The vexing problem of “otherkins”

June 21, 2023 • 8:40 am

UPDATE: As the Guardian reports, there is a controversy about what really happened in the “cat incident” reported below.  The school, which initially said this (see below),

The school, which does not dispute that the incident happened, said it was committed to inclusive education, but would be “reviewing our processes to ensure such events do not take place in the future”.

Now, after a kerfuffle in the media, the school has denied that no child identified as a cat:

. . . . within days, and thanks to a media frenzy, Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer were being asked about the remarks. And by the end of the week, Kemi Badenoch was demanding the school be urgently investigated by Ofsted in case there were safeguarding issues.

All this, despite the school itself saying no children had identified “as a cat or any other animal”.

So an “incident” happened, but the school says that the child in question did not identify as a cat (note that the student said otherwise in his interview with the Torygraph.

This is what Schools Week says:

In a statement to Schools Week, the trust said it wanted to “clarify that no children at Rye College identifies as a cat or any other animal”.

During the recording of the argument, the teacher can be heard saying “gender is not linked to the parts you were born with – [it’s] about how you identify”.

They added “if you’re talking about the fact that cisgender is the norm, that you identify with the sexual organ you are born with… that’s basically what you’re saying, which is really despicable”.

The member of staff tells the pupil “if you don’t like it you need to go to a different school”, before the child says “how can you identify as a cat when you’re a girl?” at the end of the row.

You can hear the recording for yourself, and I’ll put the cat-identification as “a doubtful claim in the press” until we know what really happened.

Regardless, there are children who identify as animals; a Reuters report describes them as “therians”:

“Therians believe deep down inside that they are trapped in a human body but were meant to be some other species.” said Dr Kathy Gerbasi, a psychologist specializing in studying both.

Psychology professor Elizabeth Fein, who also researches furries and therians, told Reuters: “While therians recognize they have human bodies, they might also feel they have the reincarnated soul of a wolf, or that they have a sense of affinity with cats that is so deep that they are on some level a cat themselves. For some of these folks, it’s enjoyable to do things those animals would do – bark, or growl, or rough-house play in an animalistic way. Many feel a pervasive sense of discomfort with their own human bodies.”

The report says that no therians have disrupted American classrooms or demanded that others respect their identity:

She added: “As part of my research, I’ve interviewed many therians. None of them have ever reported feeling like their teachers or anyone else in their life were expected by society to respect their ‘queer identity’”.

So there do appear to be children who feel that they’re members of a different species trapped in a human body.  And I stand by my report of a conversation with teachers at a southern University, teachers who told me that they were given training about how to deal with such children.

The idea of “trans-speciesism” still raises intriguing philosophical questions about what to do about it, especially if therians begin demanding that others respect their identities. In some ways this is an analogue of “trans-racialism”: people who say they are members of a human ethnic group (“race”) different from their. That ignited a real debate after Rachel Dolezal passed as a black woman, even becoming president of her local chapter of the NAACP.  She was deposed and demonized after she was “outed as a white woman.  Rebecca Tuvel, a philosophy professor at Rhodes College, got into big trouble when she tried to compare trans-racialism with transsexualism and found that they had some philosophical parity. I wrote this six years ago (see included links):

You’ve probably heard of the fracas surrounding the publication of a paper by philosophy professor Rebecca Tuvel in the academic organ Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (I discussed it here; see also here). Her paper was called “In defense of transracialism“, and you can get a copy if you’ve downloaded the free and legal application Unpaywall, which you should do. The paper examines the arguments supporting the acceptance of transgender people, and finds them similar to the arguments supporting acceptance of “transracial” people like Rachel Dolezal, who, though of white ancestry, claimed to be black. Tuvel concludes this:

In this article, I argue that considerations that support transgenderism extend to transracialism. Given this parity, since we should accept transgender individuals’ decisions to change sexes, we should also accept transracial individuals’ decisions to change races.

