The inclusion of otherkin on the Wiki serves to document the connection that this group has with aesthetic communities, and to explain terminology.

Otherkin is a subculture (not an aesthetic) a personal identity in which people identify as something typically nonhuman. There are notably some sub-communities, including but not limited to therianthropy, fictionkin, and factkin. These groups, as well as other terms, are included in the glossary at the bottom.

The otherkin community has notably contributed to aesthetic communities, especially on sites like Tumblr and Pinterest (though they can be found nearly anywhere). These contributions often include moodboards based on kintypes. Not all 'kin engage with aesthetic communities and their own identities in this way, but some do.

Otherkin has been taken out of context by some, using it to describe things they simply relate to, or for roleplay purposes. While neither of these things are bad on their own, the misuse of otherkin terms has harmed the community through misunderstandings, and the devaluing of spiritual/psychological 'kin's experiences.

  • There is an important distinction to be made between spiritual/psych. 'kin and "kin for fun"/otherlinkers. The primary difference is:
    • Spiritual/psychological kin is involuntary, and often involves more than just acting like a kintype.
    • Otherlinking is voluntary, and usually doesn't involve more than purposefully taking on an identity for recreation.
  • This means kins-for-fun are unable to understand important aspects of spiritual/psych. 'kin's identities and experiences.
  • This is not to say that spiritual/psych. 'kin can't have fun with their identities, nor that people shouldn't voluntarily take on an identity for any reason, though it's good to be aware of this distinction and the possible spread of misinformation.

There are a few different ways in which 'kin/related identities can develop. This can be through imprinting, a result of neurodivergence, as a method of coping, or in relation to spiritual beliefs. Many people recall experiences relating to their 'kin identity from childhood that were unrealized until later. Others may develop it over time without notice.

Otherkin is a phenomenon that can deeply affect people's daily lives: through kinshifts, memories, and even possibly trauma, which is believed to be carried over from past lives. It is important to remember the impact it has on people, regardless of what you believe.

Glossary

Classification

  • Otherkin
    • The name/umbrella term for the community.
    • Also refers to being kin with things such as elves, dragons, angels/demons, and similar groups.
      • Otherkin was originally an offshoot of elvenkind, the first popular kin group that existed on the internet. The term was created (originally as "otherkind") to differentiate between elves, and non-elves who were a part of the community.[1]
  • Therianthropy
    • Therianthropes (or therians) are those who are kin with real-world species. The most well-known theriantype by far are those who are kin with wolves.
    • Not all therians necessarily consider themselves to be "otherkin"; the community can be seen as another subculture which has notable overlap.
  • Fictionkin
    • Those who are kin with things found in fiction, like characters or species.
  • Factkin
    • Those who are kin with real people (whether they are currently alive or not).
    • This group is often a center of debate in the community. Many claim it is inherently harmful, or identity theft, but others claim this is hypocritical; due to spiritual/psych. 'kin's identities being involuntary, and how many serious 'kin believe in reincarnation and/or the multiverse theory. All this being said, it should not be treated as a means to unfairly judge an individual.
  • There are also other, smaller classifications of otherkin, such as conceptkin, objectkin, songkin, and others. Their names should be self-explanatory.

Other Terms

  • Spiritual kin
    • Those who incorporate spiritual beliefs into their otherkin identity, whether through belief in reincarnation, multiverse, or something else.
      • There is also a distinction between spiritual kintypes and past lives. Kintypes do not have to be past lives, and vice versa - one important facet of otherkin is that identities are relevant and important to the individual in the current moment.
  • Psychological kin
    • Those whose minds latch or imprint onto something to the point where it becomes a 'kin identity.
      • Most often, those who have psychological kintypes are neurodivergent. (ADHD, ASD, BPD, OCD, DID/OSDD, etc.)
  • Hearted (usually a suffix, like otherhearted or fictionhearted) or kith (like kithtype)
    • When someone identifies with, not as something. Commonly described as a feeling of familial connection, or something one feels they "should" have been. Not equivalent to simply relating to something.
    • A similar, broader term also exists for a closely related concept; being the term synpath. The term was made for anyone- 'kin or not -to use.
  • Copinglink / c-link
    • Taking on an identity (most commonly) voluntarily, usually to help cope with trauma and/or everyday life, or to help relax.
      • Copinglink's purpose serves to help the c-linker emotionally. It is similar to otherlink in that it is voluntary, and while c-link shifting is a thing, people tend not to have other kin-related experiences with c-links. Unlike kins-for-fun, c-linking is widely accepted, as it makes a clear distinction between voluntary and involuntary identities.
  • "Kin for fun" / kin(s)-for-fun / otherlinkers
    • Taking on an identity voluntarily usually just for recreation; closer in proximity to roleplaying and pretend.
      • Serious 'kin may dislike for kins-for-fun, since its prevalence has warped the way many view otherkin due to the shared usage of the term "kin", and the way a notable amount of kins-for-fun tend to act and treat serious otherkin experiences.
      • A small amount of people are fine with kins-for-fun as they are, while others may accept only if they specifically use "otherlink" or similar terms to differentiate between voluntary and involuntary identities. The vast majority of serious 'kin, however, are opposed to kins-for-fun due to their behaviour.
  • -type (like kintype, theriantype, or fictotype)
    • A kintype is something that someone is kin with. Kintypes can be entire species, a fictional character, etc.
      • Someone can have just one kintype (called monokin), OR two or more kintypes (called polykin). There is no maximum amount of kintypes.
  • Shift / Kinshift
    • A shift is when an individual feels more close to an otherkin identity. This can be emotionally, mentally, or even through experiencing phantom body parts, as well as a few rarer ways. Shifts can be triggered unexpectedly, or by interacting with media, listening to specific music, or having certain real-life experiences.
  • Memories / mems
    • Kin memories are memories that one has as their kintype(s). They can either come unexpectedly or be triggered by interacting with media, or having real-life experiences, much like shifts can be triggered. Memories may also bring trauma related to a kintype, but this is not true for everyone.

Gallery

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