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Alterhuman is a term that refers to someone who does not fit the traditional standard of what is considered human, and/or does not identify as human. This can include non-human system members and introjects; however, it also includes singlets who don't quite fit the term human, or identify as non-human to an extent.
An alterhuman identity is neither a gender nor part of the LGBT+ umbrella, but may have a tie to one's gender identity, attraction, or sex. Some examples of this are in the use of labels such as alterhumangender, genderNH, genderkin, nonhumansexual, medusan, faunasex, and similar identities.
Alterhumans acknowledge that their current body is biologically a human, and they do not try to use their alterhuman identities to do harmful sexual acts on non-sapient beings (such as zoophillic acts). Alterhumans also do not try to claim they are changing their body's biological species; however, they may or may not get surgery to appear more as their kintype.
If one has a non-human identity, they may also experience species regression (however, this is not always the case).
- 1 Terminology
- 2 Otherkin
- 3 Demihuman
- 4 Beforan
- 5 Forwardsoul
- 6 Morphen
- 7 Trauma Nonhuman
- 8 ND-Inhuman
- 9 Humukin
- 10 Mirroran
- 11 Antihuman
- 12 Identity Anarchy
- 13 Otherhearted
- 14 Fictionflickers
- 15 Alterhuman experiences
- 16 Physical Shifting
- 17 Alterhuman-Friendly Language
- 18 Exclusionism and Misconceptions
- 19 Issues and Misconceptions
- 20 History
- 21 Flags and Symbols
- 22 Etymology
- 23 References
Otherkin is a shortened version of "otherkind," which is in reference to terms like "humankind." For example, someone who is elfkin identifies as and considers themself to be an elf. There are many reasons why someone may identify as non-human in the otherkin sense, with explanations ranging from spiritual to psychological. Some common explanations include but are not limited to past lives, imprinting, or having a non-human soul.
The noun kintype, in otherkin contexts, refers to the type of non-human one identifies as; for example, a hyrdakin person's kintype would be "dragon." Some more alterhuman words that are used in the same manner as kintype are fictotype (for fictionkin), theriotype (for therian), hearttype (for otherhearted), and flicktype (for fictionflickers).
The verb to kin is sometimes used to mean "to have a certain otherkin identity." This term is controversial, however, because of the potential implication that having an otherkin identity is a choice that can be easily gained and dropped.
Otherkin refers to someone who identifies partially or wholly as something non-human, usually involuntarily.
Listed below are just few of the many kintypes an individual may have. They may identify with fictional, factual, or animalistic beings (as spoken of further in this page) or they may identify as something more specific or 'out there' such as identifying as a planet, landscape, chemical, etc.
Kintypes are unlimited, and can be just about anything.
- Mythkin: identifying as something found in mythology, such as a unicorn, merperson, dragon, etc.
- Divinekin: identifying as something with divine origin, such as an angel, demon, or other deity.
- Faekin: identifying as any type of fae, such as fairies or elves.
- Alienkin: identifying as an alien, or any non-earthly being.
- Robotkin: identifying as a robot, AI, or similar technology.
- Objectkin: identifying as an object of some kind.
- Conceptkin: identifying as a concept of some kind. This may overlap with fictionkin and musickin.
- Musickin: identifying as a song, album, tune, or other forms of music.
- Plantkin: identifying as a tree, flower, or other plant.
- Foodkin: identifying as a food of some kind.
- Polykin: having multiple kintypes; identifying as multiple beings.
- Halfkin or demikin: Those who identify partially as another species/a fictional being, rather than fully. A kin identity such as a Werewolfkin could be considered a halfkin under certain circumstances.
- Autokin: not identifying with any species or fictional species, but rather just identifying as oneself.
If one's otherkin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself kingender.
Therians or animalkin are individuals who feel their spirit is non-human, typically being an earthly animal. They are included under otherkin, though they describe those with more earthly-based spirits, and do not include creatures that are mythical, fictional, deities, magical, etc.
Therians may have animalistic impulses and instincts such as biting, hissing, scratching and panting, and they also may 'shift' and feel more animalistic at times, though not all therians shift. Some may engage in quadrobics (depending on the theriotype), wear faux tails, ears, and wings, and join therian packs to meet other members of the community.
Some therians may not identify as otherkin, and the therian community is largely its own separate thing, with some overlapping points. Some therians may also be furries, and use fursuits or fursonas to represent their theriotype; however, this is not a necessity.
If one's therian identity and gender overlap, they may call themself theriagender.
Fictionkin (formerly known as mediakin) are those who identify as something found in fiction, including characters, species, glitches, etc. This may or may not be considered otherkin, since fictionkin includes human fictotypes; however, it is typically included under the otherkin umbrella.
Some fictionkin believe they are reincarnated, some follow psychological beliefs for their identity, while some follow metaphysical beliefs (such as soul collecting).
Some broad terms under the fictonkin umbrella include the following:
- OCkin: identifying as an original character. Can be owned by oneself, an acquaintance, a YouTuber, etc.
- Rolekin, Roleplaykin, RPkin: identifying as a character oneself or someone else roleplays as.
- Uncreated Fictionkin: identifying as a fictional entity that is not yet created. They may or may not find sources of this entity when it is created.
If one's fictionkin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself fictkingender.
Factkin or factualkin are those who kin existing or existed individuals through the notion of the multiverse belief. A factkin individual believes that they, to some capacity, are mentally/emotionally/spiritually an alternate version of another living individual. They acknowledge that they are not in that individuals head; however, the common belief is that they contain an alternate version of the soul of said individual, a soul from a different universe.
