FURRY FRIENDS—Shirley Butler poses with two fur suitors, Felora and Copper. (Photos by J.L. Martello)
Pittsburgh’s furry friends from Anthrocon have a Fursuit Walk every year when they hold their convention, but this year they were venturing outdoors—and the city of Pittsburgh was invited to watch!
The Anthrocon Fursuit started at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with approximately 1,300 “Fursuiters” taking part in the procession. This was the first time that the public was invited to watch the outdoor portion of the walk.
“We love Pittsburgh and the decision to invite the public has been in the back of our minds for quite some time,” Samuel Conway, chairman of Anthrocon Inc., said before the walk. “It gives the people of Pittsburgh the opportunity to share a little bit of what we do. So we are looking forward to sharing some of our Anthrocon joy and the convention experience with the people of Pittsburgh.”
It’s not every day that fursuits are worn outdoors. Described as “wearable, original works of art,” the costumes are mostly original creations. The fully costumed group only represents about 20 percent of the convention. The Anthrocon convention, which took place last month, attracts artists, animators, costumers, puppeteers and just everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals. The program includes workshops and seminars in acting, costume-building, animation, art and design.
BYE FELICIA!—Andrea Gist, a young Black woman from Spartanburg, N.C., who loves suiting and does this for a living as she plays the mouse at chucky cheese, says, “The smiles I get to bring to people is just amazing and the reactions you get is something I take seriously, and I love it and I wouldn’t give this up for anything in the world.”
BEING A FURRY—North Side musician Robert Jones said, “(When) I first saw the Furries and saw how friendly they are, it made me want to be a furry.”
WITH THE MEAN WOLF—Ebone Harris, of Northview Heights, poses with a wolf named Yalta. Harris said, “At first I didn’t understand the concept of dressing up like stuffed animals, but after seeing the joy and smiles they brought out I guess they’re okay.”
THE CHILD WITHIN COMES OUT—Shirley Butler, a retired Army vet and nurse, poses with Pemblery Owl. Butler had never seen the Furries or Anthropomorphic characters in person before and said, “I thought it was cool to see the parade, it was a joy to see everyone of them unique in every way imaginable.”