Updated: Aug 21
Recently, there have been frightening reports of schools in Florida allowing students to
identify as "furries” and act out in costume at school. You can express your opposition to this outrageous phenomenon by signing the Florida Citizens Alliance’s letter to school administrators through this link.
Furries are people who have an abnormal interest in animal characters with human characteristics and who take them on as a “fursona” (an alternate persona) who interacts with other “fursonas” in the community via roleplaying and art.
Fargo (North Dakota) School Board member Jennifer Benson told The Forum "The students I have talked to say ‘furries are everywhere, they are in all of our schools,’” Benson wrote in an email to The Forum. “They said ‘furries wear collars, tails, headband ears, leashes, and some hiss and bark.’”
Far Left online magazine Jezebel, reported that according to Kentucky NBC affiliate WLWT, parents and students alike are concerned about a group of high school students in the Meade County School district “attending school acting like and dressing as cats.” One woman who spoke to the outlet, the grandmother of two children who attend the high school, said the trend began last year, but seemed to become more popular when students returned to classes in August of 2021.
“I was hearing rumblings of this last year, but it really got bad when they went back to school this year. I have two grandkids in school and my grandkids didn’t want to go to school anymore,” one Kentucky grandmother said.
She said the issue gained attention on social media once people started sharing photos and videos of the feline costumes and behavior, “I started getting videos and messages from kids, and I said, ‘Ok, I’m going to post this so parents know what’s going on.’”
The grandmother said a petition to end the practice was created by students and has more than 1,000 signatures.
“The students are told they can’t wear hats or Budweiser shirts in school, but they can wear cat ears, cat tails, masks, leashes. It doesn’t make sense,” she added.
While the district’s superintendent assured WLWT that this furry gear is, in fact, a dress code violation, that hasn’t seemed to ease the worries of the anonymous student who started the petition. The student claims these “furries”—their classmates—are “growling, hissing, or even scratching and biting at other people.”
Jezebel staff writer Ashley Reese concluded, "I’ve been very online for more than half my life, and I’ve witnessed every possible expression of furrydom that one can imagine: the costumes, the fanart, the porn, the meetups, etc. Whether we’re calling them furries or members of the “kin” community, I truly do not understand the appeal and I never will. Admittedly, I’m a little weirded out by it, not unlike that grandma from Kentucky."
The porn, the meetups, etc. are what concern parents, because what people also learn when they research furries is that furry fandom has a strong sexual fetish undercurrent.
And the grooming of young children is what concerns many parents. According to Rolling Stone, at the furry conventions, the number of attendees who are minors has “steadily increased,” says John “KP” Cole, the director of communications at Anthrocon, a furry convention in the Pittsburgh area. According to data provided to Rolling Stone, approximately 16 percent of attendees at Anthrocon 2019 were under the age of 19.
Like most trends, the popularity of furry fandom can largely be attributed to digital culture. The fandom is also blowing up on TikTok, where furries like Pyxe (195,000 followers), Halfy (119,000 followers), and Barry Angel Dragon (98,000 followers), have amassed large audiences in a relatively short amount of time due to their cuddly and colorful “fursonas.”
A 23-year-old from Houston, Texas, Pyxe says 73% of his followers are between the ages of 13 and 18, and that most of them are female; a gender breakdown that actually deviates from that of the furry fandom as a whole, which tends to skew male. (Teenage girls tend to be drawn to the more “cutesy” side of the fandom, as opposed to the “drinking, partying, more adult” side, which skews more masculine, he says.)
“A lot of kids will be on TikTok because it’s very catered toward a young [demographic] and the content is short and kids have a very short attention span,” he says. “A lot of times they’ll see a furry and they’ll want to see what it’s about, and they’ll join the fandom that way.” (Indeed, Emily, a nine-year-old "deer," interviewed by Rolling Stone found the fandom on Tiktok when she was eight; at the time of the Rolling Stone interview, she was waiting to see Tequila Shepherd, a British German Shepherd with 178,000 followers.)
Editor’s Note: This is your cue not to let your pre-teen child go on TikTok.
And, despite generally approving and promoting furry fandom, Rolling Stone had to admit that there are indeed some who are drawn to the fandom for sexual reasons, and there have been instances where adults in the fandom have preyed on minors, most notably a pedophile ring that was busted in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 2017.
Midwest FurFest’s media relations lead Matt Berger says the conventions typically reserve 18+ programming, such as kink safety panels, for the nighttime hours, with the con instituting a strict “no latex on the floor till after dark” policy.
While some rumors about the furry invasion of public schools, such as administrators putting litter boxes in student restrooms to accommodate students with cat “fursonas” have been debunked, clearly public school administrators across the country have indulged this phenomenon. Children who are socially inept or uncomfortable should be protected by school administrators and should not be exposed to grooming by adults in a subculture already known for promoting pedophilia and pornography.
Go here to sign the Florida Citizens Alliance letter demanding answers on your school district’s policy toward the furry invasion of our public schools. If you do not live in Florida, we encourage you to start your own community opposition to the furry invasion of your public schools.
growling hissing biting
Barry Angel Dragon