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One man, one woman, referring to what is often called “traditional” or “biblical” marriage. More...

Androgynous, Androgyny
Exhibiting characteristics of both (or neither): male and female. This can be by choice in rejecting imposed gender roles or in simply not feeling that the extreme binaries of male or female appropriately define their gender. This can be apart from choice as in intersex people who are born with in-between genitalia or “the third gender,” or men who are chromosomally XXY instead of XY which results in a feminine male body. In short, it refers to ambiguity in gender either naturally or artificially. Similar to genderqueer.

The members of Rainbow Ark. It denotes our cohesion in spite of our diversity.

Can be one of two things depending on context: the species a person identifies with in their furry interests, or a description of a gay male in relation to their particular physique.

One in whom society considers to have a gender role or gender identity which matches (or is deemed appropriate for) their sex. It is the opposite of being transgender.

Critters and Crew
Pertaining to the variety of Rainbow Ark members. The Critters are the furries, the animals of the Ark. The Crew are the humans, not furry themselves but fur-friendly. It is a statement of our diversity and desire to give equal acknowledgement to everyone’s participation, and a phrase of endearment and respect.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, in the U.S. military, instated during the Clinton administration. It was a compromise action to allow gays to serve in the military, though closeted, because almost no one in authority in the 80s or early 90s wanted gays to serve openly. There is currently only a minority in the military who believe any relaxing of DADT will cause disruption. Very soon now, it will be only a blemish, a blatant artifact of homophobia relegated to history. Repealed.

Defense of Marriage Act. Not to be confused with FMA or Federal Marriage Amendment. The first was signed into law during the Clinton administration. The second is farther-reaching, would enshrine discrimination in the U.S. Constitution, is what the latter Bush administration pushed for twice, but could never achieve a majority in the Senate and Congress. DOMA basically only officially recognizes male/female marriages. FMA would have annulled any pre-existing same-sex unions. DOMA has slowed down progress in providing health benefits to the same-sex partners of government employees. On the ropes. Section 3 repealed.

Fundy, Fundies
A derogatory noun. The dark side of Fundamentalism, the proper definition of which is simply a belief in the infallibility, and literal interpretation, of a particular religion’s doctrine or holy books. But the derogatory term is usually describing a particular type of Christian who is perceived to impose their religious and/or political beliefs onto others. Often denoting intolerance, or a perceived stubbornness in adherence to a particular interpretation of scripture instead of exhibiting compassion toward their fellow man or a family member. They often cite the term ‘tough love’ in their justification for their actions, which is often born of pride in their own perceived moral superiority to others not of their belief system. Fundamentalism in any religious faith from Christian to Muslim, when taken to extreme, results in the active oppression of others not of that faith or ideology.

Persons who are associated with the fandom and/or subculture pertaining to an affinity for particular animal species or anthropomorphic beings or animal characters in art, literature, animation, religion, science, folklore, or fanfic. It can also be described as those interested in humans with animal characteristics, or in animals with human characteristics. There is however a semantical concern that real furries are the characters themselves, and that when we refer to each other, it should be as furry fans. But many of us like to see ourselves as those characters or beings, not just fans of them. The question, “what are furries?” has also been answered by replying that what trekkies (or trekkers) are to Star Trek, so furries (or furs) are to animals or anthropomorphic animal characters. Or sometimes it comes down to this: if you could be an animal, what animal would you like to be?

Furry Peace
A movement and philosophy which basically asks its participants to represent the furry fandom positively and responsively to those on the outside and to be inclusive and tolerant of those on the inside. This does not mean being compelled to take part in things which are personally offensive, and it does not mean becoming hostile to a particular idea or activity. It’s knowing when to walk away rather than trying to tear down.

Furry persona. It’s the particular species or character the furry fan regards as representing themselves.

(verb) Most often, a tackle-hug. An overtly friendly, though usually platonic greeting among furries especially in RP or in journal entries. It’s often a playful note of thanks to another. Less often it refers to a behavior among a family group of wolves where one will open their muzzle upon the closed muzzle of another, but not bite down hard as they are able to do.

Gay/Straight Alliance. They are organized by students often with support from faculty for college and high school campuses, but may even appear in middle schools/junior highs. They are often misinterpreted by some as promoting homosexuality, or as being a ‘sexual’ group, and so, not appropriate for minors. In reality, many of their members have already come to terms with their own orientations and are simply needing a safe place to meet with other LGBT students, and their heterosexual allies without fear of homophobic bullying which in some schools is nearly out of control. The GSA can provide support for individual students to stay in school where they can continue to get an education.

Heterosexist, heterosexism
The act or state of assuming from the onset that your neighbor, friend, workmate, etc. is straight. The term also includes the contrasting gender roles forced upon individuals due to their physical gender with no regard to their inborn orientation or gender identity. In short, it is the lack of sensitivity or consideration shown to anyone who is not heterosexual or to those who live differently from their publicly-perceived gender.

A term which is a placeholder for any number of possible things...

