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What do you think could possibly bring furries into the mainstream?


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If there was a way to bring furries into the mainstream, how do you think it would go? Here's my picks.

1. There being a furry comic publisher that would be as big as ones like Marvel  and DC, as well as it having its own shared universe like the two.

2. There being a furry animation studio equivalent to Studio Ghibli having highly talented animators and having all star actors and actresses voicing the characters.

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1) A big pop musician does a big number with backup dancers in cool-looking fursuits.

2) A popular TV show has a "cool" or likable furry character.

3) A popular reality show or talk show highlights a group of open furries performing some charitable act or heartstring-pulling public service.

4) Something like Zootopia becomes incredibly popular with mainstream audiences, Internet edgelords cry LOL FURFAGS in unision, and mainstream audiences go, "Really? Eh, okay, fine then, whatever."

5) A steadily-increasing number of people encounter furries at meets, walks, and conventions, actually like said furries, and spread the word about furries actually being decent sorts.

(Examples of #4 in action:

http://healthynotnuts.com/2015/12/06/accidental-guests-of-the-midwest-fur-fest-hyatt-regency-ohare-rosemont-il/,

http://www.thestranger.com/features/feature/2015/10/07/22972145/being-a-furry-can-change-your-life

http://www.forcesofgeek.com/2015/03/how-i-learned-to-love-furries.html)

Whether we truly want to be mainstream is another question entirely.

 

 

Edited by Troj
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By "furry" I assume you mean furries, not like anthropomorphic animals or something because that would be dumb and make no sense.

As for what it would take I have no idea, mostly since I don't know what the hell qualifies as "mainstream" or what that even means. I mean a lot aspects about this whole question are really damn vague.

Like unlike other more "mainstream" fandoms, furfaggotry is based around an insanely broad, old-as-dirt concept that virtually everyone is already well aware of meaning there isn't some central thing to focus on. Like really the only undebatably, unquestionably "furry" thing would conventions and maybe creepy internet porn or something, and the former is already kinda "mainstream," or at least as much as it will ever realistically be.

I mean you can see this in a lot of the suggestions.

20 minutes ago, Troj said:

1) A big pop musician does a big number with backup dancers in cool-looking fursuits.

We already did at the Super Bowl, AKA one of the most watched things ever. Most people simply see nothing more than mascot costumes.

Also Zootopia isn't a "furry" thing, it's starting to become like my biggest pet peeve and I have like zero interest in that movie.

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^^^Agreed.

Mascots are already a thing. Talking animal characters are already a thing.

Plenty of people who like those things would never think of themselves as furries, and would never be motivated to join the fandom.

So, for furry to become mainstream, something furry-ish would have to become so popular that people would be willing to associate with the furry fandom in order to express their interest, or, something cool or interesting would have to carry strong and undeniable furry connections or connotations that couldn't be overlooked or excused away.

The Super Bowl sharks became popular because they were goofy and cute, and because the Left Shark was charmingly (and intentionally) shitty at dancing.

But, if, say, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus came out on stage with some Clockwork Creatures, Sparkle Kreations, or some Beastcub suits, and word got around that furries wear costumes like that, people's ears might perk up.

 

Edited by Troj
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I'm going to rephrase your question.

What would it take for the furry stigma to go away?

I'm guessing that's what you are really asking. As someone else has pointed out, anthropomorphic animal characters are already mainstream. Meaning that we are talking about the culture and the fans. I would recommend not using the word "mainstream" because mainstream doesn't necessarily mean accepted and respected, unless "accepted and respected" is not what you mean by mainstream. In that case, you'll want to clarify what you mean.

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1 hour ago, Troj said:

^^^Agreed.

Mascots are already a thing. Talking animal characters are already a thing.

Plenty of people who like those things would never think of themselves as furries, and would never be motivated to join the fandom.

