Gateway Furmeet 2024 Celebrates Art, Community and Animal Rescue

By James Pepper 

The 11th annual Gateway Furmeet (GFM), held at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel from March 15 through 17, marked a season of celebration for the furry community. The convention drew in 978 attendees and raised $18,322 for Saint Louis Pet Rescue during Spring Break. 

For the uninitiated reader’s reference, the Furry Fandom is a collective of anthropomorphic animal lovers. Many attendees go to cons to show off their fursuits, costumes which bring personal character designs to life. Maintaining the “magic” is extremely important within this community and those in costume often go exclusively by their fursona’s name. 

This is also a way for furries to avoid persecution in their personal lives related to their hobby, an unfortunately frequent occurrence. This community is often heavily misunderstood, and it is important that we respect the privacy of those members in this article who have chosen to remain known by their fursona aliases only. 

Guest of Honor Ally (also known as Matt), who goes by MattsyKun within the fandom, is an artist renowned for her engaging merchandise and illustrations. She found GFM’s welcoming arms when it was founded in 2014. This year, she shared her experience with enthusiasm.  

“Being the Guest of Honor has been pretty fun,” MattsyKun said.  

Ally and her partner Ryan, who goes by EternalJedi, run The Vixen’s Brush. The online store is a hub for furry home goods and fursuit accessories. Ally’s passion shines through her work, as she believes “happiness is its own sort of prosperity to share.” 

A few LC students went to the con as well. Asriel, a student from LC found joy in the event’s novelty.  

“I’m an avid anime con attendee, and I had never been to a fur con prior to Gateway,” Asriel said. “Honestly, it was like a breath of fresh air! Everyone was so nice and made me smile. It’s nice to see people enjoying themselves.”  

The convention offered an array of activities, including the popular “What in the Hyperfixation?!” panel and a heartwarming “Stuffie Exchange” where attendees had the opportunity to trade stuffed animals with one another.  

Highlighting the event’s competitive spirit, the GFM Dance Competition showcased the community’s dynamic talent, culminating in Shaydestuckk’s triumphant win.  

Equally energetic, “Floor Wars” presented a fierce one-on-one single elimination dance battle format where KotaGoesBrrr emerged victorious. 

These events, along with the daily raves hosted by an eclectic mix of DJs, created a pulsating atmosphere that encapsulated the essence of GFM — where artistry and enthusiasm dance hand in hand. 

The vibrant STL furry scene offers numerous events year-round. For the latest on GFM and local happenings, follow @STLFurs on Twitter or join the Telegram channel at Updates on future meets are available via @GatewayFurMeet on Twitter. 

About James Pepper

James is pursuing a certificate in Photography and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2024. After, he plans to finish his education at a 4-year university.
View all posts by James Pepper →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.