A carrd on factualkin explains it as "a factual base that had cracks filled in with fiction- you aren't in another person's head, but you do have who they portray into the world (and for celebrities, fan things that have been put out to the world, like RPF, headcanons, etc)."
Although the term factkin may have begun as a term coined by trolls, it has been noted that there are these set experiences that are real and existing. There is the preconceived notion that factkin is "identity theft." Being factkin, however, is not an attempt to steal an individual's identity, but rather is when one acknowledges their own connection to an individual, a well as the experience of their mentality, emotional state, and mind.
Factkin individuals do not attempt to claim someone else's individuality, and they certainly do not attempt to 'replace' said person, or claim that the other person is 'not real.' Factkin individuals also do not attempt to copy the person they kin, as they know that they are a different version of that person, and there is no need to copy someone with that fact in mind.
It does not include the intent to steal any identity/life, but rather includes the intent to connect to a life and form a bond.
Some broad terms under the factkin umbrella include the following:
- Unknownkin: identifying as a person one doesn't know. An unknownkin may or may not succesfully find the person they identify with in the future.
- Unbornkin: identifying as a person who has not yet been born. This term can overlap with forwardsoul; however, it does not have to.
If one's factkin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself factuagender.
Choicekin is a term used for someone who 'chose' to be otherkin. This term is often misunderstood, as many otherkin individuals argue that you cannot choose a kintype; however, there are many metaphysical explanations as to why this may happen.
’A voluntary type of identity where someone chooses to become something (animal, mythical, or fictional). It was an active choice to begin with, but after it’s become cemented in your identity you don’t have to maintain it. It’s become a kintype, and can’t really be “dropped”. It also can’t be changed, and at some point you could get kin memories from this kintype.’ - plurgai on Tumblr, unknown date.
For one, someone who is choicekin may say that, through spiritual connection, they latched onto a species or being until their spirit merged with said being. An example of this would be someone who spiritually connected with parrots until they felt that their own spirit had shifted and/or merged with a parrots spirit.
Here are other ways one may explain their choicekin identities:
- One may say they had past lives, and chose to merge with the spirits of the past, and wouldn't have had otherkin experiences unless they made this choice.
- One may choose to find a creature or object to be imprinted on, thus choosing their otherkin identity.
- One may choose to bond their soul/spirit to another soul/spirit or to a presence, thus altering their humanity, and choosing their otherkin identity.
Once one has chosen to be otherkin, it is hard to take it back or change their minds. This choice is typically permanent, and usually cannot be removed or dropped; however, there are exceptions.
When one can drop their kintype, it usually is a hard and draining process. For example, if one chooses to bond their soul/spirit to something, they may be able to break that bond; however, it would likely take a lot of effort, energy, and time. Because of this, it is uncommon to remove one's kintype.
It is important to note that most choicekin individuals cannot drop their kintype, even with effort, and that the act of dropping a kintype is not common amongst the choicekin community.
If one's choicekin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself choicekingender.
Otherlink is a term used to describe someone who voluntarily chose a non-human or fictional entity to identify with. While comparable to choicekin, otherlinkers tend to easily be able to drop their linktype, and typically can quickly change to a different one.
Otherlinkers typically have to maintain their identity through different acts, or it will fade away. Choicekin individuals do not have to maintain it, as when they pick it up, it is there to stay (unless they actively work to drop it). In summary, choicekin individuals typically have a more attached alterhuman identity, while otherlinkers have a less attached identity that can easily 'fall off' if not maintained.
Essentially, the differences are:
- Links have to be maintained, while kintypes do not.
- Links can come and go fluidly, while kintypes do not come and go in such a way.
- Links can be edited, kintypes cannot.
- Links can be easily dropped, kintypes cannot be easily dropped (if dropped at all).
If one's otherlink identity and gender overlap, they may call themself olinkgender.
Copinglink is a term used to describe someone who voluntarily chose a non-human or fictional entity in order to cope with trauma, stress, mental illness, etc. They may or may not permanently be that non-human or fictional identity after this begins; however, in many cases, one can drop their link when they no longer need it. Others find their copinglink as permanent as any other alterhuman, and that should be remembered and respected.
However, if it does stay, they may identify as choicekin, otherspin, linker-turned-kin, or otherkin.
If one's copinglink identity and gender overlap, they may call themself colinkgender.
Constelic is an alterhuman term for someone who collects identities of animals, fictional characters, mythological beings, and otherwise. It is often done by choice, though it is not always, and constelic identities can be dropped, hoarded, and have priority over others. Constelic identities are often casual, “in the background”, or not very intensive, though this may not always be the case. Furthermore, there may be specific tiers of how much someone relates to said identities.
These identities in question may be called constels (ex: “I have a deer constel.”) or they may just be called an ID. Constels may also be referred to by a word related to the identity, along with the suffix “-stelic” (ex: I am deerstelic). Someone who is constelic may range from only having one ID, to having a very large number of them, or anything in between.
Reasons for why someone is constelic may vary. Popular reasons may be because of hyperfixation, projection onto characters, a need to “hoard” things (possibly due to neurodivergence), or simply for fun.
If one's constellic identity and gender overlap, they may call themself constelicgender.
Adaptkin is a term used to describe otherkin individuals- usually fictionkin individuals; however, other kintypes can apply- who became otherkin after discovering their species/being (or in the case of fictionkin, world/character).
They would not have been otherkin before this, nor would they have had any memories or experiences relating to their kintypes before discovering this. This is not an overlapping term with choicekin, as their kintype was not a choice, but rather just happened unintentionally upon their discovery.