So, for furry to become mainstream, something furry-ish would have to become so popular that people would be willing to associate with the furry fandom in order to express their interest, or, something cool or interesting would have to carry strong and undeniable furry connections or connotations that couldn't be overlooked or excused away.

The Super Bowl sharks became popular because they were goofy and cute, and because the Left Shark was charmingly (and intentionally) shitty at dancing.

But, if, say, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus came out on stage with some Clockwork Creatures, Sparkle Kreations, or some Beastcub suits, and word got around that furries wear costumes like that, people's ears might perk up.

Well part of the "issue" (since I see zero reason as to why anyone would seriously want furfaggotry to be at all mainstream) is that people don't necessarily know what furfaggotry is, or at least differentiates from just mascot costumes or animal people.

Like you could have the best fursuits in the world show up at like the goddamn State of the Union or something but people are still gonna just think they're cute mascot costumes and be done with it.

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Nopenopenope 

Think about this for a second. For example, what popular media like The Big Bang Theory did to, say, the superhero fandom.

Nowadays, if you walk around in a t shirt resembling The Flash emblem, you'll get people pointing out your 'Sheldon Cooper' shirt. Do we really honestly want that to happen to furries too?

Suppose you're drawing an OC in your sketchbook, and countless times people approach you and say "I didn't know you were a <This Show> geek". Even though you're not.

We don't want the masses poking sticks over here and trying to level with us because memes told them so.

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10 hours ago, PastryOfApathy said:

Well part of the "issue" (since I see zero reason as to why anyone would seriously want furfaggotry to be at all mainstream) is that people don't necessarily know what furfaggotry is, or at least differentiates from just mascot costumes or animal people.

Like you could have the best fursuits in the world show up at like the goddamn State of the Union or something but people are still gonna just think they're cute mascot costumes and be done with it.

For most people, I think you're right--especially since most people are, by nature, consumers, and not active participants, so they generally wouldn't be curious about what makes the cute mascots "tick."

I think the "hook" would have to be the costumes themselves, and the idea that the wearer can use the costume for self-expression.

If people see the mascot as external and separate from them, yeah, they'll just see a cute mascot.

If it occurs to people that they could easily become the mascot, and it would give them social capital and various positive emotions, then their gears will start to turn.

In a similar vein, if the idea of having an alter-ego or avatar came to be more generally seen as cool and hip, instead of weird, nerdy, or dorky, more people would theoretically hop on the alter-ego bandwagon, and many of those would probably want to create animal avatars.

It occurs to me that another way furries could possibly become more mainstream is through our party culture. I've actually heard people remark that they envy the raves furries throw at cons. I could certainly see some conformist young people adopting the trappings of furry culture just because they're excited about the parties and raves.

8 hours ago, DrDingo said:

Nopenopenope 

Think about this for a second. For example, what popular media like The Big Bang Theory did to, say, the superhero fandom.

Nowadays, if you walk around in a t shirt resembling The Flash emblem, you'll get people pointing out your 'Sheldon Cooper' shirt. Do we really honestly want that to happen to furries too?

Suppose you're drawing an OC in your sketchbook, and countless times people approach you and say "I didn't know you were a <This Show> geek". Even though you're not.

We don't want the masses poking sticks over here and trying to level with us because memes told them so.

To be fair, that already happens. "Hey, are you those people that fuck in the mascot costumes, like on CSI?"

Furries already have some mass-media visibility. The problem is that a lot of it's negative.

 

Quote

 

I'm going to rephrase your question.

What would it take for the furry stigma to go away?

And, I think you can lose the stigma without necessarily becoming mainstream or popular.

I'd be perfectly content to have the fandom lose the stigma, but remain fringe.

I'd say that a large part of what I actually like about the fandom is that it's fringe and obscure.

The furry fandom as peddled by Viacom and Walmart would end up being crass, generic, homogenized, and superficial. We'd end up with fewer overt sex perverts (maybe), but we'd be trading them for more drunken assholes, tweenybopper furraboos, and/or that particular breed of entitled, middle-American, helicoptery, rain-on-the-parade soccer mom that tries to make the world perfect and pristine for her kid.

