Taking this from origamigryphon with an added line from me at the bottom
FURRIES AND ANTHROMORPHIC ANIMALS ARE THE SAME THING
I'm tired of people trying to split hairs. They're the same thing. Some people categorize werewolves or other werekin out of the furry category, which I can agree with based on the fact that they're humans that turn into an animal, not animals with human qualities.
-YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A FURSUIT, FURSONA, OR DRAW FURRIES TO "OFFICIALLY" BE IN THE FANDOM
If you like Disney or other cartoon characters and enjoy the art or people, you're part of the furry fandom. There's no one -thing- that makes you part of this fandom or not. If you say you are, you are.
-THE FURRY FANDOM IS NOT A SUPER SECRET SPECIAL CLUB
It's not. If you partake, you're in. Partaking can be just looking at the art online, or talking about it with friends.
-THE FURRY FANDOM IS A HOBBY. IT IS NOT A SEXUALITY. IT IS NOT AS SERIOUS AS YOU'RE MAKING IT.
For some people (myself included) furry takes up a big chunk of their time and is a huge part of their life. This is okay! But at its base, furry is a FANDOM-- a collective of people with a similar interest in cartoon animals. THAT'S ALL IT IS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE IT OUT TO BE MORE THAN THAT, ESPECIALLY WHEN TELLING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT YOU'RE A FURRY.
-DON'T EVER COMPARE FURRY TO BEING LGBT OR DIFFERING GENDER IDENTITIES
No. Don't. It's not. IT'S A FANDOM AND A HOBBY. THAT'S IT.
-DON'T USE THE WORD YIFF WHEN TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE FANDOM TO OTHERS.
Like Uncle Kage says-- people outside of the fandom don't know our slang. When trying to explain your hobby, you leave it clean and you leave it simple. YOU ARE A FAN OF CARTOON ANIMALS.
-FURSUITS AND ARTWORK ARE NOT TOO EXPENSIVE.
Art takes time and money. The correct materials required are expensive. If you can't afford it, that's NOT the artist's problem.
-WHEN IN PUBLIC, IF YOU WEAR SOMETHING "NON-NORMAL" LIKE A TAIL, EARS, OR A FURSUIT, EXPECT STRANGE LOOKS
We're creatures of habit. Things that stand out as not the norm WILL get looks from people. You're NOT being "fursecuted." PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOU NOR SHOULD THEY BE EXPECTED TO. It's not their job to accept you, the world isn't a hugbox of rainbows, sunshine, and glitter. You can express yourself, but with all other fashions, you'll be looked at sideways by some people.
-YOU DON'T *NEED* A FURSUIT
You don't. Fursuits are a luxury item that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars and lots of time to look nice. If you can't afford it or make it yourself, you don't need it. The end. PLEASE respect that fursuit building IS an artform, and like other artforms if your end result is bad, people WILL criticize it. This isn't mom's fridge. We don't have to give you a gold star just because you tried.
-WHEN COMMISSIONING ART OR A FURSUIT, PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT throw money at the first person you see. There are GREAT resources you can look into to see if the artist is a known scammer and if their product is worth the money. If you don't have a LiveJournal account, MAKE ONE NOW. It's free, and there are many amazing communities to learn from. KNOW THE LINGO. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. KNOW THE CRAFT. Even if you're not making it yourself, it's PERTINENT to know the features and materials.
-WHEN IN PUBLIC, A CONVENTION, OR A MEET, PLEASE CONTAIN YOURSELF
You ARE a human, first and foremost. ACT like it. Those of us who can contain ourselves in public get embarrassed when you run around barking like a dog or being overtly ridiculous in the presence of "mundane" people. You can have fun and act like an adult, too.
-DO NOT WEAR A FURSUIT WHERE IT'S NOT WELCOMED!!!!
(from Morticia) Take it from someone who knows firsthand. I almost got arrested with some local friends for walking into a laundromat to play their arcade games and use their vending machine to get ice cream because we were in our fursuits. We were not welcomed there with our faces covered. Most places have a rule against your face being covered, and you MUST FIRST GET PERMISSION before you go in. NOT EVERYONE THINKS FURRY IS AS COOL AS YOU DO, TRUST ME.
-DO NOT FURSUIT ALONE!
Fursuiting alone can be dangerous to yourself and others. You ALWAYS need a handler or spotter-- a friend who can look out for your safety and the safety of others, as well as get you in and out of places. People may think you're a robber or pedophile trying to lure children away if you're alone in a giant animal costume.
-You CAN say No to unwanted touching
When in Fursuit, at cons or meets, sometimes people see that as an open invitation to grope you. You CAN say No, you can ask them Not to touch you like that, push them away and walk away. If at a meet or a con, and they persist, tell someone like security at a con, or the person running the meet. Even in suit there are Still boundaries to be respected!