☀ Q&A - 2022 ☀


It is possible to distance yourself from your kintype, but I won't actually recommend it unless you're certain that's what you want. Because of how much of our self-perception is tied to our kintypes, distancing from them can be distressing or have unintended consequences.

It's a good sign that you're aware your current thoughts/behavior are not something you want - that self-awareness is what makes it possible for you to change. But "getting meaner" is kinda vague, and in order to work on yourself, while still having your kintype, you need to get more specific. Are you becoming more cynical or derisive or defensive? Less tolerant or patient or understanding?

Find the patterns in your behavior that you don't like and try to work on them, detached from their connection to your kintype. Recognize when you are thinking or doing something "bad." Acknowledge that these feelings/actions are present and that they can have bad consequences, but that they don't make you an inherently bad person. Then make the conscious choice to act in a way you find "good," even if it goes against your instincts.

For a while you might feel like you're "just pretending" to be good, that this isn't "the real you," and similar unhelpful things. It's normal to meet this kind of resistance when you're changing your mindset and behavior. Eventually, your resistance will fade and your new patterns will feel natural.

However, if the "bad" impulses persist, no matter how hard you work on changing yourself, then yes, distancing yourself from your kintype might be the best solution. Just be prepared that it might have some unintended side effects, depending on how strongly connected to your kintype you are and how great a distance you build. You might experience dissociation, general dysphoria, or a less solid sense of self. All these things can be overcome, but it will require additional work.

Distancing yourself from your kintype isn't actually that difficult for most people. I'll copy-paste part of Chordata's guide to making otherlinks go away, because the process is basically the same (just replace 'link' with 'kin'):

"Therianthrope" directly translates to "animal-person," so in a way it is species specific - you have to be an animal to be a therian. There are different ways to define "animal," though.

The absolute strictest definition I've seen is that it has to be a four-footed beast (preferably a mammal), which would exclude insects, birds, and fish, among others.

A slightly less restrictive definition includes all currently existant animals, but excludes long-extinct animals like dinosaurs. This has led some therians to use the term paleotherian, whether as reclamation, to avoid confusion, or for ease of finding others similar to them.

The definition I initially learned includes all animals that have existed on Earth at some point, but it excludes animals of myth. This led to the creation of the term theriomythic.

The broadest definition of "animal" doesn't care about taxonomy, but is only concerned with whether the identity is animalistic in nature. It includes all animals, regardless of whether they have legs, are extinct, or have even been proven to exist. This definition is typically also inclusive of animals from modern fiction. Though there has been some backlash against fictional animals calling themselves therians, which led to the creation of the term fictherian.

Theriantropy should ideally have nothing to do with your species or spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof). It should only be about animality and being an animal in a human body.

If you feel this way, it's probably because you've been rejected in the past or have at some point had a hard time making friends. It's okay, it happens to the best of us.

Most of the conflicts are probably in your head. You're among like-minded individuals now, who will not think you're weird and will not cast you out just for being yourself. And I know simply knowing it's in your head doesn't make it a lot easier to deal with, because anxiety is a bitch, but just getting that reminder every once in a while can help.

Navigating social situations is hard when you're not used to it. You gotta strike the perfect balance between "be yourself" and "fake it till you make it." Here are a few tips that might make you more confident:

Never stop trying to reach out! Eventually you'll find a corner of the community you vibe with :)

"Otherkind" is the original form of the word. It derives from "elvenkind" and means you are "of another kind than humankind." "Otherkin" is a few months younger than otherkind and most likely derives from a typo or a misunderstanding. Its meaning is usually interpreted as "being kin (i.e. family) to something other than human."

The connotations of otherkind, with a d, are that you're more serious about your identity, or that you're well-versed in community lore. It signals to likeminded folks that you know what you're talking about, that you know what otherkinity is, and that you haven't misunderstood the whole thing. So, basically, it's a quick way to show others that you aren't kin-for-fun. I feel like I'm making it sound really pretentious, sorry, that really isn't my intention, but I don't know how else to explain it xD

There aren't that many connotations with otherkin, without the d. There are serious nonhumans who use the word and there are kin-for-fun who use the word.

It's not that controversial of an opinion, at least here on tumblr, though most people don't state it out right, for fear of inviting KFF/kinnies into the community. It's a valid concern, don't get me wrong, but I'm much more worried about pushing potential otherkind away than about attracting wishkin.