They didn’t fire Tuvel, but the journal went through a Reckoning and had to apologize. But all she Tuvel did was examine a philosophical question, an interesting one, and for that she was crucified. I stand with her in her right to discuss these issues. Why was Dolezal demonized if she sincerely felt she was a black person? No question like that should be off limits, or people attacked for asking it. The same holds for people who sincerely identify as animals; how do we deal with them philosophically and personally? I won’t go into that, but leave it to the philosophers. Still, it’s a discussion that shouldn’t be off the table.


When I gave a lecture in the Deep South some years ago, I went to dinner with several of the biology faculty, who told me of the occurrence of “furries”  (actually, better known as “otherkins”) among the students. “Otherkins” are students who dress up and act like nonhuman animals in their day-to-day life. But the group the profs were really concerned with were students who identified as animals,  claiming that they had the spirit of animals, insisting on being addressed as the animal they identified with, and wore animal costumes like ears or tails. These are the true “otherkins”. I saw several of these, including one girl who had a horse tail stuck in the back of her pants.  The professors told me that they had been given special instruction by the university on how to treat and deal with the otherkins.

I haven’t seen any otherkins at my University, but this Torygraph article (click on the screenshot to go to the archived piece) notes that it is an issue in Britain, and schools don’t know how to deal with it. I was sent this article by a Brit who couldn’t believe that the phenomenon was real. I assured my correspondent that yes, this is a reality.

Some quotes:

Difficult as it may be to believe, children at a school in East Sussex were reprimanded last week for refusing to accept a classmate’s decision to self-identify as a cat.

The Year 8 pupils were told they would be reported to a senior leader after their teacher said they had “really upset” the fellow pupil by telling them: “You’re a girl.”


The incident at Rye College, first reported by The Daily Telegraph yesterday, was not a one-off. Inquiries by this newspaper have established that other children at other schools are also identifying as animals, and the responses of parents suggest that the schools in question are hopelessly out of their depth on the question of how to handle the pupils’ behaviour.

The Telegraph has discovered that a pupil at a secondary school in the South West is insisting on being addressed as a dinosaur. At another secondary school in England, a pupil insists on identifying as a horse. Another wears a cape and wants to be acknowledged as a moon.

But it is not difficult to find genuine examples of children in UK schools insisting on being addressed as animals, raising two important questions: why is it happening, and how should teachers respond?

Here’s a cat identity:

One pupil at a state secondary school in Wales told The Telegraph of a fellow pupil who “feels very discriminated against if you do not refer to them as ‘catself’”. She added: “When they [JAC: note the pronoun] answer questions, they meow rather than answer a question in English. And the teachers are not allowed to get annoyed about this because it’s seen as discriminating.”

The student in question is in Year 11, but began using the pronoun “catself” in Year 9 “when the whole thing with neo pronouns started”, the pupil said.

Year 11 is not young: the student is 15 or 16 years old. In these cases, the teachers, conditioned by gender activism, are buying into it:

Perhaps tellingly, the incident at Rye College – a Church of England school – happened at the end of a class on “life education” in which children were told by their teacher that there were lots of genders, including “agender – people who don’t believe that they have a gender at all”.

An argument ensued in which two pupils disagreed with the teacher, saying there was no such thing as agender, because “if you have a vagina, you’re a girl and if you have a penis, you’re a boy – that’s it”.

When the pupils told their classmate: “How can you identify as a cat when you’re a girl?” the teacher reprimanded them for “questioning [the child’s] identity”.

In this instance, the teacher in charge of the class appears to have bracketed a child’s desire to be treated as a cat with other children’s desire to be treated as another gender, or genderless.

You can clearly see that this is a case of social contagion promulgated by both peers and also by teachers who have been indoctrinated by gender activism to accept any child’s assumed identity. But the school isn’t buying it!:

The school, which does not dispute that the incident happened, said it was committed to inclusive education, but would be “reviewing our processes to ensure such events do not take place in the future”.

