On The Kinnie and Kin For Fun CommunitiesThis was originally more of a rant but a headmate suggested I clean it up so now it's more of an essay. I might make some smaller updates in the future, but enjoy for now. Feel free to shoot us a message if you have more sources since a lot of it went down. You are also free to link this or use sources from it, I just ask that you don't if you're linking to a group which could potentially try to harass or doxx me.
I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone make a more detailed write-up on what's wrong with the term kinnie or kin for fun. I know this is something that might seem ridiculous to people who don't know or care, but understand there's a point where seeing an identity of yours be mis-represeted continually and be the butt end of jokes gets frustraiting. This is a page to explain that and try to go more in detailed on what's wrong with this. For those who aren't kin and stumbled on this, welcome.
For some backstory. Kin is a category for those who indeitfy as something nonhuman or from fiction. It is a subculture which has existed since the 1960s starting with people who identified as Tolken elves. The term started off as elfinkind, like "humankind". By about the 90s the term otherkind grew into use as a way for encompassing non-elves. Eventually the d was dropped for unknown reasons (most likely a typo) and that's where we got kin. I'd recommend Orion Scribner's Otherkin timeline if you want more in-depth into the history of it, and for fictionkin A Timeline of the Fictionkin Community by House of Chimeras.
I'll start with kin for fun because that grants the most context for what's up with the term kinnie. Kin for fun refers to people who say "I kin for fun" or "I don't kin that seriously, these are just characters I relate to". The issue is this really isn't what kin is, it's not something you can explicitly choose to do and that idea and the use of kin as a verb most likely came from anti-kin in discourse and not from actual kin themselves.
To go over more specific examples on the harm that kin for fun does and why this presents a problem. Or alternatively "why do people care".
- It's a re-defining of the term by people who are not kin and by people who were against kin experiences, primarly in an attempt to gatekeep who can be kin to what.
- It forces people who are kin out of the label. There isn't an alternative for fictionkin in particular, which is why it's especially frustraiting. Meanwhere there are terms for relating to a fictional character - fictionhearted and synpath, and terms for chosen identities - otherlinking and fictionheir.
- People have admitted that kin for fun are given more of a voice or recognition because they're less weird and more socially acceptable to them than people who actually identify as these things. This could also be why kin for fun has overtaken kin experiences so much and why kin get effectively silenced when attempting to talk about these issues.
- KFF has roots in consiering being kin outside of one's race problematic and as a community continues to see kintypes as a moral failing or reflection of a person's character.
- Calling people who are actually kin delusional or crazy is very common among the kin for fun rhetoric. People do refuse to listen to kin on kff because they think they're crazy. We've seen Discord servers in particular claim to be "kin friendly" but they only mean kff, if you go in saying you actually identify as that thing then you get some ableist comments.
I've also seen people who are kff realize it's wrong and try to push for some changing of the label, which happened recently.
I'll also drop a link to information on the Yandere B*tch Club. They can be considered the precursor to kin for fun and "kinnies" as I'll get into in a moment, and the short of is was that this was a group of white, cis, singlet girls who faked being Japanese, trans, intersex, and having DID among other things. This was where the "you can't be kin outside of your race" discourse came form, it was by them to try to seem more valid against doubles (doubles being people who share a fictotype/kintype). They are often cited as why the kin community on Tumblr became extremely different from anywhere else.
Now for the term kinnie. I need to preface this and I'm sad I have to: no, I am not saying it's a slur. The word kinnie is not a slur. "This term has a controversial history and isn't a good thing to refer to the community with and I am uncomfortable with people who refer to themselves or others with the term" does not equal a slur, just a red flag or something side-eyed if anything and not something to call people you don't know.
It's a term that came from anti-kin and the now deleted only-on-tomblr blog, no archives exist to my knoweldge. It was predated by "kinny". The term's still used by anti-kin and on a forum that can't be mentioned in case it shows up in search results. It's a term meant to be a childish insult basically that in a way is used to de-legitimize kin by making it seem less serious or like something only young teenagers do, or as a way to infantilize older kin.
It started to be used by kin for fun because, be it a troll or someone being genuine I can't tell, started saying kinnie is a "horrible slur directed towards otherkin as a result of kinphobia".. This isn't to say every kff belives it's a slur, but that's where it started to be used by them and why it was used in teh first place. The term kinnie was actually used for a bit to refer to the kff community in between "Tumblrkin" and kff, but stopped being used because of it being a childish insult at the end of the day.
Every so often I see legitimate kin talk about "reclaiming" the term, but the thing is they already tried to do that. If you say "I'm reclaiming kinnie" there's no way to tell if it's a person who actually believes it's a slur or just trying to take it back from kff. As I see it, at some point the term is just better left to rot and be left as a cautionary warning in this subculture's history.
Something which also needs to be addressed is the potential of it being based on the T slur. While there is no direct evidence either way, but there is some evidence that it my have been inspired by the T slur. It's predated by "kinny" and the blog that it came from while having an anon, and now being down, has had anons who reclaimed the T slur (mostly in reference to themselves against tucutes/transgenders). I also wouldn't put it past anti-kin with being transphobic. This does not mean it is equal to the T slur or any slur, but it is a reason that some transgender kin are uncomfortable with the term and another reason it shouldn't be used with the community broadly.
So what can we do about this? Education and attempting to push back in numbers is potentially the best way to go, while people may be stubborn in their misuse of terminology the goal of argument isn't to convince those deadset in their ways but to get people watching to think. We as a community have the sources and the ability to argue against it, and we should if we are able to. We should also boost up our sibling communities and not treat kin as the most important identity. Our otherlink, otherhearted, and synpath beings should be given oppurtunities in spotlights.
To conclude: do your research. The majority of this has come from misinformation and people just not knowing the history or contexts, information is available and this website and my system's has made a point to link to further resources and information. There are dozens of sources linked on this site both in modern information and historical.