Usage of the term in the context is as accurate, functional, and correct as inserting the word "literally" into everything, especially
when asking other people for "validation" or some variation on that theme. To make it a little clearer, I'd like to bring up something HoneycombPup said:
(2020-10-10 10:13)HoneycombPup Wrote: I go to a local... support group often (or at least, used to before the pandemic). People would use the word 'valid' pretty often as a way of telling each other "Hey, your experiences and identity are real and true".
Experiences and (if relevant) identity can not be observed by anyone else. Someone can say, "I experience this," or "I identify as that," but at the end of the day, we have no way of knowing if the way that individual describes what she feels is accurate (though it will absolutely be an incomplete picture), if he's accidentally misusing a word and leaving the audience with a wildly different opinion or perspective than intended, or if it's lying outright and has none of the claimed experiences whatsoever. This is why I say, whenever the subject comes up, that no one has the ability to validate anyone else. And by the same token, we lack the ability to invalidate others, as well.
"Validating" others is dangerous for two reasons:
- It reassures the individual that he's come to the correct conclusions when there is no way for us to possibly know this. There is no way to know what someone truly feels or experiences, and as such if someone is truly lost and looking for answers in the therian or otherkin communities, affirming the stated experiences and/or identities stands a very, very high chance of misleading the individual.
- It erodes the definitions and understandings that have existed for decades and it exchanges them for "being nice" to others. Look at Tumblr, look at Amino... groups with absolutely zero clue what it is they're playing at, but they keep "validating" each other's "therianthropy" leading to the ignorant toxicity we see in those pocket communities.
So the next time you're tempted to console someone, or you think you understand someone, remember...