Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Furries vs. The State of Oklahoma

Furries+vs.+The+State+of+Oklahoma
Storm Goodman

Last week, Republican lawmaker Justin Humphrey introduced House Bill 3084 to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The bill targets furries in Oklahoma public schools, proposing that students “who purport to be an imaginary animal or animal species, or who engage in anthropomorphic behavior” at school be prohibited from participating in school curriculum and activities. Those caught doing so will be removed from campus by either a parent or animal control.

While this bill can be seen in a favorable light at first glance, its existence forebodes more dangerous legislation. Unsolicited wearing of costumes and adoption of fursonas has no place in the classroom; however, it is not a problem substantial enough in Oklahoma to warrant legal action, especially not as outlined in the bill. Humphrey cited now-debunked allegations of disrupting furry behavior in schools, such as students using litter boxes in restrooms, as his motivation to pen the bill. This further diminishes his credibility and highlights how difficult it would be to identify students who consider themselves furries. This bill would incite a witch-hunt against students that would prove even more disruptive to the academic environment than one person wearing a headband with cat ears. 

Humphrey is likely targeting the furry community as a precursor to a more alarming persecution. With a history of being anti-LGBTQ+, especially with anti-transgender policies, Humphrey seeks to pave a path towards restricting education towards individuals who are part of communities he does not understand or respect. The furry and queer communities are separate entities, but both are constantly faced with public scrutiny and are the targets of misinformed, fear-mongering politicians. 

Many citizens will happily support a bill that removes students in their fursonas from the classroom, especially if they are led to believe that these students will wear their attention-grabbing costumes to school. If this bill is made into law, when legislation with similar wording swaps “furry” for “transgender” or “non-binary,” it will face fewer obstacles and endanger the civil rights of many more students. Furthermore, if this type of legislation gains traction, other states with large conservative populations will follow suit, further endangering the education of targeted students. 

Another concerning aspect of the bill is the threat of animal control being called to remove students from school campuses should their parents or guardians fail to do so. Not only is this a dehumanizing tactic meant to humiliate students — who, as previously mentioned, might not even be actual furries — but it is also a waste of government resources. Animal control is funded by tax dollars and is in place to service the taxpayers’ community when presented with situations related to actual animals, not sentient human beings. It is disrespectful to the dedication and training of animal control personnel to drag them into Humphrey’s ridiculous war on teenage furries. 

As it stands, one does not need to have a positive view of furries to understand that this Oklahoma bill is unnecessary and dangerous. It must be struck down now.

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Storm Goodman, Graphic Artist
Storm (he/him) is a freshman at UTSA and is currently majoring in multimedia production. Born and raised in San Antonio, Storm has always loved the city and is always excited to check out new places being opened. He has only recently joined the Paisano team and is excited to keep working and learning more about the graphic design field. Whenever he has free time, Storm enjoys playing tabletop games with his friends and making models out of clay.

Comments (1)

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  • H

    HJJan 31, 2024 at 7:30 am

    Dress code reinstatement, to emphasize academic pursuits over trends?

    Reply