The school, then, seems to have accepted that the teacher in question was wrong, but it is hardly surprising if teachers find themselves struggling to make sense of the fast-paced societal changes in which pupils can not only decide to change their preferred pronouns overnight but also their preferred species.

While there are strict protocols for dealing with children or adolescents who identify as having non-standard genders or a non-natal sex, this has bled over into what I call—or someone already called—”trans-speciesism.” And what’s below is an explicit admission that identifying with animals is not an innate feeling that emerges as a child ages, but can be induced by social media or peers—or, perhaps, mental distress or illness.

“The teacher should be asking themselves, what are these children looking at online? What forums are they on? What is going on in the home? What is happening in that child’s life and who else is involved?

. . . The pupil blamed social media, saying students were being influenced by accounts run by people who identify as trees and animals. It started “around Covid”, she says.

“When it first started, it didn’t really go out into real life that much. It stayed confined to social media, but then as it got more popular and more people were finding out about it, people then started bringing it into real life situations.”

Finally, to answer my correspondent’s doubt about whether this is real:

Now this raises a bunch of questions—questions related, of course, to transgender issues.

a.) I have no doubt that while some of this might just be playful behavior, or fantasy, it seems that other children really do think they have the spirits, bodies, and identities of animals.  Is this substantially different in kind from thinking that you have a body and feelings that don’t really fit into those of your natal sex?

b.) It’s clear that some of this transspecies behavior is due to social contagion.  Can that also be true of transgender behavior? Gender activists deny this vehemently, of course, but there’s more than a tiny bit of evidence that social contagion can play a role in promoting transgender or transsexual feelings.

c.) Some teachers have written that “otherkin-ness” may be due to mental illness or at least mental distress in a child, which might be resolved by assuming the identity of an animal. Could this also be true of some students who are pondering becoming transgender or transsexual? If so, then those feelings should not be immediately affirmed—just as one’s feeling that one is a cat should not be affirmed—but EXPLORED.  Exploration instead of immediate affirmation, of course, not part of “affirmative therapy,” whose goal is simply to affirm the child’s feelings. But why affirm that they are in the wrong body when the body is one of the other sex but not the body of a cat?  I am not joking here, for I’m assuming that some of these students’ feelings are sincere.

d.) Connected with the above is the notion, which many have suggested, that gender dysphoria is often a form of childhood distress accompanying puberty, and that if given regular objective, empathic, and non goal-directed therapy rather than “affirmative” therapy, most cases will “resolve” without the need for hormones or surgery. Many “unaffirmed” dysphoric children do turn out to be gay or lesbian, which of course doesn’t require taking hormones or having surgery.

In short, although the “otherkins” may seem humorous at first, I think they raise serious questions that transgender activists should be asking, for tje feeling that one is really a member of the “wrong” species has parallels with the feeling that one is really a member of the wrong gender or sex.

h/t: Jez

58 thoughts on “The vexing problem of “otherkins”

  1. I was wondering when this would come up – I was restraining myself!

    But yeah – furries.

    They’re here, they’re furry, …

  2. I’ve been reading about gnosticism and hermetic alchemy lately (as one does). I am astonished that those things might not have died back when I thought they did, but somehow crop up in different guises every day.

    Gnosticism and hermetic alchemy. Hard to believe.

    1. Very odd as I’d been looking at those very things as well and had drawn the same conclusion. I’ve also realized after some study of those things and a rewatch of “The Matrix” that that movie is a gnostic parable

      1. An interesting book I’d mention in general for this audience :

        Science, Politics, and Gnosticism
        Eric Vogelin
        ISI Books
        Wilmington, Delaware
        1968, 2004

        Section II is “Ersatz religion : the gnostic movements of our time”

        1. Check out this excerpt by Eric Voegelin, from his 1968 book, pp.80-81 :

          “In the three cases of More, Hobbes, and Hegel, we can establish that the thinker suppresses an essential element of reality in order to be able to construct an image of man, or society, or history to suit his desires. If we now consider the question of why the thinker would thus contradict reality, […] We must move our inquiry to the psychological level […] the will to power of the gnostic who wants to rule the world has triumphed over the humility of subordination to the constitution of being.”