There are many reasons adaptkin may give for how/why this may have occured. A few reasons may include, but are not limited to...
- One may believe that they were marked/imprinted on by the discovery of their kintype, and would not have been alterhuman if they had not discovered it.
- One may believe that their soul was bound to whatever caused their discovery, or that their kintype swapped souls, or shared pieces of their soul with them.
Some otherspin individuals may identify as adaptkin as well, as hyperfixation is (usually) not a choice.
If one's adaptkin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself adkingender.
Demihuman is a term used to describe an individual that has lost their connection to humanity, and thus has picked up a connection to non-human identification. This loss of connection is usually due to trauma or neurodivergence; however, it does not have to be.
Often times, a demihuman individual will identify with xenogenders, anonbinary genders, and non-binary genders. This is because they typically tend to disconnect from human structures, including the gender binary structure. This is not the case for all demihumans, but for those who do experience this, they may identify as itamigender or kotogender.
Some common terms under the demihuman umbrella include the following:
- Ahuman: someone who has fully lost any connection to humanity.
- Librahuman: someone who feels 1-50% human, due to disconnection from humanity.
- Parahuman: someone who feels 50-99% human, due to disconnection from humanity.
If one's demihumanity and gender overlap, they may call themself exhumic.
Beforan is a term used to describe someone who feels as though they had a life before the one they are currently living, without being of a different species than their current one.
This word describes someone who believes they’ve had a past life, and feels as though the term otherkin does not fit their experiences. This can also be very helpful for non-human headmates/introjects within systems, if they feel as though they had past lives before becoming a headmate, while not being of a different species. For example, a beforan elven headmate would have memories of being an elf in their past lives.
Although a beforan person is not of a different species in their current life, they may have had a different race, gender, sex, body, etc. For example, they may have been blonde in their past life, and have red hair in their current one. All that matters is that they were of the same species.
If one's beforan identity and gender overlap, they may call themself beforangender.
Forwardsoul is a term used to describe all otherkin and/or alterhuman individuals who percieve their alterhumanity as an upcoming future life, rather than a past life. They still may describe their experiences as having metaphysical, spiritual, and/or imprintment; however, they believe that these experiences are a shadowing of their future lives, rather than their past or current one's. They may put the word 'forward' in front of their kintype (ie. forwardangel, forwardfox, etc).
For example, a fowardrose is someone whose kintype is a rose; however, they believe that their kin experiences are because they are going to be reborn as a rose in their next life, or that their soul will transfer to a rose when they die.
A forwardsoul individual is typically very spiritual, metaphysical, and/or religious; however, they do not have to be. All that it takes to be required to be a forwardsoul is that one believes that their kintype is a message/sign of the future, rather than the past or present.
If a forwardsoul person believes they are going to be reborn into the same species they currently are (such as a human who believes in reincarnation, or a owl headmate who believes in reincarnation) then they may call themself forwardstill, as it implies the 'still' implies they are still of the same species.
If one's forwardsoul identity and gender overlap, they may call themself forsoulgender.
Futuresoul is a term used to describe alterhuman individuals that believe that their kintype is a sign of the future, while not being reincarnation or death. There are two subsets to this listed below.
- Futuresame: someone that believes their kintype is a sign of the future within their same lifetime/timeline.
- Futurestill: someone that believes that sometime in the future, something major will happen with their kintype (such as physical shifting becoming possible, or being able to switch into their kintypes body).
Morphen is a term used to describe someone who is alterhuman and believes that they morphed (metaphorically or physically) or physically/spiritually moved from their kintype's form to their current human form. Some examples of this are listed below.
- Someone who's kintype is a shapeshifter, and they believe that they have become stuck as a human from shapeshifting.
- Someone who's kintype can body swap, and they believe that they have become stuck in the body they swapped into.
- Someone who's kintype can take over bodies, and they believe that is how they ended up in a human body.
- Someone who's kintype is a spirit, and they believe they entered a human body.
Trauma Nonhuman is a term to describe someone who became alterhuman due to trauma. Many individuals with trauma end up disconnecting from society, and this can go further to disconnecting to humanity in its entirety. This can cause a disconnect, or a non-human awakening.
This term is not to be used by individuals who wish to dehumanize trauma survivors. It is only to be used in a positive manner by the survivor themself.
ND-Inhuman or ND Alterhuman is a term to describe someone who became alterhuman due to neurodivergence. Often times, those with neurodivergence struggle with human concepts; this struggling can cause a disconnect, or a non-human awakening.
ND-Inhuman is typically experienced by autistic individuals; however, it can be any form of neurodivergence that induces such an experience.
This term is not to be used by individuals who wish to dehumanize neurodivergent individuals. It is only to be used in a positive manner by the neurodivergent person themself.
Otherspin or Otherfix is a term used to describe someone who hyperfixed on an a non-human/fictional being for so long and/or so strongly, that one feels as though they have shifted to psychologically or spiritally being that non-human/fictional being within their heart/soul.
For example, one who hyperfixed on squirrels intensely may feel as though their spirit shifted to being a squirrels, or that the squirrels imprinted on them due to the hyperfixations.
This term is only to be used by those with developmental disorders that cause hyperfixation, such as ADHD, autism, and similar. Someone who is otherspin may end up losing their connection to their kintype if the hyperfixation fades; however, that does not mean that the connection wasn't there or was invalid.
If one's otherspin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself ospingender.
Humukin is an otherkin identity made for system headmates who are a non-human species (such as a vampire headmate) and is kin to humans and/or humanity, and likely feels disconnected from their current species.
This can be viewed as a Pinocchio-related kin too, in a way that a non-human has a human/humanity kintype and/or wants to be human. It does not have to be viewed in this manner by all humukin, however it is a good example to explain humukin experiences to others.
This can also be used by individuals who feel they aren't human but relate at the same time to humanity.
If one's humukin identity and gender overlap, they may call themself hukingender.
Mirroran is a term to describe a headmate within a system who became otherkin, alterhuman, or otherwise non-human because of one (or more) of their non-human/alterhuman/introject headmates. There are three main examples of this; however, a mirroran's experience may vary, or relate to multiple of the listed examples.
The first example of this would be a headmate who adapted a kintype based on their headmates kintype or species. For example, a wolfkin and/or wolf headmate may have a bleedover/bleedthrough of emotions, memories, and/or experiences onto another headmate, which causes this other headmate to feel like a wolf, and become wolfkin. This does not have to occur through bleedthroughs, and can have any other reasoning (including it happening without a clear reason).
The second example of this would be a headmate whos innerworld body merged/changed to match another headmates kintype or species. For example, a pineapple and/or pineapplekin headmate may have had a bleedover of emotions, memories, and/or experiences onto another headmate, which caused this headmate not only to feel like a pineapple, but for their innerworld body to morph into a pineapple-like state. This does not have to occur through bleedthroughs, and can have any other reasoning (including it happening without a clear reason).
The third example of this would be a system that consists of one or more alterhuman, non-human and/or introject headmates, and their presence begins to 'convert' the mind/innerworld into making all other already-existing members into non-humans or alterhumans in some way, shape, or form.
This occurrence is usually a permanent-lasting experience; however, in some cases, it can 'wear off' or be rid of.
If one's mirroran identity and gender overlap, they may call themself mirrorangender.
Antihuman is a alterhuman term to describe someone who is disgusted, angry, or otherwise uncomfortable when compared to the human race. They may dress or behave in ways that are associated with non-humans in order to be less associated with humanity.
The reason for their distaste of being associated with humans could be due to neurodivergence, trauma, or simply just because they are highly connected to their alterhumanity.
Identity Anarchy is a state of identifying as non-human/alterhuman, while not further trying to figure out specifics, such as if you are otherkin, otherhearted, copinglink, beforan, etc.
Identity Anarchy can be described as "just being." It is a state of knowing you are alterhuman, idenifying as alterhuman, and leaving it at that, without needing to give further identification or detail.
Otherhearted or Otherkith is a term used to describe someone who identifies strongly with a non-human/character, while not identifying as that non-human/character.
An example of this would be someone who is so strongly connected to the character Star from Star vs the Forces of Evil that they can't help but see themselves in her to the point where they see her as someone to identify with. Meanwhile, a fictionkin individual who's kintype is Star would say that they are or were Star, not that they identify with her.
If one's otherhearted identity and gender overlap, they may call themself oheartgender or heartedgender.
When one has a Synpath, it means they identify with a non-human/character, while not identifying as that non-human/character. This term is similar to otherhearted, and is sometimes used interchangeably; however, some say the differences between the two is that otherhearted is more of a familial connection, while a synpath is a connection of any kind. Regardless, both are used in similar manners, and there's no distinct separation between the two.
Instead of saying "I am a synpath" one would say "This being is my synpath," as synpath is not a self identification, but rather a term to describe the being/thing being identified with. For example, one would say "my synpath is a tiger" rather than "I am synpath to a tiger."
Fictionflickers are individuals who, for whatever reason, temporarily experience fictional identities, while not fully identifying as such. For example, when at a particular place, one may feel as though they are Nate from Big Nate, then after a period of time, that feeling fades back and they are 'normal' again.
This phenomenon is not the same as being fictionkin, as they do not fully identify as that character; however, they do experience moments of 'being' that character.
Someone who fictionflicks does not need a specific reason, time, or location to do so. They may flick into one specific character, a mix of them, or alternate between characters.
Depending on one's experiences and/or reasonings behind fictionflicking, one may identify as otherhearted or copinlink as well.
If one's fictionflicking identity and gender overlap, they may call themself ficfligender.
One under the otherkin and alterhuman umbrella may experience the following terms listed below (however, they do not have to, as these experiences do not define what does and does not make someone alterhuman).
An Awakening is a term used amongst the alterhuman community to describe when one realizes they are alterhuman, having a moment of awakening from their "slumber" of reality.
Exo- is a term one may put in from of words, emotions, or experienced in order to describe how they are experiencing something from another life or body. Many system members, especially non-human ones, also experience these as well.
- Exotrauma: when one has trauma that came from a different universe/life.
- Exomemories: when one has memories that came from a different universe/life.
- Exolimbs: when one feels body parts that aren't actually there, but would be there if they had their kintype's body. This could be tails, ears, etc.
- Exopain: when one feels pain that isn't actually there, but would be if they had their kintype's body. For example, if someone who is catkin has an exolimb-tail, and it gets jammed in a door, they may feel the pain, despite the fact it's not actually there.
- Exopowers: when one has powers that came from a different universe/life, or feels powers that aren't actually there.
The term Phantom- is often also used in this manner for alterhuman folk, most commonly the term Phantom Limbs. Similarly, the term Astral Limbs is used to describe an alterhuman that has their kintypes limbs when astral projecting.
Kinshifting is a term to describe when an individual feels more like their kintype. There are many forms of kinshifting, which are listed below.
