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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) involving personal identity. The people in the subculture identify as being something typically nonhuman, whether this means they are xenogender, a therian, or even something else entirely. There are notably some sub-communities for different otherkin identities, 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 misunderstanding, and has devalued spiritual/psychological kin's experiences.

  • There is an important distinction to be made between spiritual/psychological 'kin and "kin for fun"/otherlinkers. The primary difference is:
    • Spiritual/psychological kin is involuntary, and often involves believing that on the inside one is a kintype.
    • Otherlinking is voluntary, and usually doesn't involve more than purposefully taking on an identity for recreation.
  • This means people who solely otherlink cannot understand certain aspects of spiritual/psychological kin's identities and experiences.
  • This is not to say that spiritual/psychological 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 many different ways in which kin/related identities can develop. This can be through imprinting, a result of neurodivergence, as a method of coping, in relation to spiritual beliefs, or in some cases, for recreation (separate from simply roleplaying). 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 can supposably 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 other 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 is wolves.
    • Not all therians 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 harmful, but others claim this is hypocritical (due to spiritual/psych. identities being involuntary, and how many who are otherkin believe in reincarnation and/or the multiverse). 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 are 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 - an important facet of otherkin is that the identities are relevant and important to the individual in their current life.
  • Psychological kin
    • Those whose minds latch or imprint onto something to the point where it becomes a 'kin identity.
  • 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 voluntarily (in most cases), 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 / otherlink
    • Taking on an identity voluntarily usually just for recreation; closer in proximity to roleplaying and pretend.
      • Serious 'kin may dislike those who "kin 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 otherlinkers tend to act and treat serious otherkin experiences.
      • Some are fine with otherlinkers as they are, while others may accept only if they always specifically use "otherlink" to differentiate between other groups. Many serious 'kin (especially older members of the community), however, are opposed to otherlinkers.
  • -type (like kintype, theriantype, or fictotype)
    • A kintype is something that someone is kin with. Kintypes can be entire species, a fictional character, etc.
      • One can have a single 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; they can also be triggered by interacting with media, listening to specific music, or going through certain in-person life experiences.
  • Memories / mems
    • Kin memories are memories that one has as their kintype(s). They can be remembered just as kinshifts can be triggered. Memories may also bring or contain trauma related to a kintype, but this is not true for everyone.

Gallery

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