Before reading my reply, I must give you some information about who I am. I'm not therian nor otherkin, so my views on this topic comes from someone that is not part of either group and you must take my opinions with a grain of salt. However, despite this, I have interacted mostly with the otherkin community for almost a decade and I'm not ignorant on this topic and I'm emotionally detached from this whole situation. Yet, I thought that I could somehow contribute with the members of this forum.
So, I'm going to mainly address what the OP said and I'm starting with this:
Quote:I think that we therians never wanted to admit that we could ever be significant enough for a subculture to form around our condition. Our therian experiences are a private matter and therianthropy itself is often times not at all fun, so why would this happen?
The thing is, this Kin Subculture undoubtedly exists. It has adopted the term "therian" to be a part of itself and it has it's own rules of inclusion and online wars fought over what public outlook a member of this subculture should have: What clothes should it's members wear and what morals should they subscribe to.
Being part of the otherkin community for so long allowed me to notice an issue that's been there probably ever since I arrived or maybe even before my appearance. Now, I'm not going to talk about the "subculture" thing because I don't understand how it works. I'm actually going to give a brief description of what the otherkin community was and is like from an outsider that's been there for a while.
The main space I've been in was called Kinmunity and some other related otherkin discord servers/forums. In those places we'd find every kind of nonhuman being coming together in order to figure out who they are and/or find others with similar experiences that won't call them crazy for their nonhumaness. They usually go there for many different reasons, ranging from having unexplainable memories of a past life as a nonhuman creature whether they can be seen on Earth or only in human writings. This, of course, isn't enough to call yourself otherkin. There's got to be many other signs that makes you feel deep inside that you're not human, that you cannot relate to humanity in the same way the people around you do. These often come through the presence of unconscious behaviors, thoughts, instincts and feelings that are present through an otherkin's life for a long time, never ceasing even when they try to become normal. These moments can be called "shifts" or simply their own natural way of being.
It's not always fun for them. They often feel lonely for being different from everyone else and being able to find others like them is not a weird decision given the circumstances.
Maybe OP is right about them claiming "therian" for themselves since in both cases we see the ones who self identify as therian and otherkin as being nonhuman in their psychology or spirit, if not both. Thus, it is hard to tell them apart because to be otherkin, all you need is to know that you aren't human and this usually comes through the experience of instincts, perceptions and sometimes even body language that is more aligned to your kintype than the species your body is.
There is a lot of questioning involved in serious otherkin groups, however, gatekeeping is something that I hardly ever seen with very few exceptions (usually towards fictionkin by otherkin individuals that actually have no idea about what having a fictotype is like). What usually happens is that some people that either like too much an animal comes to the community expecting full acceptance when they actually hear that they're not otherkin and would have an easier time fitting in with roleplayers or furries.
Of course, the OP had a very different experience from the one I did and that's okay. Considering most self proclaimed kin individuals (or rather, kinnies) are mostly kids pretending to be animals and spreading misinformation about what the word means. That came along with lots of morality surrounding the kinds of kintypes you were allowed to have or not, despite it being quite obvious that one cannot choose to be otherkin. These views are harmful for the ones that come into these spaces, quickly noticing how toxic it actually is.
Anyway, now I'm going to add more of my own views on this subject. I probably ended up by putting a lot of unnecessary information up there that most members of TG already knew, but I thought it'd be useful to understand that the otherkin community is not only made up by roleplayers, it has a lot of serious individuals and I have noticed there's been a lot of debate with the whole "otherkin vs therian" debate in TG. While this isn't an issue in of itself, I can't help noticing that when this topic comes up there's a lot of misinformation.
I did read the OP's post and I still cannot tell if this "Kin Subculture" is a reference to kinnies or the alterhuman community. I assumed it's about the former because alterhumans are serious about their experiences and kinnies are the ones who have been playing pretend with the misuse of the term "otherkin". Or as some alterhumans have been calling them... KFF (kin for fun) or how the "old" otherkin community called: Fluff.
This is what I have to say on this topic as an outsider who has been simply observing the whole thing.