I honestly find it a bit of a red herring to search for childhood memories to corroborate your current identity. Most kids played dog when they were young, most kids have found themselves fascinated by a certain animal, most kids have preferred one animal over another, etcetera, etcetera.

All those experiences can have affected or informed the person you are today, and they can be an important part of a full narrative, but they are not what make you a therian today. What makes you a therian is not something that happened years or decades ago. What makes your identity a solid part of you is what you experience right now.

All too often on therian forums I’ve seen introduction posts that go over past experiences which are largely irrelevant to your current questioning process. Your theriotype is what you are right now. The validity of your identity should not be judged based on the number of times you pretended to be it in kindergarten. Your theriotype should be determined based on your current experiences.

Looking back on your childhood and trying to piece together how your identity formed should always be secondary to what you are going through right now. It pains me how many forums will treat childhood memories as ‘evidence’ that an identity is valid, or how they will even treat newcomers as downright suspicious or ‘fake’ if their identity is based solely on current feelings.

It’s also all too easy to draw lines between current identity and childhood experiences, and to craft a subjective narrative that objectively isn’t really there. Like, I could very easily create connection between obsessively watching the animated Robin Hood movie → Pretending to be a carnivore → Looking up furry art as a preteen → Stumbling onto anthro hyenas → Subconsciously tying anthro hyenas to my identity. But creating these narratives feels so artificial and doesn’t actually do anything to describe my current identity.

Feeling pressured into validating your identity with childhood memories is a red herring, distracting you from the current experiences that your identity is actually based on.

Last updated: December 2021

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