Hey, guys. This is yours truly, Rich Yerardi (“Cyan Glaciertooth” to those in the furry community).
I am currently in New York City, just paying an overdue visit to the Big Apple for the night, before making my way to Pittsburgh, which I’ll be arriving at tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be in Pittsburgh during the weekend for the city’s annual furry convention, Anthrocon.
For those that don’t know, Anthrocon is a convention, celebrating the art, events, and communities involving anthropomorphic (or human-like) animal characters. It is currently the second largest fur con worldwide (with Chicago’s Midwest FurFest being 1st largest).
This convention is a very special one to me. It’s the first fur con I’ve ever attended, back in 2011 when it held the title for world’s largest fur con at that time, with 4,400 attendees that year. Attending AC became a bucket list accomplishment back in 2008, when I first learned about the convention. The opportunity would come three years later with surprising expectations. In addition to having a better idea on what people in the furry community are like in person (not just online), I learned many people in this fandom have several other similar interests that I have as well, interests that many other people I’ve come across, I wouldn’t suspect, would be similar to mine. I was especially surprised to learn that a lot of people in the furry community liked electronic dance music, and classic TV shows and movies over modern media. But what really made me feel at home in the furry community was the great things people in this furry community do, such as donate to charity, visit hospitals, candystriping, etc. There are also well-educated people in this fandom. The convention’s chairman, Dr. Samuel Conway, for example, has a PhD in Chemistry. People in this fandom include firefighters, doctors, lawyers, war veterans, auto mechanics, construction workers, teachers, and those of other great careers. It’s amazing to think that a community of fans of cartoon animals, something a typical person used to view as “kid stuff”, have brilliant, hard-working, valuable individuals. It’s people like these bright minds, these people willing to make our world a better place, that make me have furry pride. Not only does this make me happy to be a furry, but happy to make me a human being as well. 2011 became quite a year for me introducing myself to other furries, and I haven’t been the same person I used to be since.
On to 2019, this will be my 7th time going to AC. What I suspect will make this visit to the Steel City for Anthrocon weekend different from previous visits will be a fresh new feeling of a new beginning. The past few years have been tough for me, including health issues and my car accident back in February 2018. Over the past few months, I finally got a new car, had my depression gradually go away over time, got some surprise gift art, learned about the influence my AHL mascot fan art compilation, AHL MAX had on a fellow artist, had mascot duties with the WFA’s Boston Renegades, went to the AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, MA, saw the return of the mascot I designed (under a new name and fur color, of course), and had a couple other events that have helped raised my spirits, and AC will do more than continue to make me feel more upbeat. I can guarantee it.
This will be my first time fursuiting at Anthrocon. The joy that I have brought to others while fursuiting at other events in the past has been very rewarding, as I believe happiness is a fuel that can motivate people to making the world a better place, giving people strength and reminding them the reason to be alive. I’m more than ready and looking forward to being part of thousands of other costumed individuals who’ll be generating happiness to the people of Pittsburgh this weekend.
It’ll feel so much like my first time going to AC. Instead of PCD (“Post-Con Depression”), I’m going to have PCV (“Post-Con Victory”). After I get home from Pittsburgh, my journey through this personal revival of mine will continue, as the upcoming and possible events that are ahead of me are making me very optimistic about the future, and will do whatever I can keep make sure these goals for these events are reached. You’ll learn more about what’ll happen in the near future, so stay tuned!
I’ll see all my fellow attendees at Anthrocon. To those going, I wish you all a fun and safe weekend there, and if you see me, don’t be afraid to come and say ‘Hi’!