6/18/2012 1:42 PM
Around 5,000 furries gathered in Pittsburgh over the weekend for Anthrocon 2012, the world’s largest convention catering to men and women enamored by humanlike animal characters. Though many people think of furries as folks who get freaky in animal costumes, Anthrocon’s organizers and attendees want the public to know that’s not what being furry is all about.
When Americans “encounter something that people do that they don't understand, they immediately draw the conclusion that it must be a sexual fetish,” Samuel Conway, Anthrocon's chairman, told The Associated Press. “I find it highly annoying.”
The truth, according to Conway and many other Anthrocon attendees, is that furries are nothing more than “a collection of artists, animators, writers, costumers, puppeteers, and everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals and their kin.” According to Anthrocon.org, if you own a stuffed animal or enjoy watching shows like Bugs Bunny and The Muppets, you just might enjoy what furry fandom has to offer. After all, there's a reason characters like Tony the Tiger and Mickey Mouse are so popular.
This year’s Anthrocon featured Mike Kazaleh, a comic book and TV cartoon animator known for his work with Bugs Bunny and Ren and Stimpy, and Dev Madan, a video game and comic books illustrator. Artist displays, cartoon-themed presentations, dances, and other live performances were also part of the four-day family friendly event.
Curious about the furry lifestyle? Check out footage from Anthrocon 2012 below and then read 7 Things to Know About Furry Fandom.