OK, to start, there are times where we’ll call ourselves human and emphasize that we’re human, because humanity tends to use “human” to mean “worthy of respect that no other beings are worthy of.” So, essentially, we’re using it to mean “we’re conscious entities that should be afforded human rights, empathy, sympathy, and all that.”
Also, we need to be legally recognized as human in order to be relatively safe(r) in any given country.
And while we’re about to say we’re not human, we’re not saying that we don’t have the same responsibilities as humans do while living on this planet.
That’s really important. We have to recognize where our body came from and the culture we were raised in, and how people are going to react to us. (But the way people have reacted to us is part of what informs this.)
Also, it’s pretty clear our body was born from a couple of humans and it shares close enough to 100% of its DNA with humans. Scientifically, our body would be classified as human. But we’re going to argue with that a tiny bit.
Now, we know we’re not human, and have always known. For a certain definition of “know”.
Like, when we were children, in a very young body, being raised by our parents, whenever we said things like, “I am a dragon” we were told by everyone that we were playing make believe and that that was an OK thing to do. And really early in our life, we sort of took that as a truth, because we were learning what words meant by our parents pointing at things and using those words. So, to us, “make believe” was defined as what we were doing.
It’s the same thing as being told, “You are a boy,” or “You are a single individual” and that single individual boys feel and experience things like you do, when you are neither of those things. Until you learn it is possible to be something else, you take it for granted and define those things by your own experiences.
Also, when you’re really, really super different from everyone around you, masking those differences becomes a matter of survival. And some beings who experience that kind of adversity end up telling themselves they are what other people say they are in order to blend in and be safe. We did that. We did that consciously.
We erected a strong barrier between our subconscious minds and our collective consciousness that made it so any one of us fronting would forget what we knew about ourselves subconsciously and accept the party line given to us by the outer world.
And here’s the thing. We love humanity. We think it’s interesting and fun. (We also deeply hate it, but you can feel both things.) Humanity is one of our big special interests, and learning how to interact with it gives us a great sense of power and belonging. A sense of expertise. A sense of peace and safety. Because it is a matter of survival. But also, so many of our favorite people, friends and family, are human beings.
But we’re not human, and never were.
“But how can that be?” you might ask. Or, “What do you mean by that?”
Here’s how it works:
First of all, all words are constructs subject to fluctuations in definition and meaning. Context does a lot of that work. And that includes all categorical labels, like “human” or “dragon”. It also applies to the words “real” and “actual”.
Take “dragon” for instance. It already literally refers to leafy sea dragons, bearded dragons, komodo dragons, mythological dragons of various types, metaphorical dragons (like “you have a lot of dragons to slay”), a drug, etc. It also refers to a kintype and a gender, and both are often different things. Each of these things is a literal, actual dragon, but different from the others. Dragon is a set of homonyms.
We, the Inmara, are literal, actual mythological dragons.
We can fly, breathe fire, use magic, collect hoards, eat cattle, sleep for decades, and all the other things that other literal, actual mythological dragons do. And, in fact, more authentically than they can, because we’re not stuck in the pages of a book or the words of a story told by a human. We exist in the psyche of a human-like brain in a way that a lot of other dragons don’t get the chance to do for more than a few minutes or hours at a time. And we get to control this human-like body and experience it aging and interacting with the outer world.
Our body can’t fly or breathe fire, of course. But we can, within the psyche hosted by our body, or on the pages of a book, just like any other mythological dragon.
But, also, our human-like body is that of a dragon, because it is inhabited by dragons. Our body is a dragon that strongly mimics a human, mostly because it was born from humans.
This works exactly the same way as how a trans woman’s body is the body of a woman, and is female if she sees it that way, because she is female. Same thing (we are also a trans girl, so…). But, again, like with so many other people and beings, it’s more than that.
Our body and brain do not fit the societal standard of “human being”, our body is a literal mutant, and that has had significant consequences.
We have always been sexually incompatible with humans, and unable to breed with them. We have never acted like humans. We have never thought like humans do, only managed a near simulation of it that is a strain. And we are rarely ever treated like a human.
All of those, of course, are things that can be experienced by other marginalized groups to varying degrees, many of which we belong to: intersex, ADHD, autistic, trans, non-binary, women, etc.
It’s not the strength by which we claim our inhumanity. But it’s certainly a huge factor. We claim it simply on the strength of our identities, just supported by collective lifetimes of experience.
So, the word “otherkin” was coined in the 90s, when we were in high school. We didn’t hear it until the 00s.
Our existence predates the word, and we were not an active part of the community that coined it (elves, from what we’ve read). Of course, beings like us and those that call themselves “otherkin” have existed since the dawn of humanity.
But this twist of history means that the word has always felt like an outsider’s word to us. We didn’t agree to it. We’ll use it in the same way that we use “human”, in order to access communities where we’ll be relatively safe and amongst similar beings.
There are a bunch of other words like “alterhuman” and “therian” that could work, too, but we have the same relationship with them as we do for “otherkin”, with varying degrees depending on their etymology. Like, we’re reticent to use “alterhuman” because it etymologically means “different or changed human”, and that’s not accurate, but we like the community. They’re mostly good beings.
We are the Inmara, the alliance of dragons, outsiders, and their children that inhabit this body. And this body is a gyndracomorph, its sex being half female and half draconic (as a sex). Those are the words that have meaning to us as what we are.