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

Otherkin (Otherkind) is a subculture (not an aesthetic) based around a personal identity in which people identify as something (usually nonhuman) in some way. There are notably some sub-communities, including but not limited to, therianthropy, fictionkin, and factkin. These groups, as well as terms for different kinds of connections, are included in a glossary at the bottom of the page.

The otherkin community has been a major contributor to aesthetic communities, especially on Tumblr (though they can be found nearly anywhere). These contributions often include moodboards based on an individual kintype. Not all otherkin engage with their own identities and aesthetic communities in this way, but a good majority do.

Otherkin has been taken out of context by some, using it to refer to things they simply relate to, or for roleplay purposes. While neither of these things are bad on their own, the misuse of otherkin terminology has led to harming the community through misunderstanding of terms, and the devaluing of experiences that spiritual / psychological otherkin have.

  • There is an important distinction to be made between spiritual / psych. otherkin and "kin for fun", or the term the otherkin community uses, otherlinking. The primary difference is:
    • Spiritual / psychological kin is involuntary, cannot be dropped, and often involves more than just acting like a kintype.
    • Otherlinking is voluntary, can be dropped at any time, and usually doesn't involve more than purposefully taking on an identity for recreation.
  • This means otherlinkers are unable to understand aspects of spiritual / psych. otherkin identities and experiences. These individuals are not therians or otherkin!
  • 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 ways/theories for how otherkin identities can develop. This can be as a coping mechanism for trauma, as a result of neurodivergence, or caused in relation to spiritual beliefs. Many people can recall experiences relating to their identity from childhood that were unrealized until later. Others may develop it over time without notice. Most otherkin fully discover/realize their identity in their mid to late teens and early twenties.

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
    • "Therians" are those who are kin with real-world species. The most well-known theriantype by far are those who are kin with wolves.
  • 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 that it is inherently harmful and identity theft, but others may think that this is hypocritical, as many serious otherkin often believe in reincarnation and/or the multiverse theory, as well as the fact that spiritual/psychological otherkin's identities are often involuntary. 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 spirituality beliefs into their otherkin identity, whether through belief in reincarnation or the multiverse.
      • There is also a distinction between spiritual kintypes and past lives. Kintypes do not have to be past lives, and past lives do not have to be kintypes - one of the most important facets to the meaning of otherkin is that the identity is 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 an otherkin identity.
      • Most often, those who have psychological kintypes are neurodivergent. (ADHD, Autism, BPD, OCD, DID/OSDD, etc.)
  • Hearted (usually a suffix, like otherhearted or fictionhearted) or kith (like kithtype)
    • When someone identifies with instead of as something. Commonly described as something like a familial connection. It is more important than just relating to something, but doesn't fit the definition of a kintype.
  • 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 has similarities to kin-for-fun: it's voluntary, and while c-link shifting is a thing, people usually don't get memories or trauma from c-links. There is no misunderstanding, as c-link is clearly, separately defined. Some people may be fine with kins-for-fun, as long as they use this term to differentiate between voluntary and involuntary identities.
  • "Kin for fun" / kin(s)-for-fun
    • Taking on an identity voluntarily usually not for any other reason than recreation. Therefore, the group is in closer proximity to the concept of roleplaying. Serious otherkin may dislike for kins-for-fun, since its prevalence has warped the way the larger majority views otherkin, by sharing the term "kin". Kins-for-fun do not experience things spiritual / psych. kins do, such as getting mems. These individuals are not therians or otherkin!
  • -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 either have only one kintype (called monokin), or two or more kintypes (called polykin). There is no maximum amount of kintypes.
  • Kinshift / Kindshift / shift
    • A kinshift 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 either unexpectedly, or by interacting with media related to a kintype, listening to certain music, or having certain real-life experiences.
  • Memories / mems
    • Memories are just that: memories that one has as their kintype. They can either come unexpectedly or be triggered by media that is interacted with, or experiences that are had, much like shifts. Memories may also bring trauma related to a kintype, but this is not true for everyone.


Gallery

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.