So I realized that I never covered this topic and I talk about it a lot! I will now attempt to explain some stuff in a helpful way but feel free to comment with questions!
Now I am a part of the furry fandom, this means I love animals and the study of anthropomorphic animals. This means I love to see art of many types showing what animals would look like if they were more like people. For instance if they walked on two legs and talked. The amazing art and creativity in this fandom is overwhelming, I have been in many fandoms and I will dare to say none of them can compare in many ways to this one. (also fandom basically means group of people that are fans of something)
The dark side!
There is a dark side to the fandom but most of us really don't like that side and are not a part of it! Furries get a bad rap for the dumb people in the fandom but I promise you most of us are not like that!
This is all I'm going to say about it here.
Almost person in the fandom has some sort of creature that is a complete representation of themselves in almost every way, this character is them and as such is called their "fursona" (persona with fur instead of per, clever I know) People will usually commission art of their character and some even get costumes to dress up as said character! These characters are more than just a cool thing to do for most of the fandom, for most of us they are us in everyway and sometimes even more "us" than we are. The character allows us to truly be ourselves without judgment (everyone has some type of character so they don't judge others as much!).
quick lingo check in! I am a furry, my character is not, my character is a Fursona or a character. So Runzi is my fursona, Empire is a character I play, and I am the furry. Runzi and empire are not furries, they are characters I draw and act as.
(I mostly add this because it's very strange for people in the fandom to hear things like "that's a nice furry you have there" it's even stranger to hear it from someone in the fandom themselves)
These elaborate and very meaningful costumes are called "fursuits" or shortened to just "suits". Most fursuiters really try to become the character they play while wearing the suit and when one has to take off a paw or a head to do something it is called "breaking the magic" and is severely frowned upon in public by other members of the fandom (basically if your going to fursuit do it right and respect the fact you've become a performer for others also don't ruin some poor kids day by being caught out of character). At conventions and closed furry gatherings it is less of a problem but is still rather frowned upon. Many people will be told off at conventions for breaking the magic because there are separate rooms specifically set aside for them to de-suit and cool of in.(affectionately called headless lounges!)
Fursuits are tremendously expensive because every suit is different, custom made, and usually compleatly tailored to a specific person! They range in price from around $600 to $3,000 and up.
Most suits are very durable and should be for that price!
There are just as many female fursuiters as male if not more. (Not all of us are dudes thanks!)
They have giant blind spots! Most of them are very hard to see out of so don't be sad if they don't see you wave!
They can get very hot very quickly! Just inside of one fursuiters head after being worn for less than an hour was above 100 degrees! (if they make gestures like they are too hot they might not stop for pictures)
They are (mostly) quite hard to move around in! We bump into things a lot and might not even notice.
Most hand paws (paw like gloves) don't work very well at lifting or articulating things.
Most of these suits are very personal items and very important to the wearer! (Empire means so much to me and she isn't even my fursona!)
IMPORTANT! BEING IN COSTUME DOESN'T MAKE IT ALRIGHT TO GRAB OR HARASS ANYONE! Sadly this needs to be stated! It's true many fursuiters will give you hugs if you want them or take pictures but 99% of them do not touch you unless they know you're ok with it, so don't touch them unless they say it's ok! I say this only so you know that they will be upset most of the time.
THIS ALSO APPLIES TO ANY OTHER TYPE OF COSTUME!
I'll probably post more on these subjects but I think this is a nice overview! Like I said if you have any other questions or want me to add anything just let me know! Also if this sounds cool and interesting to you I urge you to contact me and I can show you more of the fandom and help you join in the fun!
(if something is off about this I apologize! It ended up being longer than I thought!)