Chapter Eleven – Read the News Today, Oy Vey


I Read the News Today, Oy Vey

FURRY’S VERY FIRST mainstream coverage was actually quite positive. It occurred completely by accident—and I happened to be there.

I was one of the Sci-Fi Channel’s first employees, helping it get up and running in time for its September 1992 launch. The furry coverage happened a few monthslater in January 1993. My furry pal Peter convinced me to fly cross-country with him to attend ConFurence 4 in Costa Mesa, California, my first furry convention.

I was still quite deep in the furry closet, keeping my anthropomorphic interests separate and apart from the channel—and frankly, from just about everyone who knew me.vAt ConFurence 4, I was on the other side of the continent from Rockefeller Center and my co-workers. There was no way I was going to let them know I’m part of a fandom that considers cartoon animals sexy, because they wouldn’t get it and I’d just as soon—

“Hey Joe, there’s a crew here from the Sci-Fi Channel.”

My pulse rate must’ve doubled that moment—busted!

I made sure, damn sure, to keep out of camera range for the rest of the weekend, except for one brief moment when I decided I wanted to be represented after all. If you dig up the segment on YouTube (“Sci-Fi Buzz Confurence”), look closely at the lower-left corner of the screen during the talent show, around 1:21 in. You’ll catch a glimpse of the only part of myself I let wind up in the segment—the bottom of my shoe.

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The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture