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frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A stylized green dragon person reading a)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Some highlights of what I posted to the Otherkin News Twitter (@otherkinnews) during the last few months.

About otherkin

Vice magazine ran an article about otherkin.

Journal of Language Works published an article on nounself pronouns. Cites the Nonbinary.org wiki and mentions otherkin.

Published in March, the book Youth Cultures in America briefly mentions otherkin.

A review of Danielle Kirby's book Fantasy and Belief, which writes about otherkin.

Due to the anti-transgender bathroom bills in the US during these months, newspapers ran anti-transgender opinion articles. As usual, some tried to undermine transgender people by comparing them to "trans-species." Some writers knew about otherkin, others didn’t. Cissexist hate speech isn’t worth featuring here.

Transhumanism

Cyborg artist Neil Harbisson said at a transhumanist event, "I consider myself a transspecies because I’m adding senses and organs that other species have."

Art and glamourbombs

You know the intro scene in FernGully, with the cave wall covered in handprints from humans and tiny fairies? It's based on some actual cave art, which does feature handprints just like that. The tinier prints weren't human hands. Not fairies, either, though.

The Merrylin Cryptid Museum featured preserved remains of dragons, fairies, and other beings, all created by artist Alex CF. Since it's a hoax-like exhibit, Snopes explained it.

Snopes also had to address a viral photo of baby dragons being reintroduced to Wales, which originated as a Photoshop contest winner.
[identity profile] houseofchimeras.livejournal.com
Content Warning: links include photos during the surgery

A Canadian model by the name of Melynda Moon paid £250 (roughly 408 in US dollars) to have her ears surgery pointed back in August 2011. The young woman states in the article by Dailymail she had felt more like an elf since childhood and during her teenage years had used make-up to make herself look more elf-like. She was inspired to surgery change her ears after the Lord of the Ring movies came out. On her Youtube video describing the modification, Moon expanded on this and stated she can waited two years to be sure she wanted the surgery done and considering how it would effect her life.

Dailymail's coverage on this story here.

Melynda Moon’s own Youtube video on her channel describing her thoughts, feelings, and reasons for the modification.   
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Transgender transition (not graphic). Extreme body modifications (not graphic).

August 5: An advice blog for trans men, The Art of Transliness, answered a question regarding the difference between a transgender person's transition (hormone replacement therapy and gender-confirming surgeries) vs. the extreme body modifications of the Cat Lady.

Source


Zak and anonymous, Untitled post. 2013-08-05. The Art of Transliness (blog). http://theartoftransliness.com/post/60407878804/hey-youre-great-my-pops-a-pretty-smart-older-adult
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warning: For this article, none. For the linked article: Adult content (description of body modification to genitals). Spiritual beliefs being equated with mental illness. Profanity. Clumsy analogy to transgender people.

Last May: A blog re-posted an interview with Luke, a Daonine-Sithe elf otherkin. This interview was supposedly originally published in “Dirty Bristow, a now dormant magazine,” but there’s no date or issue number given for when it was originally published.

Luke’s interview is mostly made of dubious claims. As Disinformation pointed out, “he worships Corellon, God of the Elves – a deity created for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.” I haven’t seen anyone else use his slang “Innate Species Persona (ISP),” and a search for that phrase only brings up his interview. I haven’t found evidence of people in the otherkin or therianthrope communities doing extreme body modifications at all, particularly not the one he describes. He claims there were groups of supposed otherkin back to the medieval ages, but there's no evidence of this. His description of the typical dragon otherkin doesn’t sound like he's been in the dragon community. His interview is the only Google result for the group Political Inclusiveness for Xenontic Individuals (PIXI). I don't know what "Xenontic" means, but a search for it mostly brings up role-playing resources.


