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(Fan art is popular among furries, who pay artists to draw their fursonas.) Dionysius had planned to commission a new drawing, showing him running over another furry in a truck (someone leaked the plans on Twitter).
He’s also part of the Furry Raiders, a Colorado-based group that wears the allegedly Nazi-inspired armbands.
“These people hate me and other folks enough to invest their time, energy or money on lavish hate fan art,” he says.
But the imagery was threatening enough that he and others felt Dionysius and the alt-furries shouldn’t be allowed to join in the flocculent festivities.
It’s August, a week after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that roiled the country, and he’s set up a booth that has attracted an assortment of animals—from fennec foxes to Munchkin cats—all waiting in line for his merch. These hirsute hobbyists are in town for Furrydelphia, the area’s first convention for furries.
Many are queer and very left-wing, so it’s no surprise that the stickers—a swastika inside a paw print with a red slash through it—hold special appeal.
An attendee dress up as a fox moves into position for a group photo at the Midwest Fur Fest in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois, United States, December 5, 2015.
The threats don’t frighten him—but he is worried that a growing number of furries are vulnerable to recruitment by white supremacists.
“Nazis are looking for these same types of alienated white dudes,” he says.
This past summer, one man came to Anthrocon, the world’s largest furry convention, in a Confederate flag “fursuit,” holding a Trump sign, and some people distributed alt-furry pamphlets at an Orlando, Florida, furry convention.
Others have started wearing armbands strikingly similar to those worn by Nazis.