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Hi. Can yall tell me your opinion on this topic? (My bros slightly frustrating tbh.)

so my older brother was looking at gender politics stuff and asked me "Hey, is furry a gender?" to which i replied "No. Absolutely not, its a hobby and fandom.". "But this LGBTQ+ webpage says it is" he said, i asked if it said that furrys believe they are animals on it and he said yes, i then told bro that that is completely wrong and therians/otherkins are the people who identify as non human creatures however it is not a gender, he then goes on to argue with me that it is a gender identity and that he also thinks he might be a therian because he has a strong family like connection with felines and he listed similarities in physical abilities and senses between him and felines, and then he said "So if i am a therian, then i wouldnt be male right? id be trans." to which i replied simply "Thats not right at all-" and he said "Yes it is, i wouldnt be a 'straight, male' id be a 'female attracted, therian feline'" and i said "No. Dude. ok look. *sigh* Human is not gender. ok so. Its species. It Doesnt Make You Transgender If You Are Therian/Otherkin" (idk why i said human but it helped him understand) he then went "ahhh... ok yeah that makes more sense" but he also said "Well it doesnt matter what the actual facts are because what the media pushes is whats gonna be believed by most people so oh well" i sighed again and then he went "i want to hear people who are arguing that therian/otherkin IS a gender identity and people who argue that it ISNT a gender, but i dont want anyone you watch to tell me stuff because it will be biased" even though alot of the therians i watch that like to talk about or educate people on therians/otherkin are very well educated on the subject.

so i kinda thought id asked yall on here what you think so he could get a more unbiased argument. ALSO im Almost Postive that if anyone wants to actually talk to him to have a conversation/debate about it hed totally be down for that cuz he usually enjoys talking to new people and learning new things and debating about stuff. if anyone would like to talk to him you can let me know even though ill likely be showing him the replies i get to this thread if i get any.
 
Hey, I certainly know a thing or four on frustrating siblings.

I'd like to get right to your brother's underlined "Point". What "the media" says about both communities (furries and therians) is irrelevant to what the communities are to those who are a part of them-- and what a community is is the people it's comprised of. 15 or so years ago when every piece of media that mentioned furries made them out to be all perverts with a costume-sex fetish, that didn't change the fact that that's by no definition what made a furry a furry. The outside misconceptions of the furry fandom are just a hodge-podge of what the average outsider gathers and they try to fit it all together without actually meeting and discussing without furries proper.
Many furries are bisexual or gay, many furries are more comfortable questioning their gender than non-furries, and the furry fandom is also an easy place for those who don't consider themselves fully human to explore this part of themselves.
But most importantly, the only thing that really makes a furry a furry is the fact they think, for whatever reason the individual may have, that anthropomorphic animal characters are a frickin' cool design concept. The furry fandom is a fandom of just a specific kind of creativity: any and all art form (visual arts, writing, ect) for expressing interest in anthropomorphic animal design.

As for therians, many therians don't consider their gender and their theriotype the same thing. However some therians feel their therianthropy does effect their gender; a wolf therian who believes she is a wolf because of reincarnation, and feels strongly she is female because the wolf she once was was female.

I am a transgender therian who has also been in the furry fandom for about the same time as I've known the otherkin community (for over 12 years now I beleive. I don't care for checking the exact math on that right now.). If your brother is interested in knowing more from me specifically, you may message and we can exchange discord contacts.
 

Shezep

Well-known member
Gold Donor
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Therian is definitely not a gender and does not automatically put you in the LGBT+ spectrum. There are a lot of LBGT+ therians around, but there are also a lot who are not. If someone's identity as their kintype or theriotype happens to be a different gender from their biological sex-assigned-at-birth, then some people report that that may influence their gender identity. However, that happens on a case by case basis and doesn't automatically apply to everyone.

In the case of felines, there are still male and female cats, though we may never know how the cats themselves feel about those designations, if they feel much about it at all. We still refer to cats as "he" and "she" when the sex of the cat is known. There is no pre-existing language for cat-gender. Since we already refer to cats as "he" or "she" I don't see any particular reason to come up with an entirely new pronoun, or pair of pronouns, to call a cat therian.

Personally, I believe my gender is somewhat influenced by my kintype, but I am not celestial-gender, I'm genderfluid, and there are other celestials around whose gender is different from mine. I feel like "both," and some feel like "neither," and other celestials feel right at home with the standard "he" or "she." We can still talk about it in the same terms that humans use without a problem. There's no reason to complicate it further.

Basically, sex/gender and species/kintype are not the same thing.
 

