Memebership of furry is rather non-exclusive, all you really need is a computer and well that's it really.
Now this isn't going to be a rant about how in my day you had to have a full fursuit and be able to quote verbatem the entire script for Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH firstly because that would be a lie, the requirements then where the same as they are now and that's simply the concious choice to say that "Yes, I'm furry."
It's not hard, there's no pre-requesites for saying that you want to be a cat, that you are a fox, that you wear a wolf costume or anything and for most this is perfect. A support group for fragile egos and waifs who have wondered aimlessly looking for somewhere to fit in.
Which is fine if that's the kind of thing you want then congratulations you've found it, but there's folks that don't want that they want the whole this is all about becoming an animal or being an animal or worshipping animals or dressing up like an animal.
Now here's where it goes all funny, those that want the whole kind of community thing go out of the way to push that aspect, they go on television, talk to reporters to ensure that their view of furry has a few seconds of fame in an attempt to move the padagim into line and to the most parts some have been very successful, ask what's furry about and most folks will say it's about the sex and the art with some "freaks" who believe they are animals and some others with weird fetishes.
So what's needed, a definite criteria of what is allowed in furry and what's not?
Of course not, it's completly unimplementable and even unethical telling folks, "You aren't furry because..." and of course who defines what is and what is not furry?
I started this post by congratulating everyone who had ever questioned their furriness, or simply asked, "Am I a fur?" and there was a good reason for this that doesn't seem too obvious at first but by questioning what defines us not just as a person but also as a label we as individuals are able to take strength from the answer.
So maybe you figure that yes, you like this whole furry thing and that maybe you want to get more involved prehaps to one of the more extreme sides descending dangerously close to the edge of madness with such notions of lycanthrope and therianthrope, hey your choice kudos to you and enjoy what ever animal you find your mind able to shift to. Now just don't do anything stupid like saying, "Yeah all furs are into this" or even worse, "On Tuesdays I like to drink fresh human blood from a five year old child" no matter how true it is, the world does not need to know.
Be a religious dragon, be a homopathic werewolf be the best you can be just remeber even if you are given a soap-box to stand on and shout out that you are all of this, it's far better to know that this is you then get up on that soapbox and start shouting for attention.
Maybe you decide that you don't want to get more involved in the fur scene then causal sex with strangers at fur meets and hey let's not kid anyone it happens, well hey congratulations once again, much kudos. Now just don't do anything stupid like saying, "Yeah all furs are into this" or even worse, "On Tuesdays me and Bob here go and gang bang old grannies" no matter how true it is , the world does not need to know.
Be the yiff king (or queen) of the party, screw everyone and have a excellent time, that's your choice.
Now what of everyone else, I'm talking to a very small percentage of people here, the ones that either don't want to be assosiated with furry (good choice incidentally) or those that have by some incredible fantastic manner managed to find a balance between total depravitity and total insanity, a kind of Golconda of furdom.
Those lucky few most have been in the fandom for quite some time didn't need to read past the third paragraph because they remeber the days when the obsessives could quote Mr Frisby and the rats of NIMH verbatem sure nobody had a fursuit, word wasn't invented until 1994 (ish, it gained common popularity as a term for a furry cosutme at that point but was in use in some diffrent contexes probably long before then...) and they are truely lucky for they can sit back and smile for one reason.
They've seen this before.
It's nothing new and it's nothing cool, the "I hate you all i'm leaving the fandom and jumping under a bus" attention seeking fox, the "You guys suck for not using 5 Thz processors with bells and whistles on" raccoon, the "1 ru73z j00!!" lion it's nothing new it's just another cry for attention.
After a while you become either hardened or weakened to the cries, you either just go, "Oh... that's nice" and hurry on to the next topic or lend a sympathetic ear knowing full well that the fox will be back un-squashed by a bus in a week, the raccoon is running an Atari ST and the lion is using AOL and his mom's credit card, but still you know that this is a community for fragile egos and waifs who have wondered aimlessly looking for somewhere to fit in.
I started writing this at around 10am, it's now almost 3pm and it's not solved anything, nothing will change because of this but it might enlighten some, enrage others and most importantly it'll hopefully get just a single person to ask, "Am I a fur?" and more importantly, "Do I want to be a fur?"