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Furries vs. The Human Bully

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 2, 2012, 9:51 PM

Help spread the message against bullying.

+Fav this journal, and proclaim dominance
over your feral human animal!



A couple weeks ago, I went to a raucous furry party.

Oh heavens, that's an odd way to start a personal story.

Anywho.

A good friend of mine called me up, saying that she and her friend were going to a monthly get-together in Orange County where a bunch of furries throw a party open to everyone.  Furries...not really my thing.  My experience within the furry community is limited to the occasional commission I get, but when it comes to conversing and interacting with furries, I'm a bit inexperienced.

"Just a party?" I ask.

"Yeah, something they do every month."

"Ah, so just a get-together," I breathe a sigh of relief.  "Not like a bunch of fursuiters or crazies."

"..." She replies.

"..." I implore.

"..." She laments.

"...Dammit."

Apparently...it was a bunch of the crazies.

"Yeah, they're actually going to do a fursuit parade."

Oh wonderful.

"Weeeeell," I knock the idea around in my head.  "It's probably not going to be too big, nor too public."  In my head, I envision a troupe of a small handful of passionate furries pirouetting across a front lawn, giving their tail a little suggestive shake.  It isn't terribly awful, right?  Just some silly little party, I could probably throw on an MLP T-Shirt and blend right in, have some drinks and a damn good time.  "Not like a convention or something, I'm assuming.  Like what, four guys on the porch dressed as foxes or something?"

...

In a tightly-packed herd of unorthodox spectacle, I found myself in the middle of over fifty fursuiters walking down a busy street to an In'n'Out just off the freeway offramp.  In a volley of whoops, howls, barks, and whines, we pour into the intersection to the delighted (and/or curiously buggered) honks of countless vehicles.  We stood in a straight line, presented to all oncoming traffic pulling off the Interstate 5, wrapped around the burger joint in a multi-colored menagerie of oversized heads, floppy ears, vibrant colors, and gawking spectators.  The rattling of conversation would erupt into yells and shouts as passing drivers blared their horns to acknowledge the sight wafting from the fast food establishment.

I watched from deep within the pack, thinking that I was properly conveying adequate geekiness by sporting a T-Shirt of Gummy the alligator.  Pfft, yeah right, I didn't even come half-way to competing with the overt displays of passionate vigor the majority of participants exhibited.  Amidst the bright hues, sparkling manes, and flurry of waving tails, the one fat guy in an MLP shirt of Gummy looked like some poor schmuck who got involuntarily wrapped up in the traveling circus act.

Yet beyond the errant flurry of barks, yelps, whimpers, whines, howls, and snarls, I found myself in the middle of a very open group of individuals.  Yes, onlookers would sometimes scoff, zealous parents would whisk their children away in a quick sheltering swoop; it's easy to label a congregation of several dozen grown adults dressed as bug-eyed magical woodland critters as being anti-social or developmentally challenged.  It's so easy to.  Even I held such prejudices at one point, prejudices I held not very long ago either.  In fact, it's a niggling prejudice that still exists within me, I can still feel it, but it was so plain and obvious at how well these individuals would reach out to conquer that vestigial emotion within.

They weren't anti-social at all.  I went in not knowing a single one of them, and every single one greeted me with a paw-shake and a huge smile...well, seeing as the huge smile was a part of the costume but I digress.  Acquaintances quickly budded into on-the-fly friendships as I found myself helplessly indoctrinated into a tightly-knit circle of energetic showmanship and feral brohoofs.  These people...I had almost no previous interaction with them, and within one hour, I was being treated like one of the pack.

The concept is quite simple to the diehard furries.  They're a herd.  A pack.  A group of like-minded individuals who, in their suited decorum, become a collective presence that challenges the surrounding dominant herd of humanity.

And humanity...seems to not like being challenged.

Humanity wants to be the only herd in town.

Humanity demands its dominance.

