I feel like part of the reason so many new kids stumbling upon alterhumanity in any form turn it into a trendy thing partially as an act of defiance. A lot of older sources (and hell, even newer ones) put more emphasis on what being otherkin/d ISN’T and what NOT to do and how much it SHOULDN’T be a huge deal in your life because it’s coming from people who have been around, done their own exploration, and don’t really see that much of a difference between the parts of them that are human and the parts of them that are “other.”
I’m not saying this is wrong or a bad thing, I’m just saying that at face value a LOT of reliable sources can very easily look like naysayers in an attempt to prevent people from getting the wrong idea about the community. And what do kids and teenagers do with this sort of information? They’ll probably actively try to refute it and act contrary to the information they’re given. The downright toxic environment of Tumblr sure doesn’t make it any easier to want to have the correct information in if it means risking being torn limb from limb by your peers.
I really do wish there was more emphasis on the positive aspects of experience like this, that even though it’s unusual and different by normal standards it’s actually not harmful any more than any other (non-radical) spirituality or identity is. I remember reading a lot about otherkin/d as a subculture as well as a form of identification 5 or so years ago but I’ve never really seen it as such due to the sheer lack of any baseline beyond what the hell terminology means, not to mention the ridiculous elitism to be found everywhere.
I think that within reason people should be given the benefit of the doubt, I believe that people should be educated on the basics of terminology and identification as well as things like how to spot abuse of various kinds. I know the subculture as a whole can’t have all the problems weeded out (just look to any subculture or fringe group to see this) but I do hope that maybe a healthy respect and understanding can be achieved without the push for normalcy and conformity I see a lot. This is the same principle that brings other, larger subcultures more positive attention, and while it’s not a perfect method, it still seems better than what’s going on right now.
Everyone’s been talking about that Alt+H article on how to properly and helpfully correct misuse of terminology, and I really wanna see more things like that created and spread throughout the community so maybe more of a general consensus can be reached and more of an understanding can be gained by everyone. Not everyone will feel or experience things to the same degree.
Not everyone will want to or enjoy referring to themselves as human despite being aware of their biological state. Not everyone will have memories or phantom shifts so intense they feel physical at times, not everyone will have a detailed “backstory” or understanding of why they are the way they are. I really don’t feel like this is something that should be shunned and swept under the rug for PR purposes, because things like that have just never worked.