Nonhuman 10 years later; an informal essay
by Silver of The Dragonheart Collective (4/24/21, minor edits 5/28/2021)
So ive been identifying as a therian for around decade now, and otherkin and fictionkin about 6-ish(7?). I never made huge amounts of insightful posts, and I don’t have any hot takes to add to other people’s. My internet presence is largely a fandom one with a side of social justice things, and thus even if I did have something I felt worth saying on the topic beyond yet another awakening story or an explanation of my past lives and whathaveyou, the viewership would be small and those who might find worth in the post wouldn’t see it.
I am no greymuzzle, no queer elder, no ‘fandom old’, I was 12-ish and heard ‘therian’ on a furry podcast(RIP furcast) and went ‘oh, thats the word for how I am. Everything makes sense now’ and proceeded to lurk mostly thereafter. I don’t have all that much wisdom, im just vibing over here. But, I can talk about what its like, ten years later.
‘Growing Out Of It’
I mean, you might. You might realize you aren’t a wolf, or a angel, or a pikachu or whatever. You might work through your misanthropy and gender dysphoria and trauma and internalized woes and fraught teenage experiences and come out the other side finding you aren’t these things. There’s no shame in that, and it does happen.
These no shame in having a past life that you used to ID strongly as, but don’t anymore, or you find you were a different kintype than you thought, or that you were human all along, even years later.
You could still ID as the thing but its not as bright anymore- but rather how many humans view being human; barely of note most of the time. You may go from shifting every day heavily to being slightly shifted at all times and spiking rarely.
But, not only does that not make your experience in-the-moment any less real, but it also could just never happen. You might never have how you identify fade or change.
It might sound scary, it might be scary in the moment, even, but there is nothing truly to fear from change like this, nor from discovering what you are, really. It is a new evolution of you. It may be sad, to say goodbye to a label you’ve had for so long, that helped you find friends, or got you through tough times, but it doesn’t fit anymore. Marie Kondo has the right of it- thank that label, that community, that identity, and move to what does fit- what helps you.
It might also sound scary, that you will be a nonhuman thing in a meatsuit that doesn’t fit until you die, that you might not ever grow out of the uncontrolled shifting and the aching dysphoria and homesickness for places you have never been. And maybe it will never go away, but it will get easier. You will find coping methods, supportive people, have access to resources and help. Eventually, these things hurt less. You get used to it. You settle into your skin, even if it isnt the right one, its still yours.
At this point, I am immune to cringe. You will get there too, probably. Im a plural, nonhuman, neurodivergent, furry, fictionkind, genderqueer and regular queer magic-using, anime-watching, kinky fandom freak of a pagan and im living my best life. I wear a collar in public every day. My face mask has a cat face on it and I plan to get more just like it. Im going to be adding a tail and claw gauntlets to my itinerary of everyday wear once I get something properly washable. At some point you just stop caring as much about how others perceive you. So what if what you do is embarrassing and weird? It makes you happy, right? You aren’t going to get hurt wearing it? Then go for it! You have nothing to lose but your shame. People will try to shame you, that is true, but as time goes on, you will find you give less of a shit about if people laugh or stare. You can bottle it up, or you can be free. Just be sure to be safe.
The Disk Horse
Once you’ve been here awhile, drama becomes the same cycles- the same drama llama, different day. You’ve already seen that argument, years ago. You’ve read that thread, you were there for that community debate that settled how the forum would do things. You’ve seen the same types of trolls, the same bad actors pop up. It gets old, after awhile.
Maybe you used to have the energy to debate and discuss and keep up with all of that, but you probably don’t now. Or if you do, its simply to inform and lurk and not to debate anymore.
Your love of debate will fade when you have the same one every six months for ten years. Trust me.
Dunking on trolls and rude assholes and debating with KFFs and anti-kin and having intra-community fistfights is going to lose its shine, especially when you look back at the posts years from now and see how many hours you wasted typing at people who aren’t going to listen to facts and certainly wont listen to you.
Its- normal. I am a dragon, I am a cat, I am living life.
Personally, I have some past lives I no longer identify as that I used to- even though the past life is still there. I have kintypes i’ve since learned I had kinfeels of only because of other identity relations (paratypes, I believe the new word is called). I used to shift often, I don’t much anymore, its a low-grade 20% all the time. Since figuring out and coming to terms with our plurality, some kinfeels were found to belong to people who are not me. We have access to buying things that alleviate dysphoria, we no longer have the horrible emotional state we had in high school that exacerbated nonhuman difficulties.
Life is good, strangely enough. And I am still a cat and a dragon in a human meatsuit (with some other folks in here with me!), and that is just how I like it.
All and all- whats being nonhuman like after ten years of having the same label? Normal. It feels comfortable. Like living. I have always been these things, and I very likely will always feel this way. I no longer feel shame for doing things I used to be scolded for, I no longer feel quite so discontent with my physical form, I feel whole (ironically, being many people in one body).
Its just…Living, but as a nonhuman. There isn’t much more to say.