*needs some modifications
What’s the difference?
Furry – Member of a fandom. These are individuals who CHOOSE a fursona (a character) and either roleplay and/or indulge in artwork and other depictions. Some of subsets of the fandom do include anthropomorphic sexual fetishism.
I believe the sexual fetishism depictions (art and otherwise) are called “Yiff”.
– more or less it’s a fandom expressed through glorified cosplay and roleplay with an appreciation for all other art form medias in relation to anthropomorphic creatures (but not all furries dress up and cos/roleplay).
↑↑ My own words.
Links/Quotes below for comparison and clarification:
The term “Furry” is used to describe the Furry Fandom or an individual “Furry” fan, also referred to as “Furries”.
The Furry Fandom grew out of the science fiction and fantasy communities as a unique group focused on anthropomorphic animals and creatures. Anthropomorphic animals are animals with human characteristics such as the familiar cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse or popular mascots like the Philadelphia Eagle or San Diego Chicken.
The Furry Fandom is a broad community of people that come from all ranges of socioeconomic and political backgrounds. Different people count themselves as “Furries” for equally broad reasons. Some are fans or artists of visual, written or theatrical arts such as animated cartoons and fantasy stories. Some are mascot and character fans or performers such as professional theme park and corporate mascots or volunteer character performers. Some are Therians or people with strong personal or spiritual connections to animals similar to some Native American cultures.
Because the Furry Fandom encompasses such a wide range of people and interests, to term someone as a “Furry” is similar to calling someone a “Sports Fan”. The term “Sports Fan” itself does not identify the sport in which a person is interested, at what level or even which teams or regions in which they take an interest. Similarly a Furry could be a costumed performer with no interest in cartoons or an artist or animator with no interest in or familiarity with costuming.
You are encouraged not to judge this very broad group of proud and individually unique people, but rather to learn what is important to each. Although some can be shy, and many will not speak while in costume, most Furries are generally very friendly and willing to share their individual interest in the community with those who show genuine curiosity.
The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at furry conventions.
Otherkin – a physically human individual who identifies on an integral and personal level as non-human. This identity can manifest/originate spiritually and/or psychologically. Otherkin encompasses ALL non-human identities from mythological creatures (Dragons, Fae, Demons, Angels, etc.), Modern mythological creatures (“fictionkin” including characters and/or species from fictional and entertainment medias – books, t.v. shows, etc.), plants, extraterrestrials, machines, inanimate objects and earthly animals.
Otherkin is a collective noun for an assortment of people who have come to the somewhat unorthodox, and possibly quite bizarre, conclusion that they identify themselves as being something other than human.
The best definition, because it is relatively general, is that Otherkin are people who identify in some internal way as non-human.
Therian – any physically human individual who identifies on an integral and personal level as a non-human [Earthly] animal, extinct or extant. Basically a sub category of Otherkin. Therianthropy is NOT Shamanism or Totemism as such are spiritual paths, like religion and are a choice while Therianthropy is not. Some Therians indeed choose to include/involve their Identity with practices such as Shamanism and Totemism but the three are not at all the same (though some argue that they are similar)..
A Therianthrope is someone who truly believes he is earthen animal (which is not to be confused with otherkin which is a person who believes he is perhaps a dragon or what not; still the same subject though).
Therians are people who believe that they are, in whole or in part, a non-human animal. That is to say that part of their core being is a non-human animal, be it spiritually, mentally, et cetera. Unlike furry lifestylers, therians do not necessarily try to outwardly project their animalistic nature, nor do they choose their animal side. They consider themselves to be an animal within.
Therians are people who identify, in some intrinsic way, as an animal that exists or has existed on earth
The primary difference is that, even if they feel deeply connected to their character, being a Furry is a choice. While being Otherkin/Therian is an identity; You identify as the creature (your Theriotype/Kintype) rather than simply with, having some affinity for, or “connection” with the creature.
As a side note, Walk-ins and possession often come up with this subject. I’d like to clarify that unless the new soul, somehow forms, melds and becomes one, evicts or destroys the original or host soul, it is not you/the individiual, and therefore does not qualify as a Kin or Theriotype. However, there is a term (or terms) for multiple souls, personalities and/or individuals inhabiting one body. This is known as Multiplicity or Plurality. The collective whole being called a Multiple System (there are others but this is the one I’m most familiar with). The most well-heard of version of Multiplicity is Disassociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, however not all Multiples/Multiple systems are disordered.
A few links regarding Multiplicity and Walk-Ins:
There are MANY MANY MANY more links and resources available, some may be referenced in the links I’ve provided. I hope this clears a few things up for all of you. If anyone has further questions, by all means, I’m open.
[originally written as a response-comment in a forum, pardon any confusion of wording]