"Burn in hell furfags!"  Precedes the squealing rubber of a large black pick-up truck peeling into the intersection.  The gruffy voice cuts through the reverberating chatter in a piercing sting weaving between the canines, felines, and equestrians, dragging through it a chorus of aggravated groans.  A minor hush descends upon the crowd, but before the pick-up truck's revving engines could bellow obnoxiously into the nebulous distance the usual conversations emerge right back up where they were before like nothing had happened.

I wonder sometimes.  I wonder if I've ever truly escaped bullying when I left my high school days behind me.  It seems that with a professional job and real life taking precedence over the childish whimsy of my youth, it's much harder to afford the effort and time to even humor negative feelings towards others.  When all you do is act like an adult all the time, bullying itself seems to become irrelevant.

But when youthful whimsy becomes a temporary escape for others, to simply have fun and cast aside all our adult-oriented troubles of work, bills, and relationships...are we introducing the possibility of childhood bullying back into the deck as well?

"Don't worry, about it," the girl across the table reassures me and my friend.  Setting down her strawberry milkshake, she gestures towards the gathering of chipper furries resuming their regular(ish) activities.  "See?  Like water off a duck's back."

They're used to it.  Something they had over me was years of experience to such bullying, and devloping a thick skin (pelt/hide/leather/carapace whatever).  Despite all their efforts to invite and be extremely courteous and friendly to those willing to give them a chance, of course there are those still stuck in the childish mindset, a psychology muffled by the domination-driven id of humanity.  The human animal.  Humans see something as different, something that challenges their perception of establishment and society, a herd competing against their herd.

The evening progresses without further incident, as the enveloping line of parading fauna making their dinner orders thin out and coalesce into the grassy plaza in front of the In'n'Out.

A clattering of aluminum ricochets between the tables.  A few pieces of detritus scatter under the pawed feet of an attendee who jumps back, looking towards a figure on the edge of the premises.  I look up to the orange-furred individual, his fox head's wide bright-eyed smile unable to hide the jolt of panic in his posture as he points a shaking claw to something happening behind me.

Suddenly, I'm hit.

A splash of cold slimy muck slaps the back of my shoulders, spitting a lick of splattering condiments up my neck into the back of my hair.  The lumpy pieces of the half-uneaten burger drag down my back, flopping carelessly backwards with a flat smack on the ground.

Turning around, I expect to see some laughing kids on skateboards.  Instead, I spot the shadowed silhouette of three adult male figures bolt down the sidewalk, my age, one of them tossing aside the lid of a trashcan before leaping into a black pick-up truck.

Several pairs of eyes descend upon me, eyes of concern, eyes of worry, plastic eyes that are perpetually locked in that unmoving stare sculpted into the costumes.  The pack has now turned to me, seeking guidance.

I had just been a victim of bullying.  Adult bullying.  It seems...when we retract back into our regressive states of childhood whimsy, just wanting to have a good time that challenges the orthodox expectations of us...it tends to drag others down to childhood whims as well.  Whims like namecalling, acting ostentatiously, and throwing garbage at those they see to be different.

I had just been fursecuted!

Humanity would demand retribution.  Humanity would demand action and reprimanding for the sake of its precious reputation.  The same humanity that would even throw garbage at a pack of fursuiters just to make an arbitrary point about how it is wrong to be different, how it is wrong to challenge status quo.

Flicking a french fry off my shoulder, I respond with a jovial laugh.

If humanity is just some loathsome bully, I'm not going to drag myself into it.  It's moments like these that become a baptismal rite of passage, a proverbial "make it or break it" situation where I must prove with sincerity that I can abide by their methodologies.  With the same rhythmic uptake of previous passing abuse, the silence dissolves into a bubbling amalgam of upbeat chatter.  A few more sit down at my table.

"Holy cats, dude!" A big-headed blue fox by the name of Razzle asks me.  "That's the most badass MLP T-Shirt I've ever seen!"

"Where'd you find it!?" Follows up a blue fox named Dazzle.  "I want one!"

Challenge humanity.

Challenge the bully.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconx-luna-silverwolf-x:
x-Luna-SilverWolf-x Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I am a furry myself and I have seen the bad side of the fandom. But I like to use that to tell people that we all aren't that bad. Most of us are either artists, writers, or gamers. Most of us would help a little kid who dropped their ice cream by giving them ours. We aren't all bad.

