Why I am skeptical of fictionkin (2016)

Column: Otherkin and Draconity Advice
Author: Jafira

:-( As a few of my recent writings here have been written with the ulterior motive of attacking or discouraging fictionkin. I figured I would just come right out and say how I felt instead. Yes, I consider myself to be hostile towards the concept of fictionkin for a variety of personal and subjective reasons, the main ones being a familiarity bias and an experiential bias. I consider myself to be dragonkin through reincarnation, I had experienced most of my initial awakening while still quite young in the early 90's and without the aid of the internet, left to my own introspection I had come to the conclusion that reincarnation was the most rational explanation as to how I could perceive myself to be a dragon in all but a physical form. Later when I discovered the otherkin community in the late 90's and early 2000's I had found that my own conclusions seemed to have had a valid consensus among my peers in the community, in a sense back then it was the norm. That is not to say psychological otherkin did not exist, but their beliefs generally consisted of well thought out self understandings and typically had an archetypal basis of sorts. During the time that I discovered and came to know the general otherkin community any fictionkin that exist were often relegated to the realm of fluff and were typically challenged and questioned into exile. I personally begun to drift away from the community around 2008'ish but at the time that I had left, cultural views on otherkin still seemed generally unchanged, although opinions were straying more towards an agnostic understanding and into a less spiritual direction as my peers aged and matured. Still, as if I was frozen in a time capsule for eight years I left and did not choose to grow and mature with the overall community. So, now, as I'm returning from a nearly eight year hiatus I have found that a lot of what I see on tumblr appears very foreign and unorthodox to me. Secondly, my girl friend and soon to be wife was formally what is now known as fictionkin, when I had first met her she proudly had the character Inuyasha as a head mate and she'd typically front him on a daily basis. However, never once did she consider herself to be “Kin” because of him. Rather, it was more like some form of LARP'ing for her, but also, so much more as it was an emotional connection of being able to connect to a character and universe that she identified with. Even still, for her there was still a basic understanding that she was not this character at heart and eventually she matured and moved on from her ability to channel and to front Inuyasha. On the other hand, otherkin identities as I grew to know them in the past were something that you were typically born with, had suspected on an inherent personal level or had some form of inner knowing of. It wasn't something simply to be triggered by an anime or a cartoon, it was inherently known or suspected long before such a trigger and once discovered, ones otherkin identity could have the potential to last as a part of ones personality through the course of their lifetime. That is why I do not consider most fictionkin to be “legit” as it where, I have no problem with their existence, I just want my word back. I'm more comfortable as fictionkin identifying with a form of copinglink perhaps, but not as “Kin” or at least not by the traditional understanding of the term. Lastly and probably the biggest reason that I get infuriated by the idea of Fictionkin is due to subjective personal reasons attributable only to myself. I personally awakened as a dragon at roughly the age of ten, I am presently thirty two years of age as I write this, that means that I have had to deal with the emotional consequences of my draconic awakening over the course of twenty two long years, the first six of those years I had no access to the internet and so had no way of knowing that I wasn't the only person on Earth going through that type of identity crisis, I was convinced that I was insane but there was nothing I could do to resist my inner knowing and therefore there was no way for me to fight my insanity without being miserable.. You can not possibly know how terrifying that was, to be a kid in the 90's and knowing in your heart and soul that you felt and saw yourself as something impossible to be, with absolutely no way of knowing that you were not alone in that struggle. I would question and challenge myself everyday and I would cry myself to sleep every night. For me it was never some stupid identity or association game, I would have traded the world if that were possible, it wasn't something that I could just simply turn off or forget, it was an undeniable aspect of my mind and inner self which I couldn't escape from no matter how much I would try to run or hide from it. The sensations and a knowing that I was different and unnatural would not cease no matter how much I would cry out for them to stop. No matter what I tried growing up, my tears would never make me normal and to ignore the truth would always just bring more pain then acceptance. I was trapped by otherkin, it was never a choice, it was an undeniable yet irrational sense of self. I spent my high school and college years suffering from phantom pains and species dysphoria so powerful and heart breaking that on every full moon I would travel out to the wilderness armed with every prayer and occult device imaginable in constant attempts to offer up my very soul to whichever gods or devil could possibly release me from the torment of my flesh and return me home to the life or body I so desperately missed. Being Otherkin was never fun for me, it was a constant fight, an unending emotional nightmare and a psychological struggle between heart and reality from which I could never seem to escape. How can a psychological otherkin understand fully that struggle? One of walking a balance between denying reality and denying self, or enduring the longings and pains for a body that possibly never existed, when by admission of their own self understanding they are only experiencing a temporary psychological association to a fictional creation? In short, I don't like you using my suffix “kin”, I want my word back, it may not be such for others anymore, but otherkin was the closest thing to a faith that I ever had and I don't want to see the terminology watered down without a fight. To see that inner torment of my past being associated with somebodies temporary fictional identity or psychological fling enrages me. Being otherkin used to be something more permanent, inherent and emotionally consequential. Identifying as otherkin once brought hardships of identity, pains and longings that for example, my mate who was fronting and channeling Inuyasha in the past simply would have never gotten or understood, because when she was fronting Inuyasha she was not magically and suddenly “Kin”, rather she was something else, you name that something else if you wish, but she wasn't otherkin. When I left the overall otherkin community around 2008'ish there was an understanding that one could not just watch How To Train Your Dragon and declare themselves a Nightfury, I could not watch MLP-FIM and suddenly declare myself to be a citizen of Canterlot without a fight. That type of thinking was beaten back and challenged in the past. I am now returning from a hiatus of several years to find a culture that to me is foreign and in some respects absolutely disgusting. It offends the memory of my past experiences, my past friendships, and my past understandings. In result, I consider myself to be hostile to fictionkin because prior to the rise of social media, to do so was common consensus. There is a reason why select otherkin refer to the community of otherkin on tumblr as “Tumblrkin” the overall culture and general understandings are foreign and unorthodox to the way things were once understood. Again, I approach the entire otherkin concept primarily from a biased spiritual worldview as that was the overall understanding of me and most of my peers when I discovered the community. It is what I came of age in. As said, there was room for archetypal concepts on the psychological side of the issue but that was about it from what I had witnessed. With that said, I have very little understanding beyond those too definitions of otherkin, so please feel free to educate me if you wish to try. I honestly do not know what a psychological otherkin even is, it doesn't register or make sense to me, when I hear the words psychological otherkin all I hear is archetypal identity and when I hear the word fictionkin I tend to look back at my girl friends past and assume the writer is just some confused roleplayer who is channeling a self manifested head mate or at best tulpa'mancing their personal reality, neither of which would be acceptable for use with the traditional suffix of “Kin”. When I think back to my girlfriends actions, or when I envision fictionkin the sense I get reminds me of the false realities portrayed in the anime Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, the whole idea just comes off as an escapist game, just a game and not a fully understood or well challenged sense of self. To conclude this “back in my day” rant, - back in my day being otherkin was never truly about choosing a personal identity, it was something deeper then that and I don't think most “fictionkin” around today have any understanding of what otherkin meant ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Perhaps in many ways I'm just an old bitter anachronism and things have simply changed while I was off living life. _________________

Published:  10/13/2019