This could be considered a sensitive topic for a lot of people, and I hope it’s abundantly clear that I don’t wish to offend anybody at all by anything that I write here.
I believe this is a very real yet very not-talked-about topic that should be acknowledged. I am an ex-furry and a person of color. I know that the furry fandom is known for being very open and accepting of diversity in religion, sexuality, gender, background, etc. but something that I’ve noticed is that there are very few people of color in the furry fandom. I personally know 0 furries that aren’t white/caucasian. This isn’t to say that there are no furries of color, just that they’re so few and far between that I don’t even know any personally and rarely see any in media.
Before I go on, I’d also like to acknowledge the fact that race is entirely a social construct created by humans. One that often serves no real or good purpose in everyday life. He’s black, she’s white, you’re this, I’m that, who cares? It shouldn’t really affect much of anything. However, ethnicity is not a social construct. Ethnicity is a beautiful thing that shows the different variations that humans come in: physically, culturally, behaviorally, geographically, the list goes on. I don’t think anybody should be treated differently (positively or negatively) based on their race or ethnicity for any reason. However I do believe that people of each and every ethnicity (including mixtures of any of them) have different experiences in life that their ethnicities played a part in.
That being said, I’ll bring it back to how this relates to the furry fandom! As a former furry who is biracial black/white, I’ve had a number of experiences that I don’t believe many fully white furries can truthfully say they’ve experienced as well. On top of this, I see barely any people of color in furry media. Group photos of furries, imagery of furries & partially human fursonas, animation & entertainment, and even real people seen in things like podcasts, conventions, videos, etc. are most often fully white. I’m not joking. The majority of furries that I’ve seen in, say, photos taken at conventions are—you guessed it—white.
There is no problem with a fully white person being a furry. That is not an issue. However, the question comes to mind: why do so few people of color choose to join the furry fandom? Have they been made to feel unwelcome in the past and therefore uncomfortable associating with other furries? And if so, who acted unwelcoming? Was it the furries, or was it racist non-furry people that imply being a furry is only for white people (or something along those lines)? I’ll be honest enough to say that it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard of people of color avoiding the furry fandom against their interests because of their race and/or ethnicity having some sort of negative effect. Even I have experienced racially motivated forms of hate regarding my past involvement with the fandom. And I’m even half white!
Anyway, the purpose of this post was to spread a bit of awareness on this type of thing and possibly connect with others experiencing similar things. If you have firsthand or secondhand experience regarding race & ethnicity and the furry fandom, please feel free to share. Perhaps become a little more educated on this topic than you were before. Again, I want to make it clear that I mean to spread no negativity or hate to anyone by things that I’ve said here, and please let me know if anything offended you.
Edit: let me specify that what’s mentioned above are things that are primarily experienced in America. There are furry conventions and resources in lots of other parts of the world that would be a lot more accepting of the various races and ethnicities based on geographical location. But I’m referring to furries in America in this post lol. Thanks for reading!