Sometimes, it’s associated with being gay, as in a ‘gay lifestyle’. Common images this conjures up include going to gay bars every night, waking up with a new partner every morning, getting into drugs, ‘flaunting’ their affection to their partner in public, having casual or anonymous sex whenever they can, and insatiable lust. But there are some heterosexual men who go to bars every night to meet and immediately have casual sex with different women, and they get into drugs and drink too much, and they hang on each other in public, and sometimes, this is all while being married to another. No one ever refers to that as the “straight” lifestyle. In both cases you have people who are living a destructive lifestyle which can be for any number of reasons, but it has little to do with their individual orientations.

There is also furry lifestyle (or lifestyler). This is a furry who takes their furry philosophy beyond the fandom, into their everyday lives. If they are a wolf, they may have adopted a pack mentality with their close circle of friends, or they might ‘bark’ in greeting. A furry lifestyler might be someone who is into aspects of totemism, learning about what their animal species is showing them, or preparing for different seasons by changing diet or activities. A furry lifestyler might also be someone who simply likes to wear their fursuit, or ears and tail, in many other venues beyond a furry convention.

Short for LiveJournal: the blog host where individuals can open both personal and community journals. Rainbow Ark began with our lj in 2004, continues today, and is linked to this website.

For us, it could be one of two things depending on context: My Little Pony, or, More Light Presbyterians.

(noun) Often erroneously believed to be of furry origin; a derogatory term which basically describes a person or people who are not of a particular fandom or lifestyle. It speaks most of one’s apparent lack of enlightenment to the philosophy, or of their lack of desire to participate. An outsider. They are the ‘muggles’ to Harry Potter.

A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all (or regardless of) gender identities/expressions.

A formerly derogatory term which we’ve reclaimed to represent all who do not fit neatly into a heterosexual definition. The term encompasses: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, and individuals currently questioning their sexuality. We often list this acronym as: LGBTIQ. It also includes pansexual, asexual, genderqueer and androgynous individuals.

Short for Rainbow Ark. First used by former RA lj maintainer: “amx” (Andrew) in 2004. The two letters are spoken separately and never pronounced into a word. The “RA” also appears on our custom Euro oval car stickers produced in 2005.

Lolcats alternative: skritch. (plu) scritches (verb) scritching, A deep soothing scratch on the back of the neck or between the ears. Often shared by fursuiters, or from a wrangler to a fursuiter to let them know they’re there. Often accompanies a hug, both in real life and in closing a furry email: “hugs and scritches” Given as a sign of furry friendship and affection.

A term normally used pejoratively for a boy or man who does not fit the perceived standard male gender role. In gender, LGBT and sexual subculture, the term is embraced by those who fully embrace hyper-feminine concepts and ideas, rejecting things which are considered masculine. A sissy may enjoy dressing in women’s clothing, wearing pink, acting effeminately, being submissive or otherwise taking on a feminine role. Among the ABDL (adult baby diaper lover) community, sissies might enjoy being dressed and treated like baby girls. Being a sissy does not necessitate having a female gender identity or being gay, but at the very least means taking pleasure from acting or being treated in a feminine way. ~ special thanks to Stoneth

Scruffy, fluffy, cute but in an odd way, usually a small furry animal and most often some kind of wild canid (but weird cats like Jinx are also scrunkly). ~ special thanks to Threetails and Jamie_Foxworthy

Refers to a physical act, a scene description in a story, or subject matter in furry art which is sometimes designed to offend others not of that particular interest or fetish. One who is offended in these scenarios is said to be “squicked” or a common practice among a minority of furries is to “squick the mundanes” which is to intentionally make non-furries uncomfortable with specific art pieces or public displays of affection.

ss marriage
No, it’s not the name of a steamship. Same-sex marriage—to differentiate from opposite-sex or what is often called traditional marriage.

Transgender (old: Transsexual)
A person whose gender identity is the binary opposite of their biological sex, who may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as the opposite sex (often confused with “trans-man”/“trans-woman”).

One who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression (“cross-dresses”) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification (often called a “cross-dresser,” and often confused with “transsexual”).

A person who makes a practice of infiltrating an online community, and interjects comments designed to inflame a discussion, thereby bringing disruption. The best way to deal with a troll is to not respond and let the admin show them the door... or the plank, as the case may be.

A term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both gender binaries.

Unicorn & Gryphon (formerly Unicorn & Griffin). A YahooGroup for Christian furries in which we credit for the birth of the LiveJournal: Rainbow Ark.

Walk(ing) the plank
A lighthearted way of saying “you’re banned” which doesn’t happen here often, so when it does, it’s over something that was deemed pretty major. Yes, we are an ark, ...and we have a plank, and we know how to use it.

A non-suited companion of a fursuiter or small group of fursuiters to be their eyes in the case of limited vision of the fursuiter, and to keep them out of trouble (for instance, prevention of stumbling off of a curb, mowing down a child with their tail, etc.) Sometimes called a spotter.

Please alert Jarrell of other terms which should appear.