I also wonder if corporations wouldn't try to impose some kind of a "canon" on the furry fandom in order to make it easier to market and mass-produce. The cherry on top of that shit sundae would be the new wave of Sheldon Coopers who would then get pedantic and self-righteous about people not conforming to said canon, and you'd get the geek slappy-fight between the "fake furs" and the "real furs," and you'd some furries complaining that they can't enjoy the fandom anymore because, basically, a new group of filthy casuals are enjoying it in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

I definitely think corporate entities would subtly attempt to discourage or at least, carefully control and corral the DIY aspect of the furry fandom, because people who independently create their own characters and art are harder to market to than the people who are content to go to Hot Topic and purchase a mass-produced wolf costume made in China. Corporations would be very keen on selling people the appearance of creativity and originality in a neat little package.

Edited by Troj
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I don't think imposing and reinforcing canon will be a problem. There's no one single canon for the fantasy or the sci-fi fandoms. And even in fandoms for specific properties, part of what the fans do is largely mocking canon anyway (shipping, fanfics, fanart, etc.). Businesses know better than to interfere and put a stop to what fans are doing naturally. They are more interested in finding ways to make money off of them using the path of least resistance. Businesses will however try to make fans want to buy things that they never thought they wanted before. If fans are on a path that will make it harder for a business to make money, the business isn't going to try and change the fandom. That's too much work. That's not the mentality business owners have. They will try and sell all their existing inventory and move on to greener pastures.

Business that are trying to make money off of their own content however, that's a slightly different story. They do have an interest in their long term success of their fandom because of how much resources were put into their movie/show/books/etc. But again, even they will just roll with the fans. Take the MLP fandom for example. The show evolved because its fandom composition changed.

In short, I wouldn't worry too much about business trying to police its customers/fanbase.

The only thing to be concerned about is if those business, in an effort to diversify, make products that other kinds of people like, and then those people start to become part of and associate with your fandom. This is something that can happen already without it a fandom being mainstream or not, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Any fandom could use a few good soccer moms.

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6 hours ago, Caledonian said:

Heh. I believe desexualisation would be a rather large topic

Desexualization is probably not the right wording, but I know what you meant. You can't directly change people's behavior. The best way to do it is to bring the right kind of people into your community, whether it's from the outside or concentrating specific people on the inside.

OK, here's how you do it. Make a website, most likely an art community that will attract the kind of people you want in a fandom that isn't primarily about sex. An art site and community for that does not exist in your fandom, so there's a good place to start. If something like that doesn't happen, then you'll have to depend on fandoms that are only centered around specific properties.

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38 minutes ago, diretractor said:

I don't think imposing and reinforcing canon will be a problem. There's no one single canon for the fantasy or the sci-fi fandoms. And even in fandoms for specific properties, part of what the fans do is largely mocking canon anyway (shipping, fanfics, fanart, etc.). Businesses know better than to interfere and put a stop to what fans are doing naturally. They are more interested in finding ways to make money off of them using the path of least resistance.

That's a fair point.

But yes, they will be interested in figuring out how to market things that people didn't even know they wanted before.

Re: soccer moms, I was trying to allude more to the particular sub-type of soccer mom that drives everybody crazy trying to make the world a suitable total environment for her little Dakota. Didn't mean to throw all soccer moms collectively under the bus there, sorry :).

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39 minutes ago, diretractor said:

OK, here's how you do it. Make a website, most likely an art community that will attract the kind of people you want in a fandom that isn't primarily about sex. An art site and community for that does not exist in your fandom, so there's a good place to start. If something like that doesn't happen, then you'll have to depend on fandoms that are only centered around specific properties.

