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(Furs) Greymuzzle Night?

I made a post to the austinfurs community about maybe the possibility of doing a costume-free night once a month at our usual meet-up, for the older folk (like myself) who can't handle costume and weirdness.

I'd encourage people who don't usually post to that forum but might be interested in the Austin furry scene to comment there, in a "constructive, how does this affect me" way--it could be a useful discusion.

I'd like to get back to at least an occasional Wing Night, but it's past my comfort levels now, with the higher ratio of kids, costumes, and bizaare behavior.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC)
Costumes are neat. I like seeing them. But I guess it would get old if everyone brought theirs to every gathering. And some of us don't even have one. (shock! Dismay!)
Jan. 6th, 2006 10:37 am (UTC)
It's not so much that, as that Wing Night is in an outdoor public restaraunt. That's my big guff with the costumes. I have a boss. Actually, I have many bosses, and I don't want to explain the weirder aspects of my life (hell, it's awkward answering the question "so, do you have a girlfriend?")
Jan. 6th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
I've been going to Wingnight now for about three years. Of those one hundred fifty-odd meets, we have fursuited three times. Two of those were Halloween. Is two percent really too much?

You think making it a Graymuzzle event will help? I'm 48, and a certifiable suit slut. I was in fursuit all three times. ;-)

Safety? I'm the one who is likely to get hassled / arrested / my ass kicked.

However, I miss you and Whines at the meets. I promise to go along with any costume-free plans you have. I apologise if I was the reason you stopped coming.
Jan. 6th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it'll help. And I'm okay with fursuits for halloween, or conventions, or private gatherings--but I don't wear my renfest garb in public areas, either.

You didn't stop me from going, it was a gradual trend--when I first started, it was pretty much a normal bunch of dorks, but then the young turks--first with Tobias, but it caught on--started wearing more and more tails and stuff. Then, the leather and leashes caught on, and Kink started dragging his boy-toys around with him, and Kink creeps the HELL out of me. I started coming less frequently then.

After that, it just felt like there weren't really any reality controls left. More and more people wore tails, and then Helio (mutter mutter Helio) raised the bar with ornate gothy stuff that just didn't belong *anywhere*, particularly not in a goth club (you could hurt someone with those claws!)

A little later, Margie and Helio started bringing out full costumes, then you and Helio started playing around with them in the public shopping center, and that really was the last time I came, but the door was open a long time before you started wearing fursuits.

Maybe "graymuzzle" was the wrong word, I should have used "uptight conservatives", but that sounds wrong. I really like the idea of wingnight, but what it's become is very hard for me to participate in. If I'm outvoted, if the very popular attitude of "don't tell me what to wear/this is WHO I AM, MAN" carries, or if it's just that this is the way people want to express themselves, I may try to organize some other monthly thing. We'll see what happens. I do miss Wingnight, though--and I feel a little bad because I think Whines wants to go, but isn't because I'm being a stick-in-the-mud.
Jan. 6th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
It's not just me, though. There are other more straight-laced furs that don't feel comfortable with fursuits and costuming in a public area. For some people it's just a fun thing to do, like playing a musical instrument. You can do that anywhere, and people might raise an eyebrow, but what the heck. For others, though, it's a part of the furry community, and best kept to community events--or special occasions like Halloween. "There's a time and a place for fursuiting", I think would express how I feel about it.

I guess it comes down to two questions--1) how comfortable are you with being "out of the kennel"--that is, are you okay with everyone and their dog knowing you're a furry? and 2) How do you want other people to percieve the fandom?

It's an awkward question pair. Personally, given the media coverage, the general tendancy of most people who *know* about furries to assume they're a bunch of deviant insane sex freaks, I'd prefer to downplay that side of my life. It's hard for me not to view the more "in your face" stuff (like wearing a fursuit in a public restaurant) as being non-conducive to helping the community believe we're sane, rational people. I DO think that conventions might help with public knowledge, since that's a contained event.

The best way to let conservative religious close-minded individuals know that homosexuality isn't satanic is to engage them in dialogue. Not to queen out to "It's raining men" while wearing rainbow jewelry and sitting in my boyfriend's lap. A compromise is to set up a safe space, a "Carnival" or a temporary inversion of the natural order where weirdness can be explored--like, in this example, a pride parade or Pridefest. It's contained, the local laws are suspended to allow for weirdness, but those that are fearful will understand implicitly that this is a *temporary* event, not a threat to their way of life (sarchasm implied).

I really don't think someone else's restaurant is a good place for such an invasion of their reality. Furries in the park, cool. Furries playing mini-golf, okay. A guy in a dog costume pantomiming when you want to bring your family to a peaceful dinner? That's over-the-top, and possibly in a destrutive way. That's debatable, though.
Jan. 6th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
two cents from a non-furry about fandoms in general
If I may interject, despite not being a furry?

This is extremely well stated, and as a non-furry who has lots of furry friends and knows the fandom isn't some twisted nasty kink (although as with any fandom some people can be over the top and a little weird) -- I appreciate this courtesy. When I go out somewhere, I find it immensely distracting to see a bunch of people engaging in any sort of fandom-related gathering that involves costumes or props or things of that nature. That's why when I organize such gatherings (knitting circles, LARPs, etc) I try to plan that they be held in someone's home, in a private room of a business or in a shop during non-business hours.

So I guess I'm just trying to validate what you're saying here. I think it shouldn't just be the furries, it should be pretty much everyone that keeps their small weekly or monthly gatherings somewhat low-key; if you want to show off, schedule a ginormous public event, and let the people who are willing</i> to be exposed to your fandom come and be exposed.
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