Naia Okamioriginally from Seattle in the United States, defines herself as a therianei.e. a person who identifies with an animal not human living or extinct, and believes she is “spiritually and psychologically” a wolf of British Columbia.
Speaking on the podcast I’ve Got News For Youthe 28-year-old – who calls herself NaiaGoesAwoo online – said identifying with a wolf does not affect her daily life, relationships or work and that she “doesn’t really care” about the nasty things people say about her social networks.
Naiawho is also transgender, said she was just 10 years old when she started telling people she had a “wolf spirit” and spent years researching her identity before find the term therian.
She says she’s a wolf”at all levels, except the physical level“, that she often howls, sometimes wears a tail and ears when dressing up, and spends time volunteering at wolf reserves to bond with the animals.
“So spiritually and psychologically I identify as a wolf, but I know I’m human. I walk on two legs, I have a job, I have a career. My partner is human“, she clarified.
Naia has spoken openly about her identity, which has earned her cruel criticism and trolls, but she isn’t let down.
“If you hate me because I’m outspoken and said something that offended you or did something wrong, that’s a valid reason to dislike me“, she said.
“But if you hate me because of some identity or character trait that doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, I don’t really need you in my life. anyway.“
Naia says people often mistakenly think she must have mental health issues, but she assures listeners that is not the case.
“Mental health issues are judged on how they affect your performance in society. Do they affect your ability to live day to day? Do they affect your ability to pursue a career? Do they affect interpersonal relationships? The fact of being therian does none of that“, she said.
“There are people who have gone too far, to the point that if you go to work and bark on your colleagues, this is clearly a problem, but most therians don’t.“
The 28 year old woman volunteers at wolf sanctuaries to be closer to his canine counterparts and says his connection to the animals isn’t ‘supernatural’ or ‘magical’ but more like that of a wildlife professional caring for them and study them.
She often wears wolf-themed clothing and accessories, and says she sometimes dresses up in tails and ears when attending special events like Comic Con.
The American claims that her unique identity “doesn’t make a difference” in her friendships and relationships and that she only has a few Therian friends.
She claims that being a wolf therian actually helps her in her work as an investigator where she tracks down people who harm animals and children.
“When I chase predators… Ifeel like a wolf hunting its prey, and my prey happens to be a human who does bad things“, she says.