"Voluntary" and "involuntary" are really impossible concepts to grapple with when you're talking about identity. I didn't choose to have a past life as a bison, but when I first became aware of it, it was very faint and I did choose to reinforce every bison feeling I had until it became a solid part of my identity. So did I choose to be a bison therian? I don't care. It's part of who I am now. I can't recognize myself without bison.

Much more important than choice, or lack thereof, is whether your nonhuman side is something that's inherent to your self-perception. It doesn't matter whether you initially chose to create a link with a character, if that character eventually becomes such a strong part of your identity that you feel more at home in the fictionkind community.

And, hell, I'd argue that links aren't entirely voluntary either - I could choose to create a horse otherlink because horses mean something to me, but I don't think I could create a Subaru or sardine or Sherlock otherlink because none of those things mean anything to me. In order to create a succesful link, you have to have some sort of connection to your link beforehand. Does that make links involuntary? Do you see how many problems arise when we tell people which communities they belong to based on something as nebulous as voluntarity?

To boot, involuntarity is actually pretty recent addition. If you look at definitions before the 2010s, they'll say that your kintype or theriotype is inherent, but they'll rarely say that it's involuntary.

First off, the creator of the term 'choicekin' meant for it to basically be another word for 'copinglink-turned-kintype', but later stated that it was divorcing itself from the term because 1) this was already a somewhat accepted experience that didn't really need a separate word, and 2) the word was really confusing and just made people mad.

Thinking you might awaken as something, can be a good indicator that you're already on your way to awakening as it. However, it can also indicate that your potential kintype is similar to the thing you're kinsidering, but you just have more of an affinity to what you're currently kinsidering. Wanting to be kin with a thing is both a very common 'kin experience and 'hearted experience. Check out this post:

I mostly use 'gnoll' because it's the quickest way to get the idea across. I'm a hyena-like humanoid from an RPG-esque world, and I share my world with orcs, dragons, humans, and goblins, to name a few. But I have very little in common with gnolls as they're presented in most D&D and Pathfinder books.

Funnily enough, I was about to write that the earlier D&D editions are more like my canon, just because they leave more room for interpretation, but while double-checking I came across Pathfinder 2nd Edition Mwangi Gnolls and. I haven't heard of these before but. uhhh. that description is so bewilderingly close to my noemata, I feel like I'm having flashbacks reading it. The only really notable divergences I can pick out from that description are 1) we're a lot smaller, both in size and numbers, 2) we worship different gods, and 3) we live on steppes, not savannas. But all the social roles and the traditions and the hierarchy is spot on o.o;

So anyways yeah my gnoll identity is heavily TTRPG influenced - and I guess I'm not as canon divergent as I thought. I'd just been looking at the wrong canon for the last 5 years xD

My Ben canon is both very similar and very divergent to the source material. I didn't find the Omnitrix until I was 13, and I never removed it willingly, so my timeline is skewed by a few years. But all the events of the show are pretty much identical.

First of all, see if you can get someone to take a look at your back. Tension from carrying around a backpack or having bad posture can feel a lot like the heaviness of wings. Even if you have genuine phantom wings, tension can distort their shape, placement, weight, and movement.

Once you've ruled that out, work on the three R's: Record your experiences in a journal. Research related topics, such as wing types and shapes, how these wings are related to the animal's behavior, what other creatures might have wings, and so on. Reflect on your findings, for example by meditating or by letting your mind wander while doing menial tasks.

Most importantly, be patient and keep an open mind! It might take a while to figure out what sort of being you are, and the answer might not be what you expect :)

It's my home. I wouldn't leave my house just because there's a leak in the roof or a nail sticking out of a floorboard. I do what I can to make it cozy here, I try to fix the leak when it reappears and I hammer the nail back in every time it pops out. It will never be perfect. There will always be stuff left to fix. But it's my home, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Many of them can be spiritual, yes, but they can also be more mundane! It's hard to draw a line between what's spiritual and non-spiritual - very few things are strictly one or the other. Are quantum mystical beliefs spiritual or not? They could be either or both. The same goes for telepathy and other forms of ESP, nonhuman ancestry, possession, energy work, archetypes, out-of-body experiences, externalism, primal links, social contagion, mind-altering substances, and so on. Plenty of things straddle the border between the paranormal and mundane.

