- Posts: 235
- Species: Goat
It's always exciting and scary when people take their first step into the world of the fandom. What do we do, what are the norms, how do we fit in, what's up, etc, etc. So much, so many things to take in, it can be overwhelming. So I've written a small little introduction to what the fandom is. This, should serve as a great first step and let you get a decent grasp of the fandom.
1. definitions of 'furry' and 'fandom'
First of all, a fandom is term for the collective group of fans of either a particular person, or appreciated sport or hobby. In this case, the furry fandom is loosely interpreted as 'a group of people that show an interest in the furries'. This also includes fictional species, extinct species, alien species, and species which do not have fur, but have either feathers, scales, skin, or something else entirely!
More importantly yet, someone can still be in a fandom, and yet not be a furry. I certainly consider myself a furry, but the person next to me might be involved, and yet not want to be called a furry. While it's bizarre, it brings a further point out. You can become a furry the moment you want to be, and you can drop it just as fast. There is no entrance exam, or ritual, or ceremony to make yourself a furry. You could be a corporate banker, or a politician and be considered a furry even though you simply like this one story about a tiger guy. You could be an avid artist doing commercial work, a craftsman doing furry featured commissions or a professor who studies anthropology, anthropomorphism, and other very large words that are commonly themed in the fandom, have a very well defined furry character, have made many, many additions to the furry fandom, and still not consider yourself a furry. Being a furry is a preference, pure and simple.
2. What is in the fandom
Furries come from far and wide, have many interests, and tend to be very open about things. We all have one thing in common, we like anthropomorphic animals or something that branches off from this like, maybe you just remember seeing the old cartoons of Disney, and never forgot your Saturday morning friends. We can talk about anything, games, cars, literature, teaching, but most of all, we talk about experiences. We talk about what we did the last fur meet, what our goals are for the furry fandom, what we'd like to do and the fun times we had.
Some people go a little further, and invest in fursuits, and go to conventions.
While fursuits and conventions are completely optional to the fandom, a lot of people really like the idea of having attended at least one convention, and fewer still to acquire a fursuit. Fursuits can range from $400 for second hand partials, and can get to really expensive ($5000+) per suit. There is no single suit maker out there, and many people often stick to just one suit.
*Conventions and meets:
Conventions tend to be less expensive, but it happens once a year. FurDu, BunFur, RivFur, Confurgence are all Australian cons (with possibly more to be added), with many more of them overseas. All cons usually have a sponsorship option, and special room rates for where they are hosting the con in order to cheapen the deal, and it allows the hotel to get repeat business. As with any con, there are panels, activities and lots of recording and picture takings. How each con works, you'll have to ask a few people, and go to one yourself. Remember, going to a con with a friend is WAY better than going by yourself, you'll create memories and experiences, and if the con's not that good, you'll at least be with the people you like.
Meets are organised events or non-events where furries meet up. Usually this is on a monthly/bi-weekly/weekly basis depending on holidays and events that conflict (example, cons). Sometimes the organisers make events, other times, they do not. Either way, meets are one of the best ways to meet with people and to see people suit up. These typically are less structured than a con, relying on the attendees making their own entertainment. So if you go to a meet, watch people, introduce yourself, and get talking.
3. Common things in furries.
Most furries have at least one fursona, most furries have at least one nickname. Most furries are less than 30-35, with the nature of the group being very amorphous (without a solid shape or form). From what I, (stritchy) have seen, Furries are more helpful than the general populace to each other, due to the basic similarities that we have (i.e. we are furries) and have a tendancy to be in a less solid financial position due to the nature of the fandom's purchases of personal art.
In short, furries tend to have a lot in common in their personal situations in a broad sense, you will feel alone at first, but after you've taken the the first step in saying 'hello', things become massively easier. You learn a few things here and there, and as time goes on, you'll notice that you're not so lost any more. If you're unsure of something that happens in the meet, ask, someone is usually very willing to help out, especially organisers as they do this with no pay, and merely because they want to help the fandom in their own way.
4. Talking to the people.
We all start somewhere. You will most certainly be like me at one stage, unsure of who's who, trying to get to a meet, and within a few meet's time, you're chatting like a regular. Some people make their introductions online like in forums or IRCs. I find that if you introduce yourself, and use either your assumed alias, and refer to what fursona you have, it's a great ice-breaker. Some people may have seen you already, and usually all furries are interested in the other's fursona. If you don't have one, that's okay, it's just a common thing, it's not mandatory.
Ice-breaker questions tend to be ones like 'when did you get involved in the fandom' 'what cons have you been to' 'do you own a fursuit' and other things in that area. This is you getting to know someone, and it's an expected question. If you're unsure of who someone is, don't fret about asking again, they would rather you ask to be sure, than to get someone wrong, or not to talk at all. We're social too.
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- Species: Goat
Furries have a few hobbies out there, these are things they do for fun, because they want to. Other furries will often appreciate them when these hobbies are cycled within the fandom. For example, video editing and picture taking, fursuiting, art, story-writing, music and other entertainment things. You don't have to have a hobby to have fun, but learning a few things here and there from a hobby is not a bad thing, so that when a photographer wants to take a break to suit, and you snap a few photos for them, or of them, they'll appreciate this.
6. Places furries meet.
Usually, the easier the place to meet, the more likely you're going to get a group.
*FaceBook (And by extension, twitter, google+, etc):
These are big ones, these rely on instant notification of updates to feeds and for people's posting so that you can keep up to date. These kinds of forms of social media are best for future and present situations. You can talk to just about anyone, and find anyone and find OUT about anyone using facebook. It is a double edged sword though.
The more old-fashioned and tried-and-true method of keeping things organised. Forums are a much slower, but more involved social site, allowing people to see past posts and read old threads that still hold information. These are better for planning events, or talking about particular topics, or organising ideas.
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, and is the basis of all instant messengers online. This was first developed as a way to instantly see what was going on, by creating a 'room' for people to join, and to see, in realtime, what people are posting.