But yes there are "bad furs" out there. They are the ones that give all of the others a bad name. There are ones that have their "kinks" that make the cleanest of furs want to gouge their eyes out.

But these kinds of people are not really "seen" unless you either look for them or go to places where there are a LOT of them. And if you do either then that's your fault and you shouldn't judge the rest the community. Almost all the clean furs, and I don't like using this as strongly as I will right now, HATE the furs who give us a bad name. We hate them because they are one of the reasons why we get bullied as much as we do.

The ones who make and wear fursuits are usually not the bad furs. They are just people who love the openness of the community and love to express themselves more than some other furs. Not to mention if you ever look at their suits you can see how much time and detail and even love goes into their suits. They just love to express who they are through different means than most people.

Not all furries are bad people. There are ones that give the normal furries a bad name. But you don't usually see them unless you look for them. Most furries are extremely nice and will go out of their way to help others because they know how it feels to be bullied. And fursuiters are just furries who want to express themselves to other people in real life as well as on the internet.

Furries are just people like anyone else. Don't judge them before you meet the good ones.
Reply
:iconklarkkentthe3rd:
KlarkKentThe3rd Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
MY SIDES
Reply
:iconicetf:
IceTF Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm going to avoid temptation of commenting unassuaged grill upon this post for fear of argument which I don't have time for.
Reply
:iconsmarticusws:
smarticusws Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh come on, arguments are always cool.
Reply
:iconvookvalentine:
VookValentine Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
No, they're not.
Reply
:iconsmarticusws:
smarticusws Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
YEAH HUH
Reply
:iconvookvalentine:
VookValentine Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
EAT SHIT
Reply
:iconsmarticusws:
smarticusws Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I WILL, AND YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY
Reply
:iconvookvalentine:
VookValentine Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
VERY WELL THEN
HAVE A NICE DAY
Reply
:iconsmarticusws:
smarticusws Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I WILL NOT HAVE A NICE DAY AND YOU CAN GO ▀▀▀▀ YOURSELF, SIR.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconsmarticusws:
smarticusws Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wat
Reply
:iconfablefire:
fablefire Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012
Well done and nicely written.
Reply
:iconobonic:
Obonic Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
I liked how you pointed out that the bullying took a childish approach to a childlike fantasy of imagination.

Seems like anyone who dares to be different are usually met with opposition by those who consider them self "normal".

But those who consider them as such, must be a lonely bunch. If they can't handle others who strays away from their tiny concept of what should or shouldn't be.
Reply
:iconshad-wolf:
Shad-Wolf Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nicely written.
Reply
:iconbadwolfatl:
Badwolfatl Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012
I'l like permission to share this on Furry News Network - contact me at publisher at furrynewsnetwork dot com (change to valid email address)
Reply
:iconmarian0:
marian0 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
When the story began to unravel I thought it would shift into an Eyes-Wide-Shut-kinda party but with furry suits instead of capes and masks.
Reply
:iconpsfox:
PsFox Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Very nicely worded, and you tell a great story. :) I've actually never been to one of these, (though my friend I met a while ago is now one). I've always liked animals and such but the closest I've gotten to being a furry is my alter ego I use online, Niomi. Despite this, I find it kind of cool how they put together these things and just hang out, parade down streets, and go to conventions. The one thing I admire, as you've put it, is how they bravely challenge humanity and aren't really bothered by what they throw at them.
Reply
:iconstridersyd:
StriderSyd Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
I have never heard the word "fursecuted" before today.
Reply
:iconinnak:
Innak Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
:iconclapplz:
Reply
:iconlew-legend:
Lew-Legend Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want to shake your hand, friend ^^

Very good read.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
As long as they don't want me to do it too, I could care less what other people are up to :shrug:

although those guys...oh my god I would have wanted to take that half eaten burger and moosh it in their faces.
Reply
:iconcoffeesorbet:
CoffeeSorbet Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That must've been an interesting experience! It's a shame some dick threw a burger at you, though. Did you get the stains out of your shirt?
Reply
:iconvest:
vest Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Yep, just a couple wipes of a napkin and a run through the wash, and it was good as new.

