Anthro Northwest expeditiously banned Furlandia board member in 2019 - warns of "cancel culture" in 2023Posted by Sonious on Wed 14 Jun 2023 - 16:22
On June 9th, 2023 the furry world was baffled by a newsletter from Washington state’s convention Anthro Northwest that has since been removed from the internet. On their social media page this letter was headered with the statement “Something had to be said”. The letter opened as if it is about to take an action that would cause controversy to protect their gathering, but then moved forward with meandering prose about the dangers of ostracizing others based on accusation, which they later refer to be related to a phenomenon that has been deemed as “cancel culture”. However, in its statement it also didn’t really announce any action that the organization would take to combat these issues it deemed important to state are occurring.
This meandering and winding prose about “seeing through the glass darkly” certainly caught a lot of attention. Because of the vagueness and the context of being an official statement it led many to speculate what could have prompted the post that read more like a defensive personal blog. Soon other furry conventions and organizations would capitalize on the public relations blunder by making parodies of their own.
But perhaps at the end of the day, the glass that ANW’s chair, Gabriel Felix, was seeing through dimly was that of the house he resided in. The shattered pieces reflected upon him for a past where he ignored his own currently presented ideals. Because while the chair asks the fandom to be slower to judge and to be more judicious with our actions to outcast others among us, on May 8th, 2019 his convention had banned the Furlandia soon-to-be-chair at the time, Richard “Saphy” Thomas, from being able to attend ANW.
Note for clarity: Saphy was the promoted to chair from vice-chair of Furlandia following their 2019 gathering just after he was banned from ANW, the current chair in 2023 (Rex) is not banned from ANW. To make the story more clear the headline working verbiage around the titles have been updated in the article.
As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events and their status as of December 27th 2021 20:30 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.
A new section has been added for past events impacted for historical purposes. More information will be added to deal with virtual versions of a physical gathering if applicable.
Links go to statements if available, or to their Twitter feed or site. See also: Furry Fandom and the Internet forced back to roots by viral outbreak
Update 2021 Year End - As conventions start to open again, the overall list of cancellations and delays is becoming clunky. The final update will be today December 27th, 2021. Any future cancelations or delays will be their own newsbytes or articles in the future.
Washington state has had a rough time with furry conventions in recent history. Rainfurrest had to shut down after they gained a sour reputation with hosting hotels due to reports of vandalism. So local furries were elated to hear of a new organization starting up by the name of Anthro Northwest. This convention, while a bit more stringent on their rules (particularly around adult material), was a welcome possible restart in relations with hotels in the region with furries.
But as activities started word leaked onto the internet of on camera release forms being deseminated for a show called "This is Life with Lisa Ling", a property of the channel CNN. Instantly locals had recollections of another incident that had occurred at another pilot convention one state south, Furlandia.
Update 11/15/17: Attendance has been announced and Anthro Northwest has been noted as being the largest attendance for a first year furry convention at 809, article updated to reflect this.