avia: (hearth fires)
[personal profile] avia
A couple of related links:

"The number of people who accept that a given oppression is real and bad is inversely proportional to the severity of said oppression." A great article that shows how not believing people's oppressions is one aspect of oppression.

A thoughtful article on BIID has been published, finally! And compares it with gender dysphoria, how shocking.

I like reading BIID blogs. Or, really, transabled.org, because there are not that many BIID blogs. Yesterday, I finally realized why I like the community so much that I watch it from a distance, even though it is not my community.

It's because I wish it was my community. There is so much support in that community, so much bonding between all the people in it. They don't mock or put each other down, or try to gaslight each other by doubting their experiences. I've never seen them fight or argue. When they have a disagreement, they settle it gently. I've never seen them act like one is better than the other, or like their experience is more "real" than the others'.

They've helped each other through depression, suicidal thoughts, and the extreme actions that many of them have needed to take to cure their dysphoria. If someone in the BIID community says, "I need an amputation to feel comfortable with my body", they are accepted and supported by mature people who have studied the literature, understand that this is not a phase, it is a neurological problem with the wiring of the brain and body map that only can be cured this way, as extreme as it seems. They don't start yelling emotional arguments or talking about how this will "make the community look bad". They don't suggest pointless things that don't help, like "you need to see a psychologist" (because these people already have seen psychologists!) or "just try to appreciate the body you have now and the fact that you are healthy" (because you think they haven't tried that??) They are rational, because they too have been there and they don't deny how horrible it can be.

In the otherkin and therian communities, someone who talks about wanting surgery, even if we know we can't have it, is automatically an outcast. Even someone who talks about any negative experience, depression, dysphoria, uncontrollable shifts, is not helped and supported but mocked, told to "toughen up", that "that's not how real therians are". The community cares far more about whether it looks bad to the outside than actually helping its people. New ideas and experiences are not used to help the stores of knowledge grow and become more detailed, but are attacked using false, pseudo-scientific arguments because they are seen as a threat. The community is deeply injured by a hierarchy where, in many places, therians are seen as "more legitimate" than otherkin, otherkin are "more legitimate" than fictionkin, and fictionkin are "more legitimate" than factives. Denying that your own experiences mean anything, and pushing them away with a simple explanation of "I must be crazy", is seen as healthy and rational behavior.

And, most importantly, the BIID shows that the therian and otherkin communities' ideas, that too much support and accepting attitudes would make people stop thinking critically and stop other people taking them seriously, are a complete fantasy. The BIID community does not harass its members constantly, yet they have come much closer to discovering a cause for BIID than therians or otherkin have to discovering a cause for our dysphoria. The BIID community does not police its members to make sure that only the "good ones" stay, but the outside world is slowly starting to realize that they are serious: scientific articles like that second link are being posted about it. But we're not even close to having a good medical or psychological article published about otherkin.

In fact, I believe that what the therian and otherkin communities do, probably has the opposite effect. If you don't police people and harass them for their views, they naturally will think critically about their own beliefs and experiences. But if you constantly threaten them, they will start to get defensive, and then they will feel much less comfortable thinking critically at all, because they won't want to admit that the people who are attacking them are right.

So, yeah. I wish we were more like the BIID community, and less like our own community. If I had BIID, I'm sure I would have had a place there, instead of being the outcast of the outcast. And that is kind of sad to think about.

Date: 2012-12-31 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] candycommune
that's really neat to read, thank you for sharing.

I can echo the desire. I made a blog to try call out some of the bullshit but urgh it gets tiring quickly.

Date: 2013-01-01 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] candycommune
I think someone does need to do it, I just don't know who can pick up that flag. When I have the energy for it, I try.

Date: 2013-01-01 12:45 am (UTC)
arcturus_angel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arcturus_angel
BIID sounds like an excellent community. I wish the otherkin community could be more like that. I get really tired of otherkin accusing me and other angelkin of making up out our identity because we want to feel superior to others.

Date: 2013-01-01 01:50 am (UTC)
laughinglotus: black scorpion (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughinglotus
This is a good post. I really try not to lash out at other non human identified people and try not to create at "more legitimate than though" atmosphere, but your post is a good reminder.

Date: 2013-01-01 09:38 am (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
I wonder how it would be possible to create that kind of atmosphere in the otherkin/therian community. The easiest would probably be to create a board or community that is well-moderated, but I wonder if that would take off.

Perhaps it's a case where the community gets the spaces it deserves? If that kind of kin board wouldn't get traffic, does it mean kin don't actually want a healthy space?

Date: 2013-01-01 02:28 pm (UTC)
houseofchimeras: (Mist Weaver - White Puma)
From: [personal profile] houseofchimeras
Oh very interesting articles, Avia!

We remember talking to a transgender activist and public speaker who goes to our college. She had brought up BIID and its relation to gender dysphoria as well. Further she even opened up the question about other ways someone can feel ‘something that is correct with their body.’ Hearing her talk openly about acknowledging other ways one’s identify and sense of self can not match with the body was a very warming conversation especially given the negative backlash some have received for likening having species dysphoria having any sorts of similarity to other experiences like gender dysphoria.

I agree with you about the serious issues that plague the whole otherkin community as a whole across and all around. It is a shame how the otherkin community doesn’t have that kind of support system in place.

- Mist Weaver

Date: 2013-01-01 05:03 pm (UTC)
elinox: (Wolf Pup)
From: [personal profile] elinox
The major difference between a community like BIID and otherkin is that there are a lot of simply confused teenagers who like to roleplay who find the otherkin community, instead of actually being otherkin. I realize real otherkin are then being pushed out by critical thinking and sometimes tough love because of this fine line, but it's also an attempt to keep out people who are just full of shit and/or trolls (not actual troll 'kin, mind you).

The balance is tough to reach and at the end, we each have only our own experiences to go on so it's hard to maintain an open-feeling community while protecting members at the same time.


avia: (Default)
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