Fortunately, I was wearing a collared shirt over the precious Gummy shirt, so the valuable commodity escaped unscathed.
Reply
:iconcoffeesorbet:
CoffeeSorbet Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a relief! :happybounce:
Reply
:iconsirxeno:
SirXeno Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
The only furries ive met were obsessed with "animal" sex, so they kinda ruined the furry image for me, not to the point of yelling burn in hell or throwing food though hehe.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Gotta say, that's really well written. Perhaps you missed your calling as a novelist. =p
Reply
:iconanyauribe:
AnyaUribe Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Aww thsi lefta bittesweet taste.
But I support your sentiments!
Screw the retractors.

PS: It sounds fun :XD:
Reply
:iconballoonprincess:
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Indeed such activities take a lot of guts. Being an artist also takes a lot, especially since this culture glorifies the jock and keeps people in mediocrity. Being something special takes guts and standing out takes even more.
Reply
:iconanyauribe:
AnyaUribe Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
:thumbsup::worship:
Reply
:iconballoonprincess:
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
**Giggles!**
Reply
:iconhyenaworks:
Hyenaworks Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'd just like to claim credit as being the first furry you ever met.

Don't try to deny it.

Anyway, those are usually called "Furmeets". I haven't been to one in quite a long time, but the last one I went to was also in Orange County somewhere. lol

Also you're a much bigger man than I am when it came to the drink being tossed at you, especially since it got on your pony shirt. I would have been the fastest fat man they'd ever seen barreling down the sidewalk after them, but that's really a family thing. We're bull-headed in that respect.

But hey, big points for sucking it up and blunting the awkward. Eventually you just feel normal once you get past the "Oh god I'm surrounded by fursuits in the open!" butterflies. I feel the same just going to Blizzcon. There's that initial "Oh god, I'm -that- nerd" wandering down the street towards the convention. Once you get there, it becomes "FUCK YEAH I'm -that- nerd!"
Reply
:iconaomiarmster:
AomiArmster Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
if only one had a weapon able to bombard foes with 'pink slime' when it came to situations like this.
return fire!!
and challenging is a must. :nod:
Reply
:icond4n13l-h3n50n:
D4N13L-H3N50N Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I absolutely love this Journal. Not... Because of the bullying part, more the message part. Also your writing has character which is totally admirable in all the good ways. I think I'll spread a link to this about, see if a few more eyes will land on it.
Reply
:iconsirdan87:
Sirdan87 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Sorry you been a target of bullying. I think I can relate on a few things myself.

I sometimes question why people have to act stupid over little things like this. Not sure if it's a US thing or if it's the person's mindset. Overall, I just dub them being immature people.
Reply
:iconaquarior:
Aquarior Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:icondashlolplz: That sounds like you took a trip to the Twilight Zone :giggle:
Reply
:iconcasey-bemis:
Casey-Bemis Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Way to go man! I frequent anime conventions (in full cosplay or an anime shirt) and cosplayers get the same crap furries do :( People tend to think all anime fans are 30+ year old perverts that still live with their parents, don't take showers, and play video-games all day instead of going to a "real job". I'm sure some fans are like that . . . but most of the people I've met at cons are very nice and inviting, quick to share their reviews of the latest animes they've seen, and most of the time I've felt like I've gained another family.

Its sad that some people just can't leave others alone, and accept that our differences are what makes us stronger.
Reply
:iconleviadragon99:
leviadragon99 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Mm... in my experience, simply ignoring bullies isn't actually that helpfull, no-one should have to take that abuse, the right course of action in my eyes is to find the best way to get them to stop without lowering yourself to that level.
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
I don't know if I agree that the bullies involved here felt challenged as such; they sound like some very, very impressionable idiots who have spent far too much time consorting with 14 year old sociopaths in a dimly lit corner of the Internet and lack the common sense to differentiate between being an online nuisance and being a real-world criminal. Sometimes it isn't ignorance that breeds contempt so much as abject stupidity.

