|Synonyms:||Kin, Mediakin, Otakukin|
|See also:||Otherkin, Alter|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Fictionkin are people who identify as fictional characters or species. What identifying entails, depends on the individual; the definition and purpose of "kin" has evolved over time.
Fictionkin has its roots in elfinkind, a neo-pagan religion of people who believed themselves to spiritually be elves or changelings. This group eventually split, producing a new group called otherkind made of people believing themselves to be dragons, werewolves and other mythical beings in a past life. At some point, the d was dropped and otherkind became otherkin. Also, otherkin was expanded to include people who identified as real animals or plants.
Otherkin and later fictionkin became popular on tumblr- first perceived as a serious and possibly oppressed religious minority, then as a coping mechanism for trauma, then as a jokey way to relate to a character and something that should not be taken seriously.
Whether fictionkin falls under the otherkin umbrella or is a totally separate thing rejected by otherkin depends on which otherkin person you ask.
Final Fantasy VII House
The Final Fantasy VII House was a kin cult active in the early 2000s.
there are few tales stranger than the case of the Final Fantasy VII house. The houses—there were several in succession—were the homes of a real-world roleplaying cult run by a woman whose fantasies left lives in tatters...The experiences [victims] had at the house left them feeling traumatized, ashamed, and mistrustful. And the author of that trauma was the mini-cult's ringleader, "Joanna." (All names in this piece have been changed.)...
Joanna's mental instability, never properly treated, deteriorated after her stay at Cross Creek, according to Nate. She also had issues with her sexuality, Syd and McCollough said, explaining away her attraction to women by calling Rachel a reincarnated man. Both also said that Joanna claimed various occult powers, including the ability to "soulbond," or tap into multiple personalities at will. Some of these personalities were characters from anime or video games, particularly Final Fantasy VII....
Slowly, Syd realized that Joanna's talk of reincarnation, multiple personalities, and magic was not roleplaying—from what he could tell, she actually believed the stuff... Joanna bestowed FFVII-related nicknames upon all of her friends. There was "Aerys," a quiet girl Joanna had romantic designs on; an otherkin guy nicknamed "Cid"; and McCullough, a community college student from Maryland whose friendship with Rachel put her under Joanna's thumb. She opted to call Syd "Zack."...
The FFVII house at this time only consisted of three permanent residents, he said: Joanna, Rachel, and a male roommate Joanna had named "Gast" after a minor character from the game. But Joanna also played host to a revolving door of visitors she had met online. "Every single person who lived with her was named after a Final Fantasy character," recalls "Clark," an online friend of Joanna's from about this time...
Strange things began happening when Syd visited. In one case, he said, Joanna began pressuring Syd and Aerys to hook up, since their respective characters were romantically connected in the game. When they refused to take the hint, she loudly announced that she'd added fistfuls of aphrodisiacs to their food. During another trip, Joanna and Rachel locked Syd in a soundproof practice room in the Penn State music building, hoping it would jar loose memories of his past lives. They only released him after he started panicking. One time, Syd said, Joanna insisted on doing a past-life regression on a college friend he had brought along for a visit, which involved lying on the floor in a dark room as Joanna chanted and music played on a loop—a selection from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack called "The Nightmare Is Just Beginning."...
Every night they ate $10 steaks and gatorade, a diet that made Syd sick. The apartment, already in shambles, devolved into a morass of laundry, toys, and glitter. Joanna wore the same clothing every day and rarely bathed, McCollough said, preferring to anoint herself with oils...
Any time Syd tried to communicate with the outside world, Joanna watched him like a hawk, making it impossible for him to tell anyone what was happening. His movements had to be accounted for—if he left the apartment for anything other than work, he risked being locked out for hours at a time. Worse, Joanna woke him at odd hours for magical errands such as setting up protective spells and investigating fairy rings. Isolated and exhausted, he went along with Joanna's ever-shifting fantasies as a matter of self-preservation. There was hell to pay if he cried or stood up to her, he told VICE.