          If that doesn’t sound familiar,….

  3. As someone who is a fur and has spent over a decade in the furry fandom, I feel obligated to make some clarifications here because that article and some of the commentary here is misleading.

    Furry is not really the same as cosplay. Furs are people with an interest in anthropomorphic characters and most furry activity happens online. There are people, called fursuiters, who have costumes of their own furry characters but they are fairly rare because those costumes are expensive. Furs do sometimes where tails or ears or whatever for fun though. Furs do have an animal character that represents them but they usually do not claim to have some sort of animal spirit. People that think they have an animal soul or whatever are therians or otherkin. There is overlap with the furry community but they are not the same thing.

    On a side note, the largest furry convention (over 13 000 attendees) happens just north of Chicago.

    Now I don’t know for sure what actually happens at that school from the article but I would be very cautious believing it. For one thing, that’s not what furry is about, so it’s quite unlikely from the start. That’s not to say there won’t be one or two people that behave like that, you get weird people in all big groups. Secondly, furry has become a sort of panic target among right-wing groups and they have made up all sorts of stories about furry. The classic one was that schools had litter boxes because they claimed furries wanted to use those instead of normal toilets. That was complete rubbish and the only truth there was that some schools had litter boxes which were to be used in the case of active shooter situations when the classrooms were locked down.

    It’s also worth noting that furry is not associated with a higher rate of mental illness than the general population, except for maybe Asperger’s Syndrome. There is plenty of ongoing research on the furry fandom, primarily in the US, and the teams involved have a website which summarises their work and results:

    1. The article mentions that the litterbox stuff was bogus. Did you even read the article? And the article talks not about the kind of furries you’re mentioning but people who really do identify as animals. I’ll change the terminology to “otherkins” in the post.

      But I don’t see any evidence that OTHERKIN-NESS isn’t correlated with mental illness. I’m talking about that, not “furry fandom,” and I’ve changed all the language in the post so it comports with what you say is normal parlance.

      So I would still consider it a viable hypothesis that “otherkins” in schools do have a higher rate of mental disturbance or illness than the general population.

      1. Yes, as well as several other linked articles. I may not have remembered that it was mentioned in the first article but, regardless, my point in bringing it up was merely to illustrate that furry is being used to create a moral panic. The “other kind of furries” is not furry, it’s a separate group which has some overlap. Very few mainstream articles that have covered the furry fandom ever do it well and nearly all of them fixate on the costumes which are owned by less than 20% of furs. It may seem like small matters, and sometimes it is, but it’s the same way that people are passionate about not calling phytophthora a fungus.

      2. I’ve been friends with several people who consider themselves therianthropes or otherkin for about twenty years, and none of them behave in this way either. In most adults, the signs of a person being an otherkin are so subtle that it generally isn’t noticeable unless you know exactly what traits to look for. (However, like being a furry, being an otherkin does seem to be correlated with autism.) I think these teenagers are just using otherkin-ness as an excuse to disrupt their classes, in the same way that teenagers of past decades disrupted classes using paper airplanes or spitballs.

  4. The problem is not the children/students, it’s the adults/teachers. Affirming bizarre/anomalous behavior and beliefs that disrupt (say) a classroom is a form of socially sponsored madness.

    Will this lead to the abuse of animals if the “person” (child/student) does not outgrow the “madness”? If I think I’m a duck, then what’s to stop me from snatching the eggs of a real duck and trying to hatch them by sitting on them? Or howling like a wolf -in public- when I’m “triggered” or (help us all), trying to have sex with an animal, thinking that it loves me?