Sources


Danny Smith (?), “Elf Reforms – an interview with an Otherkin.” 2013-05-28. Edge Trinkets (blog). http://edgetrinkets.com/2013/05/28/this-is-from-dirty-bristow-a-now-dormant/

Matt Staggs, “An Interview With An Otherkin.” 2013-05-28. Disinformation (online magazine). http://disinfo.com/2013/05/an-interview-with-an-otherkin/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: For this post, as well as for the podcast itself: much about spirituality. Mild ableism. Questions about how being otherkin compares with being transgender. Some additional content warnings for the podcast only: Brief mild adult humor. Brief mentions of drugs. Brief mentions of alcohol.

Summary: A furry podcast interviewed a therian wolf who claims to practice an ancient animal-based faith, and an otherkin dragon who expresses himself through fur-suiting.



August 25: Fur What It’s Worth, a podcast series that is “an introduction and immersion into the furry fandom,” interviewed a therianthrope and an otherkin. In the "Therians & Otherkin" episode, the hosts say they are completely unfamiliar with therianthropy, but somewhat familiar with otherkin. The hosts’ attitudes are respectful, easygoing, interested, and friendly. There’s no transcript, so I’ll summarize the relevant parts of the podcast, using direct quotes whenever possible.

The interview with an therianthrope starts at 8:00 and concludes at 31:41. The therianthrope is Wolf (which is his legal name), 51, is very active in the furry fandom. He attends furry conventions, and is a published author of furry fiction.

Wolf calls himself a therian deist, which he says is an ancient pre-Babylonian (and therefore prehistoric) spiritual faith. He says that in that “faith,” humans are considered the highest animals, and try to learn from animals how to be better humans, by mimicking the virtues of animals. He claims that Catholics called practitioners of this spiritual tradition “lycans.” Wolf says that the biggest misconception about therians is that they are shape-shifters, which he says is a belief of Catholic origin. He says some therians have spiritual connections to animal totems. He says he and a group of other therians are in the process of gathering supplies to build a spiritual retreat for therians “of like faith.” He denies that it’s a temple. He says the faith is based around “breaking the three animal rules: 1) Me first. 2) Pack (family) second. 3) Everyone else.” In therian deism, one tries to “become a better human,” and “better than the animals,” by reversing the order of these rules. He looks at this in context with worship of animal gods and guides around the world.

Wolf mentions that some therians think of themselves as animals in spirit, but otherwise he doesn’t refer to therianthropy as an identity at all, but as a “faith.” The therian faith he describes is not something that I have seen in the therian community. He doesn’t seem to be talking about the same thing as they are at all. I haven’t heard the phrase “therian deist” before, and Googling it (with quotes) only brings up eight results, where it’s used by this same Wolf. Despite Wolf’s claims, it appears that this “ancient faith” is something he invented. The slang “lycans” is a sign that influence from pop fiction is involved. Inventing one’s own spirituality is fine, even with pop culture influences, but when people claim that new spiritualities are ancient, I consider it my duty as a historian to question those claims.

The interview with an otherkin starts at 36:44 and concludes at 1:02:40. This interview is with YuuRyuu, a dragon otherkin. This is YuuRyuu’s second interview on Fur What It’s Worth. YuuRyuu speaks of his dragon self as a “character,” and says he developed his own species of dragon. He’s been very active in the furry fandom for four years.

YuuRyuu gives the usual definitions for otherkin and its difference from therianthropes. When asked to define what otherkin means to him, YuuRyuu said there’s a lot of variety in how people define it. For himself, he explained that when he was a small child, he consciously knew that his reflection in the mirror was him, but subconsciously felt it was wrong. He’d prefer to see a dragon. Wearing a fur-suit (animal costume) of his dragon character makes that possible, which gives him a sense of mental release from the tension of feeling that his reflection is wrong. He’s not aware of any other specific otherkin who use fur-suits that way. For him, being otherkin is “just a quirk in my brain,” not something he can explain. He grew up having “a disconnect between what I looked like and what my brain wanted to see.” He says he’s experienced phantom limbs only after wearing the fur-suit for a while.

