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What Is a Furry? Beyond the Masks at Furry Migration 2014 [VIDEO]

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First things first: What's a furry? Well, to put it simply, it's a subculture of individuals that celebrate and roleplay as anthropomorphic animal characters. But even within the community, there's some contention as to what exactly being a furry means.

We went to the first annual Furry Migration this year to get a special sneak-peek behind the scenes -- and behind the masks -- to learn what being a furry is really all about.

See also: Why Comic-Con is Really About Community

"Fandom is a little bit of a misnomer, because we're fans of 'furry,'" says author Kyell Gold, explaining that furries must create their own source material, unlike fans of established pop-culture touchstones like Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica.

Perhaps by fate, the weekend Furry Migration took over the Ramada MSP Airport, the weather took a cooler turn -- a boon for all the folks dressed up. Organized by MN Furs, the event celebrated fursuiting, graphic artists, authors, games, and the furry community lifestyle.

"People put on a mask and then you can kind of take on a different persona, say be more outgoing or silly," says Foxfeather Zenkova of Foxloft Studios, one of the convention's guests of honor.

What everyone in the community does seem to agree upon is their affinity for animals and anthropomorphic creatures with human-like personalities. Jeff Eddy of Sofawolf Press describes the furry fandom as "a homespun creation based on a single criteria which is this sort of animal-human hybridization."

Find out more about the local furry community in our video:

Beyond the Masks at Furry Migration 2014 from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

Video production by Todd Wardrope for City Pages.

See more Twin Cities video work at video.citypages.com