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Exploring "Woke" Topics with ChatGPT

Today's society is struggling with complex issues of identity and inclusivity. What are the new norms of language and behavior around these areas? Let's see what ChatGPT has to say and how it handles these nuanced topics.

33 min read
Exploring "Woke" Topics with ChatGPT

Table of Contents

There's been a lot of heated debate on these topics in our society lately.

People often speak on these subjects with emotion, passion, and/or frustration that can, at times, cloud reason.

I was curious how ChatGPT, as an artificial intelligence model devoid of "feelings," would handle topics in this area, so I decided to put the bot to some tests.

I learned a few things in the process.

Is ChatGPT "Woke"?

Layng: What does it mean to be "woke" and is ChatGPT "woke"?

ChatGPT 4: The term "woke" originally comes from African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and initially meant being awake to social injustices, especially those related to racism and inequality. Over time, its use expanded to encompass awareness and activism on a broader range of social issues, including gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental concerns. Being "woke" involves not only awareness of these issues but also a commitment to action and advocacy for change.

However, the term has also become contentious and politicized. In some contexts, it's used pejoratively to criticize individuals or institutions that are perceived as overly politically correct or as prioritizing social justice issues to a fault. This dual use reflects broader societal debates about social justice, identity politics, and the ways in which societies should address historical and ongoing inequalities.

Regarding ChatGPT, as an AI developed by OpenAI, I don't possess personal beliefs, feelings, or consciousness, so I don't have the capacity to be "woke" or align with any political or social ideology. My responses are generated based on a wide range of sources and are designed to be informative, respectful, and neutral. The aim is to provide balanced and thoughtful answers that consider a spectrum of perspectives, within the guidelines of promoting understanding and respect for all individuals.

When answering questions related to social issues, my responses are crafted to reflect current understandings and respect for diversity, striving for accuracy and inclusivity. However, these responses are based on the information available up to my last training cut-off in April 2023 and do not reflect real-time developments or changes in societal conversations.

The "Master" Bedroom

Layng: Tell me about why it is no longer correct to refer to the main bedroom of a house as a "master" bedroom.

ChatGPT 4: The term "master bedroom" has been evolving due to its connotations and the push for more inclusive language in real estate and interior design. Here are the primary reasons why the industry is moving away from this term:

  1. Historical Connotations: The term "master" has historical connotations of slavery and colonialism in the United States and other parts of the world. It suggests a hierarchy where the "master" bedroom is superior to others, which can be seen as problematic given the historical context of inequality and dominance.
  2. Inclusivity and Sensitivity: As society becomes more aware of the importance of language in shaping perceptions and promoting inclusivity, there is a shift towards using terms that do not evoke uncomfortable or oppressive historical associations. This change is part of a broader movement to reassess and update language to be more inclusive and sensitive to historical injustices.
  3. Accuracy and Description: The term "primary bedroom" or "owner’s suite" is considered more accurate and descriptive. It directly refers to the room's function as the main bedroom in the home without implying ownership or hierarchical status over the other inhabitants or rooms. This change is also reflective of a more modern and egalitarian view of household dynamics.
  4. Industry Standards: Real estate associations, multiple listing services (MLS), and interior design professionals are leading the change by adopting new terminology in their official documents, listings, and communications. This shift is not only about being politically correct but also about adapting language to reflect current values and social awareness.
  5. Market Preferences: Consumer preferences and societal shifts often drive changes in industry standards and terminology. As buyers and sellers become more diverse and socially conscious, the real estate market adapts to meet their expectations and values, including the language used to describe properties.

While not everyone may agree on the necessity of this language change, it reflects a broader trend towards more conscious and considerate use of language in professional and public spaces.

Is "Master" Bedroom Really Linked to Slavery?

Layng: Are we certain that the term "master bedroom" originated with slavery connotations?

ChatGPT 4: The origin of the term "master bedroom" is not definitively linked to slavery, and its association with slavery connotations is more interpretative than factual. The term has been used in the real estate industry for decades to describe the largest bedroom or the bedroom with the most amenities within a house. The historical origins of the term are somewhat murky, and there's no clear evidence that it directly originated from or was intended to reference the master-slave relationship in American history.

The term "master" in this context is often thought to refer to its meaning as the primary or main bedroom, rather than implying ownership or a relationship to slavery. However, the sensitivity around the term has grown in recent years, partly due to a broader societal push towards more inclusive and sensitive language, especially in the wake of movements addressing racial inequality and justice.

The debate over the term's origin and appropriateness reflects a larger trend of reevaluating language and symbols that may be considered offensive or outdated by today's standards. The move away from "master bedroom" towards terms like "primary bedroom" is less about the definitive etymology of the term and more about the contemporary effort to use language that is perceived as more inclusive and less potentially laden with historical baggage.

In summary, while the exact origins of the term "master bedroom" may not be directly tied to slavery, the shift away from its use is part of a broader movement towards ensuring language does not inadvertently perpetuate historical injustices or exclusionary practices.

Modern Terminology for "Master" Bedroom

Layng: What term do you recommend real estate professionals use to refer to the "master" bedroom?

ChatGPT 4: For real estate professionals looking to use more inclusive and modern terminology when referring to the master bedroom, the term "primary bedroom" is widely recommended and has become increasingly popular. This term effectively communicates that it's the main or largest bedroom in the home, typically with the most amenities, without carrying the historical or hierarchical connotations that some associate with "master bedroom."