The host asks, “Are you a human who has a spirit of a dragon, or are you a dragon?” YuuRyuu replies, “I am a dragon. It is totally mental. I don’t believe in spirits or anything like that.” As such, he hasn’t personally experienced some of the paranormal phenomena that the hosts had heard of as linked with otherkin. He says he’d initially been hesitant to call himself otherkin, saying he was “borderline otherkin. … I don’t want people to think I’m crazy, but I want to be honest with myself.” After deciding to simply call himself otherkin, he hasn’t had any troubling reactions from people about it. He and the hosts agree that one of the good things about the furry community is that it’s so accepting. People in the furry fandom don’t get upset over hearing of one another’s unusual personal quirks.

The hosts ask YuuRyuu how being otherkin compares to being transgender. YuuRyuu says he’s been timid to consider the similarities, not wanting to offend anyone, but he does think the mirror experience is similar. He says he feels more confident about the analogy after reading some points made by a transgender furry interviewee. I recognize his description of Kotaku’s interview with illustrator Egypt Urnash, which I summarized in an earlier Otherkin News article.

Both interviews were conducted gracefully, and their contents were insightful and interesting. Wolf described a unique animal-based faith, and YuuRyuu gave an example of why an otherkin enjoys activities associated with the furry fandom.



Sources


Roo and Tugs, “S3 Episode 6 – Therian & Otherkin.” Fur What It’s Worth (blog) 2013-08-25. http://www.furwhatitsworth.com/?p=2029

Roo and Tugs, “Therians & Otherkin.” Fur What It’s Worth (podcast audio) 2013-08-25 (series 3, episode 6). Accessed 2013-08-31.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Voluntary surgical body modification. Links to web-pages that include photos of the gross stages of the process.

Between the mid 1990s and 2007, body modification artists began making people’s ears pointed, like those of elves. At least eight people have now had this procedure, which involves cutting, folding, and sewing the ear cartilage to the desired shape.

I’m not sure when ear pointing started, or by whom. When I wrote the previous article on Otherkin News about ear pointing, the earliest I found was in 2007.1 In an interview in 2012, Tye Olsen claimed he got his ears pointed in 2004, saying they were one of the first couple sets ever done. He doesn’t name the artist, apparently for legal reasons.2 (Odd, I thought it was legally wise to always credit an artist for their work.) Tattoo artist Katzen the Tiger Lady3 is said to have gotten her ears pointed “in the mid 1990s” by body modification artist Steve Haworth.4 (Haworth is the Guinness World Records’ “most advanced body modification artist”5 who did much of the innovative surgery on the late Stalking Cat.) I haven’t seen any clear photos of Katzen’s ears, but another ear pointing is in Haworth’s gallery.6

The artists are still exploring new techniques for ear pointing. All methods result in smaller ears, because they only work with the cartilage that’s already there. The methods that had been used by body modification artists Russ Foxx, Steve Haworth, and Brian Decker, result in an ear with a flattened pocket inside the tip. Two new methods were recently created that result in different looking pointed ears than that. Brian Decker created a new method that makes an ear with a more natural looking helix running along the tip.7 Samppa Von Cyborg created an entirely different method of reshaping the entire ear, not only pointing the tip, but also removing the lobe.8

Please correct me if I have made any errors in the above, regarding crediting artists, or finding out who created a method.

I still haven’t heard of anybody in the otherkin or therianthrope communities who have gotten ear pointing surgery.

- O. Scribner


Sources


1. O. Scribner, “Ear-pointing surgery.” 2011-04-08. Otherkin News. http://otherkin-news.livejournal.com/7821.html

2. Shannon Larratt, “Video interview with Tye Olsen.” 2012-10-04. BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News. http://news.bme.com/2012/10/04/video-interview-with-tye-olsen/ Or:
PangaeaPiercing, “Tye’s surgically modified pointed elf ears- THE MODIFIED WORLD.” 2012-09-28. http://youtu.be/1PNR7RJCYGk

3. Steve Gilbert, ed. “Enigma interview.” Based on interviews from 1996 and 1999. http://tattoos.com/enigma.html

4. Shannon Larratt, “Full ear reshaping by Samppa.” 2012-10-4. BME. http://news.bme.com/2012/10/04/full-ear-reshaping-by-samppa/

5. Steve Haworth. http://stevehaworth.com/main/

6. Steve Haworth's gallery. http://stevehaworth.com/main/?page_id=334

7. Shannon Larratt, “Refining the ear pointing procedure.” 2013-02-14. BME. http://news.bme.com/2013/02/14/refining-the-ear-pointing-procedure

8. Shannon Larratt, “Pointing versus shaping.” 2012-10-10. BME. http://news.bme.com/2012/10/10/pointing-versus-shaping/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Summary: News from 2012 regarding topics of interest to otherkin and therianthropes (therians), including: a new study on clinical lycanthropy, an anthology of non-supernatural otherkin and therian romantic fiction, a survey of therians and furries, a Tarot deck for people who were extraterrestrials in past lives, a therian-inspired art exhibit, advances in the technology of wearable animal ears, other transhuman innovations, and the death of Stalking Cat.

Trigger warnings: mental illness, death.

2012-01. A new academic article about clinical lycanthropy was published in The Journal of Psychiatric Practice, focusing on the case study of Ms. A., 47, who believed herself to be a snake.1 The syndrome of lycanthropy recognized in psychiatry has some traits in common with spiritual therianthropy as discussed in the therianthrope community, in that the subject believes himself or herself to be or become an animal. The syndrome itself isn’t a mental illness, and doesn’t consistently correlate with any specific mental illnesses. Clinical lycanthropy is distinguished by delusions of physical transformation, and presence of other mental illnesses; all but one case of clinical lycanthropy have quickly responded to treatment. People in the therianthrope community, on the other hand, generally don’t believe they physically transform. The new article itself is behind a pay-wall. You can get the gist of the article through an irreverent informal commentary on it in the Neurotic Physiology blog.2

2012-09. Good Mourning Publishing is working on assembling an anthology of short romantic fiction titled Shifting Hearts, "in which at least one of the love interests is Otherkin/Therian. Any identification of otherkin or therian is accepted. No vampires, p-shifting, or paranormal themes; strictly real world depictions. […] The submission deadline is December 31, 2012."3 To my knowledge, this is the first book of its kind. Personally, I’ve heard rumors that a member of the therianthrope community is writing the preface for it; is there a public post by the person in question to confirm this rumor?

2012-09-05. A multidisciplinary team of scientists (sociologists, anthropologists, and social psychologists) called the Anthropomorphic Research Project (ARP) released results for its surveys of furries, bronies (fans of My Little Pony), and therianthropes.4

2012-09-05. An interview with Patricia Cori, co-author (with Alysa Bartha) of the Sirian Starseed Tarot. In the interview, Cori said she intended the oracle deck as a tool for “starseed awakening,” to assist the “the starseed [extraterrestrial] beings currently incarnated [in human bodies] on the planet, here to assist in the great transition that we all are beginning to recognize is well underway. […] In the generations of children since the 60’s, I believe, many very special souls are coming into the life experience highly conscious, with many gifts. They are starseeds from other planets and systems that are quite possibly more evolved than ours.”5 The starseed community has been active for several decades, but their community remains separate from the otherkin and therianthrope communities.

2012-09-11. Valerie Daval’s art exhibition of paintings inspired by therianthropes, featuring animal-themed reinterpretations of classic paintings. “Therians believe that while they have a human body, some important part of their mind, identity or spirit is that of an animal. […] Therians Dream is a series of portraits about metamorphosis between human and animal form.”6 Caution: the linked page includes artistic nudity.

2012-10. Following the release of Necomimi, the wearable cat-like biofeedback ears by Neurowear, an independent business emerged, called Emoki, offering diverse modifications built upon that hardware. Emoki offers the Necomimi headset, plus their own variety of interchangeable animal ears: bunny, bear, and fox, with more to come soon.7

2012-10. Transhuman week on Wired magazine, featuring the latest experiments and predictions about high-tech enhancement of the human body and mind. Trigger warnings: surgery, physical injuries particularly to eyes and extremities, vivid descriptions and photos thereof.

