Furries are the subject of general confusion and suspicion, which, to be honest, is not entirely unfair. Groups of people dressed like cartoon animals are a little disconcerting, whether in Disney Land or holiday parades. Remove them from a more official setting and place them on, say, the streets outside your local convention center, and being slightly freaked out makes sense.
Detox, however, has decided to strip away some of the unease surrounding the furry furnomenon (not sorry) by collecting and sorting through data related to the subculture. Using information gathered since 2009 in The Furry Survey, the article’s findings “[explore] who furries are, where they live, which species they prefer to emulate, the taboo topic of zoophilia, and more.”
The entire article, liberally seasoned with infographics, is filled with interesting trivia, but a few key facts stick out. For example, furries aren’t obsessed with sex (though they believe the general public thinks they are); mostly prefer to dress as foxes, wolves, and dogs; and are least interested in zipping up in suits resembling koalas or various primates. Lastly, thank god, the numbers show that, while there definitely are furries who are sexually attracted to actual animals, they don’t make up a large enough percentage of the group to characterize the whole.
While none of this fully explains what exactly draws people to the trials, tribulations, and closet-bursting costume management of furry life, the article’s wide data set does show that the subculture is often mischaracterized. Less sexual fetishists than hobbyists, furries appear to simply enjoy dressing up as creatures that many of us would rather leave in our childhood’s cartoon-inflected nightmares. In a time so filled with hate and fear, it seems best to simply accept that, strange as it may be, some people just like wearing big weird animal outfits and leave it at that.