totally random & I hope this doesn’t come off as rude: for a long time I understood the concept of otherkin as being when someone identifies as sonething, like they literally believe that they are that thing in their soul.
But recently I’ve seen posts where people explain their otherkin experience as strongly identifying WITH something.
What’s the difference between strongly identifying with something & just really really liking it? Like, for example, you could really identify with Pearl as a character & really like her, but where’s the line between her being your favorite character vs being Pearl-kin?? Or does it all boil down to the person’s mental health situation? (I sincerely don’t mean that to be rude, it’s just that most defenses of otherkin I’ve seen are that they are helpful for people with personality disorders or other things going on.)
Again, genuinely curious & not trying to be rude or offensive at all. I would appreciate some insight!
The long-standing definition of otherkin has always been identifying, in part or in whole, -as- something non-human. (Or as a fictional character/member of a fictional race in the case of fictionkin.) The reasons for this can be varied. Some ‘kin believe their kinity is due to reincarnation, others think they have a non-human soul. It can be spiritual, or cultural. Others are “psychological kin” and believe that their kinity is due to their unique brain wiring that makes them feel non-human/fictional. (This is not usually linked to mental illness, though there are some that may feel the two are connected)
It can be difficult to draw the line between really liking/ identifying with something and identifying as something. Most ‘kin go through a process called “questioning” where they try to sort out just that. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to months or more, depending.
Identifying strongly with something is known as being “other-hearted” or “fiction-hearted.” Sometimes, the desire to be that thing/ that thing is so close to you it aches, but in the end it isn’t you. Sometimes, heart-types are easy to mistake for kin-types or ficto-types. It’s usually time and introspection that sorts the two out.
Of course, kintypes aren’t always someone’s “favorite.” There are therians (or animal-kin) who discover that they aren’t their favorite animal. Someone might not be their favorite character, might not even like the character, but kintypes aren’t chosen and people’s past lives/or whatever their kinity is due to, can’t be controlled. Awakening to a fictotype is not always pleasant, but it is almost always better to accept this as being a part of yourself than try to deny it.
Unfortunately, tumblr is not a great place to try and have a community, because it is easy for mis information to spread and is just so sprawled out and disjointed. If you’re curious about more ‘kin topics, might I suggest some of the essays on http://fictionkin.net/
Hope this helps? My inbox/messenger is also always open.