Coming to Grips with my Furry Story


Sketch concepts of Aurora, the main character in Skyliners

Ashleigh Neville

Coming to Grips with my Furry Story

As we all know, furries are… interesting. Some are more innocent than others, going against the labels and stereotypes we impose, but there are still some that prove themselves again and again of the increasing accusations.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This article is about my story, so I’m going to break that down first.

Back in the day, during the horrors of middle school, I realized my love for writing. It let my ramped, liquid imagination become firm ideas on paper, and I was able to live in that written fantasy for as long as I wanted.

And I was stuck on the idea of flying. I recently watched Maleficent, and her opening scene just hit me like a brick. I couldn’t stop thinking about freaking awesome it would be to be able to fly. With wings! Being able to swoop and dive bomb and catch yourself. You could soar as high as you want, go wherever you want, and be whoever you wanted to be.

I started writing. A girl, with wings, who would soar. She was free, as free as anybody could be.

But the angst wasn’t quenched. I couldn’t just let her fly to fly– just because she could! No, she had to fly because she needed to. It was essential to who she was. There had to be problems.

This is where it gets messy.

One thought led to the next. “If I made a girl with wings, then I could make more people like her. What if I made them, instead of half-human half-bird, half-human half-animal?”

Landers were born. They lived on the land while my character, Aurora, lived in the sky. She was a Skyliner.

While Skyliners only had their wings, Landers had the ears, tail, and claws of whatever animal they were. The rest of them were completely human. Because of this, the furry argument starts.

Let’s define a furry. Google says “an enthusiast 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.”

Well. By that definition, I am not a furry. I have simply created a world that happens to contain half-human half-animal characters. I do not act as them, nor do I have enough money to dress up as any of them.

But a lot of you would instantly rebuke this argument. I’ve been told time and time again by my classmates that this is in fact a furry story, because there are furries in it. And because I made this, that makes me a furry.

I’m gonna meet you halfway on this. I wouldn’t in previous years, but now, I guess I really just need to accept it.

I did make a furry story. Though it is backwards furry things, with animal-like humans instead of human-like animals, it is a branch of the community. Having any variation of the mix can essentially be called a furry.

But I am not a furry. I thought I was for a single week in freshman year, because my classmates wouldn’t stop forcing the idea that I was one on me. I accepted the fact and decided that’s how it was.

But, unfortunately, I never took part in the community, and never will. I don’t hate furries, I don’t despise what they do and I can only hate those that sexual the animals they portray. As long as they have fun being whatever they want and talking to those that think the same, I couldn’t care less.

If furries take my book and make it a part of their culture, I wouldn’t mind. They can do what they want with it. I would be honored if they enjoy the world that I created for my characters, and love the story I gave them. They only have so little representation for their fantasy anyways.

And on that point, I would like to say that there should be more “furry” stories out there. When I was looking for ones to get inspired for my world, there were little to no published stories with the concept. And I didn’t want to dig into places like Wattpad… we don’t talk about that.

I just wish there were more. The only things with anthropomorphized animals are children’s movies like Zootopia -really most things Disney- and there are barely any adult stories out there with the idea. They’re all low-budget and off the grid where nobody knows about them.

I want my story to thrive out in the world, and I feel like this deficit of these ideas can harm it because people aren’t open to the idea of human-animal people, and just see it as a harm to their companies image.

But in another way, it could help my story, as it is something brand new that people have never seen before. The shock factor would bring extra points, as my story definitely isn’t rated PG. If it’s brought high enough into the industry world who knows how many people I could reach with it?

And you could help! If you wanted to read the story and learn more about the world, and give the weird ideas a try, then you can buy it when it’s published in early May. Make sure to keep up with dates for Carver Celebration and the Senior Coffeehouse, so you can come out and support your literary seniors! We would appreciate any representation, so spread the word!