Furry Fandom is a grouping of people who have an interest in Anthropomorphics and Animals. It really is that simple, despite what some may claim. It is also, despite these claims, a very broad base for a fandom. Furry Fandom is not just about funny animal comic books and cartoons, nor, just about fursuits, stuffed animals, pets, animal totems... the list goes on. Each is a perfectly valid portion of the fandom.
These interests often overlap, many people like both art and writing, or writing and stuffed animals, or any combination of things, that are related directly, or by association, to fandom.
Further, Anthropomorphics rarely stands on it's own. It commonly draws on elements from "outside" of fandom to bring it to life. There is only a small list of things that you can do that are exclusively Anthropomorphic. Your usual story or art draws on elements like love, technology, space travel, magic, danger, heroism, and, yes, sexuality. They are a part of fandom not by their natures, but by how fandom uses them.
It is this variety that gives fandom the strength it has needed to blossom
and grow in the way it has. We can ill afford to turn our backs on it now.
This does not mean taking part in these ideas or activities, or believing that they are right for you, or even for anyone. It does mean being tolerant of them, not getting hostile with people for not being like you, and knowing when to walk away from something that offends rather than trying to tear it down.
This does not extend beyond reason. While we need broader rules and
boundaries than common society does, there still must be some. Making a
scene that gets the police called to a convention, trying to force your
beliefs on another, and the like, are things that need to be dealt with
if we are all to be able to work together.
Sometimes it is that simple. Think a little bit about how your actions are going to affect others. There are some actions that can and do harm fandom.
Violating people's copyrights, in short, outright stealing their work. Complaining to them because what they produce offends you, or, that they don't produce what you want. These are some of the things that drive away the writers, artists and other creators that give us the works that or fandom thrives on. A little respect and courtesy are all that is needed.
Flaunting activities before non-fans that are not socially acceptable to them. While many people think, "who cares, they are not fans, what do we care what they think?" We do care. These people set the rates on hotels for conventions, publish articles about us in the news papers, etc. Be careful when putting up displays of sexuality that they are responsibly monitored. Use caution when speaking to the press, and remember that they may not share your values.
These are some examples, and mostly relate to simple moderation. Not
everything is appropriate everywhere.
Perhaps that is a bit melodramatic, but there is a kernel of truth in this old quote. You can only take out what is put into a thing, and we all need to do our part.
For some of us, that may be activism, putting on conventions, printing fanzines, drawing art, writing stories, building fursuits, putting on RPGs. For others, those that have not the time or energy to put into it, it may come in the form of supporting those that do, be it by buying art rather than just getting the GIF off the web, or renting that room at a convention that you could drive to, just going that extra mile to do your part.
And it means speaking up when other people try and put words in your