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Correct usage of "I identify as"
Michen_S
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Post: #11
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
I think Dust has a point here. Rather than saying I am a snow leopard, I'd rather say there's something snow leopard in me. Yes I feel like a snow leopard, but that doesn't make me one. For what it's worth, I'm a human on every level. All of them. I don't feel like I can say "I'm a snow leopard".

Of course, this is different for everyone. For people who feel like they are always in a 50%-or-higher state towards an anumalistic mindset, they may feel like they are more animal than human. For them, saying they are that animal makes perfect sense - even though they aren't in reality. But in cases like these, saying they are X animal works much better to get their personal experiences and feelings across than saying they are X-therian would. Yes, it's officially incorrect, but it's more useful to gets their point across.

2020-02-27 20:03
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Vikaryous
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Post: #12
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
I still can't believe we have 1 thread on what's essentially semantics, let alone 2.

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(This post was last modified: 2020-02-28 3:18 by Vikaryous.)
2020-02-28 3:16
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Tdae
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Post: #13
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
I keep thinking about objective reality vs. subjective reality vs. what I called unreality. Subjective reality and unreality are not the same, but I'm not sure of the difference.

(2020-02-27 20:03)Michen_S Wrote:  Of course, this is different for everyone. For people who feel like they are always in a 50%-or-higher state towards an anumalistic mindset, they may feel like they are more animal than human. For them, saying they are that animal makes perfect sense - even though they aren't in reality. But in cases like these, saying they are X animal works much better to get their personal experiences and feelings across than saying they are X-therian would. Yes, it's officially incorrect, but it's more useful to gets their point across.

I'm kind of in this category, but for a different reason than you said. I'm a wolf, but is it subjective reality or unreality? I think I was born with a standard issue mammalian brain that is capable of emulating humans and other mammals to an extent. If you draw a picture of a wolf, isn't it like a wolf? A model of a wolf. Wolves. I'm having a bit of a hard time with this actually because I feel I'm too disconnected for a therian.
2020-02-28 5:08
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DustWolf
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Post: #14
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
(2020-02-28 3:16)Vikaryous Wrote:  I still can't believe we have 1 thread on what's essentially semantics, let alone 2.

It is not just semantics. It is an important distinction.

(2020-02-26 14:19)elinox Wrote:  So it was a way to phrase the concept better for people who are not 'kin and thus don't "get it" like those within the community or those who actually experience it do.

If everyone could be this honest.

We all know in reality it's more like this. People in reality are something like:
[Image: images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQEyrsRD9qdojjTnkPHg...M3hI1FYpB2]

But they "identify as":
[Image: heartlessfang_clean.jpg]
(or some other muscular werewolf you magically are inside)

This is a fun depiction, but without naming names, I think everybody knows that this is very much the state of the community at large. THIS is the problem we create by using terms like "I identify as a wolf", we are creating a duality that does not exist: "identify" should not be used as a noun this way.

"I wish I was a wolf" is true as is "I am a wolf therian", but that does not equate to "I am a wolf".

To use "I am a wolf" or "I identify as a wolf" leads to the slippery slope of using "I identify as something I wish I was", which is later confabulated with the original meaning of identity: "Let me be who I really am", which creates scenarios where people demand to be treated as whatever they wish they were, and demand validation to overcome their understandable insecurities about not being what they claim to be.

The pronouns game would not exist if this were not a real problem. By using identity incorrectly like by saying "I identify as a wolf", we are making therianthropy a part of this problem.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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2020-02-28 7:07
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Saorise Fiain
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Post: #15
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
(2020-02-28 7:07)DustWolf Wrote:  To use "I am a wolf" or "I identify as a wolf" leads to the slippery slope of using "I identify as something I wish I was", which is later confabulated with the original meaning of identity: "Let me be who I really am", which creates scenarios where people demand to be treated as whatever they wish they were, and demand validation to overcome their understandable insecurities about not being what they claim to be.

The pronouns game would not exist if this were not a real problem. By using identity incorrectly like by saying "I identify as a wolf", we are making therianthropy a part of this problem.

You have a good point, and I definitely agree with you. But my question is, what is to be done about it? Judging by the responses to this thread, nobody seems to think it is of much importance.

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2020-02-28 20:57
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DustWolf
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Post: #16
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
(2020-02-28 20:57)Saorise Fiain Wrote:  You have a good point, and I definitely agree with you. But my question is, what is to be done about it? Judging by the responses to this thread, nobody seems to think it is of much importance.

The issue is mostly with people who are being less than genuine about themselves, therefore it's not that much of a big deal here on TG. However, other places, perhaps Amino, Tumblr, etc, might be a different story.

This thread is public, being in the Introduction to Therianthropy forum. And I know some people share links from this place whenever something "controversial" is posted. I am hoping that someone might read it and take into account what I have said. Tongue

It might also help people outside the community, who fear that we might be out of touch with reality, consider that we understand the problem and have tried to address it.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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(This post was last modified: 2020-02-29 11:06 by DustWolf.)
2020-02-29 11:04
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Raz
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Post: #17
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
Might be wrong here, but I think the origin of "identifying as" originated from tumblr? At least, that's where I remember it from, during my brief stay.

