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"Identifying"
DustWolf
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Post: #1
"Identifying"
Hello,

I have noticed that a lot of people who join TG, write in their introductions who they would like to be, and how they would like to be treated, rather than who they actually really are.

This is kind of analogous with the practice of "identifying" as a verb, which actually means "presenting as" something in particular. This seems to be incredibly prominent in the younger therian community.

I would like to tell you that who you want to be, or what you want to be seen as (who you "identify as"), is not important. We therians are not icons or characters, we are people.

Understanding therianthropy is all about self-discovery and self-discovery can only occur when you are being honest with yourself. This honesty means that you are not trying to present to others as something you are currently not. Yes, some of us are unhappy about being human, but we are still human.

I know this can be frustrating to younger people who are trying to compensate for lack of control in their real lives, by taking control of their online presentation. But even you have to understand that this isn't helpful in allowing you to figure yourself out.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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(This post was last modified: 2021-11-06 21:09 by DustWolf.)
2021-11-06 20:50
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QueerKat
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Post: #2
RE: "Identifying"
While I understand this perspective and am not disagreeing with your point, I feel it's possible that people that are saying things like, "I feel like," or "I would like to be seen as," may be doing so out of fear of rejection or some level of self-doubt. I know I still struggle with speaking more directly and tend to question myself often, especially if someone is openly ready to contradict what I say before I say it. That said, it might be a good practice to implement in general, being more direct and having more trust in yourself to know who and what you are, rather than trying to appease argumentative people that won't agree with you regardless of how passively you phrase your identity/beliefs/feelings, etc.

Kat | They/It | Cat-Dragon Witch
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2021-11-06 21:38
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elinox
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Post: #3
RE: "Identifying"
What I don't understand is why people, seemingly a lot of younger than 30-ish people, insist on trying to conform and be something they are not. What's wrong with simply being what you are? If you're a therian, you're a therian. And if you're not a therian, why do you want to be one so badly that you pretend and/or lie to yourself about it? You're not a therian, so let it go! Here's a great example to put it into perspective: if you're not 6 foot/1.8 meters, you're not, and no amount of pretending or wishing is going to change that. Just be who you are and stop lying/pretending to be something you're not!

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2021-11-09 0:48
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Cordyceps Canine
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Post: #4
RE: "Identifying"
I've probably been rather annoying when it comes to this. Wink

I get young people desperately wanting to be someone or something they aren't. But it's not healthy when you're 10 and it's not healthy when you're my current age. Heck, it never is!

So I can't really be mad there. But I feel like, while it's true, the saying: "You either are a therian or not." is easier said than done.

I was and am scared of being honest with myself and got stuck in a spiral of denial more than once because I don't want to be weird or delusional and then coming back because not doing so felt like lying to myself as well. Derp

The whole dog thing alone made me wish I never found this place or went this route...

But as of right now I'm happy I kept going even with these ups and downs. I managed to reconnect with things that I kept locked away for long. And it seems to become easier the more I move forward with it. Having new questions the second one feels answered. And getting braver bit by bit when it comes to my mind.

I don't know if it's the same introductions we are annoyed by. But I'm not big on alphabet soup with a sprinkle of kintypes myself. I do like that TG gives everyone a fair chance though. What they do with it in the end is on them.

But if people would actually take the time to read the how to on introduction posts I would appreciate it. Much easier talking about hobbies ect. And why they joined the site or came to know of their therianthropy if already.

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2021-11-09 3:05
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LycanTheory
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Post: #5
RE: "Identifying"
I know everyone probably is sick of me beating a dead horse about social media and some day, when we as a society stop allowing it to trash the lives of our children I'll shut up about it.

This isn't that day...

What we're witnessing in reference to young members introducing themselves as a presentation rather than who they are, genuinely is part of a much broader social trend pertainaint to the age demographic.

With children as young as adolescents being online and in social media spaces, they are learning that the most precious value in life is chasing likes, views, ect - nods of confirmation and validity by their peers groups, prestige. One of the cheapest, easiest methods to gain prestige in an online space is to give others what they expect, what's agreeable and what's popular. In this way, the social pressure to conform to a mindless drone, devoid of any individuality or independence has never been greater especially being that most of their tangible peers are interconnected with them through the same mediums.

