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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Fursonas' Director Dominic Rodriguez Shows Parallels Between Furries and Gay Pride

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unreal TV will run a review of the documentary "Fursonas" on May 6, 2016.]

Reading minutes before interviewing first-time director Dominic Rodriguez about his film "Fursonas," which hits VOD platforms and iTunes on May 10 2106, that Rodriguez is very candid about he and his boyfriend enjoying sex while dressed in their fursuits and that they incorporate dildos shaped like an animal phallus in their intimate activities resulted in the subsequent discussion being awesomely candid. Rodriguez passes the test of being someone with whom you would want to be share a beverage with flying colors.

The most significant consequence of the aforementioned revelations (and of the film being a "coming out" for Rodriguez) was discussing parallels between the furry community that "Fursonas" documents and the Gay Pride movement roughly 25 years ago. Rodriguez looking forward to the day that he can walk to his mailbox in his wolf suit 10 years from now without being embarrassed nicely illustrates this concept.

On a related note, Rodriguez talked about the initial surprise of encountering a high school friend at a furry convention. He then asserted regarding the size of the furry population population that "I'm sure there is a furry in your life; I would bet on it."

Although these discussions of the sexual aspect of the furry culture may seem to be sensationalistic, they merely reflect an important aspect of the film.

Background of Rodriguez

Knowing that many readers will conclude "I knew it" on learning of the genesis of the interest of Rodriguez in the furry culture requires stating the "Fursonsas" theme that furries are a diverse group of people who choose that lifestyle for numerous reasons and engage in a wide variety of activities while dressed as animals.

Rodriguez addressed his personal practice of the furry lifestyle by stating that being a furry is an identity for him and that "sexuality is part of an identity."

Rodriguez shared that searching the Internet for pornography when he was 12 led to discovering Furry porn. He added that discovery coincided with his "awakening into sexuality" and that that self-proclaimed introverted nerd focused that aspect of his life on looking at images on the Internet. This is opposed to dressing in animal costumes and interacting with like-minded folks.

This aspect of the conversation included Rodriguez stating that he was not his high school mascot. He again referred to his shyness and shared that he literally and figuratively did not get into a fursuit until many years after discovering his interest in the furry lifestyle. He described that appeal as relating to the concept of "animals with human characteristics" and stressed that liked the humanity aspect of that equation.

Rodriguez demonstrated this same charming shyness in noting that he disliked wearing his fursuit in the absence of other furries. When asked if he would wear that outfit at his wedding if he and his boyfriend ever married, Rodriguez replied that they had discussed that and decided against it.

Rodriguez being very candid on the topic of furries who incorporate that lifestyle into their sexual activity led to one of the best moments in our hour-long discussion. His stating that "foxes are more bottoms" prompted a joke that is inappropriate for this forum but elicited a nice laugh from Rodriguez. (Another joke in response to Rodriguez using the expression "the elephant in the room" also prompted an appreciated laugh by Rodriguez.)

Rodriguez stated on a more general level that the choice of an animal to emulate reflected "either what they (furries) are or what they want to be."

Background of Fursonsa

Talking to Rodriguez demonstrated the extreme degree to which "Fursonas" was a labor of love. He devoted four years to the project and undertook it to provide the general public accurate information about that culture. Namely, that not every furry incorporated that aspect of his or her life into his or her intimate activity.

Rodriguez further acted fully knowing that some furries would be upset regarding showcasing their community (and airing some of their dirty laundry). Rodriguez was equally aware that he was also damned if he didn't in the sense that some furries would be angry that he did not cover the activities in which they engaged.

Rodriguez addressed the latter by reasonably stating in a good-natured manner that his making the movie and devoting four years to doing so justified the chosen scope of the film. He added that any furry that wanted to make a film that expressed his or her perspective had the option of doing so.

Rodriguez demonstrated the film making instincts that make "Fursonas" so good in deciding at that outset to conceal his identity as a furry from his subjects, the audience, and even his crew. This reflects the principle of journalism that the reporter is not the story.

It was equally admirable that Rodriguez ultimately decided to "come out" in front of and behind the camera in a very understated manner. He described the process of making that decision as "organic" and stated that he "didn't want it to be my story but don't want it (his furry identity) to be a secret."

The Dominic effect of coming out demonstrated the ability of Rodriguez to keep his biases in check while illustrating that he knew his subject well. It also led to one of the most memorable moments in the documentary; we see Rodriguez sitting with the head of his costume at his feet after roughly an hour of not knowing his true nature.

Trekkies Comparison

The strong similarities between the 1997 documentary "Trekkies," which takes an unbiased look at "Star Trek" fans who take their fandom very seriously, and "Fursonas" prompted asking Rodriguez about that. He laughed and stated that he had heard that a lot but had not seen the other film.

This leading to discussing how furries differed from other fandoms; Rodriguez aptly noted that his group did not have any source material on which to base their culture.

Furry Pride

The characteristics of furry culture currently not being understood well and being the victim of many misconceptions (as well as the element of some male furries having sex with each other while dressed as animals) prompted thoughts of the aforementioned comparison with the beginnings of the Pride movement during which marching in a parade or putting a pink triangle decal on your car was a brave act. Rodriguez shared that a deleted scene from "Fursonas" had a interviewee state that "Pride parades are where you embrace (what society considers) the negative aspects of your self."

Future Plans of Rodririguez

Noting that the furry community already considered the very PG "Fursonas" edgy, Rodriguez expressed a desire to make a future film that thoroughly explored the sexual aspect of furry culture. He further hopes to make a web series "for furries by furries" so that those who view that content can fully understand the context.

Haters Gonna Hate

Both "Fursonas" and the conversation with Rodriguez showed that (like most members of the gay community) furries are a passionate lot. Further, (also like the aforementioned homosexual segment of the population) making all of them happy is literally impossible.

The best that you can do is turn the camera on as many factions as possible of them and let them have their say. There is no doubt that Rodriguez is the adorkable man for the job.

Anyone with CIVIL questions or comments regarding "Fursonas" or Rodriguez is strongly encouraged to either email or reach out on Twitter via @tvdvdguy. Bad doggies or kitties (or cockroaches) who make their way on the Unreal TV front lawn can count on having the garden hose turned on them.