The others weren't doing much better. Joanna forced Aerys to sit in a bathtub of ice cubes and green food coloring as part of her "magical training," Syd said....Syd estimates that about 20 people were sucked into Joanna's real-world orbit, and many more online.excerpted from When Fandom Goes Wrong: The Dark Tale of the 'Final Fantasy VII' House By Asher Elbein, VICE Magazine
Yandere Bitch Club
The Yandere Bitch Club were a group of white fictionkin claiming to be Japanese, while attacking other white people for being kin with anime characters, aka kinning outside their race. They also are said to have lied about their identity in other ways, such as claiming to be transfeminine or having mental illness or disabilities they did not have, etc. They doxxed people, sent them death threats and gore, and abused humans and animals alike. Most of their blogs and blog posts about them have since been deleted, but some call-outs and other details have been preserved on reddit.
The Yandere Bitch Club is sometimes blamed for the present state of the otherkin community, on tumblr or in general, which is often mockingly called "tumblrkin."
Around late 2014, during the peak of callout culture, a group rose in the Tumblr kin community known as the Yandere Bitch Club, or YBC for short. Not much information about them remains online, but the main group consisted of four cis, white adult women who posed as Japanese transfeminine minors and claimed that it was racist to have kintypes outside your race. Because of the time at which this occurred, it was easy for these girls to use abuse and fear tactics such as falsifying callout posts and doxxing in order to get this idea to spread rapidly across the community, causing mass chaos. People were attacked for little reason and bullied to the point of being suicidal. They had many allies, including the infamous despairkomaeda (I won’t even begin to open that can of worms, look them up at your own risk) and became extremely influential due to the website’s climate. It was useless to argue with them directly (believe me, I tried) or to try and put some sense back into people (I also tried). The damage was done and the community changed drastically because of it. They caused a lot of problems for the DID/OSDD community as well, but I’m not an authority on that topic so I’ll leave that for a blog with more information on that community.
This is the reason why the community is the way it is today. There’s some minor discourses that contributed to one thing or another, but this is the main reason why the “Tumblrkin” community is so different from the otherkin community on other parts of the internet. The majority of people who remain afraid that having kintypes outside their race will get them sent vicious hate, and those who send that hate in the first place, likely have no idea that they’re a remnant of this era, and those who do don’t care, as the damage was already done and they now genuinely believe that these things are aggressions against other communities. Recently it’s been happening again on a smaller scale with things like disability and gender (particular for transgender people), the latter of which caused a lot of drama surrounding a few characters (particularly Pidge from Voltron in a notable case).https://thisisnotkin.tumblr.com/post/175674270281/informational-post-2-fictionkin-and-race-its
- Kintype - what/who one is kin with
- Double - someone who is kin with the same character as another person. Some people avoid interacting with doubles.
- Kin memory - memory of life as the character one kins
- Kindating - when two fictionkin date who claim to have known each other in a past life. Can be related to shipping.
- Kin drama - discourse or call outs in the kin community
- Kinshift - feeling more like the kintype than usual
- Drop - to no longer be kin with something. Controversial.
- Exotrauma - "past life trauma" said to cause PTSD or issues. Controversial.
There are many concepts related to fiction kin, or vice versa, that may be mistaken for the same thing as fiction kin.
- Factkin- someone who identify as kin with a real life, living person. Can be related to RPF. Controversial within the otherkin and fictionkin communities, and often not accepted or treated seriously.
- Fictive- someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) who believes themselves to be a fictional character- not in a past life, but now. This is a sign of mental illness, not a spiritual belief or lifestyle choice.
- Therian- someone who spiritually identifies as an animal (not a character or mythical being). Therians have their own community which only sometimes overlaps with otherkin.
- Shamanism, spirit animals, totems, etc- These are beliefs of indigenous people and unrelated to otherkin/fictionkin.
- Soulbonds and Tulpas/Thoughtforms- a spiritual and/or mental attempt to invite/recreate a character in one's mind- not to become it, but to share headspace with, like an intentional and advanced imaginary friend
- Copinglinker- Someone who consciously chooses to identify as a character to cope with mental illness or trauma. This is different from fictionkin, most of whom insist that being kin is not a choice or changeable aspect of themselves.