Velvet

A Lizardy Cat
Staff member
Community Manager
No, therianthropy is not a gender. Your human example is a good way to explain it. Human is not a gender just as cat isn't a gender; species and gender are two completely separate things. Some may find there is overlap (as per Shezep's examples), others will not. In either case though, species doesn't equal gender.

Why therianthropy is not a gender has been covered pretty well already by the posts above, so instead, I'll talk on some points I've seen cause confusion in the past:


A lot of people within the therian/otherkin community are also on the LGBT+ spectrum. This is not a direct result of their therianthropy, but there has been a history (at least going back 20 odd years to when I joined the community) of there being a higher than average percentage of our community being LGBT+.
We do not know why this is, though various theories have been batted around over the years. Even so these are still two separate experiences and do not always line up with each other. For some, there may be an overlap (i.e. female wolf theriotype and female gender identity) but for others, there is not (i.e. male wolf theriotype but female gender identity) and there are a large number of therians/kin who simply identify as the gender they were born as.
People outside of the therian/kin community may see the number of LGBT+ 'kin and assume that means therians/kin are part of the LGBT+ community. While some 'kin are, they are a part of it due to their gender identity/orientation, not because of their species identity.

Some therians identify as transspecies. Due to the general public being familiar with the term transgender, the word "trans" has become synonymous for gender identity. This means the term transspecies can cause confusion (which is why the usage of the term is heavily debated). However, the trans prefix is not gender-specific, transspecies refers only to species and is in no way intended to relate to gender.

Another term which I've seen cause confusion is species dysphoria. Again this is the result of many people being familiar with gender dysphoria and so creating a link in their minds between the word dysphoria and gender. However, dysphoria is also not a gender-specific word and can relate to many different things; it simply means "a state of feeling very unhappy, uneasy, or dissatisfied".
Species dysphoria relates specifically to species (generally used to describe strong and negative emotions relating to our physical species not matching our species identity) and is not connected to gender.

Many people these days first encounter therianthropy/otherkinity through social media. While there are some knowledgeable and good sources of information in such places, knowing where to look, what's true and what's not requires some previous knowledge of therianthropy/otherkin. Those who have no previous knowledge often stumble upon misinformation and believe that to be an accurate representation (this is obviously not limited to therianthropy, there's a reason "don't trust everything you read" is a common phrase - a lot of information out there on various subjects is very misleading!).
There are a large number of people who have not spent the time to research the terms they use, some view it as a sort of trend, others change the meanings to fit their own preferences. Social media is a great way to get your views seen by the masses, which mean those types of platforms allow for quick and widespread misinformation.


As for your brother, if he's interested in exploring his identity and/or learning more about otherkin/therians he's very welcome to create an account of his own. :)
 
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Sol

Member
Based on what I've learned about therians and learned from therians, an animal/creature certaintly CANNOT be a gender of itself. Look at the majority of species we have on Earth: each species has both male and female divisions (based on who carries the egg and who carries the seed, instead of what we generally percieve of gender based on societal norms and traditional roles). It would be senseless to claim "My gender is kangaroo" since there are already boy kangaroos and girl kangaroos. Even though something like bacteria are genderless (they don't need divisions nor mating to reproduce), it is still redundant to claim "My gender is bacteria" because bacteria is still a species. It'd be more apporpriate to say along the lines of "I am gendervoid" in terms of personal gender identity. I really hope this gives more clarity.

P.S.: If your brother is that curious, then lead him down the rabbit hole of so called "Trans-Species Movement".
 
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As everyone else has said, otherkin/therian is not a gender identity itself and "transspecies" also isn't a gender and isn't related to LGBT+. Does your brother believe everything the media tells him? Lol.

Some people DO identify their gender as something like a species/concept/etc like doggender or stargender but typically they are aware otherkin =/= gender identity, they are usually neurodivergent people who interpret their gender identity differently. I don't totally know how it works as I am not apart of that community but I wanted to say that it does exist and is NOT the same as being otherkin. Some otherkin are xenogender (umbrella term for the -gender terms, I believe) but not every kin is xenogender and not every xenogender is kin.
 

Velvet

A Lizardy Cat
Staff member
Community Manager
i think otherkin/therian is a LIFESTYLE. i identify myself as a brussels griffon but im still a white cis man!
Some therians/otherkin may adapt their lifestyle to incorporate things related to their kintypes, but this will differ from person to person and being therian/otherkin it's not a lifestyle in and of itself. Being therian/otherkin isn't something we can choose or change and isn't dependant on how someone lives, it's an identity we come to understand based on the experience of feeling non-human.
 
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