Ok… The first time I was at a furry convention it was scary. Real scary. But also very exciting.
Stepping foot into the hotel was like setting foot on an alien planet. The first thing that hit me were the ears and tails many were wearing and occasional fursuiter that would hobble past the lobby. It was so amazing to see that many people doing something I could never imagine having the courage to do myself. And they were all treating it like it was no big deal!
The second thing to hit me was how friendly and open and accepting everyone was. I was still dressed in my work clothes and, being very very shy, I wasn’t looking to talk to anyone. But there must have been something about me that yelled, “first timer”, because random furs would just come up to me and I got huggs and was talking to them in poorly delivered sentances.
The best part of it all was that I could finally be me. And it was not only accepted but encouraged.
My first convention experience overwhelmed my senses, and for as brief a time as I had, it wasn’t enough. There was just so much to see and do. Artwork, books and movies I had no idea even existed strewn out for display in the dealers den; panels on all manner of furry topics; and there was entertainment shows too!
It was an amazing experience and I promised myself I’d go to as many as I could.
And then I went to FC for the first time. I was still a new fur, but that was the convention that changed me forever. There were furs all over the place, all having fun, willing to let me join in (even though i was far too shy for that) and then there was FCTV. Oh my god. Nothing is better for an introvert than to watch the happenings downstairs from the safety of his room and then, as the need to experience it builds to a critical mass, going downstairs and seeing it first hand. Damn that was cool.
In many ways, meeting furs in real life (and in those numbers) was life altering. Especially when you’re out walking the neighboring restaurants looking for food with a group of furs. Ten or twenty all piling into a McDonalds causing some poor overly pertinacious mundane wrapped up in their own interpretation of the world, unable to process our existence, causing him to warp his face into a “this cannot be!” look that’s just priceless. And the best part is, after they see us for a few moments, its clear that our group is perhaps better adjusted than any they will ever know.
That always made me smile. And it seems to be a staple of the furry culture. We treat each other like family, or better (depending on your perspective of “family”). Its what I’ve seen religions try to peddle when they hand out little flyers with old 50’s style sketch-work on them. Only they promise it will happen someday in the distant future. I get that at every convention.
Over the years and countless conventions I’ve attended, I have experienced more of an ideal world than I could ever have imagined. I still kick myself for having missed out when I was a bit younger (mostly because I was afraid to actually go to one).
So, my advice to you is, find a FurCon and go to it. Each one has their own mood and feeling, but they are all experiences that I will treasure.
Oh, and by the way, there are more FurCons than just FC and AC. There are dozens of cons scattered throughout the year. Try to poke around wikifur.com for the dates of something coming up near you. Find help from local furs to help get you there. Stay at the hotel over the weekend, if you can. Only now I can say, the experience is well worth it.