Uncaged: An inside look on what it means to be a furry

By Keaton Yates, Staff Reporter

The Saluki Furry Society welcomes the SIU community to join and unleash their fursonas.

Tyler Knupp, Saluki Furry Society president and founder, said it’s complicated to try and define a furry, but a furry is basically a person that has an interest in anamorphic animals.

(See more: Saluki Furry Society feeling free with their furry personas)

Advertisement

Advertisement

At its core, the furry community is art-based and involves creating characters or costumes, also called fursuits, Knupp said.

“Some people can make it a lifestyle, it’s more of a hobby for many,” Zynn Moore, treasurer of the society, said

Furries are often seen as sexual and are thought to be zoophiliacs, people who have sexual intercourse with animals, but that’s not what a furry actually is, Knupp said.

“That is, in fact, shunned out of this community,” Knupp said. “If anyone’s name comes forth with such information, they are banned from conventions, they’re not allowed in public organizations anymore unless they’re running their own, which some still exist.”

Moore said  he personally has met more asexual people in the furry community than anywhere else.

While part of the community does partake in the fetishization of anamorphic animals, that’s not why the organization is on campus, Knupp said. It is in their constitution that they are family friendly. 

SFS has fliers around campus that have a paw print with a rainbow flag on one of the paw pads. This has resulted in heated emails to the organization and vandalism of the posters; the phrase “LGBT is not furry” has been written on some of them.

“[The LGBT flag is] on there for a couple of different reasons. We are an LGBT safe space, you won’t find any discrimination and if someone does discriminate we will escort them out,” Knupp said. “We are also under the umbrella of Rainbow Saluki Network.”

Knupp said he believes that it is easier for LGBT people to be in the furry community because the majority of the furry fandom is accepting. 

During meetings, most of what SFS does is hang out, chat about furry interests and plan events.

“My favorite thing is that’s where all of my friends are,” Natalie Daniel, a society member, said. “Our meetings are pretty laid back, we all just hang out and do whatever.”

Sometimes the club will host art days, where people can make characters, get help with art and find out where to start, Moore said.

“When people create a fursona it’s usually a better version or a projected version of themselves,” Knupp said.

Daniel said her fursona is a calico cat with a bubbly personality and her character is her best self.

“This semester, we’re looking into hosting a charity to raise money for a local animal shelter. We’re still getting details and all that figured out right now, but hopefully that’ll be sometime in April,” Knupp said.

Last semester, SFS did a food drive for the food pantry on campus that was successful and they hope to continue that every semester, Knupp said.

Meetings are on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Mackinaw River Room in the Student Center. 

Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @keatsians.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement