Chicago-Area Furry Convention Boots Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannpoulos appearing on Real Time with Bill Maher, 2017 / Image via screen capture (HBO/Real Time with Bill Maher)

As of late, it’s been a rough go of it for white nationalist media personality and tragic-est gay Milo Yiannopoulos.

He’s been all but excised from social media and is reportedly millions in debt after being “deplatformed.” Today, one more group has made it known Yiannopoulos is unwelcome in their midst: The furry community.

As Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt reported explained today, the Chicago-area Midwest FurFest (MFF) “rescinded [Yiannopoulos’s] event registration” after “investigating concerns” brought to their attention over the far-right provocateur’s announced registration for the December convention.

Yiannopoulos, according to Holt’s reporting, had “posted an email screenshot to one of the few platforms he has left—his Telegram messaging channel—on Saturday,” evidently showing a registration confirmation email and inviting “his followers who plan to attend Midwest FurFest to message him to arrange ‘dinner, drinks, photos or anything else.'”

The MFF board explained in a statement provided to and published in Right Wing Watch that

Hate is not welcome at Midwest FurFest. We are dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free convention experience for all, regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or personal beliefs … The board of Midwest Furry Fandom, consistent with our posted code of conduct, has rescinded Mr. Yiannopoulos’s registration. He is not welcome to attend this or any future Midwest FurFest event. 

Yiannopoulos rose to fame as a particularly far-right writer at Breitbart, an ultra-conservative media outlet which gave Yiannopoulos a significant platform where he “worked directly with white nationalists and neo-Nazis to launder their racist ideology for a broader conservative audience.”

As Holt explained, Yiannopoulos left Breitbart and saw a book deal fizzle “after a video circulated in which he seemed to defend pedophilia.”

Contrary to pop culture misconceptions, the furry community, or fandom, is not (at least not in significant part) a hyper-sexualized fandom, as Vox’s Dylan Matthews explained in 2014.

In the broadest sense, a furry is someone with an interest in anthropomorphized animals — that is, animals who have been given human characteristics, like an ability to talk or walk on their hind legs.

Convention-goers enjoy a range of shared and overlapping interests, from the well-known “fur suits” seen in TV portrayals to appreciation for community-focused art, TV series and films, video games and more.

The community has been highlighted for closing its ranks to far-right interlopers, well ahead of most other groups and subcultures organized around shared interests. Given that, according to surveys cited by Vox’s Matthews, furries “are disproportionately likely to be gay, bi, or trans,” this shouldn’t be too unsurprising.

It’s been quite a day for racists who’ve seen their pasts come back to bite them, but Milo’s unceremonious ejection from this often-misunderstood community is especially sweet.

(Source: Right Wing Watch)

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