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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 past lives, 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 alterhumanity. Congrats!

Alterhumanity is a very wide umbrella of experiences that all involve having an identity that is 'alternative' to humanity or an alternate experience of humanity. This includes but is not limited to those who have identities as or in relation to nonhuman or fictional identities, plural folks who wish to claim the label, those with deep connections to nonhuman entities, and those who choose to reject human identity for whatever reason.

There are many identities under this umbrella that have specific meanings, such as 'therian' or 'otherkin' or 'synpath', 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 will focus on the portions of the Alterhuman Umbrella that relate to nonhumanity or fictional identity. This FAQ is nonexhaustive and is meant as a taster to the most common concepts and words, not as a all-in-one resource.

Common Alterhuman Labels and Their Definitions:

Animal/Fiction/Otherhearted- A person who identifies WITH a entity (fictional or nonhuman) wholly or partially on an integral level. Similar terms include -kith and having a sympath.

Fictionkin[d]- A person who identifies AS a fictional species or character from modern media, in part or in whole. Used to be called mediakin and otakukin. Fictionkind do not necessarily have a nonhuman kintype, but are considered alterhuman regardless for similarities in alternative experiences. The specific identity is also called a kintype.

Nonhuman- A person who identifies as not human in some way, usually on a spiritual or psychological level or both. They may also identify as another type of alterhuman such as Therian or Otherkin.

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).

Otherkin[d]- A person who identifies AS a nonhuman entity, in part or in whole. Traditionally involving mythical animals as well as creatures like demons, elves, and other traditionally sapient nonhuman creatures. Often used as a blanket term for any nonhuman, though not all nonhumans identify as such. The specific identity is called a kintype.

Otherlink- An identity as a nonhuman or fictional entity that is chosen and deliberately cultivated and may be dropped at will.

Therian- A person who identifies AS a nonhuman animal, in part or in whole. 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.

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.

Voidpunk- A counterculture movement around reclaiming dehumanization, involves identifying as nonhuman in some way.

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(also called phantom or supernumerary limbs)- where one feels like they have body parts of their nonhuman identity(such as tails, wings, etc) despite not actually having such.

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.

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 species/character a lot?- No, there is much more to it than that, and many people dislike their kintypes or theriotypes. See the KFF section for more regarding this.

'So you hate humanity?' - Misanthropy is not a requirement to be any kind of alterhuman. 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.

'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.

'Fictionkin existing is copyright infringement' - ...No? They are not claiming to own their source's material, they are saying they identify in a way that is uncannily similar to a bit of media that already exists. Their lives are/were a strange echo that by coincidence, is like that of the thing. They are not 'stealing' a media by existing.

'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.

'Alterhumans 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 alterhumans. 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. No, if you have a kintype of a villainous character you don't have an excuse to be an asshole. In general, if it sounds too silly (ie- 'toilet kin' or 'my gender is an attack helicopter') its probably(but not always) a troll.

KFF Related Misconceptions:

'Someone told me having kins was just liking a character a lot?'- Kin-For-Fun or 'KFF' would have you believe this, but this is not the case. KFF are people who use 'kin' to mean just heavily relating to a character or nonhuman entity, often in a joking, ironic, trolling, or aesthetic sort of way. KFFs are unaffiliated with actual otherkin/fictionkin communities and have simply appropriated our terms for their use. They frequently spread misinformation and get hostile towards actual otherkin and fictionkin trying to correct it. Old similar words include 'Wishkin' and 'fluffy'.

'Kinnies are the NORMAL kin, the rest of you take it too seriously!'- No 'kinnies'(a word KFF use for themselves, though not all who use this word are KFF) are appropriating OUR terms, not the other way around. We came first. They are damaging our community with misinformation and trying to make us stop using the label they want and act hostile to us for trying to counteract this.

'Kinnies are normal kin, the rest of you have DAs'- No, these are words KFF are trying to force on us after appropriating our words. In addition, Delusional Attachment is a poorly coined term that misunderstands a serious mental illness in its coinage. Identities inherently cannot be delusions. A post by Babydog on the subject my be found [HERE].

'Im a kinnie I have to use this word because there is no other for the experience'- There are actually other words for this. many have been proposed. One such term is 'clicking' which sounds similar and is just as snappy. A carrd on this term may be found [HERE].

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.