2012-11-05. Stalking Cat, 54, died. Famous for modifying his body to resemble a tiger, which he called his totem animal, Stalking Cat was active in the furry community,8 but I haven’t found evidence that he was active in the otherkin or therianthrope communities.


- O. Scribner

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: surgical body modification, body issues, gender issues, mental health.

Here's a list of some new projects, articles, blogs, and translations from the past few months. (And, in some cases, some that I discovered only in the past few months, but which existed earlier than that. I assume they could use a little publicity.) I intend to post a summary of new otherkin creations of this kind each month from now on. The highlights of the projects listed here include: plans to bring recognition for otherkin by means of something resembling the OpenID system, a couple articles about surgical body modification for otherkin, and several articles exploring whether being otherkin should be diagnosed as a mental variation.


NEW PROJECTS

Tsu, a winged person, is collecting entries for the first issue of a new otherkin ’zine, The Forest Voice. Tsu told me via e-mail that when finished, this will be available in both PDF and print-on-demand. The theme for the issue is “walking man’s road: the difficulty of living as nonhuman in the human world.” Do you have any writing or art to offer?
Trigger warnings: homesickness, but it's not currently described in a vivid way.

Spectrum-X, a mage, wants to write a “directory on post-human/species modification,” an organized collection of links that tell how people can physically transform themselves by means of virtual reality, costumes, and surgery. Send ideas! There’s not much to see there yet, but the directory will be at this web-site.
Trigger warnings: body issues, surgery. Currently not graphic, but may become graphic later.


NEW ARTICLES

Feathertail’s otherkin FAQ,” by Feathertail, 2011-10-05,
Another introduction to otherkin, this one offering genuinely common questions with quite brief answers, well organized in sections: the basics; how to relate to otherkin; otherkin and religion; otherkin-ness and you.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

“‘Non-human,’” by an anonymous bird otherkin, 2011-10-30.
On problems with calling ourselves “non-human:” it defines us by what we are not; and it denies our humanity, which is not the best solution.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

The skeptical otherkin #1: ‘Otherkin are delusional,’” by Feathertail, 2011-10-17.
An otherkin considers various aspects of how one can argue that otherkin are delusional.
Trigger warnings: mental health issues, ableist language.

The skeptical otherkin #2: Relatively speaking,” by Feathertail, 2011-10-22.
Should otherkin be silenced so the concept won’t spread? Examining a slippery slope fallacy.
Trigger warnings: vividly describes religious intolerance.

Transspecies diagnosis,” by Rua, 2011-09-27.
Rua, a sidhe, argues that the DSM-IVTR criterion for gender identity disorder (transgender) matches otherkin so closely that one need only swap the word “gender” for “species.” Rua argues that if we could get transspecies recognized as a mental “disorder,” it could be a step toward getting otherkin accepted as something for real… and acknowledges that this would be sort of an ironic way of accomplishing this.
Trigger warnings: gender issues, body issues, mental health issues, ableist language.

Redefining p-shifting,” by Tsu, 2011-10-25.
Tsu argues that otherkin should consider surgery and virtual reality as a real way to attain physical transformation. Gives a few speculative examples.
Trigger warnings: body issues, surgery. Not graphic.

I love you all; how can I help,” by Feathertail, 2011-10-21.
Forming plans to create an OpenID system for non-human avatars in virtual and augmented reality, as a way for otherkin to achieve mainstream recognition.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

Here’s how I can help,” by Feathertail, 2011-10-25
Sequel to the above article.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

Deconstruction of an idea,” by Feathertail, 2011-11-09.
Further thoughts on how to create an OpenID system for non-human avatars. Considering the role of a personality quiz in constructing such a thing.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

More on tagging,” by Feathertail, 2011-11-12.
Further thoughts on how to create an OpenID system for non-human avatars.
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

“The otherkin (Die Anderen - Otherkin),” by Apu Kuntur (Stefan N. K.), no date.
A dragon/seraphim otherkin points out the connection between dragons and angels: seraphim, the Biblical “fiery flying serpents.”
Original German, and English translation.
Trigger warnings: vivid description of metaphysical experiences.

