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The Freedom to Be Otherkin

When I read the phrase “This site is not to be used in the hunting of vampires or any other type of otherkin,” I admit that I had to suppress a chuckle. Though the site OtherKin.com tends to take itself very seriously (“if it comes down to a fight between a vampire and a “slayer,” I hope you can run fast.”), its self-consciously ominous character is a little silly, when it comes down to it.

Otherkin are people who believe that they are, in some kind of way, not ordinary humans, but somehow, are actually some kind of mythical creature, such as a nymph, a demon or even a Pooka.

I am not one of those people who find the Otherkin interesting because I wonder whether there really are dragons, elves, werewolves and vampires. I don’t believe that there ever have been such things. I also wonder why faeries and undead creatures with special powers would need to have web sites in order to establish a sense of community amongst those of their kind.

I find Otherkin interesting because it’s curious to consider what motivates human beings to believe that they are not human beings, and to accept a mythological identity as the internally-real core aspect of themselves. I also think that it’s remarkable that people are willing to express these ideas to other people and interact in this shared symbolic reality. I have some respect for their imaginations, and I’m glad that we have a culture for people like this, who, though they may not be griffins or changelings, are definitely, really Otherkin.

Oh, and for those of you who feel especially misunderstood, there’s an article just for you: So You Think You’re a Demon… Now What?

12 comments to The Freedom to Be Otherkin

  • qs

    Either they have a psychological disorder or they just roll with it even thought they know it’s bs. I think both.

  • K

    Hey, otherkin dragon here. If you do find out what psychological disorder it is, please let me know what it is. I’ve been trying to find a rational, or at the very least psychological explanation for it, but so far, nothing. There have been serious studies done within the otherkin community by some very reputable people, though I’m sure that anyone viewing these studies from the outside looking in will think that it is automatically biased (being within the community), though it did have some interesting points that may explain some of the cases, though not all.

    I think the conclusion reached was that it was a psychological disease with no relation to outside stimuli or genetics (as far as could be told be the genetics), or (because it was done within the otherkin community), there might be some validity to the crazy claims.

    Regardless, enough rambling from me. The otherkin.com website is one of the best online, and if you posted the results on that website, you would help several skeptics (Yes, there are actually atheist otherkin) come to terms with their condition, and catch the fancy of many others.

    I would be interested to read into an actual, professional analysis of otherkin and their belief/affliction. I do hope you will someday post something on here that maybe has been collaborated on with several experts that attempts to analyze it in a professional way. Or hell, at this point, I’ll settle for a mimic of a professional analysis at this point, as long as it is convincing enough.

    ~Signed~

    A Generic Dragon Otherkin

    • Luthe

      Do you think it could be related to an adaptive trait through which humans in their natural environment identified with some of the animals around them? Entire tribes have totem animals, you know.

      • K

        I have actually considered that, though (and this will sound really weird coming from someone claiming to be otherkin) there is little evidence to support spirit animals. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying I’ve never had much need for them, and have never been aware of their existence. Also, it seems to ring a little deeper than totem animal. I do try to meditate quite frequently (usually about 2 hours a week on average), and I just keep coming to the same conclusions. No way to get around it…

        Now I thought it might have been an adaptive trait. In fact, that was one of my first conclusions. However, I, for some reason or another, think that I am somehow an Eastern dragon of sorts. This conflicts with the idea of adaptive traits, because I didn’t even know anything about them until I researched them, and because I live in America, the only dragon I was exposed to were the wings+fire breathing sort. It was only later, after finally discovering what I was that I decided to research the traits of Eastern dragons, and I found it absurd how close they matched with my own.

        Yes, I’m aware of The Barnum Effect, and the psychology behind matching listed traits with one’s own traits, but this just went beyond that. Things that the Eastern Dragon supposedly believes, behaviors and mannerisms that one associates with Eastern dragons, and even the body shape…All of these things were things I’ve known and felt and taught my whole life.

        I don’t know what causes these feelings. Maybe it’s psychological, or possibly, far fetched though it may be, something true rings true with the belief. What I do know is that, like any other belief in the world, it’s open to the take-it-or-leave-it interpretation. I don’t expect anyone to believe any of it (in fact, if you did believe it without being an otherkin, it might fling you into the realm of gullible), but I do appreciate the respect the belief has gotten on this site.

        Because, believe me, I know it’s crazy. I know you don’t believe it, and if I wasn’t personally affected, I wouldn’t believe it either (heck, if it didn’t affect me, I’d probably be a full blown, no-belief-in-souls-or-god atheist). But what I do believe in, no matter what the belief, or how far fetched it sounds, to always respect others and their ideas as long as no harm comes from them, and that’s what you guys are doing. So, thank you.