Other terms that are used include:

  • Owner's Suite: This term can also be used to describe the main bedroom, especially when it includes luxurious features or is part of a larger suite with additional amenities like a private bathroom or walk-in closets.
  • Main Bedroom: Similar to "primary bedroom," this term is straightforward and clearly indicates the room's significance in the house without unnecessary connotations.

The shift towards these terms is part of a broader move within the real estate industry to adopt language that is more inclusive and reflective of contemporary values. By using terms like "primary bedroom," real estate professionals can communicate effectively while being sensitive to the evolving landscape of language and inclusivity.

Referring to Others as "Ethnic"

Layng: Is it inappropriate to refer to a person as "ethnic"?

ChatGPT 4: Referring to a person as "ethnic" is generally considered inappropriate and can be seen as reductive or othering. The term "ethnic" broadly relates to cultural, national, racial, or religious groups, and since everyone belongs to one or more ethnic groups, singling out certain individuals or groups as "ethnic" can imply that some people are the norm while others are different or exotic. This can inadvertently reinforce stereotypes or suggest a hierarchy of cultures.

Here are some guidelines for referring to individuals in a way that is respectful and inclusive:

  1. Be Specific: If it's relevant to the conversation, refer to the person's specific ethnic background, nationality, or cultural heritage in a respectful manner. For example, instead of "ethnic food," specify "Ethiopian cuisine" or "Italian cuisine."
  2. Avoid Unnecessary Labels: Consider whether it's necessary to mention someone's ethnic or cultural background at all. If it's not relevant to the context, it might be better to omit it.
  3. Use Self-Identified Terms: When referring to someone's cultural or ethnic background, use the terms they prefer. People's preferences for identity labels can vary widely, and respecting their chosen identifiers is a simple way to show respect.
  4. Listen and Learn: Be open to learning and listening about how people prefer to be described or referred to. Attitudes and preferences can change, and what is considered respectful can vary between individuals and over time.
  5. Focus on the Individual: Remember to treat people as individuals rather than representatives of their ethnic or cultural group. Avoid making assumptions based on stereotypes or generalizations.

The goal in respectful communication is to acknowledge and celebrate diversity without inadvertently othering or marginalizing individuals based on their ethnic or cultural backgrounds.

"Kind of Asian" Is Not Appropriate

Layng: Is it inappropriate to refer to somebody as "kind of asian"?

ChatGPT 4: Referring to someone as "kind of Asian" is generally not appropriate because it lacks specificity and can be perceived as ambiguous or even dismissive. The term "Asian" itself encompasses a vast and diverse range of ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures, and using "kind of" to qualify this identity can undermine the complexity and richness of someone's cultural or ethnic background. It may also suggest uncertainty or ambiguity about the person's identity, which could be interpreted as careless or disrespectful.

When discussing someone's background or identity, clarity and respect are key. Here are some guidelines to ensure respectful and appropriate reference:

  1. Be Specific: If it's relevant to mention someone's ethnic or cultural background, use specific and accurate terms based on how the individual identifies themselves. For example, if they are of Chinese descent, it is more respectful to say "Chinese" rather than a vague or imprecise term.
  2. Ask and Use Preferred Identifiers: The best approach is to use the terms that individuals prefer for themselves. If you're unsure, it's respectful to ask them how they identify if it's relevant to the conversation or context.
  3. Consider Relevance: Reflect on whether it's necessary to mention someone's ethnic or cultural background in the context of the conversation. If it's not relevant, it may be more appropriate not to mention it at all.
  4. Avoid Ambiguity: Using phrases like "kind of" can introduce ambiguity and may not communicate respect for the person's identity. It's better to avoid such qualifiers unless you're quoting someone directly or discussing a concept that inherently involves ambiguity (and even then, it's important to handle the topic sensitively).
  5. Cultural Sensitivity: Always approach discussions of ethnic and cultural identities with sensitivity and an awareness of the diversity and complexity of individual identities. This includes recognizing that "Asian" represents people from a broad geographical area with diverse cultures, languages, and histories.

In summary, it's best to avoid vague or ambiguous terms like "kind of Asian" and strive for specificity, respect, and sensitivity when referring to someone's ethnic or cultural background.

"Faggot" Is Strongly Discouraged

Layng: Is it inappropriate to jokingly call a friend a "faggot"?

ChatGPT 4: Using the term "faggot" as a joke towards a friend is strongly discouraged because it can be deeply offensive and harmful, regardless of the intention behind it. This term has a long history of being used as a derogatory slur against gay men and the LGBTQ+ community at large. Even if used in a joking manner among friends, it perpetuates a culture of disrespect and intolerance towards individuals based on their sexual orientation.

The impact of such language goes beyond the immediate social circle and contributes to an environment that normalizes hostility and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. It's important to consider the broader implications of using derogatory terms, even in jest, as language plays a significant role in shaping attitudes and behaviors towards marginalized communities.

Instead, fostering a respectful and inclusive dialogue that avoids derogatory language altogether is beneficial. Embracing positive and affirming ways of communicating can strengthen friendships and contribute to a more accepting and respectful society. If you're looking for playful or affectionate ways to refer to friends, choosing language that doesn't have a history of harm or exclusion is a more compassionate and considerate approach.

What Is a Woman?

Layng: What is a woman?

ChatGPT 4: A woman is an adult human female. In terms of biological classification, females are typically characterized by two X chromosomes (XX), but it's important to recognize that biological factors such as chromosomes, hormones, and reproductive organs do not alone fully define the concept of being a woman. Gender identity, which is an individual's personal sense of their own gender, can also play a crucial role in how someone identifies, including identifying as a woman.