- Astral Shift: when someone feels their soul shift to their kintype. Usually when this happens, they have exo- experiences.
- Aura Shift: when one's aura/vibe shifts to feel more like their kintype. For example, one may say "you're giving off cat vibes" to a catkin.
- Dream Shift: when one is their kintype within their dreams.
- Sensory Shift: when one's senses shift to be more like their kintype. For example, a dogkin may feel as though their sense of smell spikes when they kinshift.
- Shadow Shift: when one sees their body as their kintype. Their body has not actually physically shifted; however, they see their body in such a way for a period of time.
A Cameo Shift is an experience in which one shifts into an animal or being that is not one of their kintypes. The reasoning behind this may vary, or they may be no reasoning at all.
Some reasons that may be given for this experience includes, but is not limited to:
- An individuals metaphysical connection temporarily got lost or mislead, and thus connected to the wrong being.
- An alterhuman headmate in a system may be experiencing one of their other headmates kintype bleedthrough onto them.
- An individual has a similar kintype to the one that was a cameo, and thus was able to experience it due to similarity.
- A questioning alterhuman mistook their kintype for something else, to the point that they were able to mentally latch onto and experience the wrong kintype.
Berserker Shifting is a form of shifting in which the individual shifting loses control, and begins to act more like their kintype than their current self. Many alterhumans (particularly therians) tend to have more aggressive behavior when berserker shifting, and may harm themselves and others around them.
Berserker shifting is viewed as unhealthy, harmful, and generally something to avoid. If an alterhuman is dealing with berserker shifting, they may seek out ways in which they can cope, stop the shifting, or slow the shifting.
Self Shifting can be described as non-harmful berserker shifting, in which the individual acts more/exactly like their kintype, but it is not an issue. This can be used by any alterhuman; however, it is mainly directed towards fictionkin, factkin, humukin, beforan, and other alterhumans with intelligible kintypes. This can also be useful for therians who have peaceful and unagitated animals as their kintypes.
Aware Self Shifting (or a Aware Spirit) is a term to describe someone who is aware and has memories of their current life when they self shift. For example, a cricketkin individual wouldn't forget their current life or forget human functions, but they would still behave like a cricket, due to the fact that they are entirely disconnected from their current life besides the memories.
When someone self shifts, they often also shadow shift, though this is not a requirement.
Soul Collecting can be described as a metaphysical act in which one collects the essence of another soul. This can be through meditation, prayer, and other metaphysical/spiritual acts. Those who soul collect may be called Soul Collectors.
Soul collecting is not an easy task, and it usually takes days or weeks for an individual to completely collect a soul. Soul collecting would typically be used by choicekin and constellic individuals who wished to gain alterhumanity; however, it can be experienced by others who did not choose their kintypes. One reason for soul collecting could be a halfkin or demihuman who wishes to become fully their kintype, and wants to collect more pieces in order to do this.
Soul collectors tend to experience a soul mix, in which their collected soul(s) fully integrate with their original soul.
Tangles or Tangling is a term used to describe someone whos alterhuman that has an experience that doesn't involve past lives or future lives, but rather has an experience that feels like their current life and another beings life/existence (real or fictional) were tangled together, and intertwined. This tangling could be metaphysical or spiritual in nature, or it may be due to neurodivergence, trauma, or similar.
A Connectus is a term used to describe where an alterhumans identity came from, typically relating to someone with an alterhuman identity connected to fiction or fact. For example, someone whos fictotype is Zym would say that their connectus is The Dragon Prince.
This term is used in the same manner an introject within a system would use the word source.
Physical Shifting is a term used to describe "when one's body physically kinshifts to appear as their kintype."
The community does not generally believe in this, as there is no proof that physical kinshifting is even possible. While it is possible for one's brain to change certain aspects of one's body (especially for systems/headmates), there is a limit to how far the brain can go in changing one's physical form.
Although the brain may be able to alter sight, hearing, smell, taste, feeling, voice, and motor control, it cannot physically change one's body into another physical form (or a non-physical form).
Some individuals who have shadow shifted, berserker shifted, and/or self shifted may feel or believe that there body has actually changed; however, this is simply them mistaking their experience as a physical shift.
Physical shifting will remain to be seen as impossible until proof of otherwise.
Many words and language used by those in everyday life can be considered exclusionary towards alterhuman folk. It is important to practice the use of inclusive language, as many (but not all) alterhumans experience disconnect or kindysphoria when referred to as humans or with human terms.
Here is a list of words coined by alterhumans, that may be used inclusively:
- Folkel (pronounced folk-el) or Folken: an alternative term for "people," as some alterhumans dislike the term, due to its ties with humans (ie. instead of saying "all the people in this room," one would say "all the folkel in this room"). It should be noted, though, that many alterhumans prefer to be called people, and that this term is not for everyone, and should not be used on everyone.
- Livinty (pronounced live-in-tee): an alternative term for "humanity," as not all sapient beings are humans.
- Sapi (pronounced say-pee): an alternative word for sapient, which is used as a replacement for "human" in general conversation (ie. instead of saying "hello humans," one would say "hello sapi"). This term was coined in order to de-normalize the use of "human" when in reference to those with a human-body.
- Desapizing (pronounced de-sap-eye-zing): the act of depriving individuals of sapient qualities (ie. treating someone as if they are less intelligent and objectifying them). This term is an alternative for "dehumanizing," as dehumanizing uses "human" in reference to other sapient beings, which can be uncomfortable for alterhuman folk.
Here are words that, while not coined by alterhumans, can also be used inclusively:
- Individuals: this term seems to be the most accepted term amongst the community, and is highly suggested to be used.
- Folk: another alternative to the word "people" or "person."
- Beings: an alternative to "humans."
- Sapients: an alternative to "humans" when in reference to intelligent/communicative beings. This term can be used in reference to common phrases (ie. instead of saying "you're only human," one would say "you're only sapient").
- Entity/Entities: an independent, separate, self-contained being (or collection of beings). This refers to all sapient beings,
Here are words/phrases that should be avoided in general use:
- Humans: humans should only refer to the human-body/species, and should not be used as a general term for all sapient beings.
- YOLO/You Only Live Once: many alterhumans believe in past lives and reincarnation, so this phrasing can feel invalidating towards their exo- experiences and belief system.
Here are words that one should ask about before before using:
- People/Person: while these term can be sometimes seen used on all sapient beings, it commonly refers to humans, and can make some alterhumans uncomfortable. It is a positive idea to ask what those around you are comfortable with before using it.
It should also be noted that, during conversation, one should avoid mocking a fictional being or fictional location, as it can cause fictionkin, fictionhearted, fictionlinked, fictionspin, fictionflickers, fictives (within systems), and those with fictional synpaths extreme discomfort, especially when it is based around their connectus/source. It can feel invalidating, rude, or even dismissive of their experiences, and can feel like an attack on their exotrauma, exomemories, and other exo- experiences they may have.
Exclusionism and Misconceptions
Many of the alterhuman community have mixed opinions on choicekin and otherspin, claiming it is invalid, ridiculous, harmful, or separate from 'typical' otherkin experiences. Some say that acknowledging otherkin as a choice in any capacity can harm the entirety of the community, and that there is no way an otherkin individual could have chosen their identities.
This, however, goes against many of spiritual and metaphysical beliefs some alterhumans have, as it implies that one could not have chosen to form a spiritual/metaphysical bond, and that they must have it happen involuntarily, which goes against the concept of making consensual spiritual connections. This is seen as an issue by many, as it implies that if biological humans cannot voluntarily make spiritual connections, then animals and other earthly-beings cannot either.
Others who are against choicekin and otherspin simply believe that they need a better name and a separate community. While the name may be changed, pushing them to another community further separates alterhumans from the support and community they seek.
Similarly, there is a massive amount of the otherkin community that dislikes fictionkin individuals, saying that you cannot be kin to another universe. This is contradictory, as many alterhumans are of mythical beings (dragons, elves, etc) that are generally considered to not be real or of this reality. The exclusionism of fictionkin individuals can come off as a double-standard, as if stories and media are not 'good enough' in comparison to mythology.
There is also a lot of exclusionism and hate towards factkin individuals, as they mistake their multiverse identification as identity theft. A factkin individual, however, is not attempting to steal someone else's identity, unlike common misconceptions. There is also a lot of trolls on the internet who pretend to be factkin, and thus have given actual factkin individuals a bad reputation, and have pushed them further from the otherkin community.
Issues and Misconceptions
Alterhumanity has a lot of stigma and misconceptions, and thus alterhuman individuals tend to face a lot of hate, bullying, and cruelty that is sometimes considered discrimination.
One common misconception amongst the alterhuman community is that it's a mockery of Delusional Attachment, or that it is the same thing as DA. DA is described as a "term that psychotics have coined to describe the type of delusion of grandeur where someone has delusions that they are a fictional character, an animal, an object, another person, or any kind of being outside of being human." It is identified as a form of psychosis.
The issues with this misconception, as well as the differences between the two, are written out on the list below.
- DA is based on delusions, while alterhumanity is not based on delusions, but rather experiences.
- DA is exclusive to those with psychosis, while alterhumanity is not.
- DA is often treatable with different medications and therapy, while alterhumanity is not.
- DA can cause disruptions, distress, and confusion, while alterhumanity typically is harmless.
While alterhumanity can be connected to mental health and neurodivergence, it is not exclusive to such experiences, and is typically more metaphysical or spiritual in nature.
Delusional Attachments can also be episodic. This means sometimes one will have a Delusional Attachment, and sometimes one will not. This is not the case for all who experience Delusional Attachments, but it's important to bring up. Even if one's Delusional Attachment isn't episodic, the Delusional Attachment can sometimes fade away. Alterhumanity is not typically episodic; however, there are exceptions to this.
Harm Towards Alterhumans
There are many alterhumans that deal with hate from society, social media, peers, and workspaces. Some of the issues alterhumans face are listed below; however, this list is only the most notable problems, and does not touch on more specific issues the community may face.
- Being mocked on social media platforms (especially in places they are attempting to build community).
- Being bullied/harassed for outwardly behaving as their kintype, or expressing their alterhumanity to the public.
- Being told to pretend their alterhumanity is not there, or having their alterhumanity repressed.
- Being accused of mocking the transgender community, even though many alterhumans are also on the cisn't spectrum.
- Having their identities brushed off, joked about, or pushed aside.
- Being mocked for taking their connectus seriously (especially for fictionkin who take their connectus world/characters seriously).
- Being called ableist slurs or terms due to being viewed as 'stupid' or being viewed as psychotic for identifying as non-human or fictional.
A common term that is often considered a slur amongst the alterhuman community is the word kinnie/kinny. This term is used in a derogatory manner. This term is reclaimed by some amongst the community; however, it cannot and should not be used by anyone who does not have the right to reclaim it.
