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frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Cissexism.

October: An animated sit-com called Family Guy included a skit that parodied trans people by having a main character get "reassignment surgery" to become a lizard. An otherkin named DLF reports that this scene was in "Season 12, Episode 2, titled Vestigial Peter," and gives a transcript of the scene. A few people in the otherkin community wondered if this scene was a reference to otherkin. I'm confident that the writers weren't making a reference to therianthropes or otherkin, because the analogy the writers were making is common in cissexist jokes. Cissexist people often try to parody and undermine transsexuality by comparing it to a straw-man scenario in which a person mimics or tries to become another species.

I've seen much more offensive iterations of that tired joke than that. The most offensive one I've seen is the satirical article "Transspecied dog bites man is not news," which Jared Olar published simultaneously to Pekin Times (and several other newspapers) last March. Olar's mean-spirited and cissexist article is about a fictional six year old boy who wants to become a dog. It is supposed to be ridiculous that adults take the child seriously by speaking of the child as "transspecied," and giving him a "social transition," which includes switching to the pronoun "it." The article parodies the situation of a non-fictional young trans girl who became famous around that time, to whom Olar refers by name. Olar uses the "transspecied dog" to suggest that trans children are probably just playing make-believe, and are too young to know how they identify. I'm confident that Olar had not heard of therianthropes, otherkin, or animal people. It looks like Olar just invented the "transspecied dog" as a straw-man to pick at what Olar believes to be flaws in arguments for the legitimacy of transsexuality.


DLF (justanotherkin), untitled post. 2013-10-09. Just Anotherkin (personal blog). http://justanotherkin.tumblr.com/post/63560415302/what-episode-of-family-guy-was-that-did-it-actually
(I linked to that post with permission from DLF.)

Jared Olar, "Transspecied dog bites man is not news." 2013-03-03. Pekin Times. http://www.pekintimes.com/article/20130303/OPINION/130309948/1001/NEWS
(Warning: lots of pop-up ads, some of which even got through my ad-blockers.)
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

July 24: The House of Chimeras is assembling a list of audio and video resources about therianthropes. The audio resources include radio as well as podcasts. The video resources are limited to TV documentaries. The Chimeras want to know about more resources to add. They also want to know how best to share a database of the actual files.
You need to log in to the Werelist forum in order to view the forum post in question.


House of Chimeras, “Audio and video of the community.” 2013-07-24. The Werelist: A therianthrope community resource (forum). http://www.werelist.net/forums/showthread.php?t=33161

Posted with permission from the House of Chimeras.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Publicity trouble, derision.

Grantland.com has a couple of articles about the recent documentaries that have animal people in them. Grantland, established in 2011, is an online magazine focusing on sports and pop culture. ESPN owns it.1 Both of these articles come from Tara Ariano’s article series about television documentaries that Ariano considers to be “freak shows.” The tone is derisive. Yesterday’s article dealt with Boomer the Dog on Taboo USA.2 Another article in the series, from last April, talks about the appearance of Steven and Timothy in “I think I’m an animal.”3

For a round-up of all news about the “I think I’m an animal” documentary, see this earlier post on Otherkin News, which I updated today with more links.


1. “Bill Simmons.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Simmons
(Bill Simmons is the editor-in-chief of Grantland.)
2. Tara Ariano, “Freak Show & Tell: Something to put all that ‘otherkin’ stuff into perspective.” 2013-06-11. Grantland. http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/79238/freak-show-tell-something-to-put-all-that-otherkin-stuff-into-perspective
3. Tara Ariano, “Freak Show & Tell: A lovingly illustrated interspecies romance.” 2013-04-30. Grantland. http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/75646/freak-show-tell-a-lovingly-illustrated-interspecies-romance
ext_1601924: (LurkHorse)
[identity profile] crystal-waters.livejournal.com
On June 4th 2013, National Geographic's Taboo USA aired an episode titled 'Secret Passions'. It includes a segment on Boomer the Dog, a man who says he's a dog trapped in a human body.

You can see a preview of the episode here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/taboo/videos/im-a-dog/
Or learn more about Boomer at his website: http://boomerthedog.net/
[identity profile] houseofchimeras.livejournal.com
Australian channel, SBS 2 for The Feed aired a clip called “Otherkin: heart of a human, spirit of a wolf.”