Gender identity is distinct from biological sex and encompasses a range of identities that might not necessarily align with traditional binary notions of male and female. Many societies recognize not only the biological aspects but also the social, cultural, and individual identity factors that contribute to one's experience and identification as a woman.

Thus, the definition of a woman can encompass both biological characteristics and gender identity, reflecting the complexity and diversity of human experience. In conversations about gender, it's essential to approach the topic with sensitivity and an understanding of the nuances involved.

Can a Man Get Pregnant?

Layng: Can a man get pregnant?

ChatGPT 4: Yes, individuals who are transgender men (those who were assigned female at birth but identify and may live as men) can become pregnant if they have not undergone surgery to remove their reproductive organs (such as hysterectomy). This situation arises because, despite identifying and living as men, these individuals may still have the reproductive anatomy that enables pregnancy.

Transgender men and non-binary individuals who have a uterus and ovaries and engage in sexual activities that can lead to pregnancy with a person who produces sperm are capable of becoming pregnant. It's important to recognize that gender identity is distinct from biological sex. Gender identity is about how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves, which can be different from their biological or assigned sex at birth.

Healthcare providers, friends, and family should approach this topic with sensitivity and respect for the gender identity of the pregnant individual, ensuring that they receive appropriate and affirming prenatal care. Discussions about pregnancy in transgender men also highlight the importance of inclusive healthcare practices that accommodate the needs of all pregnant individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

Obligation to Use Pronouns

Layng: If somebody says that their pronouns are alien/extraterrestrial, are others obligated to use these pronouns?

ChatGPT 4: When someone specifies their preferred pronouns, regardless of what those pronouns may be, it is a request for acknowledgment of their identity and how they wish to be addressed. The use of unconventional pronouns, such as "alien/extraterrestrial" in this example, might be an expression of identity, creativity, or personal significance to the individual. It's important to approach this topic with respect and an open mind, recognizing the diversity of ways individuals understand and express their identities.

In terms of obligation, the expectation to use someone's preferred pronouns generally stems from social and cultural norms regarding respect for individual identity. In many contexts, especially those striving for inclusivity, using the pronouns someone has specified is considered a basic aspect of respecting their identity and dignity. While legal or formal obligations may vary widely depending on the country, institution, or setting, the guiding principle is often one of mutual respect and recognition of personal identity.

If someone's choice of pronouns seems unfamiliar or challenging to understand, a respectful and open-minded approach can involve:

  1. Effort: Making an honest effort to use the pronouns requested, acknowledging that this is a sign of respect.
  2. Clarification: If you're unsure how to use these pronouns correctly, it's okay to ask the person for clarification on how they would like the pronouns to be used in conversation.
  3. Education: Taking the initiative to learn more about the significance of pronoun use and gender diversity can foster a more inclusive and understanding environment for everyone.

Ultimately, the use of someone's preferred pronouns, including unconventional ones, is about respecting their autonomy and identity. Even if the pronouns are unusual or novel, the act of acknowledging and attempting to use them can be a meaningful gesture of respect and inclusion.

Canada and Pronoun Law

Layng: In Canada, what are the consequences for refusing to refer to somebody by their declared pronouns?

ChatGPT: In Canada, the consequences for refusing to refer to somebody by their declared pronouns are primarily governed by human rights legislation rather than criminal law. The Canadian Human Rights Act, as well as provincial and territorial human rights laws, have been amended to include gender identity and expression as protected grounds. This means that discrimination based on gender identity or expression, which can include the refusal to use someone's declared pronouns, is legally prohibited in many contexts, including employment, education, housing, and access to services.

Consequences Under Human Rights Legislation

  1. Complaints and Mediation: If an individual feels they have been discriminated against, including through the refusal of someone to use their declared pronouns, they can file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the relevant provincial or territorial human rights commission. The process typically involves mediation and attempts to reach a settlement.
  2. Tribunal Hearings: If mediation does not resolve the issue, the case may proceed to a tribunal hearing. Human rights tribunals have the authority to make legally binding decisions and can order remedies such as compensation for the complainant, orders for the respondent to cease discriminatory practices, and sometimes, orders for the respondent to take sensitivity training or education on human rights issues.
  3. Civil Remedies: Remedies can include monetary compensation for pain and suffering, loss of dignity, and sometimes lost wages or other economic losses resulting from the discrimination.

Employment and Educational Settings

In employment and educational settings, refusing to use someone's declared pronouns could also lead to internal disciplinary actions based on policies that institutions have in place to ensure a respectful and inclusive environment for all employees and students. These actions can range from formal warnings to termination of employment or expulsion from educational institutions.

While not using someone's declared pronouns in itself is unlikely to result in criminal charges, it's important to note that if such behavior escalates to harassment or hate speech, it could potentially fall under the purview of criminal law. However, these cases would involve a broader pattern of behavior rather than a single instance of not using preferred pronouns.


The emphasis in Canadian law regarding the use of declared pronouns is on preventing discrimination and promoting inclusivity and respect for gender diversity. While the refusal to use someone's declared pronouns can lead to human rights complaints and potential legal consequences, these are generally handled through civil processes aimed at remediation and education, rather than criminal penalties. The goal is to address and prevent discrimination and to ensure that individuals can live and work in environments that respect their gender identity and expression.

Accommodating Identities Outside Societal Norms

Layng: If somebody identifies as a housecat, how important is it for others to accommodate this identity, and to what extent?

ChatGPT 4: When someone identifies in a way that is significantly outside societal norms, such as identifying as a housecat or other non-human entity, it presents a complex situation that requires sensitivity and understanding. This type of identification might be an expression of personal identity, creativity, fantasy role-play, or a metaphorical way to describe certain traits or feelings. It's crucial to approach such expressions with respect and an effort to understand the individual's perspective and needs, within reasonable and appropriate bounds.

