One of the sub-groups of SciFi and Fantasy fandom is known as “Furries” who focus on anthropomorphic animal characters. Some furries just like human-like animals, but there are those who wish they could be human-like animals. At various conventions, costumed furries prowl. The costumes could be as simple as a pair of cat ears and a tail to a full-body costume like the picture to the side.

For many furries, getting dressed up is just plain fun. But for some, it has become something more than just a fun thing to do at a convention. Some furries have identified themselves as being “other than human,”and almost 5% of one furry survey responded that they didn’t consider themselves human at all.

Whatever. I don’t have a problem with people dressing up as a fox for some convention. It’s no weirder than other costumes people wear to cons. I don’t have a problem with furries barking and meowing at each other. I don’t have a problem with someone legally changing his name to “Macavity Greymouser,” or undergoing surgery to make himself look more like his totemic tiger. But I do have a problem when people want me to enter into their fantasy and treat them as the foxes, cats, or whatever they are pretending to be. Their fantasy does not trump the reality that they were both born human and remain human to this day.

And speaking of flights of fantasy, two news stories broke from the U.K. last week. First came news about a 12-year-old boy.

A BOY aged 12 turned up at school as a GIRL – after changing sex during the summer holidays.

Teachers called an emergency assembly to order fellow pupils to treat him as female.

The lad, whose parents have changed his name to a girl’s by deed poll, arrived in a dress with long hair in ribboned pigtails. He is preparing for sex-swap surgery.

Angry parents told yesterday how their kids were left tearful and confused after school staff announced the boy pupil was now a girl.

Teachers stepped in with the emergency assembly, at which pupils were threatened with tough disciplinary action if they failed to treat him as a girl or use his new name. Some bewildered youngsters burst into tears.

The very next day, another story was published in the The Sun newspaper.

ANOTHER boy has turned up at school as a girl, it emerged yesterday – this time aged NINE.

Classmates of the nine-year-old sex-change boy were told he had left and been replaced by a girl.

The pupil returned to school the next day – in female uniform, with long hair in a ponytail, tied in pink ribbon.

The pupil missed the first day at the school on the outskirts of a city in southern England but returned on the second in a blouse and female-cut hipster trousers. It is understood the headteacher had personally masterminded the situation and was keen to help the family ease the child back into school as smoothly as possible.

It is not known whether their name has been changed by deed poll. The pupil is too young to have undergone sex change ops or hormone therapy. Patients must be 18.

Both of these boys have changed into a costume, but a costume does not make them girls anymore than dressing like a dog makes a furry a canine. We know that one of the boys has legally changed his name, but a name-change doesn’t make him a girl. Both boys can even undergo surgery to look more like their totemic sex, but they will remain what they were born — males.

When the school administrators told the students that they would treat the two boys as girls from now on, they demanded that the boys’ fantasy be indulged. But no fantasy trumps reality. The boys and their parents may fantasize that they are girls now, but when they demand that others engage in their fantasy, then they have crossed the line.

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