It’s more than 1am and I just ended a therian-related conversation on AIM. I take a shower, sneak into the kitchen as I feel hungry, come back to my room with a piece of bread and a bottle of strawberry-flavoured water. It’s summer, dry and hot here in South of France, so I’m only wearing a pair of shorts to sleep. I look at my topless profile in my wardrobe’s wide mirror as I drink from the bottle, and during one second my arm is hidding my breasts. During this moment I suddendly look right. Less female. I am surprised as I don’t recognize my usual self in the mirror, yet it feels accurate. I should look male. I enjoy my pretty, short and thin body, I like breasts in a general manner, and there are many traits I admire in women. However, I should be a man. I don’t identify with most of women, I don’t really act like one, my way of being isn’t very feminine, and despite traits I may share with women, it seems I often have more in common with men. It’s not a matter of not being happy with oneself, one’s gender, and then jump to conclusions about transgenderism. I feel and know I am more masculine than feminine, so I find that people don’t treat me as they “should” and that my body doesn’t fit my mind. Boobs seem pretty but unnecessary, while the feeling I lack a more “male” genitalia is quite strong. Maybe I shouldn’t be that short, maybe I should look more like other young men. As therianthropy, the feeling of not being in the right body can cause frustration. However I do not comprehend and deal with it in the same way, and I’m going to tell you why to me being transpecies and trangendered is not so similar.
I think it primarily differs in social interactions. I don’t expect people to treat me as an animal, because being treated as an animal means being treated as a “lesser being” by most of folks. People don’t have to change their way of treating me due to my therianthropy, they could only aknowledge the fact I’m animal inside, and that I can act animalish – in other word, they could stop thinking of me as a freak. My “species role” among human society is non-existant, and the animal doesn’t care. I don’t know how wolves and other more social beasties experience it, personally I know the animal aspect of me is just… out of the whole big-crowd-interaction thing, and if it was a disctinct part of me, on its own, I’m not sure it would think of itself as a being in a social group, with social rules and such. After all, socializing would just be about mating and territory affairs. All this human hot air about socializing is overrated. *Flicking tail.* This is where being mentally another species is different from being another gender inside, to me, because while the animal doesn’t care about people, and the people doesn’t care about the animal, gender roles are something very important in social interactions. My biological body is mostly female, therefore I’ve been given a woman social role which I’m expected to fulfill. The animal doesn’t care about roles, and the animal doesn’t have a gender on its own because it is me, in this human body. When I am happy the animal is happy, when I am angry the animal is angry. Same goes for social role, the animal inside has none, but I have one as a human – supposedly being a woman, finding a male companion, having kids, being a mother . If being an animal person may give me the feeling my body does not fit, like my biological gender, no comparison can be drawn concerning social roles. As you understood it’s not just a matter of physical body, but how people treat you, how they interact with you.
Another time, another day. The air is hot and wet in this yellow-grey atmosphere. I walked out on the terrace, barefoot among pale, lemon coloured bloom’s petals. I smell the air around me; the clouds seem heavy. I can hear the birds in the neighbour’s aviary. My cat, my small-panther comes to me. “Let’s play, Akhi. A storm is coming” and she sprawls on her side and looks at me in bliss. I feel inspired. It started raining now, and I’m enjoying the smell of wet dust. If there wasn’t someone at home, I would probably be walking topless in the rain. But I am not alone, and my assigned gender has forced me to never be topless outside again since I’ve grown out of childhood. Not when there is random people around at least. What can I say more on the subject? Being androgyne is neither being male or female. It’s being none and both at the same time, and much like therianthropy, I doubt that those who don’t experience it can get a real idea of what it’s like. I stand outside in the raindrops, still, knowing people can’t see that young man in the garden, his feline ears and his long tail, and the dark blotched golden fur and black feathers puffing in the rain.