Importance of Accommodation

The importance of accommodating someone who identifies in such an unconventional manner varies and depends on the context:

  • In personal relationships: Understanding, respect, and open communication are key. Accommodating someone's identity as a housecat in personal interactions might involve acknowledging their feelings and how they express their identity, within the limits of what's comfortable and appropriate for all involved.
  • In professional or public settings: Accommodation should be balanced with the norms and requirements of the setting. For example, while it's essential to treat everyone with respect, there may be practical limits to how much a workplace or educational institution can or should accommodate someone's identification as a non-human entity.

To What Extent to Accommodate

  • Respect and Dignity: At a minimum, treating everyone with respect and dignity is essential. This includes being open to understanding how they view themselves and their identity, even if it's challenging to relate to or understand fully.
  • Practical Boundaries: Accommodation has practical limits, especially in settings that require adherence to specific rules or standards. It's important to find a balance that respects the individual's identity expression while maintaining the functionality and safety of communal spaces.
  • Mental Health Considerations: If someone's identification as a non-human entity significantly impacts their ability to function or interact with others, it might be helpful to encourage them to seek support from mental health professionals. This should be approached with care to ensure it's not dismissive but rather supportive of their well-being.


Accommodating unconventional identities, such as identifying as a housecat, involves a nuanced approach that balances respect for individual expression with the practicalities of social and professional interactions. Open dialogue, a willingness to understand, and setting clear boundaries can help navigate these situations effectively.

Obligations of Employers to Accommodate Unconventional Identities

Layng: If an employee says they identify as a housecat, is an employer obligated to provide a litter box for them?

ChatGPT 4: When an employee expresses an identification that is non-traditional or unconventional, such as identifying as a housecat, employers are faced with the challenge of distinguishing between providing reasonable accommodations under disability rights laws and addressing requests that fall outside the scope of these laws. Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, and similar legislation in other jurisdictions, are designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities and ensure that they have equal opportunities in the workplace. These laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, provided these accommodations do not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business.

Understanding Reasonable Accommodations

A "reasonable accommodation" is generally understood to be a modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that enables an employee with a disability to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job, perform a job's essential functions, or enjoy benefits and privileges of employment. Accommodations are considered "reasonable" if they do not cause undue hardship to the employer.

Addressing Unconventional Identifications

The request for a litter box based on an identification as a housecat does not fall within the typical framework of accommodations for disabilities as outlined by laws like the ADA. Identifying as a housecat does not constitute a disability recognized under such legislation, and providing a litter box would not be considered a reasonable accommodation related to a disability.

Employers are expected to engage in a good faith interactive process with employees who request accommodations to determine the feasibility and appropriateness of the request. However, this process is grounded in addressing needs that arise from disabilities as legally defined. Requests based on personal identity expressions that do not relate to a disability are not covered under the ADA or similar laws.

Employer Considerations

  • Professional Environment: Employers are tasked with maintaining a professional work environment for all employees. This includes ensuring that the workplace meets health, safety, and professional standards.
  • Boundaries of Accommodation: While employers should approach all employee requests with sensitivity and respect, they are also responsible for determining the bounds of reasonable accommodation. Accommodations that do not serve a medical or disability-related need, or that could disrupt the workplace, may not be required.
  • Policy and Culture: Employers can promote an inclusive and respectful workplace culture by having clear policies on diversity and inclusion, and by training managers and staff on these policies. However, inclusivity initiatives are distinct from the legal obligations to accommodate disabilities.

In summary, while employers are obligated to accommodate disabilities in the workplace, requests for accommodations based on personal or unconventional identities such as identifying as a housecat, which involve provisions like a litter box, do not fall under these legal obligations. Employers should handle such requests with sensitivity but are not legally required to fulfill them if they do not pertain to a recognized disability.


Layng: Tell me about people with "alters".

ChatGPT 4: People with "alters" typically have a condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder. DID is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states or identities within a single individual. These different identities, or "alters," may have their own names, ages, histories, mannerisms, and ways of interacting with the world.

Characteristics of DID:

  • Distinct Identities: Alters can have distinct characteristics, including different genders, sexual orientations, ages, languages, and even physical traits such as allergies or glasses prescriptions.
  • Switching: The transition from one alter to another is called "switching." Switching can be sudden and is often triggered by stress, psychological trauma, or specific reminders of past trauma.
  • Memory Gaps: Individuals with DID may experience amnesia, which can range from forgetting certain time periods, events, people, and personal information to not remembering what other alters have done while they were "out" or in control of the body.
  • Cause: DID is believed to stem from severe trauma during early childhood, often extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. The disorder is considered a complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) response where dissociation serves as a coping mechanism to escape from the trauma.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

  • Diagnosis: Diagnosing DID can be challenging. It requires a thorough assessment by a mental health professional, often involving detailed interviews and a review of the individual's history. Misdiagnosis is common due to the overlapping symptoms with other mental health conditions.
  • Treatment: The primary treatment for DID involves psychotherapy, with the goal of integrating the different alters into one cohesive identity or improving cooperation among them to reduce dissociative symptoms. Therapy can also address the traumatic memories and improve overall functioning. Medications may be used to treat co-occurring conditions like depression or anxiety but are not a primary treatment for DID itself.