Young people on social media or online period are drowning in a sea of identity politics, grievance politics and radicalized "us vs them" black and white "thinking". They are anxious because they are afraid that one single tarnish or strike against their image will send their peers after their heads because no one's allowed to not be perfect anymore and they are depressed because they spend their days engaged on a battlefield of psychological warfare.

So... They present in such a way that allows them the perceived leverage of victimhood because calling my someone some kind of "phobe" or something and acting like a vindictive SJW is the only way American culture teaches young people to checkmate anyone who disagrees with them.

Bringing this pertainaint - "kinphobe" is now a political buzzword being thrown around on Twitter and other social media spaces and therians get drug through the weeds because of the alterhuman movement to include us in that toxic dumpster fire crap. So what we end up with are these kids who believe that being a therian or otherkin gives them some sort of a political weapon to use against others or a source of clout to polish up their own image.

And of course it winds up lumped in with a mountain of literal shit that has nothing to do with being an animal-person in the slightest.

As has been said here:

QueerKat Wrote:it might be a good practice to implement in general, being more direct and having more trust in yourself to know who and what you are, rather than trying to appease argumentative people that won't agree with you regardless of how passively you phrase your identity/beliefs/feelings, etc.


It is imperative, if we hope or aspire for humanity to survive itself, we must start teaching young people to go against the grain again and be themselves, genuinely, without regard for what their peers or their neighbors or the kid down the street thinks.

We have got to stand against cancel culture.

We have got to stand against conformity.

We have got to convince young people that their self worth is not contingent upon internet clout or popularity.

We have got to stop babying young people and start forging them into strong, confident, independent adults again.


Lyc


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(This post was last modified: 2021-11-09 4:57 by LycanTheory.)
2021-11-09 4:29
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Tornir
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Post: #6
RE: "Identifying"
I think another thing to consider here is perspective.
We're on the inside, looking out, and see the contentions of these people as absurd, and illogical.
They're on the outside, looking in, and seeing an internet subculture; furry lifestyle, turned up to 11, with strictly no OOC allowed. We can't be delusional loonies, we're too organised for that, so what other comprehensible explanation can there be?
I awakened relatively late in life, and I got prodded to investigate therianthropy before I was fully aware of my true nature, so I've seen the community from both perspectives, and can personally confirm that we're not easily comprehensible viewed from the shore; you have to fall in and learn to swim to Get It.
2021-11-09 11:43
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QueerKat
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Post: #7
RE: "Identifying"

(2021-11-09 11:43)Tornir Wrote:  I awakened relatively late in life, and I got prodded to investigate therianthropy before I was fully aware of my true nature, so I've seen the community from both perspectives, and can personally confirm that we're not easily comprehensible viewed from the shore; you have to fall in and learn to swim to Get It.


I fully agree with this. I've realized that radical compassion and vulnerability - for others, but also for yourself - has helped me a lot when it comes to figuring myself out, and making space for others to do that as well. The visual of having to "falling in and learn to swim" is powerful to me in this sense because, right now, I don't think there are many outspoken and compassionate elders that have the platform or, honestly, the emotional intelligence/education to reach out and teach others "how to swim" in these spaces without bringing along personal bias and interests. It's why I appreciate these forums, as imperfect a solution that they are. I am still figuring myself out here and learning new things every day. Literally two minutes ago, I found someone mentioning "tulpas" here, which was not something I'd heard about in any serious context outside of spiritual research and documentation. And something clicked within me that is telling me to research more of it, but I have that same hesitancy that I did when I first saw the terms "therian" and "otherkin".

Those thoughts of:

Is this really me? Or am I just making assumptions?
If I am honest in these spaces, will I be ridiculed or pushed out?
Am I overthinking this? Am I underthinking this?
What happens if this is me, and I have to come out all over again?
What happens if this isn't me, and I feel like I've taken up space in a community I don't belong to?


And I'm still dealing with these feelings. I've also seen people who have apparently been "infiltrating" these online spaces and mocking the posts they come across. Instances that make me start to doubt myself again, and want to retreat back into my own head and act like I didn't actually have any connection to these communities and the parts of myself that I had hidden away because of that exact fear.

