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I want to share a story with you all that is the brightest of bright spots in all of my #SDCC2019 experiences!

A long but hopefully rewarding thread!

On Friday, @Zarafagiraffe, @FluxPaw and I donned our fursuits to roam around the convention. We got up to our usual mischief and had fun roaming the exhibit hall and taking a ton of photos with surprised and excited con-goers.

Then, as we were walking through the lobby, we came across a young girl dressed as a white tiger. We were so happy to see a fellow animal person! We bounded up to her to say hi, and got to talking with her and her mom.

We were the first ever furries she’d ever seen in person and she was so excited to meet us! They were from a tiny town in New Mexico, and they’d travelled all the way to San Diego by train for SDCC.

Zarafa then asked if they would like to join us! In what is probably the most trust I’ve ever seen someone give a group of strangers dressed as animals, her mother said her daughter could go with us while she went and wandered the con space.

Luckily she had found the three of us, one of the best groups out there to wander the con with! 😸

She told us her name is Caleigh. She said she had trouble seeing and was afraid of falling, and asked if she could hold one of our hands while we walked. I offered mine, and so our group began to wander around, and we started talking.

She told us that she is 17, and her and her little sister in their tiny town of 15,000 were the only furries and she had no friends where she lived.

They were only at SDCC for Friday and Saturday, and so far she’d been having a terrible day. She and her mom were actually just about to leave when we found them.

She didn’t make it clear if it was multiple instances or just one bad one, but she said that she’d been bullied and harassed for her fursuit, something I can relate to. Someone told her to burn it, to fuck off, that she was creepy.

Before she told us this, we’d actually been complimenting her suit! It was great, and the mouth moved so perfectly too! It was heartbreaking to hear her bad experience, and we assured her that we were going to roam the con space and have good experiences to make up for it.

Being a large group of roaming animals, we drew a lot of attention from people wanting photos. We would pose together, but she would cling to me and hide behind my arm. She was shaking.

She apologized to us. She said that she had social anxiety. That she was afraid of being bullied. She apologized for her shaking hands, for being clingy, for trying to hide.

She kept asking if we were SURE we wanted her to come with us, if we REALLY wanted to be her friends, and weren’t we better off WITHOUT her?

Every single one of us reassured her that we were more than happy to have her with us. That it was all ok. She thanked us over and over again.

We made our way up to the Sails pavilion, when @Zarafagiraffe saw… A DANCING ICEE MASCOT. In a stroke of genius, he rushed us over, and the DJ at the @RitasItalianIce booth saw what was happening, pumped up the music, got on the mic and told the crowd to check us out!

So here’s us, a bunch of animals, dancing with a giant mascot cup, and a crowd forms all taking photos! This is where something truly magical happened… Caleigh started off shy at first, but suddenly, she started to dance! Out in front! Way better than I do!

When the song ended, we all gave the cup high fives, the DJ gave us free t-shirts, and Caleigh said she had a lot of fun!

Eventually we made our way down to @KikiDoodleTweet’s Purrmaids booth in the exhibit hall, and Caleigh’s mom met us there. Kiki wasn’t there, but the woman running the booth was so excited to see us, she started just handing us plush after plush!


📸: her mom
I had three in my arms at once, and Caleigh fell in love with one of the Toyger Sharks. I think she ended up buying it actually!

I talked to her mom for a bit. She said Caleigh really had been having a terrible day and was in tears, and they were going to leave until we came along. She thanked us for taking her around the con.

We then told them about our meet in gaslamp Saturday evening, and would they like to join us? Caleigh absolutely wanted to, yes!

We weren’t sure if they would be there, though… but they were!

When we got to Gaslamp Saturday evening, her and her mom came up to us. She was so excited to see us again! They had apparently been waiting all day for us, because Caleigh was afraid she would miss us. She’d spent the day drawing us!


Our group was already forming a crowd, and eventually we grew to about 25-30 strong. If you were in Gaslamp on Saturday, I’m really sorry but we were the reason you couldn’t walk down the street! We took hundreds of photos with people of all ages!

At one point, I realized that I was surrounded 360 degrees with cameras, I didn’t know where to look. I had people on either side of me and in front of me taking three separate photos at once, it was crazy!

The whole time Caleigh is sticking close by us, a little overwhelmed at first but as time went on I started to notice she wasn’t shaking anymore, and she started to seem more relaxed and confident in herself. It was really truly wonderful to see her start to shine.

Eventually she had to go and we said our goodbyes, but we exchanged contact info.

When I got back to the hotel, I had a message from her thanking us for everything. She had been very depressed before the con, but the time she spent with us had made her the happiest she’d felt in a long time.

Reading that almost brought me to tears. We hadn’t just helped her have a good con, but I really do believe we changed her life.

All of us have been talking about this experience. I know that @Zarafagiraffe and I have talked in the past about how we’ve grown as people and how the fandom has helped us become who we are today.

We each have people in our lives that have helped set us on the path we’re on, and it’s so important to pay it forward and lift each other up. Especially children who are struggling to find themselves and are being bullied for being “weird” or whatever.

This thread is already incredibly long, but I want to tell two other quick stories about our time in Gaslamp, because they’re in the same vein.

I’m so incredibly happy to see supportive parents with their children at conventions, loving and accepting their kids as they express their fuzzy animal selves. Another mother I met last year came up to us to say hi because she remembered us.

We talked a bit, but I could tell something was wrong. I asked if she was ok and she said that we was absolutely not comfortable with crowds and SDCC was beyond her threshold, but she loved her daughter and was there to support her.

I thanked her and told her not every parent is like that… and she looked at me so confused and said “but… we love her” as if she couldn’t comprehend not everyone is willing to sacrifice their own personal comfort for their children.

Lastly, I want to tell you about a 12yo who came up to me while we were in Gaslamp. She was in an adorable fennec fox partial costume that she had ~made herself~!! It was wonderful, I was blown away by how amazing it was! I told her that and she was so modest about it.

She said she wasn’t sure she could make a body suit for it. Then she asked if I had made my own suit, and without even thinking, I said “no way, I’m not as talented as you!” and that really seemed to mean a lot to her.

I encouraged her to try making the body suit, and I really hope she finds the confidence to do it!

So there you go! This con gave me so many stories, both good and bad, but the time I spent as a giant animal was some of the best out of all the experiences I’ve ever had, and I really wanted to share! I hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!!!! ❤️

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, fav, rt, and comment on my thread. It really means a lot to me that we got a chance to spread positivity like this. <3
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