'Furries' convention in Orlando bans minors from attending to comply with Florida's new laws

"Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Wednesday, a convention for furries, or adults who like to dress up as anthropomorphic animals, announced that their upcoming Megaplex convention in Orlando, Florida, would not allow minors to attend the event for fear it would break Florida's Protection of Children Act, which prohibits adults from bringing children to live, adult performances.

According to the Megaplex statement, "Many have raised concerns about recent changes in Florida legislation. After reviewing Florida SB 1438 it has been decided that for legal reasons and protection of our attendees, our venue, and the overall convention, Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup."

Megaplex said the decision was a "difficult" one because they had "welcomed younger fandom members" since the inception of the convention.

SB 1438, or the Florida Protection of Children Act, defines an "adult performance" as "a presentation that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or specific sexual activities."

According to Rolling Stone, there are "pervasive misconceptions" that furries are "inherently sexual" but add "it is true that there is a segment of furrydom that does treat it as a kink" and "many conventions do cater to the NSFW aspects of the furry fandom." 

Many furries deny that their predilections are sexual in nature but one recent study found that almost all individuals who identify as furries are driven by "some degree of sexual motivation."

The researchers found, "Both sexual attraction to anthropomorphic animals and sexual arousal by fantasizing about being anthropomorphic animals were nearly universal."

PinkNews, a popular LGBTQ+ magazine, has argued that there is a significant overlap between the LGBTQ+ community and the furries.

"The furry fandom overwhelmingly skews LGBTQ, with nearly 80 percent of furries self-identifying as such" and "many furries identify as transgender," reports Rolling Stone.

The outlet also reports that the transgender furries collectively said they "would not feel safe" at the Florida convention.

This year's Megaplex will feature guests such as WHSPRS, "a virtual fox artist that writes songs about love relationships in VR."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Protection of Children Act into law earlier in May.

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