a thing Brand New Animal has me thinking about a lot is the intersection between queerness, furry, and race, and the ways in which furry specifically provides an 'opt-out' pressure valve for people who cannot comfortably fit into any other community. this is gonna be a long-ass thread, y'all, with content-warnings for frank discussion of race, so buckle-up
my experience of being mixed-race has been that my race is only ever relevant when it's necessary to disqualify me. because whiteness is at least as economically-performative as it is ethnic, the lack of support mixed-race people experience often disqualifies them from whiteness.
at the same time, you'll always be 'too white' for other ethnic groups to accept you or your lived experience.
this creates a fundamental tension and unbelonging which is redoubled by queerness, as let's be blunt, a lot of mainline ethnic pride groups are also homophobic as hell. traditionalist, nativist narratives are very common in powerful ethnic advocacy groups. anything that does not fit the message has to be weeded-out, which leaves mixed-race people and queers completely isolated and disregarded. you just don't have the OPTION to belong.
when the most common identifiers, your race and gender/sexuality, are regarded as blanket negatives by a majority of organizations and social structures, you only really have the choice to define yourself as Something Else, to invent an identity that can be a vessel for positive selfhood.
that vessel, more and more commonly and ESPECIALLY online, is furry.
it is, structurally, extremely easy for someone to tell me I'm not white or not lebanese in a way that has definable, damaging consequences to my life. they cannot, however, tell me I'm not a big fuckin' cat in a way that actually causes direct harm.
furry identities are structurally-unassailable because they are structurally-independent. being an animal can only be a METAPHOR for a racial or queer experience, which means it cannot be attacked in those terms.
more to the point, its metaphorical nature makes it a useful tool for explaining identity politics in a way people can easily-digest. for example, it's easy to explain the feeling of frustration and 'fakeness' you feel by saying 'like a wolf in sheep's clothing.' by utilizing animal qualities as external expressions of an interior self, we are better able to get across the frailties and failings of the human animal, putting difficult-to-frame problems into less socially-charged terms.
I can have pride in being 'a lion' in the way I am not structurally or socially-permitted to have pride in being mixed-race. That was denied to me, so I had to come up with something else that could not be stripped from me when convenient. Nobody can say this isn't mine.
When structural aid and support are left to slide, when advocacy and justice ignore communities, those communities incubate in the dark spaces outside the bounds of social acceptability. Where civics crumble and are left to rot, the animal kingdom reclaims that space.
What I'm suggesting here is that you should start getting more and more used to furries, because as social structures grow more and more stratified and exclusionary, furry is going to become increasingly attractive as a self-forged third option for identity.
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