Are furries considered part of LGBTQ

Furrys develop animal characters for themselves and give them human characteristics. Alexander from Berlin came into this scene a few years ago, in which he now appears as Wolf Sordeo. In his costume, he was already at the Folsom Europe street festival - but is the furry fandom a fetish? SIEGESSÄULE spoke to Alexander about his furry alter ego, sexual components in being furry and the LGBTI * quota within the scene

Furrys are rarely seen in the real world. How do you become part of the community? There is no superordinate association. The scene is quite manageable and the mutual exchange takes place mainly on the Internet. There are many furries that do not have a costume, i.e. a fursuit. For some it is not that important, often it is simply too expensive. Such a suit can cost up to several thousand euros.

So you don't need a fursuit to be part of the community. Exactly. Many develop their Fursona exclusively through drawings and animations that you make yourself or commission. Others describe their characters in chat and write stories in appropriate forums.

How did you find your figure? Sordeo is a somewhat sedate black wolf with a rather calm, wise spirit. I sat down with a draftsman, and we visually developed this character together until I said, “This corresponds to my alter ego.” I made a conscious decision that Sordeo is quite close to my own person. With many furries, their character develops into an expressive variant that is completely different from themselves. There are people who have several fursonas and change their form of expression depending on which suit they are currently wearing.

"For me, Sordeo is a muse or inspiration that I stage photographically and thus create my kind of art."

That almost sounds a bit like drag ... Well ... the comparison may be correct, the terminology is not. I prefer to talk about escapism. People use this to really get out of themselves. They would hardly do that in real life. That is why a furry persona is to a certain extent a protective character.

What is furry fandom for you? For me it is primarily a hobby that offers access to a very interesting community. Furry fandom isn't exactly an art form, but it's close to art. The community is very creative. For me, Sordeo is also a muse or an inspiration that I stage photographically and thus create my kind of art.

You own a fursuit. How do you get there? I got the suit after about two years in the scene. For me, a furry character is only complete when I can really embody it. To do this, you look for a suit maker whose style you like and apply for a slot, which can take months with coveted makers. Reference drawings are exchanged and a body model is removed so that the suit fits. And then the Suitmaker starts to build. A distinction is made between "toony", the more playful variants, semi-realistic and fully realistic fursuits. They are the most complex and also the most expensive.

"A predominant part of the furry community is close to the queer community."

What do the people say you tell about your hobby? I'm a little reluctant to tell who I hang around in the furry fandom. But my circle of friends is curious and interested. So far, no one has reacted negatively.

How gay or queer is the furry scene? The aspect is quite important in the community, for which there are also scientific surveys. It has been shown that a predominant part of the furry community is close to the queer community.

"Sex is nowhere near the main reason people turn to the community."

Can furry fandom be a fetish? Does it have a sexual component? From the outside, being furry is often mistaken for a fetish. That gets mixed up quickly with pup play. It is much more than a sexual attraction. Sex is nowhere near the main reason people turn to the community. I found a social environment there with which one is in constant contact.

How do you tell people the difference Pup play? In the broadest sense, pup play is the reduction to animal behavior, usually that of a puppy. There you hand over responsibility to your owner or owner. Anthropomorphism - i.e. being furry - is practically the opposite: I give an animal character human characteristics. As a furry, I'm not "your little dog". I am my own personality.

Do you go out into the gay scene as Sordeo? I am relatively seldom in a suit outside of furry events. I went to the Folsom street fair with it in 2019. Together with my motorcycle clothes, the wolf fits in there very well. But that's also because Sordeo is quite masculine in appearance. In general, I let the wolf out to furry meetings and dances. Sordeo is more of an "event wolf" (laughs).

Where do you meet other furries? Throughout the year there are so-called walks, where you gather people in suits and walk through the park and also interact with normal people. Or there are regulars' tables to exchange ideas in person. Once a year, the Eurofurence, Europe's largest furry convention, takes place in Berlin. This is the highlight of the year for the community. For many, this is a shelter among like-minded people. You can live out your hobby there without being looked at in a strange way. Unfortunately, this year the event was only available digitally.

What would your wish be, in which direction the furry scene should develop? I think the furry fandom is good as it is. For me it doesn't have to become more mainstream, because it would then also attract people who only perceive it as a happening. I would like people who feel part of the community and are also involved there. Of course, there are furries who feel comfortable in the spotlight, but most of them don't have great ambitions to attract attention. People who present themselves to the outside world as spokespersons for fandom are viewed with suspicion in the community.

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# gay # queer # animal character # furry # wolf