As Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis attempts a presidential candidacy, he still finds time for his hobby of upsetting various communities with his legislation and his bad views of people and things. Now it sounds like he could add a new community to this list: Furries.
Megaplex, an Orlando-based furry convention devoted to the art of making and wearing costumes of anthropomorphic characters, has announced that in response to Florida SB 1438, or the Protection of Children Act, which requires “the knowing admission of a child ‘ requires an age restriction to be raised ‘Live performance by a child versus an adult’ is a first degree misdemeanor. The law was enacted primarily to target drag performers, as right-wing evangelicals have attributed drag performances to sexual display, although that’s not necessarily true. However, given the vague wording, it makes sense that a furry convention would be inherently cautious, since ignorant people also see furries as perverted.
As Rolling Stone points out in his account of the situation that while furries are not inherently sexual, there are subsets of these communities that engage in sexual content related to donning their costumes. So far, Megaplex has been an all-ages event, but it sounds like the organizers are trying to ensure the safety of their attendees and staff as Florida legislation could now be used as a weapon against them.
“This decision was difficult,” the organizers said in a statement Twitter. “But Megaplex hasn’t forgotten or let down our younger fandom members and is looking for opportunities for events and activities that include all ages and their family members.”
Overall, DeSantis is on many people’s shit lists in Florida for supporting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, such as the colloquially known “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which blocks discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools . This affects the fur community because many of them identify as queer in one way or another.
His delving into bigoted nonsense has also produced a result ongoing feud between the would-be president and megalithic Disney, which called for the bill to be repealed last year. So far, the feud has reportedly come to nothing cost the guy a multi-billion dollar development plan.