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Not satisfied with only enraging Disney, Ron DeSantis’ laws now attack Florida’s largest furry convention

I can only wonder how long it takes until anime and gaming conventions are hurt now that Megaplex has taken a hit.

It’s impossible to deny how much the furry fandom has impacted modern pop culture. Famous names like Lil Nas X and Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J have gotten fursuits, and shows from Lucifer to The Staircase have tried to get furries featured in their shows. So of course, just like with the ever-beloved Disney, Ron DeSantis just had to stick his nose into things and ruin them for everyone else.

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On May 24th, furry convention Megaplex released a statement about a significant change to the convention — no minors would be allowed to attend. According to the statement, the Florida bill SB 1438: Protection of Children is to blame for this needed change. Apparently, people in adorable animal costumes are an “immediate serious danger to the public health, safety or welfare” and could result in over a $10,000 fine according to the Pensacola News Journal.

“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 overal convention, Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup. Megaplex has welcomed younger fandom members and their families since its inception and making this change was very difficult.”

No one can really blame the convention for being cautious, especially after a Florida teacher was brought under investigation recently just for showing a Disney film in her classroom. Even the possibility of having gender-neutral bathrooms at the event is precarious due to bill CS/HB 1521 according to the announcement. With Florida placing so many ridiculous restrictions on the rights of people living and visiting there, I can only wonder how long it takes until no one wants to do business in Florida at all.

While it’s easy to look at these so-called “drag laws” and wonder why they should even matter to the cis heterosexual people of the nation, this convention shows a perfect example of why everyone needs to be angry about them. Sure, it’s easy to try and laugh off Russia considering furries to be an extremist group, but are we that far from doing this in the United States at this rate?

I need you to also realize these kinds of ridiculous laws popping up in the United States won’t only end up hurting mostly queer communities. What happens when certain forms of cosplay are deemed indecent and the anime and manga community is forced to shut down events? What happens when gamers are equally deprived of fans dressed up in costumes from their favorite series because they might be considered a danger to children or whatever other nonsense conservatives want to peddle at the time? It’s all fun and games until Metrocon has to either ban all cosplay events or shut its doors or a major fighting game tournament like CEO can barely run due to indecent characters in games or some such nonsense.

As beloved lawyer of the furry fandom Boozy Badger put it, “Organizations do not make decisions like this without speaking to their attorneys and getting a legal opinion. I want folks who may be getting upset to bear that in mind. The fault doesn’t lie with the convention. It lies with the government.” Should the government really get to have a say in what parents decide is okay for their kids to see and interact with? As a parent myself, I say absolutely not!

So seriously — Ron — maybe instead of teaming up with Elon Musk as he spouts antisemitism about George Soros to announce your presidency, maybe you can instead introduce the best policy imaginable in your state — leaving people the heck alone so they can live their lives. I’m sure furries and darn well everyone else will massively appreciate it.

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Allie Capps
Allie Capps is the Assigning Editor at We Got This Covered. Her over 10 years of experience include editing rulebooks for board games, writing in the world of esports, and being an award-winning author and poet published in several anthologies and her own standalone books. Her work has been featured at GameRant, Anime Herald, Anime Feminist, SmashBoards, PokeGoldfish, and more. In her free time, she's likely gallantly trying to watch Groundhog Day once a day, every day, for a year for its 30th anniversary.