You have the right to identify as anything you happen to identify as, you have the right to be respected for who you are, you have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give them, you have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims, you have the right to ask questions, you have the right to say no to somebody trying to exert power over you, and you have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do.
You have the right to be who you really are inside, whether that is a wolf, a bear, a big cat, a horse, a dog, or even a fish. It is no one else’s business to say or to judge. Sometimes you really do have to look and act like a respectable adult human in order to be successful in real life. But you don’t have to compromise on who you are inside even if you have to control how you look and act on the outside.
You have the right to be respected for who you are. No one else should be telling you what kind of animal you really are if that does not feel right to you, or what your aura really looks like, or what religion you should believe if you don’t want to. If someone tries to take power over you by telling you that they know more than you about who you are or what to believe, you can tell them no if you don’t agree. It can feel good to have other people tell you things about your identity that you want to hear, but be aware that you don’t have to agree with everything they say if it does not feel right to you. You are the sole owner of the real estate inside your own head.
You have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give to them. If you try to join a group that is disrespectful of you, or that wants you to bow and worship their authority, or that harasses and hazes newcomers, you can tell them no. You can find a community that is respectful to you and treats you the same as everyone else. No one else has the right to treat you like you are worth less than them, not even if they are bigger and older and more experienced than you.
You have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims. If someone says they can physically change into a wolf, or that green monkeys fly out of their butt, it is normal and reasonable to ask them to prove it. If they offer lots of excuses why they can not show you proof, you have the right to say you do not believe them and go find people to be with who do not feel the need to make up stories about how powerful and special they are. You may really want to believe that people can physically shift, but you need to think hard about whether you would believe a similarly extraordinary claim about something you aren’t so emotionally invested in (like, “I own an elephant that can fly”), and what standards of proof would be reasonable to expect under those circumstances. Then apply those standards. Keeping an open mind is good, getting fooled by people who can’t back up their grandiose claims is bad.
You have the right to ask questions. If someone gets mad because you questioned something they said, even in a polite way, or asked for proof of an extraordinary claim, you should consider whether they are being reasonable or mature. Being a therian does not make you so special that you get a free pass to be a jerk to other people, nor does it mean you have to put up with other people being a jerk to you. The therian community is actually a pretty big place, so if you find yourself in a section of it where people are being jerks, you can look for other therians to hang out with who aren’t jerks. You don’t have to stay in a bad friendship, even if you have an important thing in common with them.
You have the right to say no if someone tries to exert power over you without your permission. No one is your “alpha” unless you want them to be, and you should think very carefully about the maturity level of people who want power over others, especially if they try to demand it or take advantage of it in creepy ways. You especially have the right to say no if someone tries to touch you when you don’t want them to, or demands sex when you are not comfortable with that. Be very wary of any group or “pack” that uses power over people in an inappropriate way. You have the right to be respected, and you do NOT have to agree to be submissive to an “alpha” in order to have a close knit group of therian friends – a “pack” if you want to call it that – or a therian support community. Real wolves don’t actually behave that way in the wild. Authority based packs are a very human thing, and not always a healthy thing.
You have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do, especially if they are dangerous, harmful or illegal. Or even if they just make you feel uncomfortable. Real friends will not pressure you or force you if you say no, you don’t feel okay doing something.
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This paticular version taken from: http://archive.is/X9kys#selection-1337.0-1385.147
**Edit of this specific document by Amelia Nightside
Readers of this piece may also be interested in:
Questioning in The Otherkin Community, by Seraphyna