A Frenzie of Furries: Government Otherkin, Litterboxes, and a Confusion of Genres

Diane E. Goldstein (Indiana University Bloomington, emerita)

On February 7, 2023, Senate Bill 380 passed the Indiana legislature. The Bill, entitled “Various Education Matters” addressed concerns about students who “may be imitating or were behaving like a furry.” The Bill’s introduction was followed by a series of claims, some satirical, some serious, concerning students who identify as animals. Tied to controversies about accommodations for gender variance in schools, the Bill, the claims, a series of related events, and the responses, display contradictory political interpretations. This paper explores the role of genre play and genre confusion in the ensuing events.

Part of 02-10 Folklore and Governmental Rhetorics , Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm