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the Kin Subculture vs Therians
DustWolf
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Post: #1
the Kin Subculture vs Therians
Hello all,

Another versus thread from the big bad Dustwolf. I suppose it's only a matter of time before I am quietly hated against for this! Out of context screenshots will circle Tumblr! Seriously though, let's discuss this. Smile

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.

I understand that it's only natural for some actual Therians to feel like this subculture is "their people". Experiencing therianthropy can be lonely, we look for ways to make sense of those experiences, by trying to find an in-group of those who experience it. After all, this is basically why most people have joined this forum.

My own experience in trying to belong in my youth (I've known I was a therian for over 20 years), was that I tried to find it among the Furry community. There were much more of them to talk to than actual therians back on AHWw and I figured since they were animal people that they would understand me. It took me years and many painful experiences, for me to become aware that I had simply assumed that Furries would understand my experience of therianthropy. And that in fact, most of them were actually just human and being animals was just their fantasy. I felt for some of them like they were my pack, my family. But to them, the love wasn't real, they were just pretending, just acting when they've shown me affection in wolf ways.

As such I understand, profoundly, the desire of younger therians to see the kin subculture as people who understand the therian experience.

But do they really? Are their ways really the way every therian should behave? Are the conditions they place on membership in their subculture really anything that we as therians should adhere to? Is there any place for their online wars in among Therian support groups (like TG)?

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-08 9:30 by DustWolf.)
2021-05-08 9:25
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Post: #2
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
I might get some hate for this one.
But do they really? Are their ways really the way every therian should behave? Are the conditions they place on membership in their subculture really anything that we as therians should adhere to? Is there any place for their online wars in among Therian support groups (like TG)?

Short answer: of course not.
I'm not the type of person who thinks everyones experiences are the same. I won't quiz someone on their theriotype unless I feel prompted to. But I think actions speak louder than words. When you start looking at behavior of individuals you can really tell who is here to cause drama and make a scene, who wants to push therianthropy to be mainstream, and those like us who just genuinely want to a space to belong.
This isn't a phenomenon exclusive to the therian community. Once any group becomes more mainstream, "posers" join.

⪼- Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look harder ->
2021-05-08 14:55
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Autumne
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Post: #3
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
There is way too much focus on drama between different labels. I personally think it comes from equating label or broad category of experience with it being a community.

The fact is, there's plenty of sort A that get along with sort B. There's plenty of that don't.

There's so many sort A that there's no real collective opinions that are appropriate to assume are true. Same with sort B.

I can, to some extent, understand drama between specific group of sort A and specific group of sort B.

But the idea that 'Otherkin' or 'Therians' are able to be a monolithic 'culture' of their own - which then, of course, leads to tribalistic disagreements about what those terms mean or don't mean, even if you're defining someone's experience who is neither part of your group nor your sort - seems to just create asinine fights to me.

"The Otherkin community" is a myth. "The Therian community" is a myth. They're not a community any more than 'people whose favorite color is green' is a myth.

However, "Otherkin communities" do exist. "Therian communities" exist.

The "Therian Guide forums community" can exist. It can have a culture. It has a managemable amount of people who choose to interact with one another, discuss, and actually form habits and opinions that are generally held together enough. At nothing else, it can have people on it that say 'we might disagree, but I'm still a member of your community and that means I'll still talk with you, participate with you, and try to continue working out this difference'.

A community can focus on the needs and interests of its community.

Gestalt forms are really just giant robots best for getting into the biggest fights imaginable.
(This post was last modified: 2021-05-08 15:28 by Autumne.)
2021-05-08 15:24
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Post: #4
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
(2021-05-08 15:24)Autumne Wrote:  There is way too much focus on drama between different labels. I personally think it comes from equating label or broad category of experience with it being a community.

This is a good point ^

Lyc

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2021-05-08 16:49
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somehearted
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Post: #5
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
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.
2021-05-08 17:04
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DustWolf
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Post: #6
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
(2021-05-08 17:04)somehearted Wrote:  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.

While I am not an otherkin myself, I do appreciate that their community "is not only made up by roleplayers" as you say. In fact, I have recently helped resurrect a forum dedicated to them. They need more active contributors, so you might be interested.

But you might also wish to read on...

(2021-05-08 17:04)somehearted Wrote:  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.

Believe it or not this has very little to do with the otherkin.

I was referring to the therian subculture, which I guess would be more accurately described as the "kin" subculture because it appears to be shared with the otherkin, the fictionkin as well as a few other "-kin" groups. I suppose the alterhumans too.

For example (please bare in mind that I am entirely unfamiliar with the LGBT community, and that this is just an example) the LGBT community has for example gays, aka the people who experience being homosexual -- and it has the LGBT subculture, aka the people who organise pride parades, dress in pink and engage in identity politics. While many gays may think of members of the LGBT subculture as "their people" and generally people who advocate for them; there are those who are just... gay and do not inherently care much for the parades, the color pink or identity politics.

