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IPFS News Link • Australia

Furries Are Infiltrating Our Schools

•, by Nicole James

These bright-eyed purveyors of contemporary oddities regaled tales from a Sydney satellite city's school, a veritable hotbed of furry fandom. I'd heard whispers of this subculture—apparently false reports of cat litter being offered up in schools—but the depth and fervour of this phenomenon had previously eluded my grasp.

So, what in the Dickensian landscape of modern subcultures are "furries"?

The term defies a neat, one-size-fits-all definition. But if one were to ask Kathleen Gerbasi—a scholar armed with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester in New York—a "furry" is an individual who finds themselves spiritually aligned with, or even adopting the traits of, a specific animal species.

Ms. Gerbasi isn't a mere casual observer in the furry fray; she was the pioneering mind behind a 2008 scholarly paper that delved into the intricacies of "fursonas."

This revelation at the dinner table, nestled between the gravy boat and the cranberry sauce, left me bewildered and bemused, with a forkful of potato suspended in mid-air as I pondered the depths of human identity and expression.

As I ventured further into this festive feast of absurdity, my youthful informants—let's affectionately label them Hannah, Olivia, and Izzy—served up a narrative far more peculiar than the conventional understanding of "furries."

In their academic jungle, a peculiar breed flourished: students who, in the early wilderness of years 7 to 9, donned their furry personas with the fervour of a Shakespearean actor in a sold-out show.

But, as the curtain fell on Year 9, these fur-clad thespians seemed to vanish into thin air.

Had they retreated to more domestic pursuits, like purring on the laps of doting mothers or honing their mousing skills?

The trio couldn't say.