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Quick 'N Dirty Nonhuman FAQ

So you want to know what all this is about. Maybe you've seen some people around with 'therian' in their bio, or you've seen someone talk about their 'phantom tail', or god forbid you've stumbled on some people using the word 'kinnie'.

So now you're confused. Perhaps frightened or weirded out. But you want to know more. And so here you are. This guide is designed for you.


The first thing to establish is that you have happened upon the wild world of nonhumanity. Congrats!

Nonhuman-based identities cover a wide variety of experiences, all of which generally involve identifying as some kind of nonhuman entity in part or in whole. They may identify as human on some level as well, but not all do.

There are many identities under this umbrella, many of which having their own separate communities and community history. Some terms may overlap because many were made independently of each other in separate closed communities.

This FAQ is nonexhaustive and is meant as a taster to the most common concepts and words, not as a all-in-one resource. Many Nonhuman identities are also fictional-based identities, so there is some overlap. Check our fictionkind FAQ for more on that.

Common Nonhuman Labels and Their Definitions:

Nonhuman- A person who identifies as not human in some way. They may also identify as another type of alterhuman such as Therian or Otherkin.

Otherkin[d]- A person who identifies in part or in whole AS a nonhuman entity on a nonphysical and integral level. Traditionally including sapient nonhuman creatures as well as mythical animals and may also include fictional ones. Often used as a blanket term for any nonhuman, though not all nonhumans identify as such. The specific identity is called a kintype. The label otherkin was coined in the 90s.

Therian- A person who identifies in part or in whole AS a nonhuman animal on a nonphysical and integral level. Various subtypes include but are not limited to fictherians (identifying as a fictional animal) and theriomythic (identifying as a mythical animal). The specific identity is called a theriotype. The therian community started in the 90s on alt.horror.werewolves and was originally called the Were community.

Physically Identifying Nonhuman- A person who identifies themselves as physically nonhuman for whatever reason. This may be due to a variety of reasons such as delusions or because they consider their physical species the one they identify as. May be abbreviated as PIP(Physically Identifying Person).

Transspecies- A person who specifically wishes to transition, socially or physically, into another species. Usually connotates the desire to obtain body modification(permanent or not) or having already done so in relation to this.

Common Other Terms:

Shifting- The act of feeling, sensing, or experiencing having traits related to ones nonhuman identity. Types of shifting include but are not limited to mental shifting(where one feels mentally more like their 'type), and phantom shifting(where one feels a phantom body part of their nonhuman identity such as tails or wings).

Noema/Noemata- The not-quite memories gotten from a kintype. Does not inherently involve spiritual beliefs or believed origin of nonhumanity. Also called 'knowings' or 'kin memories'.

Species Dysphoria- Discomfort, dissatisfaction, and other negative emotions in relation to feeling like the body is the wrong species. Not all nonhumans experience species dysphoria, but many do.

KFF- Short for Kin-For-Fun. The name to refer to the group of people who insist that 'kin' means 'strongly relate to' NOT 'identify as' and that its only done 'for fun' contrary to the community history and excluding the people that the term was originally meant for. They often idenify in a joking, ironic, trolling, or purely aesthetic sort of way rather then in a serious one. KFFs are unaffiliated with actual otherkin/fictionkin communities and have simply appropriated our terms for their use. They frequently spread misinformation about community history and get hostile towards actual 'kin.

Common Misconceptions:

'This is a delusion! You're all crazy!' - A delusion has a very specific meaning and this is not inherently that. While some attribute their identity to a delusion, not all do. Something being a delusion does not mean that it is harmful or bad. Being crazy is not an insult.

'So you're roleplaying?' - This is very specifically not roleplaying, this is genuine integral identification and experience. Anyone who tells you otherwise is confused or lying.

'So you just like this thing a lot?- No, there is much more to it than that, and many people dislike their kintypes or theriotypes.

'So you hate humanity?' - Misanthropy is not a requirement to be any kind of alterhuman, including nonhuman. Some alterhumans are misanthropic, but it is discouraged in most spaces to look down on or hate humans as a whole.

'This is a cult' - It cannot be denied that some spaces and groups are/were cultlike, but the belief itself is not. Cults require a very specific set of parameters, and just having a non-normative belief that you find too 'woo'-ey isn't it.

'Otherkin are all children' - Many otherkin are older, but visible nonhumans often skew young as people on the internet who show off their whole lives at a glance tend to skew young. Blame no more internet safety talks and facebook. Even if the community was new and largely children, does it make it any less important? Any less heartfelt?

'Its a kink, you just want to fuck animals' - This is the act of identifying as an animal. No correlation to animal abuse. Accusations to a predominatiely neurodiverse and queer community of sex crimes is predictable. Like most people, most nonhumans think animal abuse is wrong. Also bestiality is not a kink it is a crime. Beastalists are not welcome in the wider community.

'You're just furries trying to be special!' - Many of us ARE furries, yes. There is quite a lot of crossover, but being a furry just involves having an appreciation of anthropomorphic animals. Thats it. This is something else.

'You're appropriating trans people's struggles!' - Many of us are trans and no we aren't. Dysphoria as a word isn't owned by trans folks alone.

'You can only have one kintype' - Nope, you can identify as more than one thing at the same time. Its good to question these things strongly to be sure it really fits you, but you can 100% have more than one thing you identify as.

'Nonhumans are all religious/all psychological' - No. There are many schools of thought on origins, and there is no consensus. Some people may claim otherwise, but this is not the case.

'All Physically Identifying People are P-shifters'- P-Shifters are alterhumans who try to manipulate others with claims that they can teach vulnerable people how to transform into your kintype or theriotype. This is used as a tool of abuse and these people are not welcome in alterhuman communities. P-shifters are not the same thing as Physically Identifying Nonhumans, who ARE welcome in the community.

*Anything about being oppressed for being kin* - Otherkin(and other nonhuman identities) aren't oppressed specifically for being kin. People are shit to us, but its a mishmash of anti religious sentiment, queerphobia, ableism and saneism, etc. Oppression requires a systemic structure against the thing. There is no systemic structure against nonhumans. Bias, yes. Bigotry, yes. Systemic Oppression? No.

*Anything else that is troll behavior* - 'Otherkin' isn't a gender or sexuality, though some trans people may describe their nonbinary gender with their kintype or pick pronouns reflective of their nonhuman identity. In general, if it sounds too silly (ie- 'toilet kin' or 'my gender is an attack helicopter') its probably(but not always) a troll.

Final Word

In conclusion, we nonhumans are just vibing over here. There is no need to be alarmed, we are just experiencing life different than you and talking about it. Some of us have weird beliefs, some of us have weird brains, some of us are just a critter. You don't have to understand it to be kind about it, though we hope this sheds some light on it for you.