    Every single teacher should have a basic education in science/biology before being able to teach. That should help the gender/species confused gerbils to *teach* and NOT -immediately- affirm.

    I can’t help thinking that much of this growing malaise represents, proportionally, the degree by which our species is separated from immersive experiences in nature. There’s nothing quite like living in the wilderness for a while to regain perspective.

    Mother nature is a TERF. 🙂

    1. As a member of the otherkin/etc community, I wish to clarify some things:

      1: most teenage otherkin are not disruptive in class, and in fact 95% I’ve talked to are even absurdly terrified of anyone finding out. All of the stories I’ve seen about otherkins disrupting class I’ve seen were proved to be false, though as with any group there might be the odd case

      2: zoophilia is considered by all otherkin that are part of the community as VERY bad. Since animal otherkin typically love animals, they’re obviously against animal abuse. On any occasion that a zoophile tries joining the community they’re immediately kicked out and members are extremely agressive towards them. (As in, death threats. I don’t personally support death threats even to the worst to the worst, but the one time I’ve seen a zoophile in an otherkin space they were being sent literal death threats.)

      3: as to nature, most animal otherkin in fact are extremely close to nature, that’s why they identify with elements of it.

      Also otherkin isn’t any more wacky than any religion, and in my opinion should be treated with the same respect 🙂

  5. The unspoken bit is that children do not always follow social norms reliably. They are kids who have yet to develop maturity. Some become bullies, some feign illness, some are cheeky to teachers to the point of rebellion, and perhaps some seize on gender dysphoria.

    I could argue that the old customs of discipline have been relaxed too far (I sound like my parents) and not replaced with anything suitable for socialising the next generation, but many will prize the new freedom of expression more. It’s a puzzle.

  6. If I was a professor and had a student who claimed that they identified as a cat, and demanded to be referred to as a cat, then I would say that I identify as an emperor and demand, in return and out of mutual resoect for our identities, to be identified as such. Rather than raise your hand and ask “Mr Jones, may I go to the bathroom?” one must say “Emperor Jones, Lord of the York Isles and Commander of the Eastern Fleet, Chosen Among the Many and Gracious Host of his People, Beloved and Strong, Wise and Unrepentant, may I go to the bathroom your grace?”

    There won’t be too many cats in my classroom after that.

    1. Good approach. I’ve sometimes wondered whe reaction would be if someone said he identified as the Pope and gave “his Holiness” as the preferred pronoun.

  7. questions that occur :

    Is it subversive, by intent, accident, or otherwise?

    Does it antagonize norms?

    Does it target emotions?

    Seems suggestive, yet unclear to me.

  8. Jeez, when I first encountered the term “furries” (aka “plushies”) two or three decades ago it referred to a specific sexual fetish among adults who liked to get busy with each other while dressed up in furry animal costumes. Back then, Jerry Stahl, the author (among many other works) of the classic junkie memoir Permanent Midnight wrote a script for the tv show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation about a murder that occurs at a convention for such furries in Las Vegas. Its title: “Fur and Loathing.”

  9. Transgender activists are not interested in questions. Their goal is to subvert societal standards as they relate to the sexes (part of a larger effort to subvert “capitalist” society). If they were to say, “Hold on, that’s not what we meant” with regard to animal identities, they would be opening the door to questioning transgenderism itself. This we know is transphobia.

  10. As with so many things, this was satirised by the Pythons before it even existed.

    Just google “Monty python the mouse problem”.

    The sketch was pretty clearly a pisstake on scare stories about gay men.

  11. Regarding the language around “kin” :

    It is worth noting its use in the following reference about something completely different and not at all the same :

    Keenan, Harper, and “Lil Miss Hot Mess.” (2020)
    “Drag Pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood.”

    Curriculum Inquiry 50(5): 440–461.

