How to Present Furry Fandom to the Media
Furries have often been misrepresented in the media as perverts, and the furry fandom as a fetish. This has led to the public seeing furries in a negative light and backlash within the fandom about how it should address itself. If you are a furry, you might one day be confronted by the media at a convention or other gathering. These steps may help you handle this situation without reinforcing the stereotypes, and perhaps even painting the fandom in a positive light.
Know what you're talking about.If you have a very narrow view of the fandom, then you won't exactly be able to be the best spokesperson for it.
- A stock response to the media could be something along the lines of this: "Furry is a subculture fixed on animal character design and how it can ram into someone's identity." A longer, more involved run-down could read something like, "Furry Fandom is all about animals that walk and talk as we do. It's based on mankind's millenia-old fascination with the animal kingdom and has its roots in the gods of Egypt, in the fables of Aesop, in the stories of Reynard the Fox, all the way into modern-day cartoons. Look at our how pervasive they are in our culture, in our advertising and our sports mascots. People have always admired animals. It's a trait that transcends all cultural and racial boundaries. Everyone the world over talks to his cat, and it's part of our basic psychological makeup to imagine that the cat actually gives a damn what we are saying. If the cat did give a damn, and in fact if he could argue the point with us, that is Furry Fandom." Don't feel the need to memorize a paragraph though! When you're with media, be succinct in your responses.
Be polite.Not only does this help present a positive image, it also dispels any suspicion that you have something to hide by running away from the journalist. If you do not want to talk to them, smile and politely inform them that you are not the right person to talk to, and then direct them to the organizer/media liaison of whatever gathering you are attending.
Avoid speaking to tabloid journalists, or any other shady journalist.These people are often even more focused on getting the juiciest story. Only talk to representatives from local stations and newspapers, or from a respectable network such as Discovery, or National Geographic.
- If a reporter is from Comedy Central or G4, you need to be extra careful of what you say.
Do notdownplay negative aspects of the fandom - talk about theissueyou have with it.If you are asked about a taboo subject, tell the media how you honestly feel about it. Is it unfair that you are being associated with yiffing? Or maybe the fandom really can be a place for some people to explore a kink, and people are being too sensitive over strange media coverage. The choice isyours. Obtain a clear opinion on how you feel about subjects like CSI, etc and talk about it in-front of the cameras if you're comfortable. If you're asked about sexual artwork, acknowledge that it exists, but also tell them that it exists in any fandom.
Use terms that everyone will know.Most people don't know what "FA", "yiff", "scritch", or any other furry terms mean. Instead, use terms like "cartoon", and names of well-known cartoon characters as examples. Terminology in a subculture is a large part of its soul, however, and conversation may give you a chance to expose popular terminology within the fandom. If you use one of our words to the camera, give the audience a heads up on what it means.
- If you feel uncomfortable about a question, say you're not a great person to comment on this issue. It is entirely your right to refuse a question.
- Avoid using statistics, because there are no proven statistics in the furry fandom.
- When you are talking to the media, you represent the entire fandom. Use good judgement. Don't put on a mask and be honest about how you feel.
- Sex and religion are valid topics in a healthy society. If you find yourself in a conversation about it with media, talk about the issue maturely. Divulging your personal history is usually in poor judgement in front of a camera.
- CSI and Vanity Fair are hot topics for media. If you're asked about them, it is fine to give them your perspective. State how you personally feel about how these events portrayed our culture and whether or not you thought it was belittling.
Video: 10 Tips For Getting Started In the Furry Fandom
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