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[identity profile] shiroulv.livejournal.com
In an effort to help the otherkin community better understand itself, and to help the public understand the otherkin community, Kinmunity is introducing a 2016 otherkin community survey. The purpose of this survey is to learn more about the community, identify trends and correlations in the community, and to help the community understand itself better. This survey will probably be longer than most others you have encountered; this is because we aim for high quality results. Once the survey closes to responses, the data will be posted publicly with any personally identifiable information removed (although none is really collected in the first place!)

Click here to take the survey!
!DO NOT SHARE THIS LINK! - This survey link contains a unique acquisition code that says you've come from LiveJournal, if someone accesses it from outside LiveJournal their responses will be automatically discarded. If you wish to share a link with friends, share this one
https://kinmunity.com/surveys/index.php/431586?lang=en
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

2015-02-11: Mikh'to and kiilas launched an early version of the Darkfang Archive, a directory of all kinds of resources for otherkin, therianthropes, and vampires. The new web-site has room to grow. From Mikh'to's description of the site, as given on the Elfinkind Digest mailing list, and quoted with permission:

"This is a curated database of otherkin, therianthropy and real vampirism sites, media and social spaces. It's partly inspired by otherkin.net and other older resource sites, and is trying to make an up-to-date online resource (it is not a wiki) that gives people a way to look into these things without problematic influences or needless dogma. It separates content by 'category', so each 'kintype'/'theriotype'/'phenotype', subgroup, experiential slant, mythos, etc. that is covered has its own page, so it doesn't lump everyone in into some big 'otherkin' umbrella. It is designed for both desktop and mobile browsers.

"It's currently in a 'preview' version - it's intended for feedback, so it's unfinished and possibly buggy. Data submissions are welcome and greatly appreciated. We are also interested in mirroring old/defunct sites and media in the future with permission."

Personally, I've browsed the site a little, and it looks like one of the most useful resources for the otherkin community that I've seen in some time. I hope some of our readers will offer feedback and help make the Darkfang Archive excellent.
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

On 2015-02-11, the Den Theater in Chicago, Illinois will have a stage performance about otherkin, Glick's Kin Folk. As far as I know, this is the first stage performance about otherkin, by that name. Description from The New Colony Side Stage:

"Staged Reading of Kin Folk
"February 11, 2015, 7:29PM
"Written by William Glick
"Directed by Evan Linder

"After being recently orphaned, Lucy must reimagine her life. She decides to come out of the closet and reveal her true identity to her family: a dragon named Kreeka. After the announcement, Lucy is more alone than she has ever been, and she must ultimately choose between her family and a new community known as Otherkin. On her journey, she meets a young man claiming to be an elf, a giant gnome named Blubberwort, and a werewolf from Montana who shows her what it means to lead a life driven by a belief in the fantastic.

"Featuring Kate Carson-Groner, Chris Fowler, Sarah Gitenstein, Andrew Hobgood, Steve Love, Liz Sharpe and Stephanie Shum."

Hopefully some otherkin in the Chicago area can see this performance and tell how they feel it represented them. In the comments, please give links to any forum threads, blog posts, or reviews of this event.
[identity profile] merticus.livejournal.com
Diagnosed Physical & Mental Conditions Of Self-Identified Real Vampires
Presented by Merticus of Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC & Vampire Community News (VCN) - November 12, 2014

http://merticus.com/vampirenews/2014/11/12/diagnosed-physical-mental-conditions-of-real-life-vampires
[identity profile] jarandhel.livejournal.com
On October 20, 2014, Salix (formerly Sandstone, formerly Kodama) announced that Otherkinsight would be closing on the week of November 2nd, 2014.[1] In a post announcing the reasons for the closure, Salix stated: "Members have been extremely disrespectful to other members and consistently breaking rules. Moderators are having difficulty maintaining the peace, as am I." and "I am left with the difficult choice of either banning quite a few members or shutting down the site completely. Considering my other priorities, with a heavy heart, I choose to close down the site."[2]
[identity profile] jarandhel.livejournal.com

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've recently become aware of a spate of academic articles about otherkin.  I managed to get my hands on the first of them, "Othering among Otherkin: The discursive negotiation of the face-threat of exclusionary othering in a demarginalizing internet community" by Melanie Getzler.  I've skimmed it and it looks really great, but unfotunately I haven't had time yet to sit down and read it in depth.  It's much longer than other articles on the subject, as it is a Master's thesis - 82 pages.  One thing I will note is that it does not suffer from the same weakness that so many academic articles on otherkin and therians have in the past - that of being based on self-selected survey responses or interviews with a fairly small sampling of the community.  Ms. Getzler employed a different methodology to try to get a truly representative sampling and while I'd still like to see a broader study done I must say hers is the best attempt to date of which I am currently aware.