    (my emphasis):

    “… It may be that Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is “family friendly,” in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is “family friendly” in the sense of “family” as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.”

    Make of that what you will.

  12. I asked my 14 year old granddaughter if there were trans kids at her school. She said there was a boy in her class who didn’t know if he was a boy or a girl. I asked if that bothered her. She said no, he was okay. The ones that bothered her were the furries, because if they got mad at you they’d growl or hiss and “if you hiss back you get in trouble.” Factual report from an American 8th grade public school.

  13. “There are only two sexes, but there is a spectrum of genders.”

    And what, exactly, are the “genders” in the spectrum? Lists of Genders seem to come in two types: those that refer to male and female genders and then play around with permutations such as both, neither, sequential — and those that start adding extraneous or strange content, such as having a gender consisting of a lack of interest in having sex, having the gender of “cloud,” or having a gender which cannot be described by words.

    That last one, frankly, is all of them — if we’re dealing with sophisticated Genderists. As soon as content is added it becomes apparent that people are either equating “sex” with how masculine or feminine they are, or equating it with personality. This is where otherkins come in. If our sex is a matter of how we see ourselves, then why not our species? Aren’t we supposed to have this infallible internal mental certainty about Who/What We Really Are?

    Children haven’t learned all the waffle which covers up absurdity. They cut right to the chase. “I know I’m a boy because I like trucks and football.” “I know I’m a girl because I like to be treated like a girl.” “I know I’m a cat because I like to lick my paws.” “I know I’m a moon because I like to be treated like one. I’ll tell you how. Follow carefully. I’m in a phase.”

    1. I know I’m a moon because I like to be treated like one. I’ll tell you how. Follow carefully. I’m in a phase.”

      LOL – Just a phase I’m going through…

    2. I’m just wondering how all these people are going to cope with getting drafted into the Army when it comes time to repel China.

    3. Kids must naturally study their faces – in mirrors, in photos – and scrutinize whether they look like certain famous people.

  14. I had a conversation about identity recently with my boss. She told me that I was lazy and incompetent and not doing my job. I replied that I identified as an exceptional employee and outstanding performer who was highly paid. I better get a substantial raise to affirm that identity.

  15. I guess this kind of insanity is a natural evolution of the Pathological Fake Left obsession with identity over reality. Again, nothing against cos-players, but when they insist that others must not just tolerate but go along with those fetishes, that is a step waaay to far!

  16. I have to agree with Jason B here, in that the kids described in the article are not furries as such. That term applies to a specific group of enthusiasts.
    There are also a lot of kids that wear cat ears because it is cute. I saw a lot of that in Japan.
    As the article points out, the current topic is likely to be related to the trans issue. Once you accept that people can be born into the wrong body, it is not a great leap to believe that you were supposed to be a cat or a falcon.

    I don’t think a child with this particular delusion would have been indulged at the schools I attended, less likely still is the possibility that the teacher would insist that everyone else pretend to believe it as well.

    David Thompson has been exploring this issue recently.

  17. This isn’t really new. In college in the early 90s I knew a woman who claimed she was a dragon spirit in a human body(she had a name for this phenomenon but I don’t remember it). She was a part of a like minded community and they referred to everyone else as humans.

  18. Nobody here will be surprised that Hemant Mehta has stuck his oar in on social media, attacking Richard Dawkins for linking to this story, via the Daily Mail. [Hemant has linked to many-a-dubious source in his time] I mean, several left wing news outlets in the UK have reported it also, so it is just a means for Hemant to signal his devotion to the new post-modernist faith he now subscribes in.

    It wouldn’t’ surprise me if he now actually believes someone can be an actual cat. Or a dinosaur.

  19. The furry phenomenon is in significant part a sexual fetish. A couple of robust studies have found that about a third of furries say they have a “significant sexual interest” in their cosplay, another half say it’s at least a “minor” interest, while just around 20% say it’s not a factor.

