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physical nonhumanity

originally published (including edit) to cohost on December 25, 2023

written by Dragon

I've been considering for a while identifying as my kintypes physically, from a philosophical and political standpoint.

Philosophically, I ask: what makes an internal feeling any less physical than one externally observable by others? Is the brain not a physical organ? If that which happens in the nervous system is not physical (for indeed, the brain is part of the nervous system), then why does my faulty nervous system result in physical anomalies: blood pooling in the wrong places, inappropriate heart rate, wonky digestion? And, why is it that we cannot call a body belonging to a dragon, a dragon body?

From a political standpoint: I see many people who identify physically as nonhuman through no deliberate, thought out choice such as my own. Whether through delusion, or strange medical experiences, or any other mechanism, they know in their heart of hearts that their body is different from a typical human body. I see them shamed, bullied, and ostracized for their own personal journeys, even when they do not expect others to treat them any differently.
I want to stand in solidarity with them; we are all stronger together.

Disclaimer: this is not to say that I accept that therians and otherkin can shapeshift like fairytale werewolves. That doesn’t happen for real, and that idea has been used to exploit and harm vulnerable creatures. “P-shifting” cults, as they are known, are dangerous and must not be allowed space or platform.


A point of clarification (no one's said anything but I do want to be clear): I am specifically referring in the disclaimer to p-shifters who use the idea of p-shifting to take advantage of others. Some, such as some endels and clinical lycanthropes, may personally experience physically transforming. That’s not hurting anyone else, and what treatment they might receive is up to them and their doctors and loved ones.

An addendum: another reason for my physical identification that somehow slipped my mine is my phantom shifts. They are very common and can be quite intense at times. They are not scary, only sometimes startling. I feel as if I am physically transforming, while being fully aware that I am not.