I’ve been on the edges of the furry community for years now. In fact, from my perspective, the furry community is no more a community than any other loose conglomeration of people is. There are little cells, or cliques, but if there is a grand community I’ve never seen it. The perception of the group is only there if you are far enough outside to be outside. It’s like Anonymous. You can’t get an accurate accounting of what it is. You can only see that that there is a group of people with, more or less, the same interests or goals. I suspect that if you were actually in it things would seem much less cohesive. There are probably little groups of activists that actually get all the stuff done, while most of the group is just dickheads who like to put on Gut Fawkes masks and be intimidating.
That said, there must be larger groups that really buy in to the lifestyle. If there weren’t there wouldn’t be conventions. Now, as far as fursuits go, there are regional styles. In general American suits tend to look more like mascots, or looney toons. In Japan they tend to err on the side of the anime aesthetic. Shocking, I know. Both regions, however, have a smaller subset of people who make hyper realistic suits. To the point of it looking like huge taxidermy. For the record, those kinds of suits creep me the fuck out. I like a clear demarcation between reality and fantasy when it comes to anthro stuff. I don’t want a giant, dead eyed, fox prancing around in my general location.
Our new cast member has made her suit in a Japanese style. (Mostly because I can’t draw American style furries for shit.) The minutia of suit making is varied. Some people make very intricate internals for their suits, others just wear hollowed out rolls of carpet. You have to give at least some respect to anyone who can commit to a hobby at that level. It seems like once you make a suit you are all in.
The long and the short of all of this is that a fursuiter is no weirder a person that some chump who dresses up like Green Lantern at a comic convention. They want the same combination of attention and camaraderie.
For the record, I really like the girl in the suit.