I'm aspecies. I'm not human, and I'm not anything else, either. I find it a little hard to talk about being aspecies, since it's something that's defined so much by what it isn't rather than what it is, but here is an attempt to try.

What is aspecies?

Aspecies is not a term I coined myself. I first saw it mentioned offhand in a Tumblr post. If there are any other aspecies beings out there, I haven't been able to find them to compare notes¹, but the way I define the term for myself is, quite simply: not having a species.

Okay, but what does that mean?

I know what I'm not: human, some other kind of animal, a mythical or divine or alien being, a concept, or any of the other myriad ways to be 'kin or 'link. I've questioned all of those things, and none of them feel right.

It's obvious to me that I'm not some kind of animal. The idea of having a fixed physical form feels wrong on many levels.² If I must have a physical form, I guess this current one's okay, although it's taken a lot of effort³ to get to the point where I can feel like that. I feel like my current physical form is an adequate representation of me, at least to the people who don't insist on incorrectly applying a gender or species to it based on the way it looks, but it isn't truly me. I don't consider myself to have any true form. The way I imagine myself in my head doesn't involve a body at all, more a vague sense of me-ness (plus some blue thanks to my synaesthesia).

I can relate somewhat to alien/extradimensional/eldritch beings (both in the otherkin sense and in terms of fictional characters). They often talk about not feeling at home in this world or universe, which I find very relatable. I resonated a lot with the concept of being something beyond your own comprehension when I first heard of it. But as soon as those beings start talking about what they are, rather than what they're not, I stop being able to relate. I don't feel like there's an "elsewhere" - another planet or dimension or universe - where I do belong. I sometimes put pressure on myself, due to anxiety, to try and fit into ideas of being from somewhere else, perhaps having a life elsewhere that I can't remember, but every time it feels like trying to force myself into clothes that don't fit. I always end up dropping any concepts of what I "should" be and settling back to what feels right: letting myself just be, naturally, without any expectations attached to species.

What am I? Where did I come from? How many legs should I have? My answers to all of these thoughts are the same: please leave me alone, I am literally just vibing. Or, for a more serious answer, I'm not something that it makes sense to ask those questions of. What is a distant exoplanet's purpose in life? How does a sunbeam sit in a chair? Does happiness have long hair or short?

Is aspecies otherkin?

I can only answer for my sample size of one here. I suspect, if aspecies ever became a more widely used term, there would be a wide variety of people with a wide variety of different opinions about whether they fit under the otherkin label, and if so, how. Personally, I don't feel like I fit well enough in the otherkin community to feel comfortable using the label.

Part of this is the otherkin community's emphasis solely on involuntary experience, which fails to fully capture who I am. Part of it is that every definition of otherkin that I've seen emphasises that otherkin see themselves as "really/physically human", which isn't a description I vibe with⁴. Part of it is that a lot of otherkin regard themselves as being both human and their kintypes, and have shifts where they feel certain kintypes more or less strongly. I'm not human at all and don't get shifts, so this seems slightly different to what I experience. This all adds up to making otherkin feel like, although it's certainly a related experience, it's not quite me.


¹ I suspect there are others out there somewhere, who may not have found the alterhuman community for whatever reason. It seems unlikely that I'm literally the only one to have this experience!

² Existence itself doesn't feel natural to me, but even if I truly had the choice I would choose to exist anyway, because I like being here. This is a topic I would like to explore more in a future essay, at some point.

³ Read: hormones

⁴ See this essay for more thoughts on "human bodied".