  • M

    Actually, many otherkin have seen psychologists worried that they’re crazy and have found that they are completely sane. One angelkin once told me that he had gone to see a psychologist, and told him how he felt. The psychologist replied, “If you still can brush your teeth in the morning, you’re probably fine”. What the doctor meant by this, was of course that if you can function on a day to day basis, you’re essentially not crazy, since “crazy” generally means that you cannot function.

    Now, this is not to say that there arn’t a few select insane individuals…there are. But the vast majority of otherkin are sane. Whether it is spiritual or psychological is another question, which I infact have posted about. A lot of otherkin seem to feel that their “connection”, if you will, is spiritual in nature. In other words, they are incarnated from non-human creatures. Others (many dragons in particular) are not sure how exactly they came to otherkin, simply because they don’t believe in dragons! They just find that they identify as one. There’s one particular therian (animal otherkin) who wrote a very scholarly essay (he went to a school provided by…I believe Mensa because of his very evidently high IQ) about how therianthropy is probably psychological in nature, and even explained some theories/hypothesis on how it all happens. He said that based on psychology, identity occurs at an early age. A therian, may find they feel closer to animals, and eventually come to identify as a particular animal…that is what he said in short.

    Another interesting thing is that most people in the otherkin community will actually put a new member of the subculture though a long questioning process, to determine whether they are legitimate or crazy, or a roleplayer. Questions like “What makes you believe you are otherkin?” or “Did you consider all possibilities?” are common.

    So no, we’re actually (for the most part), a sane and intellectual group, thank you.

    • Danni

      Yes you’re sane and intellectual but ‘why’ do you not want to be human? Try honestly asking yourself. When you do ask realize that a gigantic argument ensues in your brain…

      • Ardu

        Otherkin dragon here and in my experience I never felt human I never acted human and I had acute hearing eyesight and smell. One example I was out with a few friends and I heard a plane out in the distance and me being a aviation freak I can ID the different sounds of different aircraft so I went “Look out F-15 inbound” all my friends went “I can’t hear anything” 2 minutes later it flew over at about 2k ft and my ears felt like exploding (ups and downs of my hearing). I also found from my studies on history the “human” species chooses the hardest way to solve the easiest problems. So that’s my reason

  • Danni

    Most otherkin begin as individual’s, that I have personally encountered, uninterested with themselves or the world. I believe that their rejection of being human stems from desire to rise above or transcend what they view as a very average and unappealing self image even though there is plenty of things in life to praise or take pride in as a human being. They seek individual’s like them because they wish to share in their beliefs. Otherkin is an ideology which is not rooted in any kind of science and shares all the qualities of a religion. Not a cult, but definitely a religion. The lengths people will go to to describe their unique non-human persona knows absolutely zero discrimination that I know of. Anything that you can imagine being you are but are generally inspired by magical or mythical creatures (again pointing fingers to the fact that they feel humanity is droll and boring. They want to not be human cause they find it boring). I do solemnly believe that not embracing your humanity is a problem. With certainty they are REJECTING humanity for some reason and to do so would be flawed in logic because they’re still confined to their human bodies unable to act in anyway they would wish as their ‘kin’.

    • K

      That theory has certainly been considered, and there are a large number of otherkin that suffer from depression (somewhere around 50%), but this again does not fit everyone considering themselves nonhuman.

      In my case, it’s not a matter of not wanting to be human. I spent the better part of a year trying to be ‘normal’, but after months of futility, I gave up, and moved on with my life.

      That being said, I really would like to see a professional psychological assessment and classification of the otherkin phenomena.

  • Alayna

    Angelic wolf here (don’t ask me how that works…) I’ve considered the “rejecting humanity” theory myself, since I have often found the things humanity in general has done to be appalling, however I really don’t think that could be a solution for all Otherkin. There are many who claim to have been “different” from an extremely early age, including myself. Even as a young child, before I knew what the internet was or how to research a topic, I somehow knew the mindset of a wolf. I knew their behaviors, how they thought, how their packs actually functioned outside of captivity and what the media shows, ect. I actually surprised myself when I actually did start researching them and discovered I already knew so much about them. (Side note: I live in Texas. No wolves around here.)

    The angelic side didn’t really “awaken” until later when I discovered I knew things of a “biblical” nature that I should not have known. I’d never read the Bible or taken much of an interest in religion at all. However upon meeting a close friend who studied vast amounts of religious aspects (not just Christianity) I discovered the things I had “known” but had tried to pass off as imagination were actually facts. I’d also felt the “phantom limb” sensation way before I knew what Otherkin or Therianthropy was, but once again passed it off as imagination even though I could never “imagine” any other extra limbs outside of my wings, tail, and ears.

    All of the theories presented could prove true for certain individuals, but not every theory will be true for every otherkin. For me, I feel it goes much deeper than just psychological or “escapism”.

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