- Alterhuman- umbrella term for all homo sapiens who do not consider themselves human.
Notable Fandoms and Individuals
Some fandoms, such as Dangan Ronpa, had a reputation for having more fictionkin than others.
Fictionkin are commonly perceived as cringe and are depicted in cringe compilations. There were many troll blogs. They were often mocked for appearing ridiculous or for appropriating Native American religions, mocking mental illnesses (such as DID), or for claiming to have "past-life" trauma they did not have. "Kinning outside your race" was a topic of controversy on tumblr. Some otherkin who identify as animals dislike fictionkin, finding them unrelatable or thinking they make all kin look bad.
Fictionkin were often pressured to "drop" problematic kintypes, which some say is possible, but most old-school fictionkin say is impossible.
In response to an ask about dropping kintypes, fictionkinfessions replied:
That’s not whole fictionkinity works anon! Kintypes are you, and you are your kintypes! You cannot just ‘unkin’ or ‘drop’ kintypes just because you don’t like them or the source! That is not possible!
Saying you can do so is incredibly hurtful and harmful to people! It encourages people who aren’t alterhuman to think it’s possible to stop being kin from [insert random source that tumblr currently considers problematic or bad for whatever reasons of the month til their collective attention span changes]! This gives those people an invalid reason to harass people for their kintypes!
[side note: stop this! Go after the actual creators of these media! Go write to the producers or media conglomerates that are paying for these things to be made! Bullying people who do not have the power to change or cease production of these problematic medias does nothing!!]
If you realize you do not have a kintype from something after some consideration, that’s fine! That’s part of the process of awakening as a kintype! This is why people, usually those who have been awakened as fictionkin [or therians, otherkin, and so forth] for more than a few years encourage other people to not jump into fictokintypes! To not see a fanart or and go ‘oh thats me’ without further investigation!
Yes some people can do that, I’m not saying it’s entirely impossible! But it’s not as common as you may think, and everyone should actually engage with their source before adding kintype(s) to their personal list of confirmed fictotypes!
Anon, please reconsider what you think fictionkinity and alterhumanity is like! You are perpetuating a hurtful way of thinking within our community! This isn’t good!
Mod Party Cat!
ps the concept of being able to drop or ‘unkin’ kintypes is also something used by abusers to manipulate their victims into supressing or acquiring false kintypes in order to isolate the victim, or manipulate the victim into thinking they are meant to be tied to their abuser(s) through multiple lives / timelines / canons!Stop saying you can apply and discard kintypes like they’re clothing! You are helping abusers hurt people like this! God!https://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/189747666197/i-hate-when-i-kin-from-a-source-thats
Others shared the same sentiment:
-”Being other-/fictionkin is a choice” + “You can choose your kintypes”
Otherkin and fictionkin alike is being defined as an ivoluntary identity. No one can simply choose to identify as non-human or fictionkin. Those who consciously choose to identify as non-human or a fictional character in order to cope are copinglink (which is just as legitimate as otherkin).
-”Other-/fictionkinity is a coping mechanism”
Again, if you take on an identity to cope, you are not other-/fictionkin, you are copinglink. A coping mechanism is something you do. Being ‘kin is an identity, something you are.
-””Kinning” outside one’s race is racist”
This argument does not make sense and those who throw it around are generally misinformed about the nature of otherkinity, since no one can choose their kintypes or simply drop them. Additionally, “kinning” isn’t a real word.
