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Otherkin is a term referring to people who claim that they are, at heart, something other than human. The term can either exclude or encompass those that identify as animals that have verifiably existed on this planet (called therians), but always includes everyone who identifies themselves as something other than human, including mythological creatures, extraterrestrials, and inanimate objects.
Some otherkin suffer from psychological discomfort due to feeling trapped in the wrong body. Reportedly, some even experience psychosomatic symptoms of sensations in non-existent wings, tails, and other body parts.
Otherkin have been called one of the world's most bizarre subcultures, and a religious movement (and a "quasi-religion") that "in some of its forms, largely only exists on the [Internet]." Although Otherkin beliefs deviate from the definition of religion, they share the primary interest in the unprovable.
The otherkin subculture grew out of the elven online communities of the early-to-mid-1990s. The first recorded use of the word "otherkin" appeared in July 1990 and the variant otherkind was reported as early as April 1990. The word "otherkind" was initially coined from the word "elfinkind", to refer to non-elf others who joined the communities.
Therians are a similar subculture, identifying as animals of species that have verifiably existed on Earth. Otherkin usually consider therians to be a subgroup of otherkin, though some therians prefer to distance themselves from otherkin.
In 1994 the term "therianthropy" was just coming into use because some felt lycanthropy was wolf-centric and wanted something to include other species. "Therian" and "thrope" are shortened versions of "therianthropy" and also came about into common use around 1994-1995.
Fictionkin are people who identify as either fictional characters or members of a fictional species. Most otherkin (outside of Tumblr) are incredulous of them. Conversely, fictionkin are widely accepted by soulbonders. Otakukin are people who think they are reincarnations of fictitious characters from Japanese anime, manga, and video games.
Like some other otherkin, some fictionkin also explain their existence with reincarnation, believing that fictions have been realities in other dimensions. This of course strongly implies that original fiction writers do not really deserve the credit for creating their characters, leading to some interesting discussions around copyright law and intellectual theft.
 Dysphoria and other-limbs
Most otherkin claim to experience bodily dysphoria and even to feel the existence of body parts that aren't really there. It has been established that the use of terms like "phantom limbs" in a frivolous manner is offensive to amputees. Some use "meta-limbs" and "other-limbs" as alternative terms.
An article on Scientific American describes supernumerary phantom limbs (SPL) as being an even rarer condition than Body Integrity Identity Disorder (sufferers of which want to have one or more of their limbs amputated as they feel these limbs do not belong to them), and that it usually occurs following a stroke.
Mostly this feels much the same as the phantom limbs of amputees — an illusion, from which sensations sometimes emanate. In a small number of cases patients report that they can also see, feel and use the limb. This phenomenon has not been investigated thoroughly, because there are so few reported cases.
 See also
 External lynx
- Otherkin homepage and wiki
- See the Wikipedia article on Body dysmorphic disorder.
- See the Wikipedia article on Species dysphoria.
- ↑ Lancaster, Geoffrey; Massingham, Lester (2010). Essentials of Marketing Management. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415553466.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Kirby, Danielle (2009). "From Pulp Fiction to Revealed Text: A Study of the Role of the Text in the Otherkin Community" in Exploring Religion And The Sacred in A Media Age (editors Christopher Deacy; Elisabeth Arweck). Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0754665275
- ↑ Dawson, Lorne L.; Hennebry, Jenna. "New Religions and The Internet: Recruiting in A New Public Space". Essay published in several books:
- Lori G. Beaman. Religion and Canadian Society: Traditions, Transitions, and Innovations. Canadian Scholars' Press, 2006. ISBN 155130306X
- Lorne L. Dawson; Douglas E. Cowan. Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet. Routledge, 2004. ISBN 0415970210
- Lorne L. Dawson. Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader. John Wiley & Sons, 2003. ISBN 1405101814
- ↑ Otherkin Timeline: The Recent History of Elfin, Fae, and Animal People
- ↑ Therians Against Merging Terminology. felkes.tumblr.com
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 http://www.soulbonding.net/fictionkin/
- ↑ Intellectual property posts
- ↑ 
- ↑ Scientific American. April 14, 2009. The Mind-Body Problem