The Man Behind the Mask: Boudreau (’23) Reflects on Participation in Furry Fandom


Benjamin Boudreau (’23)

Benjamin Birnbaum, Contributor

Benjamin Boudreau (‘23) is a senior attending Bellows Free Academy who shows great interest in the furry fandom. Boudreau said he has been “fursuit[ing]” with his “fursona,” “Azur,” since Nov. 2022, appearing at certain local events, such as Running of the Bells last year, and, most recently, the Queer Prom. Boudreau recently sat down with The Mercury to talk about his experience of being a furry and some of the hardships that have followed.  

When asked what a furry is, Boudreau said that a furry is a person who shows great interest in anthropomorphic animals. A lot of furries make art and create fursonas of themselves, anthropomorphic characters that can be a representation of one’s self. 

Boudreau said he discovered the furry fandom through TikTok, and while he thought it was a little weird at first, he saw that the participants were having fun. So he decided to support and learn about furries because he despises hating people based on what they like.

“I’ve always tried to stand up for other people whenever they’re down because someone else is trying to make their life worse,” Boudreau said.   

He added that this interest blossomed into him joining the furry fandom and creating a fursona. Boudreau said his fursona, “Azur,” which he named after the gemstone azurite, came as a premade fursuit that he bought.

Boudreau also said that many disagree with his self-expression. He said that his parents were initially disturbed and worried about him but have grown to be more accepting of it.

“My parents were not very happy at all,” Boudreau said. “They seemed pretty…disturbed and disappointed in me…[but now] they’re pretty chill about it, but they’re still super overly protective of me…[because] there’s a potential of a threat.”   

Boudreau continued to say that he has received backlash from people who see his expression as weird and confusing, having comments said to him online such as, “You think you’re a dog?” “It’s hunting season,” and even threatening comments that have told Boudreau to “kill [him]self.” 

Despite the backlash, Boudreau continues to don “Azur” and pursue his interest in this art. He even attended a furry convention in late Jan. 2023. 

Boudreau said he attended Anthro New England, an annual three-day-long furry convention that happens in Boston. He said the convention had over 3,000 attendees and many activities, such as panels, games, art and even a dance competition. 

“Having so many people around me who have the same interest [was] really amazing. And they [were] also very nice and kind, and they [didn’t] even know who I am, but they [were] nice anyway because that’s just who they are.” 

When asked what it is like wearing the fursuit, Boudreau became introspective.

“I think that when I wear my fursuit, I become more confident in showing my own self,” Boudreau said. “[I] can [create], like, a version of [my]self that [I] wish to become or embrace, which can be very, very nice.”