Administrative Executive Editor
Keene State College first-year Michael Bullen has been putting flyers all over campus to inform the public of his forming of a new club: Furry Club.
Google Dictionary defines a furry as, “[A person with] an enthusiasm for animal characters with human characteristics, in particular a person who dresses up in costume as such a character or uses one as an avatar online.”
Bullen said the premise of the club is for people who can appreciate anthropomorphic art to come together and share in their common interest. Dictionary.com defines anthropomorphic as, “Resembling or made to resemble human form.”
Bullen said, “My goal isn’t really to start this huge club. It’s just to meet like minded people.” He said that most of the furry community is very diverse and open minded and that was a major reason why he wanted to start a club. Bullen said although he is a part of the LGBT community, he wants to meet people who share his interests as well. “I know there is already a pride club here [at KSC], but I just wanted to meet people who are more like minded than just that,” Bullen said.
Bullen said he has started working with the Program Support Assistant for LGBT Students Hunter Kirschner in order to get the word out about his club. He said many of the posters he put up around campus have been removed.
Though Bullen’s fliers have been taken down and hasn’t had any club meetings, he’s already started meeting new people who share in this interest. “I met another Mike [Michael Igresti] which was really good.”
Both Bullen and Igresti recognized that the furry community is not very large at KSC.
Igresti said his affinity for the furry subculture was one of self expression. “[It’s about] being able to express who you want to be and who you are through something other than what is considered normal.” He said another reason he is a part of this culture is that they are a very accepting culture and rarely turn people away.
Igresti said most of the judgement he felt was from his parents, but also society as a whole based on the social stigma attached to the term “furry.”
A subculture and sociology study done by Grinnell College said that many of sociwety’s ideas of what furries are is wrong. “Not all, or even most, furries wear fursuits; furries do not, on the whole, have traits consistent with personality disorders; not all furries are gay.”
Igresti said when he first started wearing his rainbow fox tail — his furry costume — it felt very different to when he wears it now. “I wear that all the time. Compared to before I got it, when I got it, and when I wear it now, there has been a huge social shift.”
Bullen said, “The first thing that people think of is that it’s a fetish, and not really a subculture, I guess. I think a lot of the reason has to do with the furry fandom only getting bad publicity. It’s simply because it’s just so weird. I’m not going to say it’s a normal thing — it’s pretty weird. There’s not a lot of people who do it. It’s just good fun.”
Bullen said a lot of people see the costume as a crutch used to assist in interacting with people, but for him, it was like dressing up for Comic Con. He said his interest in the furry subculture is less related to his self expression, and more of just a hobby.
Bullen said, “I have my own costume … It’s one of the best things I’ve bought.” Michael’s fursuit is a full fox suit.
For more information and to get involved in the KSC’s Furry Club, contact Michael Bullen at Michael.Bullen@ksc.keene.edu.
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