Members of the obscure subculture known as ‘furries’ are no stranger to controversy, often labelled as perverse fetishists for dressing up in animal costumes, which dictate their role-playing “fursona”.
While defending their community from criticism by describing it as simply a playful escapism is nothing new, there is now a fresh threat to the culture coming from within its own ranks. It appears subculture, which has long been associated with LGBT, is now being infiltrated by neo-Nazi extremists known as “alt-furries”.
The alt-furry movement started as a joke on Twitter, with right-leaning members sharing pro-Trump, furry-themed memes using the #AltFurries hashtag. But the promotion of satirical policies such as a ban on “species mixing” quickly got out of hand as the white supremacist agenda started to creep into real world furry events.
A horse furry, known as Junius, became a target for the group after calling them bigots and fascists on social media.
Junuis said he wasn’t worried when one forum group attempted to find his personal information and release it online, but holds genuine concerns over the growing number of furries vulnerable to recruitment by these white supremacists.
The emergence of the alt-furries has been troubling for the culture, which prides itself on being inclusive to those with niche gender identities and odd social quirks.
A goat named Dionysius was recently banned from a convention in Philadelphia after he spent $A140 to commission artwork of his “fursona” launching Junius and two other furries out of a helicopter.
Dionysius feels his banishment was an over-reaction from “social justice warriors”, especially given his artwork was made in response to left-wing furries threatening to punch “Nazi furs”.
“I would like to note that punching someone is an action that can be done very easily at a furry convention,” he said. “No one has ever brought a helicopter to any furry convention that I know of. I chose that setting, as well as the cartoony style, precisely because I did not want to make it a threat.”
Furrydelphia chairman Drayne the Wolf defended the decision to ban the alt-furry from attending the event.
“We did not set out to make a political statement, but we had to make sure the attendees felt safe,” he said.
This video captures AltFurry's leader discussing the AltRight origins of the group and why the niche nerdy subculture of the furry fandom was specifically targeted for indoctrination efforts. They've been trying to bury this audio. pic.twitter.com/hO3l76DoPh
— Deo (@DeoTasDevil) November 25, 2017
While Dionysius might deny the link between neo-Nazis and furries, Deo the Tasmanian devil suggests otherwise.
Deo said she has been the focus of attacks since getting off-duty officers to attend Denver’s Rocky Mountain Fur Con in April as a response to threats of violence from alt-furry members.
“I will rape you to death n*gger b*tch,” one of the threats read.
The constant abuse saw Deo go undercover on the alt-furry chat group on Discord, which led her discovering conversation around hiring a hitman to kill her.
The comments came from KKKutie, who was a former-furry and girlfriend of alt-right neo-Nazi Nathan Gate — the creator and moderator of the alt-furry chat group on Discord.
KKKutie said she was radicalised into white supremacy by the alt-right, and despite leaving the furry life behind, she attributes them for helping her see the light.
“I think alt-furry ends up being kind of an exodus for many furries,” she said. “As they are dragged further right … they start to mature in mind and in body and in turn grow out of the whole furry thing and leave it behind for real political activism. I’ve experienced this first-hand as well as witnessing several of my friends do the same.”
Deo shares Junuis’ sentiment that white nationalists are using furries to attracts new members.
“[White supremacists] use these nerd groups because it’s prime picking grounds,” she said. “They’re full of bitter, sad, lonely people.”