“Banshee Intro” by Emi; January 2019

I awakened to my animal nature some time in 2008 or 2009 where I started to realise my peers weren’t continuing to act like an animal as they always did when they were younger. I always thought being animal was natural, and I often wondered if I was not feeling human because I was a physical supernatural being (something that unfortunately led me to believe I was a physical shifter).

When I first came upon therianthropy, it was through suggestion. A friend of my brother told me he was a wolf on the inside, a concept that resonated with me (though not with the wolf). I started off thinking I was a wolf, but very, very quickly realised this was far from accurate. I then went to Siberian tiger due to not quite understanding my connection with them, and then went from bird to whale to dragon to dinosaur to all sorts. Sometime between 2015 and 2016 I started to realise my shifts and animal behaviour matched a species not from Terra, but from Pandora – a fictional world from the movie Avatar. The film, which I saw in 2009, certainly changed my life as ‘cringey’ as that sounds, but I never quite connected the dots when it came to the overwhelming sense of familiarity. I don’t put much thought into the how and why I am so similar to the banshee, since doing so is unneccesary in my opinion. I just exist as banshee and that’s that, I guess.

Being banshee, I experience life somewhat like a birdly dragon. Squawky and social, I enjoy the company of my pet bird more than people. I also tend to feel the deep need to glide or fly rather than walk, as I can sometimes feel nervous being so low to the ground. I also tend to expect certain body parts to move and function in the same way as my banshee body would. Flapping wings forward to slow running speed, attempting to blink a nictitating membrane, trying to open a second set of eyes, preening primary vanes with a beaklike dental plate, utilising cranial kinesis to scare off people who threaten me (there is unfortunately a tale of drunken me hissing at a housemate and it is now an inhouse joke), and raising my hands and lifting my chin upward to get attention and/or appear threatening. I experience frequent phantom limb sensations and frequent dysphoria, but I have learnt to live with both. I enjoy writing in length about my experiences so I may have to link to my writings here at some point.

I did go through a very long time (which sometimes does catch up with me) of doubt and confusion, mostly because of a previous bias against fictional animals. I thought the very idea was outlandish and silly, but I suppose that was just my way of avoiding the issue. I now don’t care too much. I did consider being a parrot for a long time, as well as a dolphin (both of which are quite similar behaviourally to the banshee) but certain things did not stand right. Respiratory functions are just wrong in all the creatures I could consider, since I felt gill like structures on my chest and below my ribcage that I feel the need to breathe using. Nostrils on the skull or a blowhole just sounded so wrong – even having nostrils as a human makes me feel frustrated. There is also the four eyes and dispensable jaw. Whilst parrots can have some cranial kinesis, they do not possess teeth which can jerk forward on the top and bottom jaw. Nor do they possess two sets of eyes. Dolphins don’t have these features, too. I was also recommended to look into pterosaurs, and whilst I did consider being a pterosaur at some point, their features were too alien for me. I simply have yet to find anything that resembles me as much as the mountain banshee.