This project was more of an experiment than anything else. I wanted to know where people would draw the line when it comes to accepting various identities on the Internet. Online communities have formed around groups that are marginalized and couldn't find communities elsewhere. Furthermore, the Internet is a place of identity tourism and cross-gender, race, and even species identification. One of the most extreme things I could identify as, I figured, would be an aardvark (I considered a stapler but I thought that would alienate people too much). There are people sort of like this already. There are "otherkin," who believe they are fairies, elves, dragons, etc. There are therians, who believe they are shapeshifting part-animal part-humans. There are furries, who like to dress up as animals and go to conventions for various reasons. I identified myself as a number of these to see what the reactions would be (none of them explicitly included aardvarks). I created an OKCupid profile, a profile on various otherkin and therian communities, a Facebook page, and an identity on omegle to anonymously chat with people. Here is what happened and what I learned about identity in the many worlds of the Internet.
I claimed this was me at the left.
Click here for the tumblr.