Watch & Learn: 6 Things You Might Not Know about Furries
This 60-second video captures the spirit of the furries.
It’s that time of year again: Anthrocon. From July 9 through July 12, people decked out in colorful fox tails and bold mascot-like animal costumes will flock to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, with this year’s theme of “The Viking Invasion.” They’re called furries, and they’re here to celebrate art, literature and all things anthropomorphic.
Even though Pittsburgh has hosted Anthrocon since 2006, there probably are things that you don’t know about the subculture. Here’s a list of some furry facts:
- The fandom originated in the 1980s, springing out of larger fandoms in fantasy and science-fiction. Fans often cite the movie "Kimba, The White Lion," the novel "Watership Down" and Disney’s "Robin Hood" as possible inspirations for the anthropomorphic fandom.
- The furry fandom is male-dominated, with about 80 percent male respondents. When not at the convention, most furries are employed in scientific or technical fields.
- Fursuits (the plush animal costumes that some furries wear) range in design from simple, mascot-like garb to fursuits with moving jaw mechanisms, animatronic parts, prosthetic makeup and other features. They range in cost from around $500 to upwards of $10,000. Understandably, 80 percent of furries don’t wear fursuits, opting for simple ears, tails and/or paws.
- Pittsburgh’s Anthrocon is the largest furry convention, with 5,861 people in attendance in 2014. The convention started in 1997 in Albany, N.Y., but Pittsburgh has hosted the convention since 2006.
- The convention contributed about $6.2 million to Pittsburgh’s economy in 2014. It also raised $32,372 for the National Aviary, the convention’s selected charity for the year. With that kind of money, you could buy a lot of fursuits.
- Ironically, Anthrocon does not allow pets.
If you want to see them for yourself, Pittsburgh's first-ever "Fursuit" walk is Saturday, July 11 at 2 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Anthrocon organizers say approximately 1,300 "Fursuiters" are expected to take part in the procession. It's the first time that the public is invited to watch the outdoor portion of the walk, which will occur rain or shine.