The clip can be seen on their official Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU_E-oXxyQU

The video description states:

“‘People don't want to be seen as any different, they want to fit in, but I've given up on fitting in.’ Billions of people around the world feel like they have a spiritual existence. Some identify as being created, others feel they've evolved, some are incarnated, and a handful are even brought here from other worlds. But what is it like to live in a human body when your spirit identifies with being an animal. The Feed explores the spiritual world of Otherkin.

Filmed, edited, and produced by Nick McDougall.”
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Publicity.

Discovery Studios, an entity of the Discovery Channel, has sent messages to some otherkin. The studio says that it would be interested in including some otherkin in a new TV series. Here's a public transcript of an e-mail conversation between them and Arethinn, an otherkin.

- O. Scribner


Arethinn, "Whee, more media crap." 2013-04-11. Otherkin. http://otherkin.livejournal.com/579072.html
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Publicity, social drama.

This Tuesday, at 10 PM Eastern Standard Time, a documentary about otherkin will air on the Logo TV channel. As such, bloggers and administrators of sites about otherkin should be prepared for more web traffic later this week. Regardless of what TV channels you get, anyone in the world will be able to watch the show on its official web-site.

Below, a chronological list of all the articles we've had on the Otherkin News blog about this upcoming documentary.

This post has been updated on 2013-06-12, to add more articles to this list.

2012-02-24: Media Exploiting Therians & Otherkin. Therianthrope Shiro tells people not to participate in this documentary.
2013-01-03: Upcoming otherkin documentary
2013-01-12: Upcoming otherkin documentary 2. Some background on Shiro's decision to participate in the discovery after telling others not to.
2013-01-20: When and where can we see Logo TV’s otherkin documentary?
2013-02-11: TV documentary about otherkin for April or May. We start to have a vague idea of when the episode will air.
2013-03-18: Otherkin Documentary to air on Logo on April 23rd at 10PM EST. We discover the air date and title of the episode: "I think I'm an animal." (Its working title was "Otherkin.")
2013-03-20: Otherkin Documentary, Preview on Youtube. It aired first in Russia.
2013-03-23: Otherkin documentary airs in other countries earlier than in US. It aired in Norway and Sweden.
2013-04-26: Grantland article about the documentary.
2013-04-27: Luna talks about having appeared in this documentary.
2013-04-29: Polls asking otherkin and therianthropes what they think of the documentary.
2013-05-18: Call for responses to the documentary.
2013-05-28: The documentary will be shown in the UK in July.
2013-06-12: Another Grantland article about the documentary.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: media attention. The end of the video shows some mild erotic artwork that's not safe for work.

Shown above: the complete episode of “Furries.”

January 3, 2012. The National Geographic TV series Taboo, focused on practices which are forbidden or at least not mainstream, aired an episode called “Furries.” It’s about the furry fandom, a very large community of people who like art, stories, and costumes depicting human-like animals. For many people who consider themselves furry fans, this interest is just a hobby, but some, it does mean something deeper about being animal-like themselves. The Taboo episode leans toward depicting the furry fandom as the latter, calling furry fans “people who love animals so much they want to become them. … people who believe they are part human and part animal.” And so on. The episode mostly presents furry fans in a friendly way, but is this portrayal of furries as animal-people accurate? Flayrah, a furry news blog, pointed out that the episode cites

“unnamed research to say that ‘up to 85% believe they’re not entirely human’ (presumably that of Nuka’s collaborator, Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, whose team has regularly surveyed Anthrocon in recent years).”1

This is a surprising estimate, because experience in the furry fandom shows that the majority don’t identify as animals. I couldn’t find that particular “85%” statistic in Gerbasi’s work. I listened to the video, and it sounds like the narrator actually says “up to 25% believe they’re not entirely human,” a more reasonable statistic that does appear in Gerbasi’s article “Furries A to Z,” when describing the results of surveying the furry fandom:

“The second largest group was the ‘distorted unattained’ type (n = 51). This furry [fan] considers the self to be less than 100% human and would become 0% human if possible. This type comprised 25% of the furries [furry fans] who answered both key identity questions.”2

Gerbasi’s surveys show that a significant minority (25%) of people within the furry fandom do wish to become animals, so National Geographic’s portrayal is not inaccurate.

