Q: Your book points out several instances of mythological and historical anecdotes that point towards the possibility (or at least the idea) of possessing a non-human soul, yet it is fairly recently that a unifying social construction of “otherkinism” has emerged. Why is it important now that these Otherkin have a shared group identity? Looking closer at some of the different varieties of Otherkin (elves, vampires, therians) many of them seem to have little in common.
A: I think it’s mainly the idea of “I’m not the only one!” Even Otherkin admit that believing you’re not human through and through is a pretty weird thing, and a lot of us, especially those of us who recognized our “Other-ness” at a young age, questioned our sanity over the years. I know I went through what I call the “belief-doubt-belief” cycle a number of times about my therianthropy. I’d start out feeling okay with the idea of being lupine on some level, but then I’d start worrying “Am I insane? What the hell am I thinking?” And so I’d repress anything having to do with therianthropy whatsoever. This invariably would make me depressed, and as with anything we repress, the wolf side would start creeping out again, whether I liked it or not. I continued in this cycle until I finally decided to just accept that this is a part of me, for better or for worse. I can honestly say I feel healthier and happier now than I ever did when I was trying to shove it back in the box, so to speak.