I am sure there already exists sites like these that attract "clean" and "non-perverted" (mirroring general opinion here) furries, but that does not stop other NSFW sites with weirdos in them tarnishing the reputation of the "clean" furries. Even if you had a popular clean site, the other not clean sites still remain

If you ask me, Yiff needs to go underground like child porn does (not implying here yiff should be made illegal of course). That should create more room for the "right" people to stand out.

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Why would we want to be mainstream anyway? We're always going to be a small group of dedicated weirdos, because I think most prospective furries know they're peculiar, find the fandom and realise 'Oh...this is me' rather than being recruited.

 

Yiff needs to go underground like child porn does.

The Fuck

Edited by Saxon
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3 hours ago, Snagged Cub said:

I am sure there already exists sites like these that attract "clean" and "non-perverted" (mirroring general opinion here) furries, but that does not stop other NSFW sites with weirdos in them tarnishing the reputation of the "clean" furries. Even if you had a popular clean site, the other not clean sites still remain

I've searched high and low for such a site. If anyone knows of one, please let us know! At this point we honestly don't care how small it is. (Tumblr blogs or DeviantArt communities don't count. It has to be a stand-alone site/gallery/forum.)

The point is not to stop other people from creating porn or fetish work. Psychologically, that doesn't work. Very often it can make the problem worse because of how the human brain works. The point is to provide a place so that people who are not interested in adult content will have a community they can enjoy and, more importantly, invite their friends and associates into.

Fandoms are about people, and if you can't invite people into that community then the community suffers. The existence of porn is not the problem. I'd say the visibility of porn is not even that big of a problem (it's more a symptom than a cause, so it can't be treated the way most people suggest). The problem is that every furry site is to some degree a porn site, so there's no gateway, no entrance for the type of people it sounds like you want to have in a more mainstream (or rather more accepted) fandom.

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2 hours ago, diretractor said:

I've searched high and low for such a site. If anyone knows of one, please let us know! At this point we honestly don't care how small it is. (Tumblr blogs or DeviantArt communities don't count. It has to be a stand-alone site/gallery/forum.)

The point is not to stop other people from creating porn or fetish work. Psychologically, that doesn't work. Very often it can make the problem worse because of how the human brain works. The point is to provide a place so that people who are not interested in adult content will have a community they can enjoy and, more importantly, invite their friends and associates into.

Fandoms are about people, and if you can't invite people into that community then the community suffers. The existence of porn is not the problem. I'd say the visibility of porn is not even that big of a problem (it's more a symptom than a cause, so it can't be treated the way most people suggest). The problem is that every furry site is to some degree a porn site, so there's no gateway, no entrance for the type of people it sounds like you want to have in a more mainstream (or rather more accepted) fandom.

The issue is, and it's a mighty big issue that I would go as far to call effectively 'unsolvable' is that furry porn is one of the few things seen as exclusively "furry". For example your average person looks at like a cute picture of like the Easter bunny or something they simply think "oh that's a cartoon," without making any immediate connections to furries.

But if that same exact person looks at picture of that same Easter bunny, drawn by the same exact person going down on someone they're more likely to think, "oh god that's like some awful piece of furry porn."

It's just such an ingrained aspect of this community that it's pretty much inseparable no matter what anyone tries to do about it.

Edited by PastryOfApathy
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So, if furry porn is the "only" thing seen as exclusively furry, then we need to broaden the circle of things that are seen as primarily or exclusively furry.

Something I've noticed is that outsiders who like furries will consistently comment on how welcoming, open, accepting, friendly, and charitable they've found furries to be. Obviously, furries can't hold a monopoly on these traits, but we could become more broadly known as the geek fandom that excels at embodying them.

Many people are much more willing to overlook other quirks and eccentricities when they feel that a person is fundamentally good, trustworthy, and well-intentioned.

But, if we really want to secure that reputation, this means we have to keep tabs on our resident 'tards who like to vandalize hot tubs and bathrooms.