“I, an angel? Flying With Angel Wings - The Path to Myself (Ich, ein Engel? Auf Engelsflügeln zur Erkenntnis),” by Apu Kuntur (Stefan N. K.), no date.
More thoughts on the similarities of dragons and angelic seraphim.
Original German, and English translation.
Trigger warnings: vivid description of metaphysical experiences.


NEW FOREIGN-LANGUAGE ARTICLES

Pride – ett tal (Pride—a speech),” by Susitar, 2011-08-06.
(In Swedish.) Transcript of a speech about therianthropy, delivered at a Pride event by a wolf therian.
Trigger warnings: gender issues, body issues.

Ich bin ein Drache (Die Otherkin-FAQ) (I am a dragon [The otherkin FAQ]),” by Apu Kuntur (Stefan N. K.), no date.
(In German.) Based on, but not completely a translation of, Baxil’s Draconity FAQ in English.
Trigger warnings: ableism.


NEW TRANSLATIONS OF ARTICLES FROM ENGLISH INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Laopa produced a Spanish translation of Wolf Van Zandt’s article "History of therianthropy and the therian community," which was originally in English.
Trigger warnings: mental health, metaphysics, brief description of some unhappy conflicts in the community.

Smokowatość FAQ (Draconity FAQ),” by Baxil, Polish translation by Nufuwyr.
About those who call themselves dragons.
Trigger warnings: ableism.


NEW BLOGS

Kin Diet, by (author not stated?), first post 2011-10-02.
A collection of recipes selected to please various types of otherkin and therians.
Trigger warnings: this link sometimes describes and includes photographs of foods likely to make certain readers feel uncomfortable, including meat and blood.

- O. Scribner
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (Stylized green dragon person)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings for this article: blood.

Last February in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a performance artist named Marion Laval-Jeantet of the Art Orienté Objet collective recently did a piece called Que le cheval vive en moi! (Fr. May the Horse Live in Me!) in which she explored a method by which she may transform herself into a centaur or horse.1 She spent time with a live horse. Then, in a Swiss laboratory, she had herself carefully injected with small doses horse blood, specificially “the plasma and a large part of the immunoglobulins,” safely isolated according to advice from the Pasteur Institute.2 Then she walked in digitigrade hoof stilts,3 which resemble the leg extensions designed by Kim Graham a few years ago.4 (I don’t know if they are or not. I haven’t seen anything that tells.) Laval-Jeantet described how the transformation made her feel:

“So, after I tested my body with the neuroendocrine immunoglobulins it was practically impossible for me to sleep for a week and I had extreme and slightly aggressive reactions to stimuli; a slammed door, a tap on the shoulder. As such, I was experiencing the hyper-reactivity of the horse in my flesh. The main aim of the performance to come is to take in a large number of immunoglobulins all together, so that I can feel another way of living rather than just the human. If one goes back to the terminology of the posthuman, to be human outside of the human is, perhaps, to undergo this type of experience, where a man that becomes a human/animal hybrid is finally extra-human. … Perhaps its symbolic and empiric force will enable my (our?) consciousness to open up to an Other sufficiently "other" - to no longer be purely anthropocentric.”5


Laval-Jeantet says that her original plan for this project was to have herself injected with panda blood, so that an endangered animal would be able to live on within her even if the actual pandas went extinct. However, even after several years, she couldn’t find anyone willing to do this for her, so she settled for horse instead.6 Much of Laval-Jeantet’s artwork explores ways to transgress the boundaries between humans and animals, and some of her works were performed primarily for an animal audience, to see how the animals react.

