A collection of questions, and maybe even some answers, relating to my previous blog post, “Discovery”.
Are you sure this isn’t hormones messing with your head?
I was worried about this initially, but having discussed it with some people, I don’t think this is the case.
- My affinity for and initial identification as a robot pre-dates ever being on HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
- Chemical impairment can often cause an individual to see themselves in a new light, in a way that can persist after the impairment has ended. That they were impaired at the time does not necessarily invalidate that view.
- If HRT is the culprit, then it doesn’t matter anyway, as I’ll probably be on HRT the rest of my life. It doesn’t change anything.
And, most of all, it’s harmless and it makes me happy. Who cares what the cause is?
Are you still transgender?
Yes. I’m agender. My gender is different to the one assigned to me at birth, thus, I am transgender.
In contexts where the gender binary is enforced, I prefer female pronouns over male ones and my current feminine-coded name over my previous name.
I don’t intend to stop taking HRT.
Edit (2022-09-14): Rewrote answer because I’ve figured it out now.
So… you identify as your fursona?
No. This is probably a mix up because of how I present myself online using my fursona, who is a robot bat.
I, personally, am identifying as a robot. That’s it. No bat component.
Edit (2022-07-29): Reworded title for clarity.
There’s a difference between wanting to be a robot and actually identifying as a robot.
What’s the difference?
I blatantly don’t identify as being human. My idealised physical form is that of a machine.
Given the actual process of becoming one is impossible at this time, as far as I’m concerned, wanting to be a robot is the closest thing possible to identifying as one.
Edit (2022-09-14): Reworded answer.
Why alterhuman? Why not some other term like otherkin?
I’m still processing what terminology I want to use when describing myself.
For the time being I’ve settled on ‘alterhuman’, as the term is tightly defined and that definition fits closely with my identity. For the avoidance of doubt, I’ve tried to make it clear that it means a non-human identity wherever I’ve used it.
‘Otherkin’ is technically correct too, based on the most common definition, but in my mind, ‘kinning’ involves an association with specific people or characters and not concepts. Nothing intended to anyone who does use otherkin in that way, it just doesn’t feel right to me.
The related terms ‘robotkin’, ‘androidkin’, ‘machinekin’ and ‘AIkin’ are useful identifiers when looking for resources and interacting with the wider alterhuman community, but I probably won’t use them outside of this context.
‘Posthuman’ is also kind of accurate by some definitions, but there are multiple different definitions and academic debate over what exactly a posthuman is or will be. I don’t have the willpower to argue over those semantics.
When sharing information about my identity exploration with one friend group, I had one person call me ‘voidpunk’. I didn’t know what this means, but having looked it up, it seems to be a visual aesthetic that is related to (what I’m calling) alterhuman identities. Related, but not exactly what I’m going for.
For now, alterhuman or nonhuman it is!
Edit (2022-07-29): Added robotkin section. Reworded parts for clarity.
Edit (2022-07-30): I’ve been informed that ‘otherkin’ is not necessarily the correct term to describe my experiences, as there is no spiritual component to this identity and I don’t personally hold any religious or spiritual beliefs. There also seem to be some debate around whether robot-identifying people can be considered otherkin at all, on the basis that a machine cannot have a soul or spirit. I’m not ready to wade into that argument.
Edit (2022-09-04): I recently did an informal poll and it seems that, although some people do assume a spiritual relationship when the term ‘otherkin’ is used, none of the people polled consider it to be a requirement, or that the term is for exclusive use of people with such a relationship. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like it would be controversial if I were to describe myself as being otherkin, machinekin or robotkin.
Robot or android?
In terms of my self-perception, I don’t currently experience anything akin to supernumerary phantom limbs, so I assume that I perceive myself as being a relatively humanoid robot (aka, an android) rather than something with wheels, wings or excess limbs.
Whilst both android and robot could be considered correct, I personally use robot.
The term ‘android’ is generally applied to robots that are attempting to resemble a human, with the end goal being that the android becomes indistinguishable from a human. That does not fit my self-perception, which is unapologetically mechanical and lacking certain human physical properties.
Edit (2022-07-29): Added question.
θΔ? What’s this?
θΔ (theta-delta) is a furtive shibboleth used by non-humans as a way of identifying one another, without being recognised by those unfamiliar with the symbolism. I’ve started placing it on some of my public-facing profiles.
The use of the theta-delta symbols originated in the the therian community. Theta was chosen for it’s similarity to the word ‘therian’. Delta for its mathematical usage representing difference; in this case, difference from humanity.
Although the symbolism started with therians, it is no longer considered specific to that community.
Specifically machine-identifying individuals sometimes swap the theta for the power symbol, forming ⏻Δ, though this isn’t in widespread usage.
Edit (2022-07-29): Added question.
Edit (2022-07-30): Expanded answer.
Edit (2022-08-01): Added information about ⏻Δ.