I'm a furry.
"Hold on a second!" You decry. "How can one be a furry, and not be furry, are you off your knocker?"
Perhaps the phrasing is what is throwing the true meaning of what is being said here, and so I shall rephrase to ease with the comprehension of this meaning.
"I'm not furry fandom, I am a furry fan."
It should be a healthy thing to tell yourself this every now and again. As one becomes part of a group, and particularly the more they like to be part of that group, sometimes the boundary is crossed between being a part of the team, and feeling you are the team. It's a human occurrence, and completely normal, don't be alarmed.
I called this in one post an individual making themselves the proxy of the group, and to help establish how you can spot this in others, and more importantly yourself, I have come up with some examples of such behavior. I will give example quotes with each, but won't give the names of their owners, this isn't a drama post though many of the quotes are pretty infamous, so if you find who their owners are please don't state them here, keep it under your hat.
1) "MY" Fandom
You can interchange the 'my' with any possessive adjective that shows property, and the noun fandom can be replaced with a subset of the fandom. The most common usage is the old internet tough guy. "Not in MY fandom" or "Not at MY convention".
An example quote comes from an individual who was discussing the issue of the AC banning that occurred earlier in the year:
"Very well, he was carrying a loaded firearm out on the streets of the city Anthrocon is held as well as attending that convention. You got me there. All hair splitting aside though, this isn't somebody I would want at my convention."
This statement was made by an individual who does not have a seat on the con chair, nor had any say in the banning at all. Yet it was "his convention", it wasn't and is not. He may feel personal toward it because he is a member of it, but it does not belong to him personally, just as it doesn't belong to the people he's sitting next to. Just as the fandom doesn't belong to anyone, it is an idea, and unless the idea is copyright, it's public domain. When I stated this in the short hand "If the convention was yours and not ours that comment would be relevant." confused him.
He's not the only one tough, many furs use this euphemism when surrounded by people they think will be favorable to their viewpoints. I find it improper in any setting, but don't always call people out on it, though perhaps it should be done.
The one quote for this one is adequate as the other versions of this are just as easy to spot, they always contain a possessive with the group name. (An extra-fandom example would be like that woman crying into a microphone "Obama is destroying my America")
As with all rules there are exceptions, like for example if someone is the head of a convention and says "My convention" then this is a statement of fact, not of proxy.
2) Use of Furry to mean one's self or one's ideals
This one is extremely hard to spot and comes in various forms. You can sometimes 'feel' it though may not be able to place it. Basically what occurs in this case is that someone puts themselves and their experiences into the word fandom and thus uses the two interchangeably.
The first quote is a good example and will bring to light why something recent that seemed so light handed got out of wack. The quote has been edited to further not link it to its original source, though many probably will be able to anyway, seeings it's so recent.
When they return as much to the Fandom as the :G-MAN: does, I'll be happy to help them out as well.
Now to those who wouldn't know the context it basically has to do with an individual helping someone who is an important friend to them. Since these two have been doing things together for quite some time and a lot of their lives have revolved around putting themselves in the fandom lime light, the individual forgot that while the matter being discussed was of major importance to himself, it may or may not have been of as much importance to the fandom (based on individual preference) as a whole.
To try and put it into an extra-fandom light lets take a Rand Paul quote, when he called Obama's behavior "un-American". Of course this is also an extension of Jon Stewart's segment on when politicians use the phrase "The American People" to sell a political point or philosophy. They too fall under this category. They are using this phrase "The American People" to mean themselves.
To further understand, since this one is tricky and vast, another quote from another posting
"And there's nothing more furry and natural than gnawing some flesh, kids"
Of course the context of this quote was to denounce vegans within the fandom, many will also probably know where this quote comes from, and this one I will share, it was a Burned Fur article by Squee Rat. The article was called, not coincidently, "The Furry Manifesto". So in fact, the title itself encompasses this integration the rule discusses. It'd be more accurate to call it "The Squee Rat Manifesto" however, instead he chose to make himself into the essence of furry as a whole.
One more to give you just how much flavor these kind of proxies come in, here is one from a fur discussing the integration of anime terms into the fandom. Without careful thought, a phrase like this could easily slip through the cracks.
"The concept of "being a cub" and "being a boy" is just as different as "being a furry" and "being a human." That is to say, the internal, psychological feeling you get, separating yourself from the human race through trans-human expression is the element that's missing from "shota."
Now, this quote defines that furry is separating oneself from the human race, and thus human rules and definitions should no longer apply. The thing is that furries though, by the basis definition, are anthropomorphic animals... which typically means while they are animals they typically hold some form of cognition that humans can identify with. If animals had our cognition would they call underage porn shota? They very well could.
Of course I'm not saying the author of said quote should just accept that fact, for to force that onto them would actually also fall within the parameters of proxy. However when he comes out with authority saying, "Shota shouldn't be in here because it isn't furry, because furry is an extra-human meaning." to me it seems like he's putting his personal believes into the definition of furry.
Though obviously the intent of all these quote come from very different places the same sense of someone making themselves into the definition of the fandom can be found within both, and thus would spark outrage that could in fact confuse the author if they have no realization to the "between the lines" meaning to the context of their words.
Some of these analysis may seem like nit picking or some you may have different opinions on, and I hope you share them because to be quite honest this is just a theory I've come up with based on past behaviors and the events that typically lead to and from what we call 'drama'.
What I learned is, that when someone invests themselves into a group or an ideal, they feel they need to defend it. As they put more time and effort into the group, they start to feel that they are an essential part of the functionality of the group, and the more in which that occurs the more likely it is you begin to feel you ARE the group.
This is why America's forefathers put in term limits for their President. For having responsibility for so long can cause stress, to the point where you feel it is by you alone that the whole thing doesn't fall apart. And thus critics suddenly become people who want to 'make it fall apart'.
While we don't have term limits to furry, or as responsible American citizens, or as members of our theocratic (or atheocratic) groups it is important that we, and our friends provide checks and balances to ourselves. We need to take a deep breath and say. "I'm not furry, I'm a furry."