Laval-Jeantet performed a similar piece in 2007, Félinanthropie, in which she wore an innovative cat costume, crouched on all fours, and spent time with a house-cat. Her cat costume included digitigrade leg extensions, an articulated tail, and no other costume elements (no mask). She wanted to not only explore the perceptions of a cat, but also to alter the perceptions of an actual cat as it relearned how to interact with her. She wrote of this piece,

“That’s when the idea occurred to me to become digitigrade. A kind of fantasy where I would be able to jump onto the table in a single leap with paws that were too long... I drew the ‘cat shoes,’ which a prosthetist then made. As soon as I put them on and got used to this strange way of walking, the cats came up to me, sniffed and jumped on me, playing with me in the same way as they played between themselves. The artistic object worked, it had moved my role in the feline, domestic hierarchy.”7


However, I notice that since Laval-Jeantet wears no extensions on her forelegs, her costume increases the difference in length between her arms and legs, making it more difficult to walk on all fours.

Laval-Jeantet has written an article titled “Self-animalité (Self-animality)” about the philosophy behind the transformations in her art, such as posthumanism and shamanism. She describes several of her other pieces, and offers anecdotes about the stories of Mazzeras (shamans who channel the spirits of dead animals to rescue them) who she heard about from her Corsican grandmother. Her article includes photos of some of her pieces, including the cat costume and a close-up on the horse leg extensions. Read it in French or in English.

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: voluntary surgical body modification, links to web-pages that include photos of the gross stages of the process.

In the past few years, at least five people have had a kind of body modification or cosmetic surgery called “ear pointing” to make their ears have a pointed shape, like an elf.

In October 2007,1 Kimberleigh “Kimmie” R., had her ears pointed by a professional body modification artist, Russ Foxx. They took a couple of weeks to heal, and she posted photos of it in various stages of healing.2 With Kimmie’s permission, her friend “Laminterious” posted some of photos of Kimmie’s ear-pointing on Instructables.com a few months later, with commentary explaining the importance of taking time to decide and do research before getting any kind of body modification.3

Also during the time of October 2007, a website purportedly that of a cosmetic surgeon named Dr. Lajos Nagy claimed that Nagy had performed over a thousand ear-pointings, but Nagy’s site appears to be a hoax.4

In January 2010, Russ Foxx posted before-and-after photos of more ear pointing on at least two unnamed people,5 and put out a request for other people who wanted ear-pointing surgery.6 He hasn’t posted anything about it since then, so I don’t know if he’s done more ear-pointing.

On the seventh of this month, the ABC Good Morning America show talked about ear pointing.7 They showed two more people who’d had ear-pointing: Jordan H., who explains that she contemplated the surgery for eighteen months before having it done, and an unnamed woman with a Mohawk. Both of them had their ears done not by Foxx, but by another body modification artist, Steve H. of Phoenix, Arizona. (If the above video is no longer available, the Daily Mail wrote a summary of some of the key traits of the episode.)8

The commentary provided by ABC includes some exaggerations that could create confusion. They claim that ear-pointing is a craze sweeping the nation, the latest fad popular among the kids.

However, as far as I can see, five adults constitute neither a craze, nor kids. The two ear-pointed people who have publicly talked about their ear-pointing have said that they thought about their decision for over a year before they did it, and that they were well aware of the risks involved. All five of them had their ear-pointing performed by expert body modification artists. The five ear-pointings happened over several years. So long as ear-pointing is not an impulsive choice performed on minors by unskilled people—as ABC was trying to suggest—then I don’t see anything to worry about.

I have not seen any articles where these ear-pointed people openly say that they are otherkin. Surprisingly, despite our unusual self-identifications, extreme body modification seems very rare in our community. Over the years, I’ve seen the topic come up for discussion many times, and I’ve often heard otherkin musing about or making plans for such things, but I’m not aware of a single otherkin who has written publicly about any extreme body modifications they’ve had, including ear-pointing. (That is, not counting tattoos or piercings. Those aren’t rare among otherkin.) I’d like to be proven wrong about this, but I’m also not interested in outing anybody’s private life.

- O. Scribner, 2011-04-08

Sources )

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