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Otherkin (sometimes called "otherkind") are people who identify themselves as being something other than human. It is also the label used by a number of communities both on and off line. Kinning is the act of identifying with a certain character, animal, species, etc.
Otherkin are distinct from roleplaying fans, who understand that they are pretending to be something other than themselves. Otherkin are also distinct from furries, who dress up as animals but do not identify as non-humans. However, a significant number of otherkin who kin animals also identify as furries and express themselves with fursuits. Many otherkin also identify with the trans and nonbinary community, though this is not always accepted by those in the community.
The otherkin community has origins that go back to the 1960s, in Pagan spirituality groups of those who called themselves elves. The word "otherkin" was created by a group of these folks during 1990, to include people who identify as beings other than elves. The Internet makes it possible for everyone to reach out to others about personal matters that they have in common, while still keeping a kind of anonymity. As a result, the otherkin community is one of many that has recently become more visible to the public eye.
Identification with Transgender & Nonbinary Community
Links & Resources
- Otherkin.net What are Otherkin?
- Orion Scribner. "Otherkin Timeline," abridged edition. http://frameacloud.com/otherkin/nonfiction-otherkin/otherkin-timeline-abridged/