For those interested, I've saved a copy of the thesis here.

Apparently Ms. Getzler also wrote an undergraduate thesis on our community entitled "Here There Be Dragons: The Effect of Online Communities of 'Otherkin' on Philosophical Construction of Self-Identity".  I'm still looking for a copy of that, it is not available from ProQuest.

Another recent academic work is "Some People Aren’t People on the Inside: Online Connectivity and Otherkin Subjectivities" by Margaret Shane.  I don't have a copy of that one yet either, but I do know where it can be purchased.  I'm just leery of spending $30 on a 15 page paper.

Last but not least there's another article by Venetia Robertson focusing on the therian community: "The Beast Within: Anthrozoomorphic Identity and Alternative Spirituality in the Online Therianthropy Movement".  This paper may be downloaded for free from academia.edu, and I have backed it up here.

[identity profile] jarandhel.livejournal.com

There seems to be a significant migration of otherkin to a new service: TurtleSeed.  I had never heard of this service before today, but from what I've been able to determine it is a service similar to Twitter which allows people to make microblog posts of 140 characters or less. TurtleSeed is unique, however, in that it is built from the ground up with an eye towards privacy, eliminating trolls, encouraging positivity, and even the ability to designate certain words as triggers in one's user settings. By default, turtleseed posts expire after 3 days, for privacy reasons, though one has the ability to change that setting on an individual level.

There are already a wide variety of otherkin "clans" on TurtleSeed.  These are roughly equivalent to facebook groups or livejournal communities, organizing around a particular discussion topic.  Some of these are public, while others require approval to join.  Some are permanent, while others have a set duration they will be in existence.  And some even allow all posts to them to be made anonymously.  One of these clans, /otherkinchat, already boasts ~328 members despite just having been created on August 20, 2014.  And it's more active than most otherkin groups I've seen, on any medium.

The otherkin clans of which I am currently aware are:

The communities there do seem to have been influenced, IMO, more by tumblr otherkin culture than the culture of the wider community, but the activity level definitely makes it something to keep an eye on.

frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

A therianthrope on Tumblr.com, Theangrylionshark, observed a new trend among otherkin on Tumblr. Some of them have started to call themselves otherkin in regard to things that they identify with, rather than beings that they identify as. Theangrylionshark sees this as misuse of the word, rather than semantic drift. Theangrylionshark wrote about all this in the article "Let's get something straight."

Examples of "identify as" include people who say "I am an elf," as otherkin have done for decades now. Examples of "identify with" are people who recently started saying they are otherkin because they feel a connection to a topic such as outer space, the ocean, or forests. These two things might be different enough from each other that it might be confusing to call them both "otherkin." I haven't heard them propose a word to call themselves by instead.

Some others on Tumblr have talked about this trend. Malchior (user-name Phasmovore) and Ash (Fuinseog) made a list of links to some of their writings about it in this conversation thread.

Source

Theangrylionshark, "Let's get something straight." 2014-07-10. Theangrylionshark (informal personal blog). http://theangrylionshark.tumblr.com/post/91364114706/lets-get-something-straight

Orion Scribner (frameacloud) and Malchior (phasmovore). Untitled conversation thread. 2014-07-14. Orion Scribner (informal personal blog). http://frameacloud.tumblr.com/post/91797968391/by-the-way-if-you-would-like-to-see-a-discussion-about

All above writings are linked here according to permission from their writers.

[Edit 2014-07-13: Changed article title, because I'm going to collect views on this topic from more than one author. Added a paragraph of my own observations on this new trend.]

[Edit 2014-07-14: Added a paragraph about some more perspectives.]
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

Tomorrow, on July 9, the word "otherkin" will turn 24 years old. More information.
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Internet troll activity.

Short version: Don't look at the #otherkin tag on Tumblr right now, because it's full of disturbing pictures.

July. Anonymous participants of the web-site 4chan declared their summer plan to "invade the feminist tag" on a social blogging site, Tumblr.com. This means that Tumblr users checking the #feminist tag on Tumblr will mostly see a flood of shock images put there by the trouble-makers from 4chan. The shock images include disturbing topics such as photos of gore and animal abuse. 4chan participants then said that they would expand their attack to many other tags, including many LGBT related tags, many specific fandoms. They have also started doing this in the #otherkin tag.

(For context, the #otherkin tag has been trolled heavily and constantly for the past few years. Most of the posts to it are meant to be offensive and to make otherkin look bad. This even included elaborate hoax blogs that make outlandish claims about being otherkin in absurd ways. Many otherkin stopped bothering to read that tag years ago.)

I haven't heard how long this will last. Tumblr site administrators are unlikely to do anything about it.

