FurCon: A Furry Celebration

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Dressed in colorful fabrics, creative outfits, and fabulous “fursuits,” self-proclaimed “furries” came together to celebrate their unique interest on January 14th at the annual “FurCon” event at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. For those who don’t know, furries are people who make separate identities to express themselves through individualized animal costumes. 

Normally, fursuits are expensive, averaging about $1,000-10,000. On the cost of their fursuit, attendee Zee* said, “Probably $3,200 was the cost of it, but I paid for half and my boyfriend paid for half as a birthday gift because it’s pretty expensive.” 

Dressed in a black dog costume with yellow and orange stripes, proud furry Torchidog said, “I’ve seen the cheapest costume at $1,200 and the most expensive one at $10,000—it just depends on what you want and how complex your character is.” 

Attendee Lawrence, in a calico cat costume and green scarf, said, “With travel and fursuits, I spend like $1,000 for some parts like heads or paws. It also depends on how experienced you are at making the costumes, how popular they are in the fandom, and the style.”

Zee shared what they enjoy most about being a furry: “You get to be a giant fluffy animal and make people smile.”

Inside the convention, there was a shopping center where attendees set up shops and sold handmade merchandise, including stickers, furpaws, tails, full fursuits, books, and more. 

Torchidog said, “It’s really fun to make new friends and travel the country to meet more of the community. I learned new skills like sewing because of my costume.” 

Lawrence added, “The community is very accepting—you can make any presentation or decision and expose your interests, and whether some people like it or hate it, they’re still really accepting.”

When asked how they chose their “fursonas,” Zee, a purple raccoon, said, “I love the color purple, and I’m from Toronto, the land of the raccoons.” 

Lawrence said, “I saw a bunch of different art that inspired me. I love calico cats. I got into this particular character that I basically stole and I talked with the person who created the character and they saw how much I loved the character.”

When asked what age they started, Zee said “I started at 30-years-old, and I’m 33 now, so I’ve been doing this for three years.” 

Torchidog said, “I started in middle school, really young.” 

Lawrence said, “A lot of people start in their early teens, but I started when I was 23, after college when I got a job commissioning fursuits and art so I could spend money on this hobby.”

As for the downsides, Zee shared, “The sweat is 100% the worst part. You have to wash the costume after every time you wear it. The costumes usually last 5-10 years depending on how you take care of them.”

One attendee said the highlight of the convention was “the art community for me. The biggest draw is having all these wonderful people to hang out with.”

*All attendees interviewed are introduced by their “fur-name.”

Karen is a junior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to write narratives about her own life and connect them with other students from M-A. In her free time, she likes to write poetry, spend time with her cat, Joy, and family and friends.


  1. Excellent article, glad to see this and recent coverage of furry is generally positive (unlike earlier stories about us). I recommend my book “Furry Nation” to anyone who wants to learn more about us and how we came to be.

  2. Should have added that no, not every furry has or wears a fursuit. (That’s a very common misconception.) Only about 20-25% of convention attendees wear fursuits. (Also, they’re generally WAY more than $1,000 for starters.) The rest just wear tails, ears, or a T-shirt depicting their favorite animal. Other than that, still an excellent article.

    • Apologies for the error and thank you for letting us know. The article has been corrected.

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