

What's a fursona?
A fursona is a animal character based on your real life self and your personality. It can be any type of animal you wish to have and can have any attributes you wish to give to it such as: Feral animal form, Plantigrade or Digitigrade stance, Tall, Winged, Scaly, Bad tempered, Charming, Any fur colorings/patterns/markings, and anything else you wish to have to your character to describe and showcase them.

Do I have to have a fursona to be a furry and be in the fandom?

No, not at all. Whether you wish to have a fursona is optional and completely up to you.

I can't think of a fursona! Help me decide!

What animal species do you like? What were some of your favorite animals you liked growing up? Did you have a favorite pet that you might want to base your fursona on? Did you have any favorite animals from tv, books, or movies?

Can I have more than one fursona or combine attributes from multiple fursonas? Can I have a mixed species/hybrid/mythical fursona

Yes, you can do any or all of those things. It's not uncommon for furry fans to have more than one fursona or combine characteristics from one animal onto another to create a fursona.

How do I choose a furry name?

Try picking something from books, tv shows, or movies. Try to think of something original and creative that makes your fursona unique and distinctive that people will find interesting and remember you by.

I see a lot of people wearing collars, tails, ears, fursuits, etc. Do I have to have those to be a fur and be in the fandom? Where can I buy them, or how do I make them?

No, they aren't necessary. Whether you want to have one is optional and completely up to you to help express your furriness and the fursona you have. A sample link to fursuit and fur supply resources is here:
Tail and Collar threads:

How do I tell others I am a furry? How do I "come out" to friends and family?

Whether you want to "come out" about being furry and how much information you tell is optional and up to you. There is no Need to tell other people. A good thread to read is here:

What is a furry lifestyler?
The term "furry lifestyler" tends to have a lot of different meanings depending on who you ask or where you go. Basically, it's a person who takes their interest in furry a bit more serious, or in some cases, extreme. The amount of devotion one shows can vary. Examples could include, but are not limited to:
* Decorating a house or apt. in animal themed rugs, blankets, souveniers, pictures, etc.
* Using more furry language in day to day conversations.
* Personalised car license plates like "FURCON" or "IMAFUR", etc.
* Having a totem animal spirit.
* Acting out various animalistic behaviors.

What activities are there to do in the furry fandom?

Most of the activities in the furry fandom are devoted to arts and crafts such as drawing artwork, making costumes, writing stories, etc. related to anthropomorphics or animals in general. Though there are plenty of other activities that are not. The following list can include, but is not limited to:
* Drawing anthropomorphic artwork
* Writing anthropomorphic stories or poetry
* Making fursuit (mascot) costumes and/or making plush stuffed animals
* Making furry themed clothing, jewelery, or other trinkets.
* Going to furry conventions such as Anthrocon, Furry Weekend Atlanta, Midwest FurFest, etc.
* Photography and video that is of interest to anthropomorphic fans.
* Singing and music that is of interest to anthropomorphic fans.
* Going to furmeets (Social gatherings such as picnics, movies, ball games, trips, etc.) to meet with other furries.

What is this thread?

From time to time on Furtopia, members will occasionally post questions about What is a furry?, How do I find my fursona?, What does it mean to be furry?, and so many other "basic" questions about furs, furriness, furry fandom, etc.

This thread isn't meant to replace or stop people from asking those kinds of questions in the General Furry Discussion forum, Furries on Furry forum, or the Lifestylers forum where the majority of such questions routinely get posted.

What I have presented here is sort of a "cheat sheet" or a "quick reference guide/FAQ" to those persons who need/want a quick answer to some of the most basic and common questions about being a fur and being in the fandom. If there are other questions you'd like to see me post above, then please send me a PM and I will review your question. ;)

I will not add anything concerning art, conventions, fursuiting, etc. as those topics may become seperate FAQ's in the future.

I am sorta new to the fandom, but I did a LOT of research on the fandom, fur-suiting, conventions, the works, so I know the very basics of the furry fandom.  I assume that it's got lots of cool people like you, kobuk! So wish me luck at seeing the world from this new prospective! :D

Rocket T. Coyote:

Nyx _Arethusa:
It's cool of you to help people out with their questions.  :) And if my parents have any other questions, I may just direct them to the forums. They're fine with me being a fur, though.


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