What does it mean to be furry?

What got you into it?

I attended a furry convention in October 2013 out of curiosity. I had seen the CSI episode on furries but I’d been interested in furry artwork since I’d discovered the internet some ten years earlier. 

How does it feel to be furry?

You belong to a community of people who share your interests. In a lot of ways it’s easier to make friends. It’s a rather gregarious group with a different set of social rules. As one news station said, a hug is the furry shake hand. As a tactile person, it fills a void I feel living in the rest of society. 

What type of joy does it bring you?

I remember being six and feeling a “spiritual” connection with wolves. This connection has stayed with my entire life. I find beauty in anthropomorphic artwork. Humanity, with all its flaws does not appeal to me but in The Other, I found a more complete existence. Properly done, the blend of animal and human in artwork feels real to me, alive. To imagine myself being that brings a fulfillment I don’t fully understand. It tells a story I want to engage with. 

This feeling deeply inspires my writing. However, this isn’t something that consumes my life. There is a stark separation between this ideal and reality. 

When I go to a convention put on a costume, I am still firmly in reality. All I am doing is hiding myself behind a character so I can connect with others in a way I can’t connect with them in person. My costume is far more attractive and interesting than I am. While I play that character, it brings joy and happiness to myself and others around me. It is the most real thing I do. It is the feeling of being right, belonging, and sharing a deep connection. If you’ve ever shared grief at a funeral, this is that feeling, only with a depth of joy instead of sorrow. 

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About Kayode Lycaon

Kayode Lycaon (Kay·o·deh Lie·kay·on) is a gregarious painted wolf living in the questionable habitat of southwestern Ohio. By day, he pretends to be a human, writing software. At night, his paws weave stories from threads spun from the fertile grounds of his imagination.