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More children identifying as ‘furries’ as expert issues advice to parents and teachers

School teachers returning to the classroom after Summer break can expect to teach pupils who now openly identify as ‘furries’ and view themselves as being ‘less than 100% human’.

The trend now emerging in Northern Ireland is based around the global Furry Fandom culture where members have a dedicated interest in anthropomorphic animals such as cartoon characters, reports Belfast Live.

A number of pupils are now taking the step from fandom to active self-identification, creating their own personas by choosing animals and traits they best identify with – known in their peer groups as ‘fursonas’.

The furries fandom culture delves into fictional anthropomorphic animal characters who have human personalities and characteristics and meet online and at conventions. They typically include dragons, domestic cats, lions, tigers, domestic dogs, wolves and foxes and others create mixed species, such as a ‘folf’ – a fox and wolf – or a ‘cabbit’ which is said to be a mix between a cat and a rabbit.

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It’s understood at least four schools in Northern Ireland have pupils who openly identify as furries and all schools have been subject to advice and support from the Department of Education as a matter of ’emotional health and well-being’.

But he says children dressing up and creating make-believe personas is not the issue. The problem lies, he says, if the interest develops into a fixation or when it invariably moves online where anonymous contact is made with others claiming to be furries offering mutual interest and trust.

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