Meet Skylar Yap, Peter Tsang and Gabriel Perry (from left to right): 3 furries who like dressing up as anthropomorphic animals. Not only did they conceive of their own characters, some even create their own fursuit from scratch, just like Skylar did hers.

Unlike cosplayers who dress up as characters from fictional works, furries often create their own personas and costumes and as such, they have a much more personal connection when dressing up in their fursuits.

The sub-culture has a steady fan base in Europe and America. Just last year, a Midwest Furfest convention in Illinois attracted more than 10,000 attendees.

The furry fandom is also growing in our region. The most recent convention in Malaysia, called Furs Upon Malaysia 2018, saw a 300-strong crowd. In Singapore, an informal group was formed way back in 2004 after its members met on AnthroAsia. Its Telegram group now has some 120 active members, including Mr Tsang, 30, who appreciates it that the interest group has been a safe space where one’s “flaws and differences are embraced with no judgments”.

Furries are often seen as society’s misfits or sexual deviants with a fetish for animals. In response to these perceptions, Mr Tsang said: “Most of the things people read about furries online are very sensationalized and stereotyped … and to anyone who hopes to learn more about furries, I just urge them to see what is beyond skin-deep.”

The community will be hosting its inaugural Little Island Fur Con at the Oasia Hotel Novena in June. Mr Tsang and his fellow furries will be rocking their fursuits at the convention. Find out what inspired their “fursonas” below.

Peter Tsang as Zander Shepherd

Mr Tsang joined the community in 2014. The warehouse assistant said he “had no idea how to relate to people” in the past. Becoming a furry has made him more confident of who he is. He’s also made more friends.

His fursona, Zander Shepherd, was inspired by his 2-year stint in the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s K9 unit. He used to have to handle German Shepherds daily, and he liked the smart and athletic dogs for their loyalty.

Skylar Yap as Skye

17-year-old Skylar joined the community last year and found herself many more friends. Her fursona is Skye, a Samoye with blue eyes and purple tips.

The freelance artist was able to put her artistic chops to good use when designing and sewing her own mini-partial fursuit from scratch. She got it all done in a week with less than $100.

Gabriel Perry as Decro

Mr Perry started joining the community through Fur Affinity last year. Once in the furry world, the 25-year-old undergraduate would morph into Decro, an arctic wolf.

Mr Perry spent 3 weeks conceptualizing and finalizing the design of his fursona before commission an artist to make the fursuit.

The end result? An incredibly lifelike arctic wolf.