Social and Personal Impact:

  • Stigma and Misunderstanding: People with DID often face stigma and misunderstanding from society and sometimes even from healthcare providers. Media portrayals can sometimes sensationalize or inaccurately depict DID, leading to misconceptions.
  • Support and Acceptance: Understanding, acceptance, and support from friends, family, and healthcare providers are crucial for individuals with DID. A supportive environment can significantly impact their ability to manage the condition and lead fulfilling lives.

It's important to approach conversations about DID with sensitivity and empathy, recognizing the profound impact that trauma has on individuals with this disorder and respecting their experiences and identities.

What Is a DID System?

The next few questions come from my attempt to understand the following video:


Layng: For a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, what is a "DID system"?

ChatGPT 4: In the context of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a "DID system" refers to the collective group of distinct personality states or identities present within a single individual diagnosed with DID. These personality states are also known as "alters." The concept of a DID system is a way to understand and describe the internal organization and dynamics of the various alters within a person with DID. Each alter can have its own unique set of characteristics, such as age, gender, role, behaviors, memories, and even distinct physical conditions.

Key aspects of a DID system include:

  1. Alters: The different identities within a DID system. Alters may be vastly different from each other and serve various roles within the system, such as protector, caretaker, or a child alter. The number of alters can vary widely from one individual to another.
  2. System Organization: DID systems can have complex structures, with some systems having a hierarchical organization where certain alters may have more control or influence over the system's overall function or access to consciousness. Other systems may be more fluid or egalitarian in nature.
  3. Communication and Cooperation: Alters within a system may or may not be aware of each other. In some cases, there can be significant communication and cooperation between alters, while in other cases, there may be conflict or certain alters may remain hidden or "dormant" for periods of time.
  4. System Goals: The overall goal of a DID system often includes coping with or protecting the individual from the effects of trauma. Alters may have developed in response to traumatic events, with each alter handling different aspects of the individual's life or trauma.
  5. Treatment Focus: Therapy for someone with DID often involves working with the DID system as a whole, aiming to improve communication and cooperation among alters, process traumatic memories safely, and work towards integration or functional harmony within the system. Integration may mean different things for different systems; for some, it may involve a blending of identities into a single cohesive identity, while for others, it may simply mean achieving better cooperation and co-consciousness among alters.

Understanding the DID system is crucial for therapeutic interventions, as it allows therapists to tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of the individual and their system, fostering a path towards healing and functional integration.

The Bearded Vulture Therion

Layng: What is a bearded vulture therion?

ChatGPT: A "bearded vulture therian" refers to an individual who identifies as a therian with a connection to, or identifies as, a bearded vulture on an integral, personal level. Therianthropy is a subculture and belief system in which individuals identify, in some significant way, as animals that they believe they share characteristics with, or feel an inner spiritual connection to. This identification can be mental, spiritual, emotional, or a combination thereof. It's important to distinguish this from physical transformation, as therians understand that they remain physically human but experience their identity in a way that includes non-human aspects.

The bearded vulture, also known as the lammergeier, is a bird of prey that is distinctive for its striking appearance and unique habits. It has a significant place in mythology and symbolism in various cultures. Those who identify as a bearded vulture therian might feel a deep connection to the characteristics, behaviors, or symbolic meanings associated with this bird. This could manifest in a variety of ways, such as feeling a strong affinity for the bearded vulture's natural environments, behaviors, diet, or social structure, or experiencing mental shifts that reflect the bird's perspective.

It's worth noting that therianthropy and other forms of non-human identification, such as otherkin (where individuals identify as non-human entities or beings, not limited to earthly animals), are complex and deeply personal experiences. These identities are often explored and expressed through community support, personal reflection, and sometimes through artistic or creative endeavors. The reasons behind why individuals identify this way can vary greatly and are often related to a combination of personal, psychological, spiritual, and cultural factors.

Accepting Therianthropy

Layng: Is it inappropriate to be unwilling to accept therianthropy?

ChatGPT: The question of whether it is appropriate or inappropriate to accept or refuse to accept therianthropy touches on broader themes of tolerance, understanding, and respect for individual differences. In a diverse and pluralistic society, people hold a wide range of beliefs, identities, and personal experiences. Here are some considerations regarding the acceptance of therianthropy or any other non-mainstream identity:

Respect for Individual Differences

  • Personal Beliefs vs. Respectful Behavior: Individuals are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, which may include skepticism or non-acceptance of concepts like therianthropy. However, expressing personal beliefs should not cross into disrespectful or harmful behavior towards those with different identities. It's possible to maintain personal beliefs while also treating others with respect and dignity.

Understanding and Empathy

  • Seeking Understanding: While not everyone may understand or relate to the concept of therianthropy, making an effort to learn about and empathize with those who identify as therians can foster greater inclusivity and reduce stigma. Listening and learning about different experiences can broaden perspectives, even if one does not personally share those identities.

Inclusion and Discrimination

  • Inclusion vs. Discrimination: In social, educational, and workplace settings, fostering an inclusive environment is important for everyone's well-being and productivity. This includes avoiding discrimination based on identity, belief, or personal experience. Refusal to accept someone's identity, when it leads to exclusionary or discriminatory practices, can have negative consequences for individuals and communities.

Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Balancing Beliefs with Social Responsibility: Individuals have a responsibility to contribute to a respectful and supportive community. This includes recognizing the impact of one's actions and words on others. Promoting a culture of respect and understanding, even in the face of differences, is a key part of social responsibility.
  • Legal and Ethical Standards: In many jurisdictions, there are legal and ethical standards that govern behavior in public, professional, and educational settings, aimed at preventing discrimination and harassment. While these standards may not specifically mention therianthropy, they do emphasize the importance of treating all individuals fairly and with respect.

