- By: Elinox
- Written: December 2009
First off class, welcome to Therianthropy 101. Before we get started with the really tough questions, I wanted to give you a bit of an introduction on what to expect from the community since you’re all new to this.
I’m going to assume that you’ve already read over the course syllabus including terms and common definitions. However, if you overslept and missed that part, I’d like to refer you to several online resources that might help clear your head: Project Shift and the Werelist are good places to get started.
This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of what to expect from the online therian community. So pay attention and no falling asleep! And welcome to Therianthropy 101.
If you’re interested in joining an online community, that’s good and it can be very beneficial, not only for establishing a bond with like-minded individuals, but also as a means to exploring and learning more about yourself too. However, there is etiquette and certain protocols that are followed that you should be aware of.
Once you have decided to join an online community, it is always important to read and understand any forum’s rules before joining in the topics. For example, most forums have rules that require you to post an introduction.
Posting an introduction is helpful not only to get your own feet wet in a new environment, but it also allows the other members to meet you in a comfortable setting. When writing your introduction it’s important to remember to be honest and to keep in mind that not everyone is going to agree with your views. Some members like to question new members, however keep in mind that their asking questions is not meant as a personal attack on you, but rather is simply them trying to understand your perspective better.
When posting an introduction, keep in mind that the other members have never met you and therefore know nothing about you. It is recommended that you include a name/nickname which you would like to be known as online in the community, some of your likes and interests, including your age range and a general location are also acceptable. Please remember that this is the internet so sharing any private information like your home address is not wise.
Another key fact that you should include in your introduction is what type of animal(s) you identify with, how you came to that conclusion and how it affects you. Including any research you may have done, how you found the term “therianthropy”, why you believe it applies to you and if you experience any type of shifting is also beneficial information. Sharing this type of information will give the other members a better understanding of you and what you believe.
If you do not know your theriotype do not worry. It can take months, even years, to discover what animal or animals you most identify with. And if you learn that you are not a therian, that’s alright too as the online community can be useful and fun to everyone; therian or not.
Keep in mind that members are going to question you if you have an uncommon belief. Do not take it as a personal attack but rather try explaining why you believe and feel the way you do. Also remember that no everyone is going to agree with you.
Once you’ve posted an introduction, peruse the forum. Get comfortable navigating the controls and reading the various topics. If you have questions, about anything at all, email or send a private message to a staff person. The staff is there to guide you and to help you with any problems you might encounter. Never be afraid to ask a question, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.
Most forums also have articles or essays written by experienced members that may prove useful to you. Read up on the common terms that are used within the community.
There are few topics within the therian community that can get touchy. One of the more sensitive subjects is that of physical shifting. Many members believe that physically transforming into your theriotype is impossible. However, there are those whole do believe it’s possible if as yet unproven. Because it is such a controversial subject, many forums warn against such discussion accept in certain circumstances or in certain threads. Please be aware that this particular topic, along with a few others, has often been regarded as taboo so tread carefully when discussing them.
It is always important to conduct yourself in a mature and intelligent fashion. There are going to be topics which can become heated and might upset you; however it’s important to stay calm and work through issues you might have with the topic itself as well as members whose opinions you do not agree with.
At the end of the day, keeping a clear and level head as well as an open mind will benefit all members in an online community. Remember to treat others as you would have them treat you and try your best to be understanding of others beliefs. Also keep in mind that no one can tell you what to believe and no one can tell you what you are; only you can answer those questions with time, searching and patience.
If there are no further questions, I’ll see you all back here again tomorrow. Class dismissed.