I’ve been to Comic Con several times and I sort of enjoyed seeing all the people who show up in costumes inspired by their favorite characters from movies, comics, novels, etc. It was fun and I get why people wanted to do it even if I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it myself. I say that so you know I don’t really have a problem with people dressing up in costumes for big conventions. But I do not get the furry thing.

Somehow it seems very different and I’m not sure why because, on the surface, it’s sort of similar. I’m not really sure I could explain why it seems different to me, only that I know I’d be comfortable going to a convention with a bunch of people dressed up as Star Wars or Marvel movie characters looking through piles of rare bootlegs or back issues. In fact, for better or worse, those are my people. But I don’t think I would feel at all comfortable going to a furry convention.

Is it because this is clearly an odd sexual fetish for a lot of people? Maybe, but then I’ve seen some of the cosplay costumes worn by women at ComicCon and those are also pretty obviously sexual in nature. At one ComicCon there was a group photo of women dressed as Princess Leia in the slave girl outfit. No one complained.

As it happens, the largest furry convention in the world took place last month in Chicago and a guy named Andrew Callaghan went there and interviewed people. Callaghan runs a YouTube channel called All Gas No Brakes, the theme of which seems to be showing up at gatherings of unusual people and just letting them talk. For instance, last week he published a video in which he attended a flat earth conference. He also has a video from Burning Man, and one from something called Alien Con. There’s even one from a Donald Trump Jr. book club gathering. Callaghan doesn’t editorialize much – he mostly just lets people talk and gives an occasional Office-style glance of disbelief into the camera.

Anyway, his tour of Midwest FurFest 2019 is every bit as strange as you might imagine. There are some people in full costumes and some who seem to be really carried away with the idea they are not human. Later on the clip takes a detour into alien insemination sex toys. There’s no nudity here but this is both very weird and very NSFW. Consider yourself warned.

I found it pretty uncomfortable to watch but is this really that much weirder than people who dress up as Jedi knights or superheroes?