Tom Howling (Tom Geller; born 1968) is a furry who lives in Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A. He became involved in the furry fandom in late 1998, was formerly active in Bay Area Furry events, and now mostly takes part in the fandom at conventions.
As a child, Tom had a special affinity for dolphins, and was deeply affected by the anthropomorphic characters in The Chronicles of Narnia. He first encountered furry community in a room party at the 1993 WorldCon in San Francisco ("ConFrancisco"), but didn't get involved until reading the 26 August 1998 cover story in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He sought out the Bay Area Furry clan, started going to furry coffee at the old Cyber Cafes location in Sunnyvale, joined various online discussion groups, and participated in the first Further Confusion in January 1999.
He never settled on a specific genotype, although he's been portrayed as a wolf, fox, and mouse. He took the name "Tom Howling" with no specific species in mind, thinking instead that many animals "howl" in one way or another. He's occasionally appeared under other names, most notably "Veggie Fried Mouse", but only temporarily. In 2015 he created an "After dark" (sex-oriented) character that he prefers to keep secret.
In 2009 he started commissioning badges that depict him as a human, which he feels to be a member of the animal community on par with all others.
Tom grew up in Westchester County, New York. He focused mostly on theater, writing and music, spending three summers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and three at other music camps. He eventually went to Oberlin Conservatory and U. Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, from which he graduated cum laude with a B.Mus in Composition in 1991. He worked for six months at the World Esperanto Association in Rotterdam before returning to his newly adopted city of San Francisco. He lived there until early 2009, when he moved back to Oberlin, Ohio.
He is a freelance writer and videojournalist. Before that he spent nine years in writing and editing, six in layout and print publication, four in public relations, four in real estate, and one in nonprofit administration. As a writer he counted among his clients The San Francisco Chronicle, Apple, and The Chemical Heritage Foundation. He's written extensively about the content-management system Drupal, including a book and several instructional video series.
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