i wrote a small post about why people in otherkin and therian circles don't talk about shifting any more. i'm sharing it here specifically because i'm aware that my perspective is limited to tumblr and adjacent communities and i want to hear people's thoughts on whether that holds true in other spaces and why not if not!
take a look? https://vagabondsun.dreamwidth.org/2061.html
@vagabondsun so I definitely think of myself as therian, and I've come to that relatively recently, just in the last few years.
I feel like I am really familiar with the kinds of behaviors you're thinking of, but I'd never heard to call them shifting. For me, making fox vocalizations, bouncing around the house, gnawing on a partner's hand, are all things I do on a continual basis. To me that doesn't represent a change in state, but an expression of something I always experience. The degree of connection and expression does fluctuate, and I do code-shift away from that when not around clueful people. But feeling myself as Fox is a part of my everyday life, and it never occurred to me to call it shifting. The same is true for most of the other kinfolk I know.
Respectability politics is super bullshit, and it is a thing I've definitely seen pieces of. But, speaking for me and my circles, not talking about things in terms of shifting absolutely doesn't mean dampening expressions of otherness.
@vagabondsun one of my partners has suggested that a few of us get together for an evening and just focus on doing what we can to make each other feel more animal and real, and that sounds like something that might have been described as shifting once? But that term wasn't used.
@vagabondsun I think part of it is that the people I knew who spent time in classic therian / kin spaces don't talk much about the terminology that was used then, so it's language I've been insufficiently exposed to.
I've personally never liked / used shifting terminology for myself, because I'm *always* a birdfolk and I feel like the implication of "shifting" is that I am changing into one or becoming more one? Sometimes I can be more *aware* of my birdiness but I'm not a were-creature and don't "shift" into or out of being this much a birdfolk
I wonder if some of the move from "shifting" language from people who did use it is because of the abusive cult-like p-shifting groups were what usually comes to mind when people first talk about shifting?
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