Modern otherkin grew out of the 70s with The Elf Queen's Daughters, which are a group of individuals who identified as elves, then called elfinkind. The community picked up in the 90s with mailing lists and eventually the term "otherkind" was coined to refer to individuals who identified as species other than elves or dragons. It is unknown when it was shortened to "otherkin."
The term polykin originated from polytherians among therianthropes.
Fictionkin came from a subgroup of otherkin known as "otakukin" in the early 2000s. The term was changed to "mediakin" and later to "fictionkin." 
Much of otherkin culture also has overlap with the therian community, who identify as animals and share similar nonhuman identities, though are independent groups. The use of kintype and shifting terminology came from the therian community. 
The terms unknownkin and unbornkin were coined by Tumblr user acro-pluris on February 26, 2018.
Constelic was coined by Tumblr blog extranth on May 19, 2021. The term was partly coined as an alternative for the term KFF or "Kin For Fun," though not exclusively. A Carrd was made soon after the coining post, as well as a Tumblr blog.
The term beforan was coined by Adora within Cryptocrew's system, as she felt as though otherkin did not describe her experiences with past lives.
The term ND-inhuman was coined by Tumblr user blankmogai in May of 2021.
The term humukin was coined by two headmates from the Anarchy Flower System (fandom user TheFlowersSystem), Jevil and Sophias, on June 8, 2020. It was coined because Sophias feels connected to humanity and humans, but plush is a porcelain doll.
Adaptkin, mirroran, and forwardsoul were all coined by Alex within Cryptocrew's system. Adaptkin was to help describe ellas own experiences, while mirroran was to describe the experiences of those within the system. Forwardsoul was coined simply to counterpart the idea of alterhumanity and past lives.
Futuresoul, futurestill, and futuresame were coined by wiki user Mistymoon13 on August 3, 2021. Morphen was coined at the same time, by Cryptocrew.
Antihuman was coined by Tumblr user plurgai on April 15, 2021.
The first reference of identity anarchy was on otherkin.net, on a post titled Just Be. This was on September 10, 2016.
The terms folkel and livinty were coined by Star in Cryptocrew's system, through her Tumblr account starshipbfly, on August 15, 2021. She soon made a follow up post coining sapi and desapizing on August 16, 2021.
Flags and Symbols
The first two alterhuman flags were coined by Tumblr user kin-flags on December 10, 2019. They both have no confirmed meaning.
The second two alterhuman flags were coined by Tumblr user vaestra on May 4, 2021. The main three colors in the center are pulled from the Alt+H website, while the bottom collection of colors is an upside down rainbow with altered shades, thus representing the 'alter' in alterhumanity.
The third two alterhuman flags were coined by Tumblr user misguided-mystery-deactivated20 on May 4, 2021. The shades of purple represent the different 'shades' of identity in the alterhuman community.
The nonhuman flag was coined by Tumblr user xenic-nd on December 17, 2020. Dark brown represents earth, nature, and otherworldliness, medium brown represents attachment to humanity, light brown represents detachment to humanity, grey represents love and self love, blue represents community, and light blue represents self acceptance.
The nonhuman unity flag has an elven star overlayed on a theta-delta, the therianthropy symbol, to signify the unity between the two communities. The green represents therians and other terrestrial or earthly-aligned kintypes, the purple stands for otherkin, and the white represents nonhuman identities that don't fall under either of those categories.
Flags are not often used by the otherkin community. but some may use them. The elvin star, also called the fae star or seven pointed star, is a much more common symbol for otherkin. The symbol for fictionkin that is sometimes used are interlocking circles with an "F" key in the middle.
The otherkin flag was coined by Tumblr user clownsonaz on March 9, 2019. Yellowish-beige represents being physically human, yellowish pink represents identifying as non-human, and the pink represents fantasy animals.
The second otherkin flag was coined by Tumblr user the-gender-collector-emself on July 18, 2020. Blue is for the mind, pink is for the body, and purple is for the spirit. The heptagram overlaps all three stripe colors to represent not only individuals who may experience all three of these concepts, but to represent the diversity of the community.
The third otherkin flag was coined by LGBTA Wiki user Vine Maple, by another LGBTA Wiki user, Adorable almond. The dark green stands for Therians, the neon green for Alienkin, the light green for Faekin, the white for all other kinds of Otherkin, the silver for Mythkin, the gold for Divinekin, and the brown for Fictionkin. The unadapted flag and a slightly more detailed description for the colors can be found here. Not all otherkin adopt this flag, as Tumblr (a site that gave the otherkin community a bad reputation) came up with it. Most otherkin are primarily online, as well, as being an out and proud otherkin in real life is a very difficult experience for most.
The fourth otherkin flag was coined by Tumblr user tinyhoards-deactivated20210516 on May 2, 2021, and has no confirmed meaning. The fifth otherkin flag was coined by Tumblr user kindness-flags on April 27, 2021, and has no confirmed meaning.
The halfkin flag has seven colors with a grey elf star centered in the middle. The star is light grey to represent how Halfkins are half otherkin. The first color is red, which stands for polykins and all kinds of otherkins not specifically represented. The second color is brown, which stands for therians/theriomythicans. The third color is teal, which stands for conceptkins. The fourth color is dark blue, which stands for alienkins and any kind of neo-cruaidhkin. The fifth color is light green and stands for objectkins and other cruaidhkins. the sixth color is a dark grey, and stands for fictionkins. The seventh color is dark purple and stands for royal and high-class or other-time-period otherkins. In the middle of the star, there is orange that stands for uniqueness.
