Pitts-fur-gh, PA

20 Jul

I realized, after my last post, that maybe I should address some things.
1. Sweden’s not cheap. That was a (hilarious) joke.
2. I renamed my blog, the cover photo might change.
3. I love the furries.


Um, what?

Er, what, exactly, are the furries??
Joy incarnate.
A group of people who get together to put on tails (and ears. and sometimes full animal suits) in order to have a convention. To go out to eat. To mingle. To ride escalators. To play poker. To participate in dance parties. To text their daughters?!



I just think it’s really, really fun.
And funny! – By the end I always feel like the people who are not wearing tails are the people who are out of place. Upside-down reality can be wonderful.

sustained hallucination

a sustained hallucination

Society, man.

How did you hear about the furries?
I just saw ’em. And thought it was awesome. I asked a few people what was going on, got super excited, drove to Jo-Ann fabrics, and joined in the very next day.

Pittsburgh has the largest furry convention in the entire world.
This year there were 5,500 registered fursonas — a new record. Other places are contenders; Cali-fur-nia and Vancou-fur. You can’t make that up. Contracts have happily been resigned in Pittsburgh through 2016, with both The Westin and The Convention Center, hosts of this playful, annual event.

What makes you want to be a furry?
Mostly it’s my sense of humor. For some reason, I think it is downright mirthful watching otherwise-sane people conducting business while wearing a tail.

Other people may have different reasons.
Perhaps a childhood story has stuck with them and now they idolize a particular animal (Wilber? guilty). Or maybe there’s an emotional connection that gives new meaning to a pet `becoming` part of the family (zing!). Or maybe a certain aspect of someones personality resonates with a particular animal. This is an opportunity to embody that.

Of course, they could just think a certain animal is cute.


Or a badass.

I’ve also seen people pick ‘themed’ animals — like a turtle and a hare — or whichever ears a friend can lend them (I’m saying, ‘I have extras.’)

Tell me more about the Furry Convention.
This years theme was the Fast and the Furrious (which, you`ll appreciate, is hilarious). And I fully participated. Well, almost. (I couldn’t do furry-aoke, Fran, because I’m insecure about my voice.)

I went all out, paying $60 for a 3-day long pass.
And I’d have gladly paid double.

The whole thing was started by a Canadian doctor, Samuel Conway. That`s him (blurry in the white lab coat) below.

All of those people have their PhD.  No joke.

All of the ‘people’ pictured have their PhD. Fur-real.

It`s cool because in contrast to the visual nonsensical-ness many aspects of this event are very official: Friendly security guards are posted throughout the buildings and watch entrances, and there are legitimate American Sign Language Interpre-furs milling about, translating. There is a schedule of events, panel discussions, fursuiting activities, art workshops and galleries, meet and greets, famous authors who give readings, dance competitions, dance parties, comedy shows (both stand-up and Whose Lion is it Anyway), research studies (to participate in), people to watch, animals to watch, games to play, and an official opening/closing ceremony.

The Westin is always completely booked but a light-heartedness permeates: Sweet furry couples walk around holding tails instead of paws and the maids go out of their way to fold towels into animals shapes. It´s almost quaint.

What aren’t the furries?
The furries are not a Haloweeen celebration; there are no cowboys, indians, Freddy Kruggers, or princess’ . It’s kid friendly (but don’t tell them).

I’ve heard crass rumors: The furries are sex crazed animals who trash hotel rooms and deficate in litter boxes? Ew, that’s nasty. I’m classy (look at me.). Based on my experience the fur balls don’t have any more sex than the rest of the population; no need for anyone to get jealous.

i rest my case.

PG rated blast.

People who perpetuate these misrepresentations have obviously never been to a Furry Convention.
I blame the media, it’s an easy scapegoat. Plus there was that that one CSI episode. But please. CSI did an episode on antifracking and did we all just blindly jump onto the environmental bandwagon?! No. We’re using our heads.

For me, the furries are all about making the mundane silly — I am a Laughter Yoga teacher, after all. I can`t wait until next year.
Being a grown up is exactly how I imagined.
wag wag wag,
‘mi 🙂

5 Responses to “Pitts-fur-gh, PA”

  1. Andrew B. Travis July 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    You are my bunny. Love you.

  2. Sammi Travis July 30, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    !!!!! youre my favorite furry. cant wait until next year. or the bar. or just a hug 🙂

  3. Brittany Thomas August 6, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Super happy to have met you – especially at such a fun event! Best of luck in your travels 🙂

    • Sammi Travis August 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      Im super happy to have met you, too!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets adventure together when i got back.

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