I introduced myself as, "I am a Dragon", back when I found the 'kin community. I don't remember seeing identity thrown around as much. This was back in '07.
2020-02-29 12:19
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Michen_S
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Post: #18
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
(2020-02-28 5:08)Tdae Wrote:  I'm kind of in this category, but for a different reason than you said. I'm a wolf, but is it subjective reality or unreality? I think I was born with a standard issue mammalian brain that is capable of emulating humans and other mammals to an extent. If you draw a picture of a wolf, isn't it like a wolf? A model of a wolf. Wolves. I'm having a bit of a hard time with this actually because I feel I'm too disconnected for a therian.

There is animportant difference between an emulation of a wolf and an actual wolf. An emulation of a wolf created by the human brain is not the same as the behaviour of an actual wolf, because of the human brain. That means it's a human wolf emulation, making it more of a human thing than a wolf thing.

Let's take it one step further, and take myself as an example for a minute. Now, I'm a snow leopard therian. But I can't say I'm a snow leopard. If I did, that would have some dire implications. Because it would mean I'm also saying the following photograph I took is a picture of a snow leopard in it's natural habitat.

Right. Now we got that out of our way it's safe to say that, if I said that was a photo of a snow leopard, others who get told this would be very confused. Members of TG would know what I actually meant, since they know me by now, but linguistically what I said wouldn't make any sense at all. It's obviously a photo of a human. By that extension, it also wouldn't make any sense to say I am a snow leopard, because I'm obviously a human. For it to linguistically make any sense, we have to add more context. And the context that makes the most sense is "snow leopard therian", "someone who somewhat feels like they are snow leopard", "someone who sometimes displays more snow leopard behaviour", or something similar.
So, for you, saying "I am a wolf" would be a great way to describe how you FEEL inside. But the sentence is a subjective reality to you and other therians, and an unreality for everyone else. "I am a X" without further context is something people outside of the therian community understand very differently. Saying "I feel like I am X some/half/most of the time" is something both people inside and outside the therian community understand in the same way, since the context is already in the sentence. Do you notice how different it sounds?

Is there something wrong with using "I am a X" to describe your feelings to other therians? I don't really think there is. Just keep in mind when and, more importantly, how you say things outside the therian community to describe your feelings.

2020-02-29 13:17
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Tdae
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Post: #19
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
@Michen_S Funny pic! Big Grin

I understand these ideas logically, but I was talking about the emotional difficulty I have with it due to having DID. When I first experienced my "theriotype" in the 1990's, I thought I was possessed by a wolf ghost that was haunting the forest. After that I also perceived the wolf ghost walking next to me. I've been utterly clueless about the true nature of the "ghost" for most of my life.

It was a significant step in my self-awareness to say "I am the wolf," and it didn't happen until after I learned about DID a few years ago. The wolf has a separate instance of DID (a system within a system), and is known to be associated with attachment trauma. I don't feel integrated enough to be like, "I am a therian." The dysphoria messes me up as it is.

I was participating in a DID community forum before I came here, and in that community the word identity is understood differently than it is here. The word identity isn't used as much, but if it is then it would be equated with alters and mostly relevant to the person experiencing them. But in this community identity is used like group-identity and I think it's kind of creepy.
2020-02-29 17:40
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Nihil
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Post: #20
RE: Correct usage of "I identify as"
I personally feel like this is a moot point. One's identity does not need to- and generally does not in fact- match with other's perception of you. When one says: "I identify as a wolf", the meaning is already clear. Being a wolf is part of that person's identity.

Surely they aren't so in a biological sense- but then, if something needed to be biologically true before you could use the phrasing "identify as", then one wouldn't be able to identify as any sort of abstract concept. Identifying yourself as... say, an optimist! That's not a biological reality other people can ascertain about you. In fact- people could very well think of you as a pessimist if they don't know you. Does that make the way you feel less real?

One's identity comprises of a lot more than just material realities. There are subjective things there, which you can't prove to anyone and one has a right to word these subjective feelings as they feel most befits them.

In the end, I feel like it really is less about a 'fantasy bubble' and more about having a simple way to get what you mean across. "I identify as a therian", cool what's a therian? "A person who identifies as an animal". So you are a person who identifies as a person who identifies as an animal.

Sincerely, save rare cases where a level of psychosis is involved, we all understand we are humans here, physically. We can't change that. But we can make ourselves more comfortable in our own skins- and building for ourselves environment, physical and social, that help with matters of, say, species dysphoria, is part of that, much like getting a house is part of making ourselves more physically comfortable in an already very harsh world.

Also? Identify as a verb is correct. An identity isn't something static. It is something continuously built, changed, eroded and transformed over the course of one's life. In a way, we all actively identify a way or another as a lot of things which are passive to change over time. Your identity isn't something set in stone and completely tied to an unchanging physical reality. It is a reflection of a mutable mental mindscape that can be and is impacted by one's environment.

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2020-03-14 6:40
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