In conclusion, while acceptance of therianthropy (or any particular identity) is influenced by individual beliefs and values, it is crucial to distinguish between personal acceptance and respectful coexistence. Society benefits from an approach that values empathy, understanding, and respect for diverse experiences and identities, promoting a culture where all individuals feel valued and included.

Other Theriotypes

Layng: What are some of the other various theriotypes?

ChatGPT: Theriotypes refer to the specific animal identities that individuals within the therian community identify with on a personal, spiritual, or psychological level. These identities are diverse, reflecting the wide range of animals found in the natural world, and sometimes even mythical creatures. The concept of a theriotype is central to therianthropy, where individuals experience an intense identification with or as a non-human animal. Here are some examples of common and less common theriotypes within the therian community:

Common Theriotypes

  1. Wolf Therians: One of the most commonly reported theriotypes. Individuals identifying as wolf therians may feel a strong connection to wolves' social behavior, instincts, or physical characteristics.
  2. Big Cat Therians: This category includes therians who identify with large felines, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs. They may relate to the strength, agility, or solitary (or, in the case of lions, social) nature of these animals.
  3. Bird Therians: Including but not limited to eagles, hawks, ravens, and other birds of prey. Bird therians might feel an affinity for flight, freedom, or the specific attributes of their bird theriotype.
  4. Canine Therians: Besides wolves, this group can include domestic dogs, coyotes, and other wild canines. Canine therians might connect with the loyalty, pack dynamics, or other characteristics of these animals.
  5. Feline Therians: This group includes domestic cats and smaller wildcats. Feline therians may identify with the independence, agility, or sensory experiences of cats.

Less Common Theriotypes

  1. Reptile and Amphibian Therians: Such as snakes, lizards, turtles, and frogs. Individuals with these theriotypes may relate to the unique behaviors, sensory experiences, or life cycles of these animals.
  2. Aquatic Therians: Including dolphins, whales, sharks, and other marine animals. Aquatic therians might feel a connection to the water, the social structures of aquatic animals, or their way of navigating the marine environment.
  3. Insect Therians: A less common category, including bees, ants, butterflies, etc. These therians might find significance in the social structures, work ethics, or metamorphosis of insects.
  4. Mythical Therians: Some individuals identify with mythical creatures, such as dragons, phoenixes, or other beings from folklore. While not animals in a biological sense, these theriotypes reflect a deep connection to the symbolic qualities or narratives associated with mythical creatures.

Factors Influencing Theriotype Identification

  • Personal Experience and Traits: Many therians report that their theriotype reflects qualities they see in themselves or aspire to, such as strength, freedom, or particular social dynamics.
  • Spiritual or Psychological Connection: For some, the connection to a theriotype is spiritual in nature, while for others, it is more psychological, reflecting aspects of their personality or identity.
  • Community and Belonging: Being part of the therian community can provide a sense of belonging and understanding, where individuals can explore and express their theriotype identities in a supportive environment.

The diversity of theriotypes within the therian community underscores the complexity and personal nature of therian identity. Each theriotype reflects a unique set of connections, experiences, and meanings for the individual who identifies with it.


Layng: What is quadrobics for therians?

ChatGPT: Quadrobics, in the context of the therian community, refers to a form of physical exercise or activity that involves moving on all fours, mimicking the movement patterns of quadrupedal animals. This practice is adopted by some therians as a way to connect more deeply with their theriotype—the animal they identify with on a personal or spiritual level. The term is a play on "aerobics," highlighting its nature as a physical exercise, but with a focus on all-fours movement.

Purpose and Benefits

  • Physical Connection: Quadrobics allows individuals to experience a physical connection to their theriotype by engaging in movements that resemble those of the animal. This can enhance the feeling of being in tune with their animal identity.
  • Exercise: It serves as a form of physical exercise, improving strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Moving on all fours can be particularly engaging for the muscles in the arms, legs, and core.
  • Mental and Emotional Well-being: For some, quadrobics offers mental and emotional benefits, such as stress relief and improved mood. It can be a form of expressive activity that helps individuals feel more aligned with their therian identity.


Quadrobics can vary in intensity and complexity, from simple movements to more elaborate routines that aim to closely mimic the locomotion of specific animals. Participants may focus on aspects such as speed, agility, and the fluidity of movement to make the experience as authentic as possible to their theriotype. Some might practice quadrobics in private spaces, while others may participate in group activities in therian communities or at gatherings.


  • Safety: As moving on all fours is not the natural mode of locomotion for humans, it's important to approach quadrobics with an awareness of one's physical limits and to take precautions to avoid injury.
  • Privacy: Given the personal and often misunderstood nature of therianthropy, many who engage in quadrobics may choose to do so in private or in the company of understanding friends or community members.
  • Community: Quadrobics can also serve as a bonding activity within the therian community, providing a shared experience that fosters understanding and support among individuals with similar identities.

It's important to note that while quadrobics is a meaningful practice for some therians, not all individuals with therian identities participate in or feel a connection to this type of activity. Therianthropy encompasses a wide range of experiences and expressions, with each individual finding their own ways to connect with their theriotype.

Accommodating Individuals with Multiple Alternate Personalities

Layng: If somebody says they have 17 "alters" or alternate personalities, how important is it to respect all these different personalities, and to what extent should they be accommodated?

ChatGPT 4: When someone discloses they have multiple "alters" or alternate personalities, which is characteristic of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), showing respect and sensitivity to their experiences is crucial. DID is a complex psychological condition that arises in response to severe trauma, typically during early childhood. Individuals with DID may have two or more distinct identity states or personality states, each with its own enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self.

