December 22, 2014

Source: Jill Allyn Stafford/Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this month in a Chicago-area event known as Midwest FurFest 2014, a “€œChemical Incident“€ involving chlorine gas caused the evacuation of several thousand furries and their allies from the Hyatt Regency O”€™Hare. Nineteen people, many of them attired in bright”€”and some would say disturbingly childish”€”fake-animal costumes were rushed to the hospital complaining of “€œnausea, dizziness and other medical problems.”€ A HazMat crew that had rushed to the scene located the source of the foul, sickening chlorine gas”€””€œa broken container filled with a chlorine-containing chemical“€ that appears to have been intentionally left on a ninth-floor stairwell in a malicious attack that has been described as “€œa hate crime, if not terrorism.”€

Who’s to say it wasn”€™t both a hate crime and terrorism? It may well have been an act born of hatred yet intended to strike terror into the hearts of furry fans. It may have been a purposefully malicious blow designed to send the untold thousands of newly proud and empowered furry fans”€”who”€™ve agitated for rights and acceptance since at least the early 1980s”€”back into the basement cedar closets where so many cruel and small-minded cowardly sadists seem convinced that they belong.

Repeat after me: Furry Lives Matter.

Illinois police claim that they are investigating the gassing event as a crime, yet some small despondent voice inside me laments that this so-called “€œinvestigation”€ may indeed go no further than the grand juries that failed to indict the white police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

But make no mistake. This was Kristallnacht for adults who wear animal costumes. Luckily, it didn”€™t turn into Auschwitz”€”at least not yet, it didn”€™t.


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