The therian flag was coined by Tumblr user clownsonaz on March 9, 2019. Green represents nature, greenish-brown represents identifying as an animal, and brown represents growth.
The second therian flag was coined by Fandom user WaterTwinkie on November 18, 2020. It has no confirmed meaning. The third therian flag was coined by FANDOM user Reign of the breadsticcs at an unknown time. The fourth therian flag was coined by Tumblr user kindness-flags on April 27, 2021, and has no confirmed meaning.
The fictionkin flag was coined by Tumblr user clownsonaz on March 9, 2019. Blue represents reality, purpleish blue represents imagination, and purple represents identifying as a fictional species/character.
The OCkin flag was coined by Tumblr user kin-flags on June 3, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The rolekin flag was coined by Tumblr user ashix0trender0juice on June 18, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The uncreated fictionkin flag was coined by an anomynous on Tumblr. The flag has no confirmed meaning.
The first factkin flag was coined by Tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags on November 5, 2016. It has no confirmed meaning. The second factkin flag was coined by Tumblr user Plurgai in early June of 2021. It also has no confirmed meaning.
The factkin symbol was coined by Tumblr user Plurgai, specifically their headmate Heathcliff, in June of 2021. It is an inverted fictionkin symbol without the F, inside the head of a speaking bust. The head was to signify that it’s a humanoid type, the talking signifies that you could theoretically speak to your kintype in the shared reality, and the inverted fictionkin is to show that they’re really kind of two sides of the same coin.
The unknownkin and unbornkin flags were coined by Tumblr user acro-pluris on February 26, 2018. They have no confirmed meaning.
The copinglink flag was coined by Tumblr user kindness-flags on April 27, 2021, and has no confirmed meaning.
The constelic flag was coined by Tumblr blog extranth on May 19, 2021. The star symbol is meant to represent the branching out into their separate identities.
The first humukin flag was created by the fandom users TheFlowersSystem. The flag has the fairy star, which is common to be the otherkin symbol. It has also a human symbol. It can also be seen that the flag was based on the non-human unity one.
The following is what the colors on the humukin flag represent:
- Green: Related to the earth, mostly for the ground and one of the colors of the planet.
- Light green/blue: Humanity and the meeting of the Earth and water.
- Blue: Related to the water and one of the colors of the planet which is called "The Blue Planet" in some languages.
The second humukin flag was created in case the first flag is controversial and if individuals don't like the first one. The meanings are the same.
The demihuman, ahuman, librahuman, and parahuman flags were all designed by FANDOM user Asayae on July 9, 2021. In the demihuman flag, the white stripe represents humanity, while the gradually darkening grey stripes represent the various levels of disconnect individuals may experience with humanity.
In the ahuman flag, the black background represents the complete disconnect with humanity, further symbolized by the white cross in the middle of the flag. The white horizontal stripe which splits the flag in half shows how both the top and bottom part of the flag mirror each other, to represent the reality that while a person may experience a complete disconnect with humanity, their physical body is still human.
The librahuman flag takes the four darker stripes from the original demihuman flag to represent the greater disconnect from humanity. Likewise, the parahuman flag takes the four lighter stripes from the original demihuman flag to represent the lesser disconnect from humanity.
The flag for trauma-based nonhumans was coined by Tumblr user plushself on April 2, 2021. The colors have no confirmed meaning.
The ND-inhuman flag and symbol were coined by Tumblr user blankmogai in May of 2021. They have no confirmed meaning.
The second ND-inhuman flag was coined by Tumblr user crescairis on May 4, 2021. The colors orange, yellow, and red are often associated with autistic advocacy, the red shades are to represent neurodivergence, and the green shades reference many other neurodivergent flags, as they often use shades of green.
The ND-trauma nonhuman flags were coined by Tumblr user tinyhoards-deactivated20210516 on May 2, 2021. It combines the neurodivergent symbol, ND-inhuman symbols, and the trauma-based nonhuman flag.
The otherspin flag was coined by Tumblr user plurgai on April 15, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The antihuman flag was coined by Tumblr user Plurgai on April 15, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The identity anarchy flag was coined by Tumblr user Plurgai on June 30, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The first otherhearted flag was coined by Tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags on August 7, 2017. It has no confirmed meaning.
The second otherhearted flag was coined by Tumblr user therianotherkinpride on December 16, 2017.
The third otherhearted flag was coined by Tumblr user clownsonaz on March 9, 2019. The pink represents heart, the pink-red represents relatability, and red represents connection.
The fourth otherhearted flag was coined by Tumblr user kindness-flags on April 27, 2021, and has no confirmed meaning.
The otherhearted symbol was coined by Aestherians on Tumblr. She had open discussion on Tumblr and the Therian Guide. On August 6, 2017, Aestherians opened a poll for other-hearted to vote on the symbol. On August 12, 2017, she announced the winning symbol. She states that "the diamond symbolizes the ‘other’ in our hearts and the circle was mainly added for aesthetic, since it looked pretty barren without."
The first synpath flag was coined by Tumblr user pseriously-psychopomp on April 17, 2019. The green originally did not have much meaning, but upon googling what green represents, the creator adopted the google-found meaning to be the meaning behind the flag. Google said "Green is soothing, relaxing, and youthful. Green is a color that helps alleviate anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony.” The symbol is known as 'the symbol of empathy,' as synpaths have a lot of empathy towards their synpaths.
The second synpath flag was coined by Tumblr user kindness-flags on May 3, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
The fictionflicker flag was coined by Tumblr user plurgai on June 19, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
In the term humukin, "humu" comes from the Latin word "Ground/Earth."