Lately, there has been a lot going on with therians being involved in the media, and there have been two major stances on whether or not this should be taking place. Here are the two major views and my take on the whole thing.
One view is that we need to make ourselves known to non-therians, so that we are more accepted and can be freer to be ourselves in public. Some people see this is a raising awareness sort of thing, and want to ultimately make the public more aware and therians more accepted.
The opposite view is that therians being in view of the public eye is harmful, because we are being presented the wrong way to the wrong people, and it’s doing a lot of harm in the way we are seen by the public when we are introduced to them.
I can see both sides, but I do believe that currently, things are being approached in the wrong way. Raising awareness is a great idea, but for one thing – I don’t feel that the general public is ready for us yet. There are a lot of things being brought to light in the public right now. I think that if we want to be heard and if we want to be taken seriously, then we need to be very careful in how we do it.
The big thing, though, is how we are being presented. Right now, it’s outside production companies that are seeking therians and otherkin out, hoping that they can find a handful that will be willing to talk to them on their TV shows and documentaries. The issue is that these people have one thing on their minds, and that is profit. As nicely as they present themselves and as considerate as they seem, most of them really don’t give much consideration to how we feel about things, or about how we are presented. Many of them want to make “shockumentaries” about us, and present us in such a way that we appear to be really strange and “out there” to the general public.
I feel that if therians were to get together and produce a documentary that this could prove beneficial. If such a show were produced by therians, then consideration would go into how we are presented. Therefore, we wouldn’t end up looking bad because the producers didn’t have the intent of making the show as shocking as possible to freak people out and up ratings. If people are going to know about us, they need to know the truth about us and who we are, and not just know the things we are stereotyped as being.
I personally would never trust a random production group that came to a therian website seeking out therians for documentaries or research. However, I am more than happy to discuss my therianthropy if other therians whom I trust are doing the interviewing. In fact, if this is the case, I wouldn’t mind an interview or two, simply because I feel that some theriotypes are very under-represented, including my own.
While I am not at all disregarding teens, I’d love to see more information from older therians, those who have known about themselves for a while, and those who are adults and who have their own jobs and lives. I think that a lot of people see that we’re being mostly represented by older teens, and think of it as some sort of teen fad. If mature adults were brought into the picture more, then we’d end up looking less like a fad and more like people with a viewpoint that just happens to be a little different from most. I’d love to see something about an older therian who holds down a job, pays their rent, and supports themselves, and what their lives are like. I want to see therians views on what it’s like to be in the workplace, on what it’s like to be in a committed relationship, or to have a kid and be therian, or how they regard society’s expectations of them. I want to see more on how adult therians deal with life in general.
And of course, teen views are valid, too – but I think there needs to be more variation in the age groups of therians that are being presented. And as I said before, that we need to be presented by other therians.
So all in all, it could be a good idea if it were done in the right way but as of now, it really isn’t. The shows confuse us with furs (which aren’t bad, but aren’t at all the same thing), make us out to look strange and seem to enjoy pointing us out to say “Look! Look how weird these people are!” This is not what needs to occur.