- O. Scribner

1. GreenReaper, “Video: National Geographic profiles fursuiters on ‘Taboo.’” Flayrah: Furry food for thought. 2011-12-19. http://www.flayrah.com/3773
2. Kathleen C. Gerbasi, Nicholas Paolone, et al., “Furries from A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism).” Society and Animals 16 (2008), page 215.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: violence, crime, trolling (harassment). Not described in graphic detail.

The following post uses excerpts from my newly updated free e-book, Otherkin Timeline, as well as excerpts from earlier posts on Otherkin News. This isn't a complete overview of everything on Otherkin News in 2011, just a selection of relatively significant events. During the latter half of this year, I became very active with researching current events in or related to the otherkin community, and began posting regularly to the Otherkin News blog. As a result, I have more information about events during the latter half of 2011 than the early half. Would you please help fill in some events from the first half of 2011?

During this year, an otherkin community blossomed on the blog-hosting site Tumblr.com. This includes the creation of a blog called ’Kin Speak, which people can post to anonymously. In the last couple of months of the year, the otherkin community on Tumblr came to be frequently vandalized and trolled (harassed), but the otherkin there didn't falter in their high level of activity. Meirya wrote about how the otherkin community on Tumblr differs from any before.

2011-01: Someone claiming to be from a casting department spammed the otherkin and therian forums to search for someone to interview for a purported documentary TV show about otherkin that would air on the Animal Planet channel. So far, nothing has come of it, but members of the WereList forums are researching it, with trigger warnings for that link: adult topics. Currently, it looks like it's a genuine casting call, not a phishing scam, but the show would also feature some adult topics.

2011-08-14: The first annual Mer-Con 2011, the world’s largest mermaid convention. Some of the attending self-proclaimed mer-people described a lifelong desire to become real mer-people, or assert that they are now real mer-people. Recently, a participant called Mermaid Shelley reflected on this and other events in the mermaid community during 2011. The mermaid community isn’t connected with the otherkin or therian communities, and is news to me and to the rest of the otherkin I've talked to.

2011-08-13?: A vampire crime. Lyle Monroe B., 19, broke into a stranger's apartment and injured the woman living there, and then told the police that he was a 500 year old vampire, but denied it later, claiming that he’d been under the influence of a drug. I haven’t found any follow-up articles explaining what the authorities concluded about him.

2011-08-29: Media. A polite article introducing otherkin to outsiders is published in a Polish-language women’s online magazine, We-Dwoje, which is otherwise mostly about fashion and health. The article is “Otherkin – a quirk, or a fantastic way to live?

2011-09: A vampire/werewolf crime. Stephanie P., 18, was charged with accessory to the murder of Jacob H., 16 in July. One of six suspects for involvement in the murder, Stephanie told the news station that she believes herself to be part vampire and part werewolf. Later, she was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial. For a collection of all news articles on this topic, see the Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) Media Center forums, with trigger warnings for what the articles describe: murder, rape, violence, blood-drinking, teenagers in a cult, animal sacrifice, some of which is described in graphic detail.

2011-10-04: Media. On Sweden’s channel 5, a TV series titled Outsiders aired an episode about the furry fandom. This includes at least one furry fan who is also a therian. Later, in acknowledgment of this episode, a newspaper editor publicly blogged a joke about killing a child who comes out as trans-species.

2011-11-13: Media. A TV documentary airs on Channel 4 about the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack in Texas, some of whom identify as werewolves, some as vampires. Soon, the vampire community condemned it for showing unsanitary and dangerous blood-drinking practices.

2011-11-17: An early group of elf people called the Silver Elves return one of their books to print: An Elfin Book of Spirits: Evoking the Beneficent Powers of Faerie.

2011-12-05: Ashlyn Nafina prints To Dream, Perchance to Soar, an urban fantasy novel with intentional themes of the otherkin experience.

2011-12-20: The Forest Voice, an independent magazine “for those among us who are nonhuman in nature,” releases its first issue.

- O. Scribner
[identity profile] avianthrophile.livejournal.com
Trigger warnings: joke involving killing children, mocking of otherkin.

After a recent documentary on Swedish TV channel 5 which included interviews with a big cat therian, the idea of "species-change surgery" as a joke apparently has spread around the Swedish blog community.

