Heather Ann: Furries Are Discriminated Against In Second Life

No Furries Allowed

In many sims, you will see these signs or find it listed in the sim rules. At first I wasn’t sure what a furry was, so I had to check that out. Once I understood what a furry was, I still didn’t understand why someone would want to dress up as an animal in a game where you could be anything you wanted to be. In fact, one of the first people I met in world was a life sized white tiger. For many days, I had no idea if the person behind this avatar was male or female because the name was unisex and the conversation was neutral. It wasn’t until the tiger invited me to go dancing did I find out he was a guy.

One thing I learned about people who walk around in SL in animal avatars is to never underestimate them. I have met many Furries over the years. They come in an array of personality types, from shy to outgoing, as well as creative.  Many are also introverts, while others are extroverted. Also, their ages range from teens to individuals in their forties….but they are not limited by age range. Even the sexual identity of the furry varies; a furry’s sexuality can be aligned with the LGBTQ+ community, be heterosexual, or be non-sexual.

Overall, being a furry tends to be a freeing experience…it’s like Halloween every day….wearing a costume. Some of the furries I have spoken with tell me being furry has allowed them to overcome serious social anxiety. As their character, they are able to explore in world and are also free to interact in ways they couldn’t do on a daily basis in the real world.

Thus, if Furries are such interesting and diverse creatures, why are they discriminated against on some sims? I can see in some sims with strict role play why a limitation of characters is a must. However, in clubs or other causal sims, it really shouldn’t be a problem.

Discrimination is discrimination no matter how you look at it. And why do most people discriminate? Because they fear the unknown.

My suggestion is to not let fear stop you from possibly meeting the most interesting person–or Furry–you have ever experienced.

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