Daughter of Diversity

So…this might take a bit of explaining. My name is Ami and Ami is the name my parents gave me; just not my biological parents.

Just for make things clear from the beginning, I’m also a trans girl as well, although I feel the two are only related by coincidence.

So, I’ve known I was different, ever since as far as I can remember. My entire life up to 2015 has been figuring out who I am, and that journey still isn’t over, even if I do feel I’m aware of all the most important things. I know, based on what I say, you may feel I’m also deitykin but I don’t feel that. As a teenager, I recognised I didn’t feel human; at least, not in a way I could relate to others. But I have always had an almost obsessive love of water. Films that featured water in any kind of important context were very gripping for me. It would have to be more than just an athlete splashing their face after a long run but I especially found myself drawn to water wizards and water elemental life and gods of water and anything else of that nature. Inversely though, while I did appreciate films involving seas and oceans, it wasn’t the same. I more appreciated them from a distance. I kind of feel I was lucky in that I’ve always been a bit on the creative side and, over time, as I’ve grown to be more accepting of myself, I’ve increasingly incorporated my search for myself into what I write, especially with Naiads, fresh water nymphs. I was especially fascinated to find that, even if by different names, there were myths about them from all over the world in every continent. But even the myths didn’t feel, precise; very close but…not right. And so I used my writing to explore them more and more and, in time I managed to describe, generally, how I felt about myself, except I didn’t feel it personally. I felt it in the sense of, these are my people. It’d be wrong to say I’ve rewritten the mythologies. For me it’s more the mythologies were written by humans and aren’t really all that reliable. You’d still easily recognise the naiads as I see them but, I feel I filled in the holes and corrected the biases. But I still didn’t feel it explained me fully and that’s where…religion…came into it. I came into the pagan umbrella as an independent in 2006 and I’ve always felt drawn to Iris and Arke above all others, although I consider myself very omnitheistic. But my heart told me that while they were referred to as gods of the rainbow, the rainbow was just the visual part of the spectrum that represented their true responsibility; diversity. Iris was felt to be the chief god of diversity and Arke was her second but…I felt more drawn to Arke than to her sister. In time, with myths being very vague, and in some cases, disagreeing with each other, about their origins, my own heart filled in the blanks and made the compromises again. And then one day, I can’t explain this bit even to myself but I came to feel that Arke was one of three mothers; all wed to each other. I also felt that somewhere out there, I have two human siblings, a brother and a sister. However, while all three of my parents were gods, Eris and another god from another pantheon, my siblings and I aren’t. I feel that we were conceived in Tartarus and due to the nature of our relationship, we had to be born together. And they wouldn’t allow Arke a temporary release for it. Because of that, we were born in Tartarus. My feeling is that you can’t be a dead god and you can’t be born living in the Underworld. We were raised by our grandparents, Elektra and her first husband in the Underworld but every spirit should experience life at some point and so we did. I was born as though I was human and I’ve been raised as though I was. But I never have been. While my siblings took our other two parents’ species, I took Arke’s.

My biggest shame though is my fear. Ever since I hit 20 in 1997, I’ve been happy and willing to accept who I am, as and when that awareness came to me but, after a one time coming out about being otherkin to my care coordinator in Luton and seeing his reaction as well as the reaction of the rest of the team when he told them, and there was also another case in a very small trans community I was part of which had an equally bad reaction, I’ve always kept my awareness to myself and to my novels.

Anyway, that’s my story. That’s me.

Oh. If I can add one thing to this. I don’t feel being the daughter of a god makes me special. I believe being me makes me that as it does everyone. Besides, I’ve never considered gods to be rulers of the universe so much as its servants; its carers.

Coming out of the Wardrobe

How do I tell someone that I’m Otherkin?

First of all, I’m not one that goes for telling everything about me to random people. True, you may find someone who happens to be a friendly ear, but on the flip side, you can end up getting not-so-friendly reactions as well. The first thing to do is figure out why you need to tell this particular person that you are ‘kin. Are they someone that you are/want to be closer to (good friend, SO, family member, potential lover), so that you feel that they have a need to know about your habits, quirks, and beliefs? Are they someone that you feel may be ‘kin?

In many ways, telling someone that you are ‘kin has parallels with admitting that you follow a non-mainstream religion, or have a different lifestyle than others. At one point the term “coming out of the wardrobe” was suggested, referencing C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series. It’s something that not everyone is going to accept, and frankly, not everyone has to know about. For the moment, I’m going to assume that the person that you wish to tell is someone familiar to you as well as of friendly disposition towards you. (Telling someone who doesn’t like you to begin with equals “giving them ammo” in my book.)

First off, pick your environment if you can. You want this to be as non-threatening as possible – you’re about to mess with their preconceptions. Generally I’d recommend someplace with a casual but not necessarily intimate atmosphere. A quiet walk in the park together, a back-of-the-diner booth, the living room after watching a good video…something along those lines. Another possibility is places where the unusual is almost expected. It can be easier to accept a strange statement in a con-suite or at a Ren-Faire than it is to accept it in the local mall. The key is to put both of you at ease.

The next thing is to test the waters – find out how open the person is to the idea of “people who are something other than 100% human”. If it’s someone that you are moderately close to already, quick scans of their bookshelves can give some insight. So can the kinds of movies that they enjoy. A few topics of conversation that also usually give a good sense of the open mind are SETI, reincarnation, possibilities of alternate timelines, the intelligence of dolphins, that sort of thing.

OK, so now the two of you are happily chatting. If the other person has proved to be open-minded about intelligences other than human, or worlds/timelines where other forms of intelligence exist, or the idea of “coming back” in another form, then you are in good shape. If not, then it is probably a Bad Idea (TM) to go further at this time. Even if they are friendly, you might end up with the label of “nice, but a bit of a nut”. The next step is to open the possibility that you personally think that you – in some part – feel that you are not entirely human.

Quick side-note here – I’m not meaning to imply that being ‘kin is the result of non-human genetic material, misrouted reincarnation, or such. Just that being ‘kin implies in itself that you are somewhat “other”. It could be in body, in spirit, or even in mindset, and doesn’t even preclude that in any of these things you may be at least partially human.

It’s generally a good idea to ease into this gradually. It also depends a lot on your particular ‘kin type. Are you someone who has memories of a past life as something other than human? Do you feel as though your soul is that of a dragon (elf, dryad, were, etc), but had to take an available body? Do you just tend to look at things in a way best described as “outsider” or “observer”? Proceed slowly, don’t give them too much to process at a time. It’s a bit of a stretch for even flexible minds. Let them get used to the idea before giving them more detail, but answer the inevitable questions as honestly as you can.

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