-”Other-/fictionkin are people who feel a connection or strongly relate to something”This is not what other-/fictionkinity is. Other-/fictionkin internally see themselves as their kintypes and identify as them, not with them. Feeling a strong connection or relating to something doesn’t make you other-/fictionkin. The correct term for identifying with something would be other- or fictionhearted.https://kinformation-desk.tumblr.com/post/160907390324/common-misconceptions-regarding-otherkin-and
Fictkinhelp, another tumblr blog for fictionkin, disagrees:
many mental health specialists have told fictionkin people firsthand that their beliefs are safe and fine as long as it is not hurting them or other people. however, if someone’s kintype is unhealthy for them (for example, kinning a character that reminds them of an abuser and being distressed about it) then it is not a good idea to practice such behavior and the kintype should be dropped.https://fictkinhelp.tumblr.com/faq
Others believe kintypes should be dropped in some circumstances.
no one ever like. forces you to be kin with a character. ultimately kin has no affect on your material reality, and thats the most important thing to think about when doing the Kin stuff. if its making you feel like shit, if its becoming too large a part of your life that it’s impeding your ability to succeed and thrive, you need to step back. you can drop any kin, if you really want to. just dont take it or yourself too seriously, please.https://turing-tested.tumblr.com/post/171874444825/no-one-ever-like-forces-you-to-be-kin-with-a
if a white person says that they can’t drop a nonwhite kin because it’s spiritual, it’s false. white people can’t be reincarnation kin because they don’t have souls.https://unequal.tumblr.com/post/160318577566/if-a-white-person-says-that-they-cant-drop-a
this might sound stupid to some people but have you ever been so glad to drop a kin because it was obviously unhealthy for you #i hope my brain doesnt ever get delusions abt being some emo depressive character #AGAINhttps://kcz.tumblr.com/post/190165429575/this-might-sound-stupid-to-some-people-but-have
people keep talking about how they 'cant help having problematic sources' and i get it to an extent. you cant chose your kin. but with things like hazbin hotel, where everyone knows that the creator is a bad person and that the show is full of bigotry it's less 'why are you kin with them?' and more 'why did you decide to watch it in the first place?' i guess it must be nice to be straight & unaffected by homophobiahttps://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/189225665113/people-keep-talking-about-how-they-cant-help
kinnies in 2017/2018: dont kin outside your priviledge!!
kinnies in 2019/2020(?): dont kin problematic characters!!kinnies in 2021: dont kin!!https://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/189702813838/kinnies-in-20172018-dont-kin-outside-your
im [person who believes kinning indicates a moral compass] and i think people who kin [fictional character who were plot devices to create conflicts that the heroes can improve from] are all shitty abusers despote the fact that abusers would more likely say theyre kin with unproblematic characters to hide their true nature! you may not be able to choose your kins but you can definitely choose to make people more comfortable, and also kill yourself. take it from me, a morally good person!https://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/189635788765/im-person-who-believes-kinning-indicates-a-moral
im so glad the era of having to "prove" that you were a character by having the same trauma/disability/general issues or whatever as them to be "allowed" to be them. the fact that you cant choose your kintypes aside, it was so invasive. i dont want to post those kinds of personal details of myself online! if someone has a kintype with heavy baggage, maybe they share that trauma, maybe they dont. its no ones business to know.https://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/189504789754/im-so-glad-the-era-of-having-to-prove-that-you
still thinking about the time i was told to drop a kin because it was from a source the person and their friends found gross. when i explained i Can't Do That because i'm a reincarnation kin they insisted that didn't mean i couldn't drop a kin. i get you just kin for fun and you choose your kins, that's fine, i really don't mind nor care, but don't police my spiritual beliefs thank youhttps://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/187814011119/still-thinking-about-the-time-i-was-told-to-drop-a
Here's my hot take on the "you can't kin x if you're y" thing. I personally will kin anyone more less. Kinda dont have a choice there. But if I haven't experienced it in this life, then I'll admit I dont know much about it now. I wont claim to understand certain mental illnesses or disabilities. Because I have never known them in such an intimate way in this life. I feel like it's a mean thing to do, to claim you know everything when you don't. So there's my take on it I guesshttps://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/184145199884/heres-my-hot-take-on-the-you-cant-kin-x-if
I'm really glad I haven't seen "Don't kin outside your age!! Adults kin with minors are freaks" lately. That was one of the most nonsensical kin gatekeeping opinions I've ever seenhttps://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/184411206449/im-really-glad-i-havent-seen-dont-kin-outside
"People who are kin with problematic characters should be 100% open about it or else I won't ever trust them" "people who are kin with problematic characters should hide that shit nobody needs or wants to know" holy shit just say you hate us and gohttps://fictionkinfessions.tumblr.com/post/184012665293/people-who-are-kin-with-problematic-characters
Tagging as Kin
Another controversy based on tumblr involved people reblogging fanart or cosplay and tagging it as #kin, #me or #ID. Many artists and cosplayers were disturbed or offended by this for several reasons, often seeing it as invasive or creepy. As a result, many began writing "don't tag as kin" or similar warnings on their art. One post with more than 18,000 notes as of January 2020, states:
Okay, I’m gonna be “that guy”.
