There is one thing that almost all furries have in common. That is their shyness or social awkwardness. I know that’s a big generalization to make but it’s true for the most part. There are eccentric furries but they are few and far between. A lot of us found our way into the fandom because we saw like-minded people with open hearts. Within the fandom we can flourish and truly be ourselves. Those eccentric furries help those who are more shy to come out of their shell an express themselves more often. Most of the time that is trough art, the glue that holds the fandom together.
It isn’t just a place of creativity. Yes, that’s a very big part of the fandom, but it’s still surrounded by so many others. These other surroundings are what allow people to be themselves, to finally express themselves in a way that allows them to reach out and make friends.
Making friends is always something that’s hard for a lot of people. It’s even harder for furries because of the stigma that hangs over the fandom’s head like a dark cloud. This is why there are so many places for furries to gather online. They are places where we can be ourselves and not have to shy away from the little quirks that make us us.
There are numerous apps and websites for the fandom to gather within. Some of the most popular have been around for a decade or more. FurAffinity was how I found my way into the art aspect of the fandom. It’s a social site, but it mostly used for other furries to display their various creative works. Artwork, music, stories, photo manipulations. All of it and more can be found within FurAffinity. It opened my eyes to more art than I ever imagined could exist. It helped me find my way into doing art myself. Now I’m still growing in my ability and I can get feedback and critique from the many wonderful artists on FurAffinity.
Furry Amino is a smart phone app that is run in a blogging format. It has user created chat rooms where people can talk about anything within the fandom. One can ask for critique on a particular piece, find other furries in their area, or even share their daily goings-on. I’m lucky enough to be part of a ‘magazine’ that posts weekly, featuring all kinds of works from others within the community. It’s a special little place. Because of the restriction on more mature stuff the age demographic is mostly younger people. It’s amazing to see younger furries finding their way and finding out more and more about themselves with every passing day. Being younger and having a place where you can be yourself entirely is extremely valuable and Furry Amino has succeeded in giving the younger people in the fandom that place.
Since Facebook is the biggest social media hub these days of course there’s a furry community based around that platform. This one is called Ferzu. It’s a social networking site built by and for furries. There’s a function where you can find other users in your area using the GPS built into the site/app. You can post status, share your artwork or other photos, and plan meet-ups with other local furries.
I feel like I’m trying to be a spokesperson for these communities, so I’m going to just continue on with my point. That point being that furries are inherently shy. They’re shy because a lot of people don’t understand what a furry is. Once again, my goal for this blog is to bring a new understanding to those who don’t get it. It’s hard to understand someone who is shy or afraid to reveal something about their true nature. These social clubs allows furries to do just that. Their shells are broken and eventually fall away and friendships blossom and flourish within these communities. I used to be so, so shy but once I found FurAffinity I opened up. It took a while but eventually that feeling reached out into my real life and I found it easier to make friends outside of the fandom. Now I’m more of a social butterfly than I ever have been. I still have trouble, but everyone does every now and then. Social anxiety can’t be ‘fixed’ but it can be helped and being a furry, finding these communities, and having the ability to be myself has definitely helped.
We furries are meek little creatures that just want to make friends. And, luckily, the rest of the fandom feels the same, giving us the ability to grow with everyone else.