RE: Dear Fellow Trans People: Lay Off Otherkin
This will mostly be about my experience discovering myself. It took me awhile, but I think I’m finally there. Coming out as trans was easy for me. With that level of confidence about who I am with regard to my gender, and the fact that I was bullied and abused for being different for most of my life anyways, transition really didn’t change anything in that part of my life. Writing this, though, is the first time I’ve given any serious processing to the fact that I’m otherkin. This could be described as a kind of coming out. I feel that, as a non-binary trans person (genderqueer, she/her/hers pronouns) and someone who could be described as otherkin, maybe I can help bridge gap a little here, too?
Within the trans community, I have experienced some anti-furry and anti-otherkin resentment on a personal level. Once with an ex-fiance who would rage anytime I so much as meowed, and a former lover who said that my cat-like tendencies were “creepy”. Then there’s the more general resentment against otherkin within the trans community. However, I’ve also had a few experiences with trans people who are otherkin as well. People who aren’t me, that is (lol).
In writing this, I want to acknowledge that I have a certain amount of privilege where the otherkin part of my identity is concerned. I don’t feel a whole lot of disphoria related to it. My cat traits aren’t readily apparent, and people usually don’t pick up on them as a result, giving me some passing privilege.
I understand why people in the trans community might feel that the language that otherkin use could be described as appropriative. Given the overlap between the trans and otherkin communities, I feel that calling the use of language that has been built by the trans community by the otherkin communities appropriative completely ignores the overlap between the two communities.
I hope that I’ve been able to help build some understanding about the overlap between the trans and otherkin communities. It’d be nice if trans people weren’t so ready to throw otherkin people under the bus like the gay and lesbian communities have thrown trans people under the bus.