By Rebecca Drew
THIS STUNNING woman spends her spare time dressing up as a GIANT FURRY ANIMAL but has received death threats on social media from people who wrongly think her quirky hobby is a SEXUAL FETISH for her.
Digital project manager, Rebecca Christensen (26) from Rochester, New York, USA, has been into arts and crafts since she was a teenager and would always make special costumes using faux fur for events and festivals.
It wasn’t until she accidentally signed up for a furry convention in October 2014, thinking it would be a great opportunity to sell some of the outfits she had made that she discovered the world of furry fandom. Impressed by the fun, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere within the community, Rebecca instantly wanted to be a part of it, and she started making her first fursuit heads when she returned.
Joining the furry fandom community has changed Rebecca’s life and has shown her so much positivity and self-love. She’s created her furry alter-ego, Munchie, who is an angel dragon, and loves to spread positive thoughts. Munchie’s fursuit has been completely handmade by Rebecca and she has now started making suits for others.
Rebecca says that many people don’t understand the furry community and often think that people who partake in it are weird – something that Rebecca is hoping to disprove by sharing her furry adventures on social media. However, she has received some backlash from trolls who have left death threats on her posts and wrongly think that everyone who is involved in the furry fandom is in it for a fetish, something that it isn’t for her.
Fun pictures show Rebecca in full fursuit dressed as Munchie out and about and in her office wearing her fursuit head whilst working on her laptop.
“I’ve always been an avid crafter and I used to make outfits and costumes using faux fur for music festivals and special events. One day my sister found an event in our area called Arizona Fur Con and we signed up thinking it would be a fun opportunity to sell some of the stuff I make,” said Rebecca.
“We had no idea it was a furry convention until we got there and we loved every minute of it. I made my first fursuit heads right after that convention.
“To put it simply, these pictures are ‘me’. I am a hard-working professional that likes to build and wear cute furry costumes – I like to try to convey that simple message through the images I share because I want them to be authentic.
“I feel like it’s important to show the world that furries aren’t as weird as people make them seem and since I’ve gained a bit of a following, I really try to give a glimpse of the types of people behind the suit to be a good example for the fandom as a whole.
“It’s brought a lot of positivity and self-love into my life. People, in general, think being a furry is weird, but in reality, it’s such a beautiful community that just wants to have fun so it’s been really motivating for me to combat those opinions. And not just for me, but for all the other furries that get bullied for what they love that don’t have a way to voice their feelings like I do.
“I’ve also made so many great friends in the fandom and it’s been a really awesome creative outlet for me in general – it’s given me so much inspiration for new things to make and making things for others allows me to flex creative muscles I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to.
“The majority of people don’t know what furries are and I have the opportunity to explain what they are for the first time. Then there are some people that have heard of furries as a fetish and think that’s all it’s about – so I politely explain to them that they’re wrong and typically they’re open to it.
“However, there are a few people, mostly online and mostly younger that just hate furries for whatever reason and comment death threats on furry posts, but I just block them and move on. There is clearly a bigger issue there than their dislike for furries and I’m not going to convince them one way or another.
“Munchie is very much an extension of my personality and her goal is to spread positive thoughts, which is akin to how I navigate my life and my job every day. I just liked the species and made my suit out of colours I liked – I didn’t even draw it out before I started, so she’s pretty pieced together to be honest.”
The furry fandom is a subculture interested in animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of these attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, speaking, walking on two legs and wearing clothes.
Rebecca’s friends and family love her unusual hobby and she says that without their support she wouldn’t be as involved in the subculture as she is today.
“My friends and family embrace it. They love it so much – in fact, their support is a huge driver of why I’m still a big furry. My friends regularly help me with sewing and working behind the booths at conventions and taking pictures of me in my suit,” she said.
“Even when I don’t necessarily need help, they want to come hang out just for the experience. My boyfriend didn’t even know what a furry was when we met and now, he can’t stop bugging me to make him his own suit.
“Furries are really protective of one another and truly supportive when needed. I’ve seen countless social media threads of just random furries sticking up for other random furries on the internet – it’s really sweet and inspiring.
“Plus, the amount of creativity behind some of these characters and suits is insane. Scrolling through my furry feeds and attending conventions is so interesting because the level of detail and thought process that went into these characters is amazing.”
Finally, Rebecca, who shares her furry adventures with her 12.8K Instagram followers, spoke out against people who troll the community and addressed some of the misconceptions about her hobby.
“Furries aren’t weird – they’re just expressing themselves and it’s just a hobby. People hate on furries quite a bit, though I have been seeing a positive shift of late because they don’t understand what being a furry is about. Which is fine, but also it doesn’t have to be understood to be accepted. We’re not hurting anyone, we’re just having fun in our own way,” added Rebecca.
“People think furries are just a fetish thing – I’m guessing because there was an episode of CSI in like 2002 that depicted furries in that way. To be clear, it’s not that at all.
“I’m not going to lie and say that doesn’t exist, but it’s definitely not what most furs are about. And there’s a lot of younger furries in the community so things are typically PG rated when it comes to furries.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/itssofuzzyy