Please be aware that many artists do not want you to discuss anything kin related in tags of their art. For some, tagging #kin is acceptable but beyond that is disrespectful as hell, and you should not be doing it without asking first, or looking for an indication on their blog. 90% of artists do in fact look at tags and reblogs of their work, they will see it and if you don’t want to be a jerk then you’ll pay attention to why this can make them uncomfortable or angry.
Drawn art is an expression of the person creating it, it’s a wholly personal thing whether it’s fanart, commissioned, original. It’s the visualization of the connection an artist has to the topic, you are more than welcome to view it and for it to bring you pleasure as much as it did for us to draw it! It’s very flattering. However, when you discuss the work as if the subject inside is yourself, you’re taking away from the bond the artist has with it and moving the topic onto you, as if the artist has drawn it for you. This feeling is extremely difficult to describe if you don’t do visual or written artwork, you have to trust us on this. Artists can draw for individuals and audiences, but inside their art is still their bond to something they love or care about, you don’t get to break that by inserting yourself as the actual subject of said drawing. As if the work is of you. The artist doesn’t know you, they did not draw it for you to claim as yourself, you can feel that way but you don’t get to make them uncomfortable by having them see it.
If you’re okay with people tagging and discussing kin things in your art, that’s absolutely fine. But people need to be aware that is not the case for a lot of people, and because it’s impossible to police, assume it’s not okay and keep your comments to unconnected posts.#GUYS COME ON #'IT ME' IS AITE IF YOU MEAN IT AS A JOKE BUT NOT FOR REALtenny, posted MAY 28 2015
Speaking as an artist who gets this a lot (I draw monsters. It’s bound to happen) I second everything in this post. The more I see people tagging my monsters and even the character I use to represent myself as “me” or “kin”, the more it disgusts me.
If you feel a connection to a character or creature that someone else made, that’s great. It’s wonderful that you can empathize with that artist and their creations. Visual and creative outlets for “life stuff” are healthy, and I’d even say crucial to one’s mental health in a lot of cases. That is certainly the case for me.
Remember, if it means that much to you, it means that much more to the artist. You have no way of understanding what the character might mean to its creator, so please don’t presume that you do.
We didn’t create these characters for anyone but ourselves.Please, be respectful.pythosart
i just wanted to reblog this here to second the point - i’ve seen people bring it up a good many times but never really addressed it here on my art blog. as someone who identifies as 100% otherkin, not only is it invasive and uncomfortable when someone claims one of my characters (or myself…..) is them, it takes away from one of the only forms of expression i have.
i liken it to someone walking up to my self portrait, pointing at it, and saying “wow look at this neat picture of myself i just found.” like… no. don’t do that. i don’t get to take real life pictures of myself that i see as myself. my art is all i have.
i personally don’t mind when people tag fanart as “me” or “kin” because they’re not my characters and i rarely get that emotionally invested in them. but i absolutely do not like it when it’s done to my OCs, and especially, especially, to drawings or comics that deal with my own personal things.people have been really good about it lately, and i appreciate that a lot. thank you guys for understanding and continuing to respect artists.whitekitestrings
Links & Resources
- Fictionkin on the Otherkin Wiki
- Fictionkin.net (archived link)
- r/Fictionkin, a subreddit on Reddit
- Otherkin History on Wikipedia
-  A History of the Fictionkin Community
- When Fandom Goes Wrong: The Dark Tale of the 'Final Fantasy VII' House By Asher Elbein, June 8th 2015
- Yandere Bitch Club, r/DramaArchives