Post by chocolate on Mar 13, 2017 22:48:07 GMT -4
^ From the Wiki
Otherkin are a community of people who socially identify as partially or entirely non-human. Some of them surmise that they are, either spiritually or genetically, not human, however this claim is unsubstantiated. This is explained by some members of the otherkin community as possible through reincarnation, having a non-human soul, ancestry, or symbolic metaphor.
Otherkin has been a thing for decades but has recently gotten attention because trans* issues have gotten attention and believe themselves to be in the same group who weren't born in the right body, and deserve similar rights. And because they are easy to troll. Mostly the latter.
Criticism towards Otherkin has been on the choice of figures they choose to identify with. They always identify as wolves, bears, dragons, mermaids etc. which are empowering and never something like rainworm, viruses, sewer rat etc. which are looked down upon.
From people who work with animals, they often point out that their knowledge on animals they identify with is based more on pop culture image of them as opposed to actual traits of those animals. For examples otherkins who identify as cats will often say they are nocturnal like cats, meaning they are awake at night, but sleep during the day, but cats aren't nocturnal. Cats are crepuscular, i.e. they do most of their activity during dusk or dawn.
Now, I have asked in psychiatry forums about this, they disagree that their needs are the same as those of trans people:
First of all, there is a neurological basis of gender which is scientifically supported. For example, there has been a case when a doctor botched a baby's circumcision badly (David Reimer is the name of the baby) and had to hide the mistake by getting rid of the penis entirely, while the parents grew the baby as a girl to go along. When he grew up, the boy developed mental issues, he never truly felt he was a girl, he knew he was a boy. He committed suicide from severe depression. This has been a widely studied case that led to the conclusion gender is not something learned. This is only one of them, many cases like this enforce the theory that gender has a neurological basis. There has been no proof of any kind that Otherkin are in a similar situation.
Second, they have addressed why Otherkin only choose empowering figures to identify as. They use the term "mythotherapy": creating stories about your life to cope with mental issues, because they have noticed some people who identify as Otherkin do grow out of this once their mental health improves. For those who don't, explanations go further and say this is a form of religion, faith (e.g. shamanistic practices) because it's based on supernatural beliefs, like reincarnation, although Otherkins don't like to be called a religion.
I find Otherkins a fascinating online phenomenon but I really have no idea what to think about them.