Advice: It would be wise not to browse any tags on Tumblr for now. You can choose to either not post to the tags for now, or you can try to counter the attack by flooding the tags with positive content. The trouble-makers naturally don't tag their shock images with content warnings, so filters such as Tumblr Savior and Washboard.ws are not effective solutions for this particular problem. The Tumblr blog 4chancounterspam is posting updates about this attack as it happens. That blog gives lists of the usernames of 4chan troll blogs to block, and which tags they're posting to so far.

[Edit 2014-07-05] 4chancounterspam reports that participants of 4chan have furthermore declared plans to collect all self-portrait photos posted to the tags, paste the faces into porn, and then post these images. The same 4chan post expressed that a goal of this attack is to render Tumblr's tagging system unusable. I've also seen mention that 4chan participants are spamming tags for disabilities with images that can cause seizures. They've expanded their attack to all kinds of innocuous tags, so their goal is apparently not just an attack on feminist groups or any particular political alignment, but on Tumblr overall.

Here's 4chancounterspam's master list of blogs to block.
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

May 19. A blogger named Sarah "SapphireWind" Cluck wrote an informal article called "Have you heard of therianthropes or otherkin?" She explains what therianthropes and otherkin are, and tells about her own experience as a dragon otherkin.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

May 20 to 28. The newspaper Le Monde (est. 1944) ran an introductory article about otherkin and therianthropes. As the original article is in French, therianthrope Akhila made an English translation of it. The article covers many aspects of the topic, including history. It draws from several print and web sources, as well as interviews.

Sources

Olivier Clairouin. "Pas complètement humains : la vie en ligne des thérians et otherkins." 2014-05-20. Le Monde (online newspaper). http://www.lemonde.fr/cultures-web/article/2014/05/20/pas-completement-humains-la-vie-en-ligne-des-therians-et-otherkins_4410306_4409029.html?xtmc=otherkin&xtcr=1

Olivier Clairouin. Akhila, trans. "Not Completely Human: The Online Life of Therians and Otherkin." 2014-05-28. Beyond Awakening (blog). http://thehornedgate.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/the-online-life-of-therians-and-otherkin/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

A skeptical Finnish-language blogger wrote an entry that covers some basics about otherkin. Google Translate handles it poorly, so I'm not sure of the article's thesis or attitude.

Source

Ez. "Seikkaluja internetin harhamaassa: oletko sinäkin oikeasti eläin?" May 28, 2014. Tämä Päivä (Today). (Personal blog.) http://tamapaiva.blogspot.fi/2014/05/seikkaluja-internetin-harhamaassa.html
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
The journal Culture and Religion had a special issue on the topic of invented religions and religion-like groups, with articles on topics such as religions based on fiction, fandom, and so on. This includes an article by Danielle Kirby containing several paragraphs about otherkin, in context with some other groups that combine fiction with spirituality.

Sources

Steven J. Sutcliffea and Carole M. Cusackb. "Introduction: Making it (all?) up – 'invented religions' and the study of 'religion.'" Culture and Religion Vol 14: 4 (2013), pp. 353-361
DOI:10.1080/14755610.2013.839952
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14755610.2013.839952#.Uq9EdtJDt8F

Danielle Lee Kirby, "Between Synchromysticism and Paganism: Tracing some metaphysical uses of popular fictions." Culture and Religion Vol 14: 4 (2013), pp. 396-410
DOI:10.1080/14755610.2013.838796
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14755610.2013.838796#.Uq9FxNJDt8E
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

October 23: In South African Vampyre News, Octarine Valur posted an article by Samael Anathan, titled "Otherkin – Of Heaven Or Hell?" Anathan focuses on describing some types of angel and demon otherkin.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

Gentle readers, you have all been reading a lot about current events in the therianthrope and otherkin communities. You know about the communities' present, and their recent past. I'll offer a question to talk about. What do you picture for the communities' futures?

What do you dread or hope for these communities? Will they change the world, or go nowhere? Do you have any plans that will play a part in their futures?

Where do you want them to go? (And where do you want them not to go?)
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

October: Markus Altena Davidsen published the article "Fiction-based religion: Conceptualising a new category against history-based religion and fandom" in Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Apparently Davidsen mentions otherkin. Davidsen wrote, "Additional examples include the Otherkin who believe themselves to be 'other-than-humans'; for instance, Elves, Dragons or Angels," and cited Danielle Kirby's articles about otherkin. I don't know if this is the only passing mention of otherkin in the article, or if Davidsen talks about them more, because I don't have access to the full article.

Source


Markus Altena Davidsen, "Fiction-based religion: Conceptualising a new category against history-based religion and fandom." Culture and Religion (academic journal). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14755610.2013.838798#.UmArCdKsjAk

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