I identify as a monster and/or dragon, not as a human. 

It’s often unclear if this means I wish I was, or I believe I actually am or I hope one day I could be or maybe I was in a past life or even perhaps I am in another reality. Basically, I have a pervasive, persistent disconnect between my physical body and my internal self-image. I see myself as, and wish I could become, a non-human creature. The exact form of this creature fluctuates a bit, but generally resembles a stocky four-legged and winged dragon.

Arkus is the character I created to represent my most typical mental image of myself.

I I experience the imagined perception of a tail, horns, wings, feathers atop my head, digitigrade legs, clawed paw-hands, and other nonhuman traits. I do not deliberately concentrate on these sensations and I know they are not objectively real. Sometimes I only experience one of these, or all of them. Sometimes the “mapping” of them is effective at overlapping with my human body, resulting in a sensation that I am an anthro or “furry” dragon. Sometimes I have the unconscious desire to run on all fours, leap into the air and fly, swim like a crocodile, and more. Sometimes I duck my head extra-low under things because I have unconsciously become convinced I have horns atop my head and that they will become snagged. Sometimes my not-real wings will feel as if they are on my back, and sometimes they will “replace” my arms. These sensations happen without my conscious input whether I like it or not, but I can also consciously summon them up. At any given moment, I am usually experiencing at least one “phantom” trait. 

I consider all of this to be simultaneously spiritual, psychological, neurological, and simply chosen identity. I suspect I was probably born this way, and also my life experiences have likely contributed. Am I a dragon soul born into a human body? Do I just play pretend in my own head as an escapism response to life experiences? Is my brain just weird? Probably some complex combination of all that and more!

All of this is perfectly manageable and does not affect my daily life or interactions with other people, though sometimes it results in me doing silly or slightly weird things. I am always aware that I am physically human in objective reality. I’m pretty good at acting casual about it and don’t ever expect anyone else to perceive or participate in or experience any of it. However, it is very nice to be able to express these experiences to trusted, consenting friends.

I experience physical dysphoria, or persistent confusion/discomfort, that my physical body is human, and not that of a dragon/monster. I am also a transgender person with well-managed and treated gender dysphoria, and this nonhuman experience is similar but distinct from that. I have undergone chest reconstructive surgery – and my flat chest now both affirms my masculinity, AND feels more appropriate to my dragon/monster identity.  If there was a surgery or other process that could effectively and totally transform me into my self-image form, I would pursue it.

Inspirations/Connections

Things that “feel right” to me in terms of my nonhuman identity.

Mythological Creatures

  • Monster (as a general concept)
  •  Dragon
    • Heraldic European Dragon
    • Wyvern
    • Winged Eastern Dragon – Chinese feilong
  • Gargoyle
  • Winged and/or horned serpents
  • Demon/fallen angel
  • Reaper/shinigami
  • Undead/zombie
  • Ghost/specter
  • Werewolf and other were-creatures

Real Earth Animals

  • Corvid birds – crow, raven, magpie, blue jay
  • Snake – king snakes, bush vipers
  • Goats – Jacob sheep, alpine ibex
  • Tiger
  • Thresher shark
  • Theropod dinosaurs – utahraptor
  • Crocodilians – saltwater crocodile, kaprosuchus
  • Cephalopods – octopus, squid
  • Spinosaurus aegypticus
  • Glaucus atlanticus

Specific Mythological Figures

  • Satan
  • Lucifer
  • The Serpent of Eden
  • Hades
  • Anubis
  • Set
  • Caelus/Uranus
  • Typhon
  • Azure Dragon/Qinglong/Seiryu