  20. Otherkin are not a recent phenomenon; they have been around since at least the 1980s. In fact, I learned about otherkin before I learned about transgender people, and as such, I always have thought of transgender people as “otherkin, but about gender”. That said, it’s way more complicated than that; only a subset of otherkin are really comparable.

    And while it seems like otherkin would be associated with furries, a lot of otherkin, at least historically, were actually people who identified as being elves and fairy creatures – either believing they had elven blood, or that they were reincarnations of such people.

    “Otherkin” are not a monolithic group.

    A lot of otherkin are basically just people with “new age religion” beliefs – they are fundamentally various forms of pagans, who have a special religious/spiritual connection to some sort of creature (real or mythological – many I’ve known personally have been dragons).

    Others believe that they are reincarnated beings – basically, they were something else in a previous life, and are human in this life, but still carry with them some sort of essential spiritual nature connected to their past life or lives.

    Others – sometimes referred to as therianthropes – believe that they have some special connection with one or more animals on a spiritual level, and some say they undergo “shifts” where they experience the world

    Some of these people seem to experience “species dysphoria” – basically, something very much like gender dysphoria, but instead of feeling uncomfortable because they are male or female, they feel uncomfortable because of their species. I strongly suspect that this is connected to gender dysphoria in some way, and may arise from the same or similar phenomenon.

    I think one of the complexities of this issue is that there are actually two groups that are being conflated – one group is a group of people who have offbeat religious beliefs, but they are no different from any other group of religious people in the end. Their beliefs may be unusual or “out of the norm”, at least for modern society, but in the end it’s not really any different from being Christian or Jewish.

    The other group is a group of people who are suffering from a real mental illness that causes them genuine unhappiness, and can lead to self harm. I am aware of at least one person who suffered from “species dysphoria” who committed suicide as a result.

    I am not otherkin, but I’ve had friends who were part of the Otherkin community. Many of them are, ironically, very well adjusted individuals who are happy.

    But some of them are people with very real problems.

    One major issue here is that it is a conflict between religious tolerance and reality – schools are not supposed to discriminate against people based on their religion, but at the same time, reality often conflicts with religious beliefs. I think a lot of people are very poor at threading the needle that this creates.

    1. Here’s one other point of clarification: the majority of therianthropes think of themselves as having a spiritual connection to a particular animal, but there’s also a subset of them who think of therianthropy as basically a form of imprinting (like how an animal can imprint on humans, except happening in the opposite direction). Among dinosaur therianthropes, which is the only group of them I’ve meaningfully interacted with, I’d say that around 2/3 go with the spiritual explanation, while the other third favor the imprinting-based explanation.

    2. I thought this was a sexual fetish type thing…There are even people who have surgery to look like their totem animal.

  21. There are different kinds of transgenders. Some are mentally healthy, some are not. It’s seems to me that trans-speciesism is a mental disorder because it’s a significant impairment on a person’s life.

  22. Someone needs to find another term for this phenomenon (if, indeed, it is anything other than children experimenting with prodding the sensibilities of adults to get an amusing reaction ; which has probably been going on since time immemorial), because “furries” have been a perfectly respectable sensual “kink” since … at least the 1980s, when I first heard of it, and probably going way further back. ISTR the sensual pleasure of frottage against a fur coat getting a mention in either deSade, or “Walter”, dating well back into the 1900s. And that’s the “written and published” part of the record, not the illicit record.

  23. Popular culture is have been replete with furries for a long time, referring to anthropomorphized animals. But I’ve never heard of “otherkins” before.

    There is a Wikipedia entry, and it seems that it is a younger collective term including myth and metaphor. “Otherkin are a subculture of people who identify as not entirely human. Some otherkin believe their identity derives from reincarnation, a non-human soul, ancestry, symbolism, or metaphor.” That is no longer merely popular culture, that is drawing in various superstitions and various interpretations.

    In effect, I support that Gravelinspector said.

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