Birds Of A Feather

By and for Bird-People

About Akhila

| 4 Comments

Hello! I’m the admin here and one of several editors and contributors. You may have seen me elsewhere before, possibly on Thébaïde or in the fringes of the therian & otherkin communities for over a decade. I’ve only been really active on public sites in the early/mid 2000’s – especially on the Werelist when I used to be a helpstaff – and more of a lurker after that; I tend to prefer quieter circles and I shy away from the power struggles and drama found around forums.

For a conventional introduction sort-of-thing, I already have an About page on my personal website. Right now, I’d like to write about why I’ve wanted something like Birds of a Feather to exist.

I am both common raven and clouded leopard; corvid and feline. It has always been harder to write about the avian aspect of me, and it took me a long time to realize it had nothing to do with the nature of this identity and everything to do with the lack of language and references or models as a bird-person. Cats are still not very far from the human experience, as mammals, but birds are… different, at least in part. I have never been encouraged to write about raven, nor did I find the words to express my feelings in the subject.

I am interested in social justice, though I rarely call myself an activist even when I do engage in forms of activism (mostly in the lqbtqi community in France). I am more of a loner, and most of my writings stem from a selfish need to “get it out of my chest” and archive my experiences to look back later on in life. I do appreciate when people find them useful, yes. However, to be honest, my attempts at sharing and networking are more driven by an urge to “make things right” or “make use of my personal experience” rather than “bringing happiness around me”. I’m neither Good nor Bad, I just feel practical and marginal in regards to other people and most communities – and I am happy that way.

The way it translates into concrete actions is, I don’t like wasting my energy debating with outsiders about whether or not my identity is valid. I’ve done enough of that as a trans person and I still “educate” people in my daily life on gender issues, I won’t do this in every area of my life. If I can somewhat help with my stories and making it easier for others to find each others or dig deeper into their own identities, though, I will do that.

It was easy for me to find other cat-people, their writings, experiences to relate to and discuss among ourselves; and I enjoyed that quite much. I’ve never found much in regards to avian identities though, and had to do without. Meirya has been the only steady bird presence for me, and it took me to meet Tsu on Dreamwidth many years later to add a third dimension to all of this. Then I felt it was time, and the three of us found the motivation to create this place together.

I don’t feel Birds of a Feather should be the ultimate place for all things avian. I don’t believe it can ever be exhaustive and “finished” as a resource. I do hope, though, that everything the willing avians are going to share here can fill the little bird-shaped hole in our hearts a bit – like in my case the absence of corvid words and experiences I dealt with as I was soul-searching and discussing with other animal-folks. I would have been happy to find something like Birds of a Feather twelve years ago. “Be the change you want to see in the world” says Gandhi.

I love bouncing ideas back and forth in my head, and it works only to a limited extent when you stay on your own. We all need other points of reference and stories and myths to reflect upon our owns. I know that reading other people’s experiences motivates me to write more about my own, and I would be thrilled if finding this place encourages other bird-people to write too – and it also means more material to chew on for me. That sort of project suits me well because I am not forced to interact much with other people, yet we can still exchange a lot and even get in touch if needed.

This is my happy medium between being reclusive and being social, and a good way to channel my urge of building useful things (why yes I’m a raven and INTJ).

4 Comments

  1. “I do hope, though, that everything the willing avians are going to share here can fill the little bird-shaped hole in our hearts a bit”.

    Mm. Yes. I like this, a lot. Just, knowing that there is a place like this and being able to come here and read things by other birds… it does help. It’s not a flock, but it’s something like that.

    • Maybe some sort of roost/roosting site, as in “a place of temporary rest” where people come and go. It’s a bit like a retreat from the “outside world” to find peers and chill out or reflect together.

  2. Hi, err, sorry for me being a bit shy, but I thought you could maby help me on the topic of therianthropy? if you could help me find my therio-type, or provide any tips that may help? thanks alot

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