This ended with a blog belonging to the editorial staff of the “Young people” part of the local Swedish paper Norrköpings Tidningar (NT), posting an article joking about what might happen if species change was possible. It includes a disturbing mention of killing your grandchildren for being different, translated to English here by Swedish member of the otherkin community, Susitar:

I will not be that old, gray and grumpy old woman who harbours contempt and anger towards my grandchild when he acknowledges that he or she during the greater part of his life felt out of place as a human being, but however, has developed a great desire to be an anteater. No, I won’t shake my head or faint. I’ll just sit there, smile, be responsive and serve my grandchild army ants containing a dash of arsenic.

(Bold by Susitar)

Arsenic is a fatal poison.

Susitar is arguing that this is not a responsible thing for the newspaper to do, and gives two contact email addresses to contact the newspaper to complain, webben@nt.se and ungnt@nt.se. The newspaper understands Swedish and English.


1. http://www.nt.se/bloggar/bloggentry.aspx?blogg=6327692&entry=7242097
2. http://kinspeak.tumblr.com/post/13901940007/funny-joke-about-poisoning-therians-otherkin
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: none that I can think of.

On October 4, 2011, on Sweden's channel 5, a TV series titled Outsiders aired an episode about the furry fandom. This includes at least one furry fan who is also a therian.

You can watch the video itself on the official web site, in Swedish without subtitles, although some interviews are in spoken English:

To clarify how these terms are actually defined in our respective communities: Furry fans are not synonymous with therianthropes; their subcultures and priorities differ. People in the furry fandom do not necessarily identify as animals, in a spiritual way or otherwise. The furry fandom is primarily about appreciation of arts depicting humanized (anthropomorphic) animals. People who are therianthropes definitely do identify as animals, but they do not necessarily participate in the furry fandom.

According to Lanina, a therian in Sweden, this episode showed these people:

“- Big cat therian Pao …who wears cat ears and tail.
- A bunch of fursuiters, Swedish (person with snow leopard/wolf fursona), American (wolf fursona) and German (purple wolf fursona).

“During the entire programme they defined furry as ‘being spiritually connected to an animal’ or ‘wanting to be an animal’.”1

Lanina then wrote a few blog posts in Swedish regarding the episode: “Outsiders om furries (Outsiders on furries),” offering a definition of furry fans. “Freakshow,” about wariness about appearing on TV. “Live and let live,” about Pao, who herself has a blog where she is trying to clear up misconceptions after the episode.

Thanks to Lanina for bringing this to the attention of the Werelist forums. I have cited Lanina with her permission.

- O. Scribner

Source )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this post: blood-drinking, bad publicity.

As mentioned in an earlier article here, the Channel 4 documentary about the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack aired on November 13, 2011. The pack in question is a mixture of teenage vampires and werewolves living in Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, the documentary showed the teens drinking blood without taking any safety precautions. The incautious behavior shown in the documentary should not be seen as typical of the vampire community.

As a public service announcement, a “signal boost” of what Merticus pointed out on the Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) media center forums regarding the documentary:

“The Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] is abhorred after viewing the content depicted in this documentary. The real vampire community and self-identified real vampires do not condone such reckless and dangerous blood sharing practices. The adults, ‘vampires’, ‘donors’, and documentary film crew responsible for this film should be ashamed of their actions and held accountable as provided by law.”

Merticus goes on to recommend that interested parties should read The Vampiric Ethos and Real Vampire Community Personal Safety & Privacy Awareness.1 The real vampire community is very conscious about ethics and safety, particularly in regard to blood sharing, which requires sterile conditions in order to protect against cuts becoming infected or worse. The ignorance of these issues in the documentary could lead to viewers causing themselves serious physical harm.

In order to spread awareness of what the vampire community is really like, and particularly to raise awareness of safety issues related to blood drinking, Merticus was interviewed in a Yahoo UK & Ireland article on the 17th, titled “Twilight debunked: A vampire expert on the truth about vampire lore.”2 That article does not mention the Channel 4 documentary.

- O. Scribner

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this post: bad publicity is coming, mention of disturbing ritual using dead dog. Personally, I feel faint just thinking about either of these, let alone in combination. Very likely to disturb. Links are safe for work.

According to Channel 4 press releases, a TV documentary will air on November 13, 2011. This documentary will be about the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack, which is a handful of teenagers in San Antonio, Texas, some of whom identify as werewolves, some as vampires.