Likewise the Therian community if you will, has Therians, aka the people who experience shifts and animal mindsets -- and it has this kin subculture, the people who wear gear, make quadrobics Tictoks and wage online wars about what therians should or should not be like.

So, I don't necessarily mean "the bad guys" -- there are many who see having this subculture as a positive thing, and in fact I am sure there are many who think of members of this subculture as "their people" for reasons I explained in my OP. And there have been discussions on TG about how wearing gear might help therians cope with negative effects of their therianthropy and therefore obviously there are people who recognise the benefits of the subculture.

I myself have been largely ignorant of the existence of this concept, because it just didn't occur to me. But having found the Russian Therian community (TG member @Cuddie provides a translation), it seems that they very much understand what the experience of Therianthropy itself is (at least in my view, I am not a shifter and their way of looking at Therianthropy is very natural to me), but they don't want to associate with the subculture.

So basically I thought that was interesting and worth discussing. It's not any of the existing labels, it's a new concept (to us), so I gave it a new name.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-08 20:14 by DustWolf.)
2021-05-08 19:41
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somehearted
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Post: #7
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
(2021-05-08 19:41)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2021-05-08 17:04)somehearted Wrote:  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.

While I am not an otherkin myself, I do appreciate that their community "is not only made up by roleplayers" as you say. In fact, I have recently helped resurrect a forum dedicated to them. They need more active contributors, so you might be interested.

But you might also wish to read on...

(2021-05-08 17:04)somehearted Wrote:  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.

Believe it or not this has very little to do with the otherkin.

I was referring to the therian subculture, which I guess would be more accurately described as the "kin" subculture because it appears to be shared with the otherkin, the fictionkin as well as a few other "-kin" groups. I suppose the alterhumans too.

For example (please bare in mind that I am entirely unfamiliar with the LGBT community, and that this is just an example) the LGBT community has for example gays, aka the people who experience being homosexual -- and it has the LGBT subculture, aka the people who organise pride parades, dress in pink and engage in identity politics. While many gays may think of members of the LGBT subculture as "their people" and generally people who advocate for them; there are those who are just... gay and do not inherently care much for the parades, the color pink or identity politics.

Likewise the Therian community if you will, has Therians, aka the people who experience shifts and animal mindsets -- and it has this kin subculture, the people who wear gear, make quadrobics Tictoks and wage online wars about what therians should or should not be like.

So, I don't necessarily mean "the bad guys" -- there are many who see having this subculture as a positive thing, and in fact I am sure there are many who think of members of this subculture as "their people" for reasons I explained in my OP. And there have been discussions on TG about how wearing gear might help therians cope with negative effects of their therianthropy and therefore obviously there are people who recognise the benefits of the subculture.

I myself have been largely ignorant of the existence of this concept, because it just didn't occur to me. But having found the Russian Therian community (TG member @Cuddie provides a translation), it seems that they very much understand what the experience of Therianthropy itself is (at least in my view, I am not a shifter and their way of looking at Therianthropy is very natural to me), but they don't want to associate with the subculture.

So basically I thought that was interesting and worth discussing. It's not any of the existing labels, it's a new concept (to us), so I gave it a new name.

LP,
Dusty

While I can understand what you mean by that, it is my belief that there is a large difference between the LGBT subculture and this "kin subculture". The difference is simply the fact that the LGBT community is made up by actual LGBT people (there might be straight cis people going through a phase, but they are a minority). However, the "kin subculture" you are reffering to is not an otherkin subculture at all. It is a bunch of non-kin individuals that are using otherkin terms. Most tik tokers aren't even considered to be part of the otherkin community by the actual spaces I'm in.

By the way, you said that this "kin subculture" is related to therians? I don't really see how. The word kin is a clear reference to otherkin. As a former alterhuman, I never considered myself to be part of a "kin subculture" nor do I think it's a thing. You said that the otherkin community is not "only made up by roleplayers" and you are almost right. The fact is that if you are just a roleplayer, then you are not otherkin. If you do not experience your life as a nonhuman, then you aren't otherkin. If you are there calling yourself kin while pretending to be nonhuman, then you aren't part of the otherkin community. Why? Because you're not otherkin.

This "kin culture" is not a thing either because most members of this "subculture" aren't even otherkin. They're mostly roleplayers. Besides, fictionkin and other alterhumans aren't part of this kin subculture either. The word "kin" is not an umbrella term. The word alterhuman is the umbrella term that includes otherkin, therian, plurals, fictionkin and many others who do not experience normal human existence.

I have no issue with discussing this topic. I'm just bothered because the way you are using the terminology is not how the otherkin nor the alterhuman community uses such terms. You have no obligation to know it all, but I decided to clarify some things so you will have more accurate information to discuss these topics. I'm not an expert, of course. However, I can link some trustworthy spaces to get information on that. Tumblr and tik tok are actually terrible at explaining what these communities are like.

