Who would have thought that Pittsburgh would be the place for the world's largest furry convention? Surprised? Me too.
When I was reading the Post-Gazette online last week, I came across an article that Pittsburgh was hosting the 11th annual Arthrocon, a convention where people dress up as animals. When none of us were paying attention, 2500 furries descended on our city and they love it here. I had to know more. I found another article (with better pictures) on the Tribune Review site.
I know I've lived a somewhat sheltered life, but I never knew there was really such a thing as a furry. I'm familiar with Kenny Kangaroo, the Pirate Parrot and some other mascots, but they get paid to dress like that. What kind of people would stuff themselves in hot, smelly, furry suits just for fun? Was it really for the kinky stuff that was portrayed on an episode of CSI?
According to the Arthrocon website, the convention is for people who like animals with human characteristics, like Bugs Bunny. There is a strict code of conduct at the convention -"PG at all times." Once again, you can't believe anything you see on an episode of CSI.
So who are these furries? Wikipedia has just about everything you need to know about furries, including this photo of the fursuit dance at the 2005 convention.
Jerry and I just happened to be downtown on Saturday night to see White Christmas at the Benedum theater. As we were walking down Liberty Avenue from the parking lot, all I could hear were people on the street talking about the furries. One man walking in front of us pointed across the street and said to his companion, "Look, I think that one has a tail." I looked and sure enough, there was a girl on the other side of the street wearing not only a tail, but little cat ears. Years ago, when Liberty was the red light district of the city, it might not have been all that unusual to see a girl in some type of "costume." Since Liberty's now been "redd up" it's a very strange sight. I was kind of disapointed that I didn't see anyone in full furry regalia, though.
That would have made my night.