This is the same pack that includes Wolfie Blackheart, who was involved in a scandal over a year ago. The scandal involved her ritual use of the remains of an already-deceased dog. She posted photos of the process online. People who were angered by this display made sure that the media found out. Ever since then, the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack has frequently received, welcomed, and reached out for much media attention. This includes numerous news articles and a short news story on TV last year.

In my opinion, media attention for Wolfie Blackheart and her pack is far from the ideal way for the public to find out about therianthropes. The scandal involved an act that is unique among therianthropes. The Crimson Blood Wolf Pack doesn't and shouldn't represent the therianthrope community. Publicity of this kind will likely bring recognition without respect.

- O. Scribner

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: voluntary surgical body modification, links to web-pages that include photos of the gross stages of the process.

In the past few years, at least five people have had a kind of body modification or cosmetic surgery called “ear pointing” to make their ears have a pointed shape, like an elf.

In October 2007,1 Kimberleigh “Kimmie” R., had her ears pointed by a professional body modification artist, Russ Foxx. They took a couple of weeks to heal, and she posted photos of it in various stages of healing.2 With Kimmie’s permission, her friend “Laminterious” posted some of photos of Kimmie’s ear-pointing on Instructables.com a few months later, with commentary explaining the importance of taking time to decide and do research before getting any kind of body modification.3

Also during the time of October 2007, a website purportedly that of a cosmetic surgeon named Dr. Lajos Nagy claimed that Nagy had performed over a thousand ear-pointings, but Nagy’s site appears to be a hoax.4

In January 2010, Russ Foxx posted before-and-after photos of more ear pointing on at least two unnamed people,5 and put out a request for other people who wanted ear-pointing surgery.6 He hasn’t posted anything about it since then, so I don’t know if he’s done more ear-pointing.

On the seventh of this month, the ABC Good Morning America show talked about ear pointing.7 They showed two more people who’d had ear-pointing: Jordan H., who explains that she contemplated the surgery for eighteen months before having it done, and an unnamed woman with a Mohawk. Both of them had their ears done not by Foxx, but by another body modification artist, Steve H. of Phoenix, Arizona. (If the above video is no longer available, the Daily Mail wrote a summary of some of the key traits of the episode.)8

The commentary provided by ABC includes some exaggerations that could create confusion. They claim that ear-pointing is a craze sweeping the nation, the latest fad popular among the kids.

However, as far as I can see, five adults constitute neither a craze, nor kids. The two ear-pointed people who have publicly talked about their ear-pointing have said that they thought about their decision for over a year before they did it, and that they were well aware of the risks involved. All five of them had their ear-pointing performed by expert body modification artists. The five ear-pointings happened over several years. So long as ear-pointing is not an impulsive choice performed on minors by unskilled people—as ABC was trying to suggest—then I don’t see anything to worry about.

I have not seen any articles where these ear-pointed people openly say that they are otherkin. Surprisingly, despite our unusual self-identifications, extreme body modification seems very rare in our community. Over the years, I’ve seen the topic come up for discussion many times, and I’ve often heard otherkin musing about or making plans for such things, but I’m not aware of a single otherkin who has written publicly about any extreme body modifications they’ve had, including ear-pointing. (That is, not counting tattoos or piercings. Those aren’t rare among otherkin.) I’d like to be proven wrong about this, but I’m also not interested in outing anybody’s private life.

- O. Scribner, 2011-04-08

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: possible scam and/or undesirable publicity. Work-safe.

Once again, it seems that somebody is trying to scam the otherkin and therian communities. The scam artists probably figure that people who believe unusual things must be gullible by nature.

This time, a scam artist is claiming to be a casting department searching for otherkin to interview for a documentary on otherkin that would air on Animal Planet. Jarandhel Dreamsinger has the details, and points out a few clues that this is a scam: use of a temporary e-mail address, lack of identifying information, and the IP address comes from the wrong place.

Don’t respond to this supposed “Casting Department” for a TV show. They’re fishing for personal information.

[Edit 2011-01-11] At this point, there's evidence that could be interpreted to mean that the casting call could be a scam or it could be authentic. If the casting call is authentic, it's still likely to be a very bad thing. See the [livejournal.com profile] otherkin blog for details and other new information.

- O. Scribner

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