This Is My First Story.
Therians (Therianthropy), besides its original use as a term to describe situations and creatures that occur in mythology and folklore, is also used for therians. Therians believe that they have an intrinsic, personal, and integral connection to an animal (or animals). Most believe that mental and emotional shifts can occur as a result; a controversial minority extend this to the physical world.
Therianthropy is sometimes viewed as a spiritual counterpart to furry fandom, which is concerned more with imagination than belief. Some furries view therianthropy as "taking it too far," while some therians view furries as frivolous and ignorant of the "true nature" of animals. However, relations are usually friendly, and therians can often be found at furry conventions and other social events.
The "new-age" notion of "spiritual therianthropy" developed among the Usenet group alt.horror.werewolves (ca. 1992). Some Usenet users began publicly asserting that they were part animal. It turned out that some were only joking, but others were apparently serious about the assertions, which were subject to ongoing discussion. Such people initially called themselves "lycanthropes", but since the word more accurately describes wolf-people, the word "therianthropes" became more popular.
Beliefs and origins Therianthropy can trace its origins back as far as early mythology, but in the modern times, gained popularity in the Dark Ages with the legend of the werewolf (someone with a particularly active and powerful fylgja or Fetch). Originally, werewolves were highly respected members of the community and regarded by the Christian Church as "Dogs of God", before becoming popularized as the bloodthirsty monsters known today.
In recent times, a subculture has developed that has adopted the word therianthropy to describe a sense of intense spiritual or psychological identification with a non-human animal. Members of this subculture typically refer to themselves as therianthropes or therians. The word were was also common at one point, in reference to shapeshifting creatures of legend such as werewolves, weretigers and the like, but is less common these days. One reason for the waning use of the term "were" is its growing use in the furry community to mean a more "bestial" style furry. This can be the cause of quite a few more misunderstandings between the therian and furry communities.
The Usenet group alt.horror.werewolves was founded in 1992, and in its earliest days the members discussed fictional shapeshifters. Some posters began to publicly claim that they considered themselves to be partially non-human animal. A number of these people were only joking, but enough people were serious about it that it became a trend. Others who professed the same beliefs soon joined the group. The earliest therians called themselves lycanthropes, but as that word more accurately describes wolf-people, therianthropes was chosen