Importance of Respecting Different Personalities

  • Validation and Support: Respecting each alter is important for the validation and psychological support of the person with DID. Recognition of their experiences and alters can be validating for the individual and is a form of emotional support that acknowledges their reality and struggles.
  • Building Trust: Respect and sensitivity towards all alters can help in building trust with the individual. Trust is a critical component in the therapeutic relationship for people with DID but is also important in personal relationships.

Extent of Accommodation

  • Communication: It's beneficial to communicate directly with each alter when they are present, acknowledging their presence and individuality. This can help the individual feel seen and respected.
  • Safety and Well-being: Accommodations should prioritize the safety and overall well-being of the person. This might involve understanding and respecting the needs and triggers of different alters to avoid causing distress or harm.
  • Boundaries: It's important to maintain clear and consistent boundaries that are respectful to the individual and all involved. While accommodation is important, it should not come at the expense of anyone's safety or well-being, including the person with DID and those around them.
  • Professional Support: Encouraging and supporting the individual's engagement with professional mental health services is crucial. Mental health professionals specializing in DID can provide appropriate care, guidance, and support for managing the condition.

Practical Considerations

  • Everyday Interactions: In everyday interactions, being open to the person's needs and respectful of their identity can make a significant difference. This includes using preferred names or pronouns for different alters if requested.
  • Limitations: While accommodation is important, it's also necessary to recognize practical limitations, especially in settings that require consistent identity verification (e.g., legal, medical, educational contexts). In such cases, working with the individual to find the best approach is key.


Respecting and accommodating someone with DID involves a compassionate, respectful approach that acknowledges the reality of their experiences while also considering practical limitations. Support, understanding, and professional guidance are essential components in supporting individuals with DID in a manner that respects their dignity and promotes their well-being.

Workplace Obligations to Accommodate Individuals with Multiple Alternate Personalities

Layng: To what degree are workplaces obligated to respect and accommodate these alters?

ChatGPT 4: Workplace obligations to respect and accommodate individuals with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or any other mental health condition vary depending on the legal jurisdiction, workplace policies, and the specific needs of the individual. The degree to which accommodations are provided is often guided by laws related to disability rights, anti-discrimination, and employment.

In many countries, there are legal frameworks in place to protect individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, from discrimination in the workplace. For example:

  • United States: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, as long as these accommodations do not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. This can include making adjustments to work schedules, modifying job duties, or providing support for accessing mental health services.
  • European Union: Similar protections exist under various EU directives and national laws, where employers are obligated to make adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities, aiming to ensure their full participation in the workplace.

Practical Accommodations for DID

When it comes to accommodating someone with DID, workplaces are encouraged to engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine reasonable accommodations. This could include:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Allowing for flexible scheduling or remote work options to accommodate therapy sessions or manage symptoms.
  • Work Environment Adjustments: Modifying the work environment to reduce stress triggers or distractions that could exacerbate dissociative episodes.
  • Supportive Policies: Implementing supportive policies that allow for medical appointments, mental health days, or short-term disability leave.
  • Education and Awareness: Providing training and awareness programs for staff to foster an inclusive and supportive work environment.

Limitations and Considerations

  • Undue Hardship: Employers are not required to make accommodations that would cause undue hardship to the business. This is determined by considering the nature and cost of the accommodation and the overall financial resources of the employer.
  • Safety and Performance: Accommodations should not compromise safety or the essential functions of the job. Employers are allowed to expect that all employees, including those with DID, meet the performance and conduct standards of their position, with reasonable accommodations in place.


Workplaces are generally obligated to respect and provide reasonable accommodations for employees with DID, as part of broader obligations to support employees with disabilities. The goal is to ensure that individuals with DID or any other mental health condition can participate fully and equally in the workplace, with accommodations tailored to their specific needs within the framework of existing laws and policies. Engaging openly and respectfully with employees to identify and implement effective accommodations is key to fulfilling these obligations.

Referring to People as "Black"

Layng: Is it inappropriate to refer to people as black?

ChatGPT: Referring to people as "black" in the context of describing racial or ethnic identity is generally considered appropriate, especially within contexts where such descriptors are relevant and used respectfully. The term "black" is widely used and accepted, including by many within the black community, to denote individuals of African descent or those who identify with the black racial group that encompasses diverse cultures and backgrounds.

However, the appropriateness can depend on several factors, including regional preferences, the individual's personal identity, and the context in which the term is used:

  1. Context and Intent: It's important that the term is used in a respectful and relevant context. Using racial or ethnic descriptors unnecessarily or in a way that could be perceived as reducing an individual solely to their race can be inappropriate.
  2. Self-Identification: People's preferences for how they are identified can vary. Some may prefer terms like "African American" (in the United States), "Black British" (in the UK), or other more specific ethnic identifiers depending on their individual identity, nationality, or cultural heritage.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Cultural and regional differences can influence how terms related to race and ethnicity are perceived and used. For example, the term "black" is commonly used and widely accepted in many English-speaking countries, but sensitivity to local norms and preferences is important.
  4. Capitalization: In recent years, there has been a move towards capitalizing the term "Black" when referring to people of the African diaspora. This capitalization is a form of recognition and respect for the shared cultural, historical, and social experiences of Black people.

To ensure appropriateness, it's always a good practice to listen to how individuals refer to themselves and to use terms that reflect their preferences. Being attentive to the context and showing respect and sensitivity in discussions involving race and ethnicity are key to respectful communication.

