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On "Kin for fun"

Main author: Chara

A bit of background information: we left Tumblr for mental health reasons in mid-2018 (considering how bad our RSD is and how the title on our central blog was literally "Discourse On Main", this is perhaps unsurprising), but do occasionally scroll through tags, because the people who do still hang out there do post some good shit occasionally. Unfortunately, our not using the website in the intended way doesn't stop the reasons we left from remaining a big part of the culture there, so when we do this we often end up seeing what we have termed Some Fuck Shit. When this happens, we often cannot stop ruminating on it until we exorcise it by way of sharing our thoughts. Given that this rumination often sends Chara into protector mode, said exorcism tends to take the form of them writing up what may or may not just be an angry rant. You have been warned.

We were scrolling through some alterhuman-related tags on Tumblr last night, and encountered some Discourseā„¢ about what people were calling "kin for fun". Basically your standard gatekeeping nonsense, claiming that there is only one right way to be a thing and that people who don't fit their narrow definitions are stealing some intangible resources from the "real" ones, or making the "real ones" look bad to the mundanes, not to mention saying that people shouldn't compare them to other sorts of gatekeeper because theyre Right This Time. The works. They were even insisting that anyone who calls themself a "kinnie", uses "kin" as a noun or a verb, or makes jokes about government-assigned kintypes must be faking? Truly wild shit.

Now, by basically every definition out there, I am as real a fictionkin as you can get (Sidenote: this very sentence is a very good example of why "kin" should be nouned. How else do you want me to describe that? "Person who kins" is already clunky as hell, let alone unverbing it for "Person who is kin".) I have had this identity for years. I identify "as" rather than "with" my types. They're not voluntary, and there's at least one type where my attempts to repress it actively made the feelings more aggressive in vying for my attention (I dated JonTron's bird, for crying out loud! Nobody would ever want to do that!). They're a core enough component of my identity that I present myself to the world as whoever I'm shifted to, name, pronouns and all, and while this ususally ends up being Chara Dreemurr, I've actually got a handful of special PluralKit proxies for the occasions where this has not been the case. With this and more, I believe I'm qualified to say: shut the fuck up?

First of all, most of these people are conflating "for fun" with "by choice", when these don't by any means have to be the same thing. Rose Strider, for example, only ever really shows up to remind us all of how hilarious she finds her kin life. The fact that she didn't choose to be herself doesn't change the fact that "terrorizing her brother" and "having written legendary fanfiction My Immortal are, objectively, pretty funny! Girl, I don't even know if you're your own fictive or just someone extant shifting or something, but whatever your deal is, you're valid as hell.

Choosing an identity doesn't mean it's not important to a person, either. I don't know a whole lot about sports, but in those who do there seems to be a strong tendency to make which team you root for a deep part of their personality. For a more personal example, our identity as a Knight of Void has precisely zero bearing in objective reality. Only Protag has ever played Sburb, and they're a Page of Heart! It's not something anyone else indicate to us, either; the Extended Zodiac quiz actually said we're Lightbound, which is literally the opposite thing? We simply declared that we are a Knight of Void many years ago, and it continues to be probably the single most prominent lens through which we view the world to this day.

For that matter, is any identity truly "involuntary"? People certainly don't get to choose their feelings or experiences, but how they define those experiences and relate them to others is a different matter entirely. A trans egg can be defined by having an experience but not (yet) having chosen to identify with it. There is a significant overlap when it comes to m-spec labels, and given two hypothetical individuals with the exact same experience of attraction, it is entirely plausible that one could choose to identify as bi and the other pan, or one pan and the other omnisexual, or any number of other combinations, based purely on personal preference. Our collective gender is complicated by median plurality to the extent that, rather than try and pin down the exact nuances for people who really don't need to know, we usually choose to just call ourself a "nonbinary girl" or "girl-adjacent". Given that I've just used the word "choice" to describe all of these, clearly they could all potentially be described as choice-based identification!

For kinning in particular, it's our personal opinion that most people are probably some form otherkin. Reincarnation is a major vector for the phenomena, after all, and it seems incredibly unlikely that the majority of people are brand new souls! While many don't recognize it, use different terminology to describe it, or simply don't consider it to be particularly important to them, unless there's some way to be sure that this life is your first (if you're a thoughtform, for example), we strongly believe that there's good odds you're probably some kind of kin anyways.

Back to the initial point, if something being "for fun" doesn't have to mean it's involuntary, then clearly it doesn't have to mean they're faking it? Fun fact: it is literally impossible to unintentionally fake something. To be mistaken? Sure! But the thing about mistakes is that they come from a genuine place, and maybe instead of telling them they're not welcome in a community they were clearly drawn to for a reason, we could, I don't know, help them? Encourage a general vibe of self-reflection and exploration, and let people land wherever they may? Thinking you're one thing then having that change or discovering you were wrong in the first place happens to literally everyone ever. We didnt realize we're alterhuman, or even a lesbian, until we were a legal adult! It's completely inevitable and hurts nobody, and we'd all be better off embracing that fact than rejecting it.

And, of course, the most important point of all: it's okay to be silly! As a self-identified chuunibyou, shit is in fact inherently silly, and recognizing that fact just means you've got some amount of self-awareness. Honestly, the idea of Tumblr users trying to play respectability politics is way more absurd than any identity could ever be. I mean, it's Tumblr. "Tumblr otherkin" is literally used as a perjorative for people who aren't taking it "seriously enough" (and the fact that most of the folks I saw Discoursing are fictionkin inherently means they're not "serious enough" for a lot of people). Seriously who in fuck do these guys think they're fooling?

In conclusion, queer as in fuck you, I do what I want, you can't stop me, and if you're reading this (or even if you aren't!) you officially have my permission to say the same to anyone who dares to try.