Edited by Troj
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Saying that commercialization or popularization would make the fandom impossible to enjoy basically means you've relinquished control over your own feelings and experience to other people.

If Friedberg and Setzer teamed up to produce a Freakazoid movie animated by the "Foodfight" team with Rob Schneider in the starring role, that wouldn't diminish my enjoyment of the original series in the slightest.

I'm also not generally deterred or discouraged when things I like suddenly become profitable or popular, or when the fans of that thing act like dipshits.

But, it's fair to to say that commercialization or popularization results in more noise and crap that you have to wade through to get to the quality stuff.

Like I said before, part of what I like about the fandom is that it's fringe and obscure, especially relative to other geek fandoms. That adds to its appeal for me.

Edited by Troj
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20 hours ago, diretractor said:

I've searched high and low for such a site. If anyone knows of one, please let us know! At this point we honestly don't care how small it is. (Tumblr blogs or DeviantArt communities don't count. It has to be a stand-alone site/gallery/forum.)

Stop draining my hope for humanity and let me live in my cloud castle :/ 

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10 minutes ago, Troj said:

Saying that commercialization or popularization would make the fandom impossible to enjoy basically means you've relinquished control over your own feelings and experience to other people.

If Friedberg and Setzer teamed up to produce a Freakazoid movie animated by the "Foodfight" team with Rob Schneider in the starring role, that wouldn't diminish my enjoyment of the original series in the slightest.

I'm also not generally deterred or discouraged when things I like suddenly become profitable or popular, or when the fans of that thing act like dipshits.

But, it's fair to to say that commercialization or popularization results in more noise and crap that you have to wade through to get to the quality stuff.

Like I said before, part of what I like about the fandom is that it's fringe and obscure, especially relative to other geek fandoms. That adds to its appeal for me.

So what's new?

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I don't think I'd like furry to become mainstream. I really like the hidden factor and enjoy my ungodly fetish materials. There's enough media for furrys to enjoy anyway without it being mainstream. The Lion Guard and The Amazing World of Gumball come to mind, and Rock Dog and Zootopia are coming out this year. I'm excited for these things as a furry, even though they're not made for furries. Hopefully these things catch on more so we can get more anthro animal related content, but they don't have to be furry for us to enjoy them.

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2 hours ago, malibu said:

I don't think I'd like furry to become mainstream. I really like the hidden factor and enjoy my ungodly fetish materials.

More and more that's the impression we've been getting based on replies in this thread and the research we've been doing on furry history. Based on that we know what is more important to the furry fandom generally.

I know that most think "going mainstream" means giving something up, and that is something furries generally don't want to do. Would it work if furries actually did it? Absofuckinglutely. Will they do it? Probably not, almost definitely not (unless I've underestimated the furry fandom), because that is not how human psychology works. It certainly hasn't worked in the past. Do furries NEED give it up? I don't think they do. There's already two much easier and more effective solutions to that problem that don't include directly changing how furries behave or what they produce.

21 hours ago, Troj said:

Yeah, a friend recently asked where they could go to research the furry fandom as a parent, and I was like, "Err.....nowhere, without filters and supervision. Not even Facebook. Sorry."

That is precisely what I'm talking about. You can't direct people where to go, and by so doing you've can't help but unintentionally communicate that furry is about sex because there's no other option. To solve the stigma of furry art you guys need to have a front-facing gateway for your fandom that you can direct people to. It's either that or leave it up to the outsiders to create more franchises with anthropomorphic animals that explode to become the next MLP fandom. Which honestly, is not a bad way to go at all. Especially because, well...it's been how long and something like this hasn't been built yet? I know I'm not smarter than other people who are in your fandom, so this has had to come up before. Is there really that much pressure from porn artists? Is that why this hasn't happened yet?

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But, you'd think someone would at least get the yen to create a furry site for teens or kids, given the growing number of youngsters in the fandom.

