Perhaps you have heard of this term before, and perhaps the controversy and prejudice against it. The definition of otherkin is complex, as the feelings that otherkin experience vary, but is simply defined to be a social connection to something non-human. This definition alone has sparked lots of dislike, commonly creating the argument: “You were born human, you're not anything else other than that.”
But otherkin is more than just believing you are something other than human. It's about the spiritual connection. The ways that they feel connected varies – some believe they were born externally human and internally something else; some believe they have a whole or partial soul of something non-human; others believe they may have been it in a past life through reincarnation. It's overall usually about a spiritual connection, rather than a physical. For example, one could believe they were once a fox in a past life and have been reincarnated into a human but still have that spiritual connection to a fox. Another could believe that they were just born with a connection to the soul with wolves.
Something that commonly occurs with identifying as an otherkin is “ghost limbs”. This phenomenon involves often feeling different limbs and features that are linked to the non-human label. This could includes tails, ears, wings, and paws to name. This may sound a little peculiar but scientists have linked this to phantom limb sensation which occurs often after amputation.
The prejudice that otherkin face is heavy. Because people refuse to understand, they use otherkin as bait to pick on. This is similarly how homophobes and transphobes act – they act this way as they refuse or cannot understand but are desperate to maintain dignity and superiority.
Whether or not you agree with the existence of otherkin, it should be common courtesy to avoid targeting them for it. I believe we should let people identify how they wish, regardless whether you understand or not.
As someone who has never heard of this term before, I found this article super interesting and clear :)
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.