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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] jarandhel.livejournal.com

For those who haven't already heard, Sanguinarius of Sanguinarius.org passed away on the morning of Monday, August 3, 2015.  She had been fighting a long battle with various health problems including a recent stroke.  She was a highly respected member of the vampire community and will be greatly missed.

Her family has set up a GoFundMe account for donations in her memory and to help maintain the work she has done for the community: http://www.gofundme.com/ns36x8

Also, per her wishes, her site has been digitally preserved. A copy may be obtained in one of two ways:
Download as ISO via Bittorrent.
Download as ISO or RAR via HTTP.

More info here: http://merticus.com/vampirenews/2015/08/05/rip-sanguinarius-1970-2015-vampire-community-pioneer/

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] 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
On September 30, 2014, the program Hack by Australian national radio broadcaster Triple J aired an episode entitled "What's a Therian?"  In it, two Australian dragon therians were interviewed - if I am hearing them correctly, their names are Mosskinchar and Renthae.

The original story was at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/stories/s4097695.htm but for some reason is no longer showing up properly on my browser.  An archived copy is available here: http://archive.today/AdAuR  The written text of the article is in addition to the audio, not a transcript of it.  The audio may currently be found here: https://soundcloud.com/triple-j-hack/whats-a-therian
[identity profile] jarandhel.livejournal.com

In 2012, Venetia Laura Delano Robertson of the University of Sydney, Department of Studies in Religion wrote a paper for Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies entitled "The Law of the Jungle: Self and Community in the Online Therianthropy Movement".  I've seen brief mentions of this article in a few places, but I've only recently gotten hold of a copy myself.  For those interested, a copy is now available here.  The work explores the idea that there are implicit initiations and rites of passage, and a hierarchy inherent to the therian community.  And it does make a good case for that.  Much of its content could also be extrapolated to the otherkin and vampire communities, in my opinion.

This is one of several recent academic works on the subject of otherkin which I have learned of, which brings me to one final thing: does anyone have access to ProQuest articles through their university library or another organization of which they are part?  There's one academic work in particular I'm looking to get, but as I'm not a member of any subscribing organization it would run me $38 for the pdf and I'd rather avoid that if possible.

[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.

April. An article published in New Media & Society briefly mentions otherkin. The article is primarily about social networking sites such as Tumblr and Reddit, particularly the asexual community. Renninger quotes from a thread on Reddit that mocks otherkin. I don't have access to the full text of the article, so I don't know if it says any more about otherkin.

Source

Bryce J. Renninger. "“Where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind” : Networked counterpublics in a polymedia environment." New Media & Society (April 2014). http://nms.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/09/1461444814530095.abstract doi: 10.1177/1461444814530095
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
Content warnings: None.

May. The academic journal Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research published An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Identity in the Therian Community. This article by Timothy Grivell et al is based on interviews with five therians.
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, although it's annoying.

An article published in The Montag journal mistakenly says otherkin originated in Tumblr. Sterling Hall also argues that otherkin are based in "appropriat[ing] the struggles of transgendered [sic] people" (p. 85-88). Hall's claim appears to be based on the Gawker article that drew some of the same connections, but Hall doesn't cite it.

Hall offers no support for the claim that otherkin started on Tumblr. The otherkin community, by the strictest definition (such as the adoption of the term "otherkin"), originated in the year 1990. In the loosest definition, the community started in the 1970s. The otherkin community has always been significantly made up of people who are transgender. For more information, please see the history book that I wrote about the otherkin community.

Source

Sterling Hall, "Beyond critique: An essay on the need for a new discourse." The Montag vol 1 or 2 (March or April 2013). http://www.unr.edu/cla/ch/docs/The-Montag-Volume2.pdf

(Some parts of the volume say that it's Vol 1 from March, while other parts say it's Vol 2 from April. I'm not certain whether The Montag is technically an academic journal. It says that it is, but it doesn't look right.)

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