The frustrating thing is that there are a lot of sites that are generally or mostly okay, but "generally" or "mostly" don't really cut the mustard when you're someone who is truly trying to avoid drama and/or adult content.

Edited by Troj
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Becoming mainstream would ruin it. 

It's just like how comic conventions have been ruined by an influx of "normal" people. 

Now you get good looking, popular, higher income people coming to the conventions and stealing all the attention away from the autistic, handicapped, ugly, badly socialized, and mentally disturbed people who used to be the only ones who went to the con.

Now that plain chubby girl in her cosplay gets ignored by everyone because hot cheerleaders are dressed like slutty versions of dead pool and harley quinn. 

Even the one geek refuge and social event gets taken over by normal popular people. As if they didn't have enough fun things to enjoy. 

Let's keep furry as messed up and under medicated as possible with a maximum amount of autism. 

I don't want to have to go searching for yet another weird pastime knowing that people will just come along and wreck it for me. 

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6 hours ago, Xander Venterus said:

You could research Furryness at Wikifur pretty safely.

When you visit the wiki's front page, you are greeted with a entry from the featured articles list. http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/WikiFur:Featured_articles/Complete That first entry and its associated thumbnail image was displayed right on WikiFur's landing page for about a week after I first saw it. That was my first exposure to WikiFur. Bad timing, I know, but that was the face of WikiFur.

6 hours ago, Saxon said:

The furry fandom is not an organised group, so the idea of making a sanitised version of it, to present to the public in order to recruit them is bizarre. 

Conventions are pretty organized. Furry websites have staff and moderators. There's furry publishing companies, podcasts, as so on. All of these things require significant organization and a singular vision. No fandom is an organized group as a whole, but it has pockets of meticulous organization. Give credit where credit is due.

I don't know who would like to "recruit" people into the furry fandom. I think that's the wrong mentality for furries to have. Earlier I mentioned the idea of a gateway community, one that has guidelines so that people who already have an interest in knowing more could know more without being greeted by WikiFur's three-some crotch grab pic, Weasyl's fetish art, or FurAffinity's everything, and those are the 3 best faces of furry I can think of.

OK. Going through the comments I've been seeing a number of "I don't want furry to be mainstream because I like it fucked up, full of autstism and porn" type of posts. I'm going to assume those posts are sarcasm. I'll admit, it's getting difficult to understand what furries are like on this forum past being horribly jaded. I can't tell if a majority of people don't want "mainstream" because of legitimate concerns, or to just say that as a way to vent about why they think their community is horrible and why there's no hope for change.

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8 hours ago, Troj said:

But, you'd think someone would at least get the yen to create a furry site for teens or kids, given the growing number of youngsters in the fandom.

The frustrating thing is that there are a lot of sites that are generally or mostly okay, but "generally" or "mostly" don't really cut the mustard when you're someone who is truly trying to avoid drama and/or adult content.

I dunno, as weird as it is to say considering the traditionally kid-friendly subject which this community is centered around I honestly don't think kids should be involved with furry stuff.

Like the damage was done a long time ago and there's simply too much out there to ever make anything explicitly furry truly kid-safe.

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It occurs to me that a lot of things that were once considered suspect, immoral, Satanic, inappropriate, or otherwise beyond-the-pale are considered perfectly fine now.

I remember how, as a kid, I was not allowed to watch the Simpsons, because my parents had heard that it was a hateful, violent, sex-filled show that encouraged children to be disrespectful and mean. Now, it's considered a very tame show.

Or, hell, I just read about a poll where teenagers rated KoRn as "old people music." Back when I was a kid, listening to metal was seriously considered a risk factor for going on a shooting spree.

Most geek hobbies used to be considered signs of poor adjustment, and now, comic book movies gross millions of dollars at the box office, and even your grandma likes Studio Ghibli.

And, by all accounts, Pittsburgh seriously loves the furries. It's kind of amazing.

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