I don't actively search for noemata most of the time. They just sorta appear on their own when I'm in the right headspace. They can appear when I'm on a walk, cleaning the toilet, cooking dinner, feeding my pets, biking, vacuuming, showering… basically any activity that occupies my hands but not my mind.

It can be very tempting to always fill these silent moments with music or audiobooks, but I don't think it's a healthy habit in the long run. You need quiet to process your thoughts. And there are certain problems that can only be solved, certain ideas that can only thrive, and certain noemata that can only appear in these quiet moments. It's meditation for the layperson.

In these quiet moments, I'll often get a noema that's just a quick flash or really vague. I don't immediately incorporate it into my identity (usually because I can't because it's so quick and vague it barely makes sense). I write down whatever I experienced and I spend days, or sometimes even weeks or months, ruminating on it and trying to decipher it.

Here's one example: One night, last September, while trying to fall asleep, I saw a flash of me embracing Ïʀya and stroking hrir armor. Most vividly, I felt hrir scalemail under my claws. We were sitting at the mouth of a tiny cave and the sun was either setting or rising outside. The scenario was in my head for less than a second and then it was gone.

This noema was most of all confusing - prior to it I had never known my mate to wear armor and I had no noemata related to caves. It's been about 5 months and I'm still trying to figure out how exactly it fits with all the other noemata I've had. But a picture is starting to form. I awakened as a druid. My mate and I went on a pilgrimage. We stole armor and weapons from some bugbears and goblins. We got in trouble. The chronology of it all is hard to figure out.

Mostly, I don't actively work on figuring out my noemata. I try to work passively, I guess, processing it in the back of my mind while doing other stuff. If you go all the way back in my gnoll tag, you'll see I started at "well, it's got claws and a snout and a tail" and just kept building onto that over the course of several years. Always running gnoll.exe in the background.

I've heard of plenty of singlets before who have kintypes from the same source, or even the same canon. It's possible your kintypes don't share timelines/dimensions/narratives - so while they might have the same source, their canons differ. It's also possible they might have experienced events differently and thus formed different memories - what's a mild inconvenience to one person could very well be a huge obstacle to a different person.

The psychological beliefs are more or less the same, regardless of if the identity is fictional, mythological, or earthly. Imprinting is the most common belief - the idea that the 'kin in question imprinted on a creature or character during an impressionable stage of life, and that it's now an inextricable part of them.

There's also the belief that someone's 'mental map' of their body doesn't match their physical body, that they've subconsciously latched onto something that more closely matches their mental map, and just kept reinforcing the connection until it became a permanent part of themselves.

As for how noemata (or other-life-memories) work within a psychological framework, the main belief is that the brain is very good at making stuff up. False memories are a well-studied phenomenon and according to the theory of reconstructive memory, all our memories are 'made up,' in a sense, anyways.

The following is an addition from Angel (@blackboxwarriors):

For psychological reasons related to disorders specifically, it can be due to some disorders creating an unstable sense of who you are as a symptom. So the brain might go "Hey, this seems close enough" and grab it.

It can also be like gaining an identity due to trauma, hyperfixations, spins (special interests), or just other factors.

For me specifically, I experience it due to my BPD. With no stable sense of self, I already am a sponge for everything around me, since I myself feel hard to define and a walking contradiction. So, when I gain a new identity, it helps define who I am. Gaining a new form can be for a few reasons too, like one of them being a coping mechanism if people are upset with me (New form is interpreted as a different version of me, so the brain goes "They aren't upset with me but with that other version").

Things don't have to be a 1:1 match for you to call them by the same name. You can use words just to quickly communicate an idea. I use 'gnoll' to communicate 'hyena people' without getting into a whole speech about biology and culture and how bad the concept of racial alignments is. You can use 'sabertooth' to communicate any number of things that aren't exactly Smilodon fatalis. Best of luck with the self discovery! :)

Kintypes don't have to be constantly present for them to be kintypes. It's one of the most common experiences, so it makes sense that there would be this misconception, but there's both anecdotal and historical precedence for kintypes that lay dormant for long stretches of time.

In the old therian communities, there was a pretty persistent werewolf narrative - if your theriotype was present every moment of the day, rather than only being noticeable during shifts, you would've been considered a bit of an oddball. This is why the term contherianthropy was coined: A therian who doesn't shift but is in a constant state of animality.

Only sensing your kintype during shifts (and only entering shifts when they're triggered by something) is not as strange as you might think :)

Last updated: March 2022

Home Page   |   Site Map