We don't live in a global culture that encourages unashamed self reflection and expression. Our identities are always limited to what we can safely and comfortably express with certain groups of people. Humans are biologically and chemically wired to seek out community, to want to connect with each other, and we hurt when we experience social rejection.

I'm grateful to have spaces like this where we can have some level of confusion, some level of self-doubt and ignorance about what we're stepping into, and that we'll be able to find others who were once like us and eager to share what they've discovered about themselves. Sometimes that will lead to finally having the language to share ourselves with others. Sometimes it will mean that we realize who we are is a little out of the scope of the community we initially connected with. And I think both should be embraced and encouraged. There is no path to immediate success; only failures that lead us to our individual truths.


Kat | They/It | Cat-Dragon Witch
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2021-11-09 16:14
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BearX
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Post: #8
RE: "Identifying"

(2021-11-09 3:05)Cordyceps Canine Wrote:  ...the saying: "You either are a therian or not." is easier said than done.


I would argue that therianthropy is a spectrum rather than a binary. Nothing in life is really a binary, in my experience. The otherkin community created words like kith to try and capture the notion of a spectrum of experiences -- but that just resulted in more binaries. I would argue that many people would fall on the "therian spectrum" who don't identify as a critter, but have a strong connection, or even furry lifestylers. It's a very large tent.


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2021-11-09 16:19
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Post: #9
RE: "Identifying"
I despise the term "Identify", or "Identify As". You ARE! I AM a Mexican Wolf [therian]. People get hung up on the requirement that therians MUST say Identify As. I IDENTIFY as Male. I am a Therian.

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2021-11-09 19:20
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DustWolf
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Post: #10
RE: "Identifying"
Hey,

In trying to teach others "how to swim", let me try and answer these...

(2021-11-09 16:14)QueerKat Wrote:  Is this really me? Or am I just making assumptions?

...and...

(2021-11-09 16:14)QueerKat Wrote:  Am I overthinking this? Am I underthinking this?


In principle, therianthropy is supposed to just make sense if it applies to you. Therianthropy is an explanation for things we've always experienced.

If you have to search within yourself to figure it out, you're probably overthinking it.

As I have stated elsewhere: It's an unlikely explanation. If you can explain your experiences in any other way, those are more likely to be the correct explanation, than therianthropy.

We assume that many therians never discover therianthropy, because the issue does not feel sufficiently pressing to figure it out. Many therians in online spaces also have other issues that have made us ultimately look our experiences up online.

(2021-11-09 16:14)QueerKat Wrote:  If I am honest in these spaces, will I be ridiculed or pushed out?


Though I understand we haven't always been successful in this, Therian Guide is in principle a therian support group, so... we don't ridicule. And I don't think anyone has ever been pushed out here, unless they were being anti-social.

That said, sometimes people here make outlandish claims and that calls for a reasonable response. I understand society at large can sometimes be less than understanding about things. We are somewhat like society at large, because therians are all kinds of people. That said, many have indicated that Therian Guide is more like a family: We'll make fun of you sometimes, but we still love you.

(2021-11-09 16:14)QueerKat Wrote:  What happens if this is me, and I have to come out all over again?


There is no need to "come out". It's possible to live with therianthropy without revealing it to anyone.

Of course the contributions of those who have opted to share their story to help other therians, are still most welcome.

(2021-11-09 16:14)QueerKat Wrote:  What happens if this isn't me, and I feel like I've taken up space in a community I don't belong to?


Nobody is taking up space: If you are a friend, you will be a friend whether you are a therian or not. Obviously we all have many friends who are not therians.

The therian community as such is of course more closed off, in the sense that only those who want to understand us are granted access here. We have many therians here, but we also have interested partners, scientists, etc.

All that said, if you discover you are not a therian, odds are spending time with all of us will not interest you as much over time, and you will find other places on the Internet that suit your interests better.

That is, people here really have nothing in common except for the experience of therianthropy. Many will not show particular interest in other things you are into (for example, other than being a therian I am a tech and there are few people here to talk with about tech). If you are a therian it makes some sense for you to stay here, as no other community is likely to understand therian experiences. But if you are not, and you have other interests and want a community that understands those, it might be better to find some other community online that is better suited for that. There are so many.

LP,
Dusty


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2021-11-09 23:15
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