(TW: identity invalidation)
Why do some people feel like they can and should judge/analyse/pick apart someone else’s identity? If it’s not yours and it is not harming anyone at all, it really doesn’t concern you. This is not about being “too accepting” or “too open-minded”, this is about basic respect. Yes, you know, that thing where you aren’t a jerk to others and everyone’s happier for it? Yeah.
There are lots of arguments against so-called “fluffy” identities, which are supposed to be less valid than “Totally Real and Serious (tm)” Otherkin. I’m going to list the most common ones in bold, and my response is underneath.
-Some identities sound silly.
Okay so? Feelings, especially feelings about personal identity, are completely subjective. Silly or not, this identity may be very important to the person and you’d be doing real, objective harm by making fun of them or telling them not to feel a certain way.
So what if someone says they are Lady Rainbowia, Elven Goddess of Rainbows, who keeps 7 Handsome Dragon Princes in her harem and also rides a sparkling unicorn to school? Does this affect you in any way? No. Exactly. So leave them alone.
-They sound like someone who hasn’t done their research/enough meditation/soul-searching.
Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t. The amount of research and soul-searching needed is different for everyone, so please don’t go around telling people they need to think for x amount of years and meditate an x amount of hours before finally deciding whether their identity is human or not. If you are a trusted friend of theirs, you could perhaps point them to resources where they can learn more about self-discovery, but don’t be forceful or rude about it.
-I don’t believe what they’re saying. I can’t accept anything this person says as true.
Nobody is asking you to believe or accept anything. Just to have simple manners. If you don’t like what someone says about themselves, it is not your responsibility to “fix” how they feel so that it’s more normal according to you. Let the person express themselves however they wish in their blog and don’t bully them.
-They’re faking a ridiculous identity so they can laugh at all the people who believe them.
If they are indeed doing that, they’ll get bored of it and stop eventually. No need to be rude to them - if they receive no response to their strange attention-grabbing scheme, I’m sure they’ll get bored quicker.
-They make the whole ‘kin community look like a bunch of escapists who can’t tell fantasy from reality.
No, they don’t. See the problem is not that the community has members who say they are Elven Princesses; the problem is that to the average person, all non-human identities sound really weird. It doesn’t make a difference whether the identity in question is a well-researched real Earth animal like a wolf or a bear, a poorly-researched Elven Princess or a Giant Purple Monster with 8 legs and spiky eyes that someone came up with in the shower. It’s all the same to the average person, because the only “normal” species identity in our society is “Human”. Any deviation from that is pretty much guaranteed to get a “Huh? Are you nuts?!!” reaction. Non-human identities are hard to relate to, easy to misunderstand, and even easier to dismiss as delusions or overactive imagination.
There’s no real proof or evidence for anyone’s identity. Yes, it’s important to do lots of research and think as critically as you can about your beliefs, but it’s also important that everyone at least tries to be respectful of others’ differences. It would be nice if we didn’t debate which ‘kin community members are true and acceptable and which are fake and non-valid, because that’s just…wrong. People can’t help being who they are, and if I had a choice between “deny someone’s identity and hurt them” or “leave them be and let them be themselves”, I’d definitely choose the second option.
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