So saying, while the furry group you were hanging out with sounds like a great bunch, that doesn't sound like a 'furry party.' That was a a spectacle, and one which is usually reserved for conventions. As one who has been loitering around the fringe of furry culture for over a decade, I don't feel that it's really wise or socially appropriate. On the other hand, I guess there's something to be said for challenging some unspoken rules of expression when there's no real harm to be done.
Reply
:iconerenik:
erenik Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well written as always :)
Reply
:iconmarcusdranz:
MarcusDranz Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Well, you're a bigger person than I am. That woulda freaked me right the fuck out. As would getting trash'd, I'd've flipped.
Reply
:iconcomical1:
Comical1 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your writing style really sinks in readers who may otherwise have no interest in the Furry community, but your story is also very sad. It reflects poorly (though accurately) on the behavior of humans regardless of age. A lot of times, I suspect, that it is the people who believe they are more mature than everyone else that resort to those sorts of antics. Its narrow-minded, self-righteousness that motivates grown adults to behave like they never grew up. The hardest part to swallow about this reality... it the realization that those three grown men will go home believing that they were completely justified in their persecution of a group of friends who they felt were inappropriately dressed for their age. We don't throw food at children who wear costumes, and we don't throw food at adults that wear costumes to the clubs--say for a bachelorette party. What is the defining line between these activities that makes the furries wrong for dressing up when everyone else is more than welcome to?

I digress. And I have added your journal to my favorites. I have never been to a furry gathering, but in my teens I was part of an online community (bigfurs.com) full of them and everyone I ever spoke to on that site was more than kind and deserving of respect.
Reply
:icontaconacho:
taconacho Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Dunno how you were able to manage that .___." Furries scare me and being in a herd of 50 of em would just make me freak out. In my experience, most furries I've met are like the equivalent of bible thumpers ^__^" They probably aren't all that way, but I can't stand overly friendly and glompy people in my proximity.

Also, when someone hits on you while wearing a fursuit... It's just....special let's say >_>"
Reply
:iconzhenghu:
ZhengHu Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Student Filmographer
i'm a furry. and i understand this. the bullying has to disappear, because the good people get hurt by this. i was victim of the bullying, and i understand very well this. And that was good for you because it's an experience that could benefit others, so they can understand. i liked this a lot.
Reply
:iconian9802:
Ian9802 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:iconclapplz: Respect is a good thing~
Reply
:iconaidenke:
aidenke Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012
Sounds like a heck of an amusing experience and a great story to be sure. And hey, there's nothing wrong with good, nice people having a good time that's not hurting anyone. Why people can't handle that and be okay with it is beyond me.

More fun should be had by all!
Reply
:iconcurran:
curran Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012
Kudos to you.

It's kinda hard to say anything more than what your story said and some of the other folks here have said, but I have been going through similar in my life. While it is not as outside the park as furry-ness (?) I have been finally opening up my gaming hobbies to my family. It was something I kept to myself for years, after all, I've been raised to see it as a childish hobby, but hey, I find a lot of joy in it. But the drawback to that has always been a sort of shame with it, like I had to hide it.

Once I started embracing it into my life and letting my family know it, I found more support and happiness. It is all about the confidence. In your case, it is the confidence and comfort to not freak out at the bullies, and to embrace happiness. I feel like I am, in some small part, doing the same as I finally get around to pulling together these fragments of my lifestyle into a single piece after years of separation.

Inspiring words, sir. Highfive.
Reply
:iconyamitora1:
Yamitora1 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Furries creep me out with their fetishes i've seen on Yiffstar and FA
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
You're entitled to being creeped out, but you should know that furs creep out other furs on a very regular basis. There is no unified code of furry fetishism, nor a demand that fetishism even enter the interest.

As for that certain episode of CSI - they had a fur on staff yelling at them for getting everything wrong, but they liked the sensationalism more than they liked accuracy or ethics.
Reply
:iconyamitora1:
Yamitora1 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
But it still an important thing to keep in mind that sexy kitty might be middle aged bald dude. just like sexy woman in a chat is actually 400 lb fat shutin dude and 14 year old girl is actually a 45 year old veteran officer in charge of a sting operation.
Reply
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