☀ ON 'KIN OF' LANGUAGE AND SEMANTICS ☀

Author's note (18/8/2021): After a portion of the 'kin community moved to tumblr, following the decline of LiveJournal, a shift in the culture happened. One of these cultural changes was the invention of "kin with" and "kin of" language, the former of which appeared organically, and the latter of which was created as an alternative to the former, as several older 'kin perceived the former to be too similar to otherhearted language. While I don't fully agree with this mini-essay (plenty of otherkind don't identify at all with their human upbringing or the body they inhabit; I myself have moved far more into that camp since I wrote this), it offers a glimpse into the culture at the time.

My two cents on the recent debacle of semantics: While I don’t personally use ‘kin of’, I don’t have a problem with it. I can see that it implies that ‘you aren’t actually this thing and are just related to it’ but… Who in their right mind can claim to actually, 100% identify as something nonhuman? Who here can claim to be theri without anthrope or draco without nic or fiction without kin?

I may be the odd one out when I say this, but my human identity is at least as important to me as my bison identity. It would be more accurate to say that I’m 'kin of bison’ than to say that I am a bison. Yes, the most accurate term – and the one I use – is 'I’m a bison therian’ but I really can’t fault people for shortening language. Slang develops all the time. Otherkind became otherkin. Therianthrope is usually shortened to therian. Both of these are technically speaking inaccurate. It’s impossible to stop the evolution of language.

And at the people claiming that 'kin of’ implies biological relation: No. Kinship to others can just as easily be by choice. I consider my friends kin more readily than I do my grandparents. Kin, outside of the otherkin community, is anyone with whom you share a familiar relationship. Are you sure you’re not just making up excuses because you don’t like that terminology is being changed?

Now, I’m assuming here, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain that people reacted this exact same way when 'otherkind’ started fading out and being replaced by 'otherkin.’ Accepting change isn’t always pleasant, but alas, it’s necessary unless you want to end up in 'old man yells at cloud’ territory (to quote kin-assistance).

Edit: I agree that a help blog should predominantly use the most proper terms available. If nothing else, so the ones new to the community can learn where the slang comes from.


Last updated: August 2021

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