Seattle-based Naia Ōkami recently appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss the fact that she identifies as a wolf instead of a human. While discussing how she expresses this way of seeing herself in her everyday life with hosts Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes, Ōkami clarified that she’s aware she’s not an actual living and breathing wolf stuck in a human body.
“I don’t physically believe I am a wolf. It’s more a spiritual and psychological identification as a wolf—like I’m totally aware I’m human… But by the same token, spiritually I am a wolf,” she told the TV show. “I have a serious job, I pay my bills and taxes, this is just how I spiritually express myself,” Ōkami continued.
During the interview, she revealed that her interest in wolves started at an early age, “It started with dream shifting. That is when I had a dream of myself as a wolf and I could view myself in some of these dreams. I could see myself as an observer, while in some of these dreams I was acting as a wolf. I went from that to looking more like actual, real-life wolves. The more I looked [like a wolf], the more and more I began to identify in that way,” Ōkami shared.
She also told This Morning that she now has been able to work out the specific breed that she thinks exists in her spirit. “I am a British Columbian wolf,” she said. Reminiscing on her teenage years, Ōkami added that it was around that time she first embodied her inner wolf. “When I was in high school, I was a lot more shamelessly expressive,” she explained.
“I would vocalise, I would howl, that is how I expressed myself. Nowadays, it’s a little different… If I’m at work or in the grocery store, I’m not going to bark or howl,” Ōkami continued. While the transgender 27-year-old recognises that she is a human, the New York Post reported that she also identifies as being “otherkin,” meaning that she identifies as not entirely human—whether that be through reincarnation, trans-species dysphoria of the soul, ancestry, or metaphor.
Although similar to the more mainstream subculture of furries, the otherkin community is often more rooted in fantasy or mythology. They believe they are awakened to their otherkin identities, sometimes via dreams. Judging from what she told This Morning, her vision of otherkin fits closer with the latter form of expression. She also joked about how she uses her spirit animal in one of her jobs (investigating trafficking and child predators) and tries to stalk her prey.
Sometimes, when she’s alone or doing media appearances, Ōkami allows her full wolf identity to shine and will “wolf out in the woods,” she shared.