The Alterhuman Media Project

Where Are All The Postfurries?

Postfurry: a word just as nebulous as 'alterhuman' and just as intentionally so. First spotted in the early 2000s in the form of a circle of content creators, it was a 'micro-movement' that deigned to challenge, expand and play with the definition of 'furry'. The few public facing resources are barely organized but some phrases catch the eye:

"using postfurry to interrogate the boundaries of "human" behavior and how real/necessary they really are"

"mental, narrative, and ritual transformation as a lifestyle, with animal people as the preferred front-end"

"opening up a category of "socially non-human""

Sounds familiar, right? Sounds cool, right?!

A typical example of a 'postfursona':
a lava lamp vixen by Egypt Urnash
When I discovered the concept, I was ecstatic. I wanted to consume as much information about it as possible, but there was... nothing. I applied for a mailing list that didn't have enough public information for me to tell if it was actually active or not and got nothing. I looked for forums or IRC chats. None!

An entire empire had lived and died before I even learned its name, and now I stood, a wistful archaeologist, trying to fit enough scattered pieces together to tell the world what greats had come before it. Yeah, I'm majorly romanticizing this, but I was sincerely devastated to find something that combined all of my interests only to basically find out it doesn't exist any more.

Or so I thought. I found an essay on it dated January of this year earlier in the week that re-sparked my interest. Evidently, people were still interested in the concept. I revisited the old wiki and found, gasp, a Discord link. Hello! I said, I never thought I'd see a postfurry community in this day and age, but here I've found you! An admin responded thusly:

"i don't think any of us realised we were lost"

So what's up with that?

There are reasons the postfurry community might be so obscure, not least that its ideas are... pretty inaccessible to the average person. It is deeply philosophical, absurdist and abstract. And most people don't want to have to take a crash course in postmodernism just to understand how to play with imaginary animals. That's understandable! The appeal of the furry fandom for a lot of people is in its low barrier for entry, and postfurry kind of turns that on its head. It's not elitism - they're just playing with some inherently complex ideas.

Becoming Oneself by Grey White
That being said, there is an intentional reclusiveness I've noticed. Whether it's because a strong sense of community and deep interpersonal relationships are important to the ethos or they're just looking to shield themselves from ridicule I don't know, but it's enough to keep a significant amount of genuinely interested persons out, if my own experience is anything to go by.

But I sympathize, because it's easy to draw parallels here between postfurry and alterhumanity here. They're both about interrogating the model of humanity. And that's a scary thing to do, because it necessitates the questioning a lot of really fundamental social norms. It requires an active and ongoing effort to internalize contextuality and intersection and gray areas. You need a rudimentary understanding of ontology and semantics. Then you have to put that all together and figure out how that applies to one of the most deeply rooted categories of all time: humanity. This is not easy stuff to teach.

Nevertheless, we should try. The postfurry community has something important to bring to the alterhuman community. It has something important to bring to the people, like me, who think similarly on their own and don't realize there's a group to share their ideas with, and it has something important to bring to the people who have never considered such ideas before, even if, and maybe especially if, they're not alterhuman themselves.

What do you think? Have you come across postfurry before, maybe even found some good resources that I haven't? Do you think that a postfurry identity is an inherently alterhuman one, or that postfurry is worth mentioning when talking about alterhumanity in general? Lets us know in your comments.

If you're looking for more info on the subculture, check out the Postfurry Wiki.

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