I have to admit I don't know much about the therian subculture, but the whole otherkin community agrees that the members of this kin subculture aren't otherkin for the most part.
(This post was last modified: 2021-05-08 22:07 by somehearted.)
2021-05-08 22:05
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Post: #8
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
Therians are therians. Otherkin are otherkin. I would include Theriomythic, or things that are close to what we have already. Like Werewolves, etc. But elves, or Elvis, Otherkin!

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2021-05-08 23:51
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DustWolf
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Post: #9
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  While I can understand what you mean by that, it is my belief that there is a large difference between the LGBT subculture and this "kin subculture". The difference is simply the fact that the LGBT community is made up by actual LGBT people (there might be straight cis people going through a phase, but they are a minority). However, the "kin subculture" you are reffering to is not an otherkin subculture at all. It is a bunch of non-kin individuals that are using otherkin terms. Most tik tokers aren't even considered to be part of the otherkin community by the actual spaces I'm in.

Yes, but I was not talking about the people who "a bunch of non-kin individuals that are using otherkin terms". I was talking about the subculture of these people, whom the therian (and otherkin and fictionkin) are looking upon as "their people". I have explained it three times by this point.

(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  The word kin is a clear reference to otherkin.

I believe I've been sufficiently explicit about what I mean with my use of the suffix "kin":
(2021-05-08 19:41)DustWolf Wrote:  I was referring to the therian subculture, which I guess would be more accurately described as the "kin" subculture because it appears to be shared with the otherkin, the fictionkin as well as a few other "-kin" groups. I suppose the alterhumans too.



(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  I have no issue with discussing this topic. I'm just bothered because the way you are using the terminology is not how the otherkin nor the alterhuman community uses such terms.

I bow to your superior knowledge of the terminology in use by the otherkin and alterhuman community. What would you call the concept I call Kin Subculture?

LP,
Dusty

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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-09 7:32 by DustWolf.)
2021-05-09 7:30
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Post: #10
RE: the Kin Subculture vs Therians
(2021-05-09 7:30)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  While I can understand what you mean by that, it is my belief that there is a large difference between the LGBT subculture and this "kin subculture". The difference is simply the fact that the LGBT community is made up by actual LGBT people (there might be straight cis people going through a phase, but they are a minority). However, the "kin subculture" you are reffering to is not an otherkin subculture at all. It is a bunch of non-kin individuals that are using otherkin terms. Most tik tokers aren't even considered to be part of the otherkin community by the actual spaces I'm in.

Yes, but I was not talking about the people who "a bunch of non-kin individuals that are using otherkin terms". I was talking about the subculture of these people, whom the therian (and otherkin and fictionkin) are looking upon as "their people". I have explained it three times by this point.

(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  The word kin is a clear reference to otherkin.

I believe I've been sufficiently explicit about what I mean with my use of the suffix "kin":
(2021-05-08 19:41)DustWolf Wrote:  I was referring to the therian subculture, which I guess would be more accurately described as the "kin" subculture because it appears to be shared with the otherkin, the fictionkin as well as a few other "-kin" groups. I suppose the alterhumans too.



(2021-05-08 22:05)somehearted Wrote:  I have no issue with discussing this topic. I'm just bothered because the way you are using the terminology is not how the otherkin nor the alterhuman community uses such terms.

I bow to your superior knowledge of the terminology in use by the otherkin and alterhuman community. What would you call the concept I call Kin Subculture?

LP,
Dusty

I apologize if my tone sounded arrogant. That wasn't my intention and I will pay more attention to that from now on.

I took my time to reread everything that you previously said to make sure this wasn't a misunderstanding on my part and turns out that was probably the case. I apologize for not paying attention and giving an inappropriate answer. So, you're talking about the "kin subculture", but more specifically related to therianthropy.

To be quite honest, I'm not too educated on the term "subculture", but if you created this thread with the intention of asking about how useful it could be for therians, I'd say that depends a lot on what this subculture is like. While it is good to get together for shared experiences, this can cause alienation from some members and it might encourage stereotyping. However, this is also an effective way to gather people that are similar to you and results in a feeling of community plus less loneliness in a part of you.

I'd say that as long as it isn't a toxic environment, it could be fine. The main concern I believe one can have for that would be if it was forcing a specific lifestyle/morals/behaviors that have nothing to do with the reason you're all together in the first place (lesbian communities that accuse homosexual women of being misogynistics if they weren't transphobic is an example for that). I can see how this could be a thing with the kin subculture, but I'm afraid I cannot elaborate more on that point.

What kinds of concerns do you have regarding this topic? What are the impacts of this subculture that you have noticed? Do you have any predictions on how things might go from there?

One thing you pointed out was how personal therianthropy is. Do you believe that having a subculture could be pressuring people to share with everyone about their experiences or something of the sort?
2021-05-09 14:03
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