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Thousands attend world's 'largest' furry convention

STORY: Location: Chicago, Illinois

Thousands attended the world's 'largest' furry convention

Midwest FurFest is a 4-day long festival dedicated to the furry fandom

People dress up as anthropomorphized animals, often in 'fursuits'

[Sarah Newcomer, Assistant Director of Programming / Midwest Furfest 2022]

“It’s a place for everyone to come together. It's an incredibly inclusive event. We represent every continent except Antarctica. We have over 50 different countries here. It's just a really amazing melting pot of people just celebrating the culture of furry.”

[Browning, Attendee / Midwest Furfest 2022]

“It’s a way to express yourself. You know, there's a lot of people there. So I'm just trying to use the politically correct term here. You know, they're, they're not very outgoing in their everyday life. But then when you come here and you're a bunch of, you're among a whole bunch of other people that share a common interest. It allows you to express yourself. You don't really feel any fear anymore of doing so.”

Many said they recognize that some people may not understand the convention

but that the event and community has helped them develop meaningful friendships

[Storm / Midwest Furfest 2022 Attendee]

“When I was growing up, I felt really alone and the furry community was what kind of helped me get socialized and find some of the best friends in the entire world.”

[Sarah Newcomer, Assistant Director of Programming / Midwest Furfest 2022]

“A lot of the community and these relationships are built online and these conventions are an opportunity for everyone to come together and share the experiences together and just be within the community in a situation that, you know, is unlike anything."

[Theo / Midwest Furfest 2022 Attendee]

“I highly encourage anybody to come and check one of these out. There are a lot of fun, these cons and who knows? You'll never know what you'll find that you really connect with you. There's stuff here for everybody.”