Groups of TikTokers calling themselves ‘therians’ are organizing meetups across the UK for those who identify as animals.
The term therian refers to people who identify as non-human animals on a deep level and adopt behaviors associated with their animal identity.
They differ from furries, who see their animal personality as a character, while therians innately feel animal characteristics.
Teenagers have been filming themselves coming home from school and finding relief in being able to express their “real” animal selves again, while others have posted guides to “coming out” to parents.
Some therians even claim to experience “shift” urges to behave like their animal selves, where they temporarily go with their instincts and post videos of themselves on all fours or connecting with nature.
A therian on TikTok posted a video of themselves “changing” while claiming to behave like their “animal self.”
One TikTok account, called @.fern_.the.therian, shows a group of therians running through grassy fields and throwing their masks and tails into the air.
Another, based in Reading, UK, published a video of themselves jumping on a chair, while wearing a fluffy tail and an animal mask.
They said, ‘I took a turn! It’s my first time since my therian woke up two or three years ago, and even this one was small!
‘These were the animal behaviors I was experiencing, I knew where I was and what I was filming, but I couldn’t control it much. Change incoming!’
The Therians have been hosting meetups across the UK, where they can meet like-minded souls, announcing where they live on TikTok.
Groups have even put their own spin on “day in the life” videos, showing them collecting rainwater at night, reading nature books and watering plants, all while wearing an animal mask.
Some TikTok users express their identities by adopting a cat or wolf mask, depending on the animal with which they feel an affinity.
But there are also ‘polytherians’ that are identified as multiple species, while ‘paleotherians’ are even identified as extinct animals.
Therians often wear a mask of the animal they identify with and a tail, and feel that they are especially in tune with nature.
They adopt animal-like movements, including jumping through the air and displaying their walk, trot and gallop.
The Therians have organized meet-ups across the UK after meeting each other and posting adverts on TikTok.
Schools have seen an increase in the number of children identifying as ‘therians’, as they identify as animals among their classmates.
The therian community insists that they are different from furries, as they identify as the animal, rather than seeing it as a character.
TikTok commenters seemed torn between identifying with therians and finding the concept strange.
Therians are a subculture of Otherkin, who identify as partially or fully human.
They say they feel especially in tune with nature, while others identify themselves using the term “transspecies.”
Commenting on a video of a Therian meeting, one social media user couldn’t help but exclaim, ‘I LOVE THERIAN FRIENDS SO MUCH!’ while another admitted: “That’s how I feel, I just don’t know how to tell anyone.”
But others said they needed “therapy” and noted that “this is not normal.”
One commented: “Maybe in another universe humans wouldn’t think they’re animals,” while another said: “Where has our generation come to, oh my God?”
In June last year, Britain’s toughest headteacher, Katharaine Birbalsingh, warned that children who identified as cats were wearing “tails and ears” in class.
He warned that adult authority over pupils had “long gone” as more and more children were allowed to identify as animals at school.
She said, ‘You know how some kids identify as ‘furries’?
Therians on TikTok have revealed their parents’ reactions when they told them their true identity.
One therian was even surprised to find animal masks in Poundland, to help adopt the animal identity.
Britain’s toughest headteacher, Katharine Birbalsingh, claimed in June that there were more cases of children being identified as animals in schools.
‘Elon Musk is right: you all have no idea how bad things are in schools and ignore the vital and crucial role schools play in shaping the culture of our society.
‘Right now, in some schools, there are children with tails and ears attached to their heads and butts.
‘This isn’t a costume, they identify as cats, you know? Boys are not allowed to wear sneakers to school, but they are allowed to wear ears and tails because that is their chosen identity.
‘That’s how they feel like they belong. Adult authority no longer exists.
Meanwhile, others have been allowed to identify themselves as cats, horses and dinosaurs, and have been “not questioned” by teachers.
That month, a 13-year-old girl was also called “despicable” by her teacher for rejecting her classmate’s claim that she identified as a cat.
At a state secondary school in Wales, a student was said to “meow” when a teacher asked him questions, instead of answering in English, Telegraph reported.
At other schools, one apparently insisted on being called a dinosaur, another claimed to identify as a horse, while another said he wore a cape and demanded to be recognized as a moon.