This should be something from the Onion but apparently isn’t: Amber Roberts at Vice: Otherkin Are People Too; They Just Identify as Nonhuman.
Well no. If you’re nonhuman then you’re not people too. That’s just definitional, so it’s silly to claim otherwise. People are human.
But that’s not even the silliest part; the silliest part is claiming to “identify as” nonhuman. I can “identify as” Shakespeare if I want to, but I’m not a bit more Shakespeare for having so “identified” than I was before.
Otherkin are people who identify as partially or entirely nonhuman. A dragon, a lion, a fox—you name it—there is probably someone out there who feels like they are more these things than they are human. The otherkin community can be found lurking on Reddit, Tumblr, TV Tropes, and other online forums.
A dragon, a lion, a fox – such a narrow range. What about a 1964 Cadillac, a baked yam, a canyon, a fart, a poem, a hurricane, a red sweatshirt with a hole in the left elbow?
I spoke to John on Reddit, a 19-year-old from Knoxville, USA, known on the web as Noslavic. He introduced himself: “I am a red fox-kin who was, as we call, awakened about a year ago.” He said that awakening felt, “at the very least, relieving,” because “everything seemed to come together for me.
“I started getting odd dreams where I would change physically into a fox, and they were very realistic—honestly. And after a while, in real life, it felt quite real, like I actually had a tail, I actually had ears, I actually had paws.”
And people really think they’ve had visits from extra-terrestrials, or that their teacher took them on a rocket ship, or that there’s an exciting new world hiding behind a nearby comet and the way to get their is to kill yourself.
While some otherkin identify as the animal, others identify with the animal—in more of a spiritual way. This is the case for Ri Na Gach, an 18-year-old “lionkin” who wishes to remain anonymous:
“I feel a special connection with the lion. I feel like I demonstrate many of the same characteristics as the animal. It’s mostly a secret in my day-to-day life, but the traits that I share with lions do help me. In pagan religions of the past, it wasn’t uncommon to believe that humans would be reborn as animals, so the idea that I was, in a past life, a lion, is not as far-fetched as some would think.”
Again with the lion. Notice it’s all glam animals. Why don’t they feel as if they demonstrate many of the same characteristics as the slug, or the oyster, or the pigeon, or the rat?
And the fact that something was believed in a pagan religion of the past does nothing to make it not far-fetched.
I’m going to go knit myself a giraffe suit.