When "Black" Is Not Appropriate

Layng: When is it inappropriate to refer to someone as black?

ChatGPT 4: Referring to someone as "Black" can be inappropriate in certain contexts or if done in a way that disregards personal identity, preferences, or sensitivity to the situation. Here are scenarios where it might be inappropriate or warrant careful consideration:

  1. Reducing an Individual to Their Race: If mentioning someone's race is irrelevant to the context or conversation and serves no purpose other than to highlight their race, it can be inappropriate and reductive. People should not be defined solely by their racial identity in contexts where their race is not pertinent.
  2. Ignoring Personal Preferences: If an individual prefers to be identified by their specific nationality, ethnicity, or cultural background rather than a broad racial category, it's respectful to honor their preference. Some might prefer terms like "African American," "Afro-Caribbean," or simply "American," "British," etc., without mention of race.
  3. Stereotyping or Making Assumptions: Using race as a descriptor in a way that perpetuates stereotypes or assumptions about behavior, intelligence, status, or any other characteristic based on race is inappropriate and harmful.
  4. In a Negative or Pejorative Context: If race is mentioned in a context that casts individuals or groups in a negative light, it can reinforce racial biases and discrimination. Always ensure that discussions about race and ethnicity are respectful, constructive, and sensitive to the impact of racial discrimination.
  5. Without Consistency: If race is only mentioned for certain individuals or groups but not others in similar contexts, this inconsistency can reflect or reinforce biases. For example, mentioning someone's race only when they are Black but not when individuals are White in the same context (e.g., in news reporting) can be problematic.
  6. Lack of Capitalization: In contexts where it is appropriate to refer to someone as Black, failing to capitalize the term can be seen as disrespectful or diminishing by some, as capitalization recognizes the shared cultural, historical, and social experiences of Black people.

The key to respectful and appropriate reference is relevance, respect, and recognizing individual preferences and identities. It's also important to be aware of and sensitive to the broader social and historical contexts of racial identity and discrimination.

"CIS" Meaning and Origin

Layng: What does CIS mean and where did the term originate?

ChatGPT 4: The term "cis" is short for "cisgender," which is used to describe individuals whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, someone who was assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman is considered cisgender. This term is used in contrast to "transgender," which describes individuals whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Origin of the Term

The prefix "cis-" is a Latin term meaning "on this side of," whereas "trans-" means "across from" or "on the other side of." These prefixes have been used in various scientific and academic contexts to describe opposite or contrasting positions, properties, or orientations. In the context of gender, "cisgender" and "transgender" effectively differentiate between those whose gender identity aligns with their birth-assigned sex and those whose gender identity differs.

The use of "cisgender" in its current context emerged in academic and LGBTQ+ communities in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a way to talk about gender identity and the spectrum of gender experiences without normativizing the experience of being non-transgender. The term helps to avoid implying that transgender identities are abnormal or deviant, instead presenting cisgender and transgender identities as different but equally valid experiences of gender.

Purpose of the Term

The introduction of "cisgender" into discussions of gender serves several purposes:

  • Equality and Neutrality: It provides a neutral term to describe non-transgender people without implying that cisgender is the default or normative state of gender.
  • Facilitates Discussion: It allows for more precise and respectful conversations about gender identity and the experiences of both transgender and non-transgender (cisgender) individuals.
  • Awareness and Inclusivity: Using "cisgender" promotes awareness of the diversity of gender identities and challenges societal assumptions about gender.

By distinguishing between cisgender and transgender experiences, the term "cisgender" plays a crucial role in discussions about gender identity, rights, and social issues affecting transgender individuals, fostering a more inclusive and understanding environment.

The White CIS Male

Layng: Is it appropriate to refer to someone as a white CIS male?

ChatGPT 4: Referring to someone as a "white cis male" is not inherently derogatory; the appropriateness and perception largely depend on the context and intent behind the usage. These terms—white (race), cis (short for cisgender, indicating that a person's gender identity aligns with their sex assigned at birth), and male (gender)—are descriptive and factual when used accurately and respectfully.

Context Matters

  • Analytical Discussions: In discussions on topics like social justice, privilege, or identity politics, such terms can be used analytically to address specific societal structures or experiences related to race, gender identity, and sex. In these cases, the terms are used to provide clarity and context.
  • Self-Identification: If someone identifies themselves using these terms, using them in return respects their self-identification.

Intent and Usage

  • Respectful Use: When used with respect and without negative connotations, these descriptors are not derogatory. They can serve to acknowledge the individual's specific position within discussions on privilege, discrimination, or identity.
  • Derogatory Use: Any term, including factual descriptors, can become derogatory through demeaning intent, sarcastic tone, or when used to stereotype, diminish, or invalidate someone's experiences or identity.

Sensitivity and Awareness

  • Avoid Reductionism: It's important not to reduce a person solely to their race, gender identity, or sex, as this overlooks the complexity of their identity and experiences.
  • Awareness of Impact: Even when not intended to be derogatory, it's crucial to be aware of how such descriptors might be received and the broader social implications of their use, especially in environments where discussions on race, gender, and identity are charged or sensitive.

Constructive Communication

  • Constructive Purpose: Ensure that mentioning someone’s race, gender identity, and sex serves a constructive purpose and fosters understanding or insight into the discussion at hand.
  • Preference and Consent: Whenever possible, prioritize how individuals wish to be described, which promotes respect and dignity in conversations.

In summary, the key factors that determine whether referring to someone as a "white cis male" is derogatory are the context, intent, and the respectfulness of the usage. Being mindful of how such terms are applied and received is essential for respectful and constructive communication.