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The Nonhuman Unity Flag created by Synanthrope (Flag originally created at the handle @SCP2547 on Twitter, but Synanthrope can currently be found at @foxbrained) in May of 2020.
The standardized keyboard symbol of the Alt key (⎇) which is sometimes used as an alterhuman symbol.

Alterhuman or alter-human individuals are people who have experiences or an identity which they perceive as being alternative to or outside common societal ideas of humanity. Originally termed Alternative Humanity Personal Identity (AHPI)[1], alterhuman functions as an umbrella term which covers a broad spectrum of other terms and groups; it most often includes otherkin, therian, fictionkin, plural systems, otherhearted individuals, and otherlinkers, but it may also be used to refer to transhumanists, trans-species individuals, daemians, and vampires among others.[2][3]

Terms, definitions, and identities[edit]

The term otherkin (or more rarely, otherkind) originated within online communities of nonhuman-identifying individuals in 1990 as both a standalone identity label and an umbrella term for real individuals who identify as nonhuman.[4] Arguably a precursor to the term alterhuman, one ex-therian, Lupa Greenwolf, described identifying as otherkin as "a way for us to embrace the parts of us that simply don't fit into a human paradigm."[4] The otherkin community typically includes individuals who identify as elves and fae, mythological animals, angels and demons, machines and objects, concepts, extinct and extant animal species (also known as therians), plants (also known as phytanthropes[5]), and fictional creatures or characters (also known as fictionkin or mediakin). [4][6][7]

Plurality (also multiplicity) is an umbrella term which is used to encompass all phenomena in which one or more entities or consciousnesses may exist within a single physical body. Those who share a single physical body often refer to themselves collectively as a system. Plural systems and individuals may or may not utilize the term alterhuman for themselves, but plurals are often included in the alterhuman umbrella.[8][9]

Otherhearted or other-hearted individuals have a strong connection to or identification with something.[10] Otherhearted functions as an umbrella term comparable to otherkin as individuals within the community often substitute 'other' for the animal, plant, object, concept, character, or creature that they identify with, resulting in sub-umbrella terms, like animalhearted (comparable to therian), and more specific and personally used terms. The term otherhearted traces its roots back to the Usenet group alt.horror.werewolves from 1997.[11] This phenomena may also be referred to as being kith or having a synpath, though these terms seem to have largely fallen out of use.

Otherlinkers (previously called copinglinkers) are individuals who take on identification with or strong relation to something which is cultivated and controlled by the individual who it affects. The original terminology was initially coined in 2015, on Tumblr.[12]

Origins and proposed alternatives[edit]

Indexed web registries points that the term was coined by Malchior on September 26, 2014 [1] on a Tumblr post.

Despite its initial popularity, several alternatives have been suggested and used interchangably with the term alterhuman in recent years, including alterbeing[13], otherbeing, and Other+[14] among others.

Alterhuman and furry[edit]

While furry fans are welcomed under the alterhuman umbrella and intermixing does occur, there has been little to no significant research done into how many furries self-identify with the term or know the term. Furries who are already aware of the otherkin and therian subcultures or who have themselves attended alterhuman conventions which included furry-oriented panels and events, such as Othercon, may be generally aware of it, however furries are in no way connected to alterhumans its just most of the community consists of furries.

A noticeable number of alterhuman individuals are also furry fans or interact with furry events, such as conventions and meetups. One survey conducted in alterhuman communities found that 22.8% of participants classified themself as "furry (alterhuman)" and 16.1% classified themself as "furry (not alterhuman)."[15] There is also an overlap between alterhumans and specifically furry lifestylers, as another, separate survey in alterhuman communities found that 16.8% of participants considered themselves furry lifestylers.[16]

There seems to be less widespread controversy over generalized alterhumans in furry spaces than there has been with otherkin. This may be because the term alterhuman is newer or lesser-known, or because it does not have the association with jokes that otherkin does.

Alterhuman and furry organizations[edit]

Due to the large scope and opt-in nature of alterhuman, many public organizations which are involved with the alterhuman community are also involved or include the furry community within their work. Some furry organizations may also choose to incorporate certain furry-adjacent alterhuman individuals, such as therians and otherkin, within their own research as well.

Freedom of Form Foundation[edit]

The Freedom of Form Foundation (FFF) is a nonprofit corporation founded in 2018. The FFF funds and popularizes scientific research geared towards morphological freedom, including full-body changes which utilize the appearances or traits of other species.[17]

The FFF's staff team includes both alterhumans and furries, including Serathin and Keiro amoung its members. The organization has also attended multiple furry conventions and held panels on related subjects:


Alt+H is an alterhuman advocacy group which aims to legitimize alterhumanity in the eyes of the larger public and offer resources for alterhuman individuals.[22] It started as a Tumblr blog in 2016, and ran as a nonprofit organization from 2019-2022. In January of 2022 it announced that it would be dissolving its LTD and continue to operate as an unincorporated, self-funded group.[23]

Alt+H included postfurries within its list of alterhuman communities in its FAQ.[3]


FurScience is the public website and name for the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP). Founded in 2016, FurScience examines aspects of furry culture through a variety of lenses, including psychological, anthropological, and sociological, with the intent of cultivating better understandings of furries for those both inside and outside of the fandom. [24]

Although FurScience focuses largely on furry fandom and culture, they have also historically included otherkin and therians within the scope of their research. They have an in-progress page of their website dedicated specifically to otherkin and therians[25] and FurScience has also offered training for members of the therian community regarding event and panel creation and hosting.[26]

The Alterhuman Advocacy Group describes FurScience as "conducting research of interest to alterhuman people."[27]


  1. 1.0 1.1 'Malchior's September 26, 2014 post on Tumblr.' (Archived Page )
  2. Alt+H organizer and staff member Mordecai's August 12, 2019 post on Tumblr.
  3. 3.0 3.1 'Alt+H > Educate > FAQ'(Archived Page )
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lupa (2007). A Field Guide to Otherkin. Immanion Press. pp. 24-26, 50. ISBN 978-1-905713-07-3.
  5. Darahagh from House of Chimera's phytanthrope essayon LiveJournal.
  6. Shea, S. C. (2020). Exploring other-than-human identity: Religious experiences in the life-story of a machinekin. Religions, 11(7), 354.
  7. Beusman, C. (2016, August 3). 'I look at a cloud and I see it as me': The people who identify as objects. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  8. Plurality Resource > What Is Plurality?
  9. Plural Pride > Plurality Playbook
  10. Other Hearts Forum > The Exact Definition of Being Otherhearted
  11. alt.horror.werewolves > AM I WOLF HEARTED?
  12. Who-is-Page's copinglink definition poston Tumblr.
  13. An alterbeing definition post on Tumblr
  14. 'PluralAnomaly's post on Tumblr'
  15. PinkDolphin. (2020). "Species Dysphoria Within Alterhumans (therian/otherkin/kith etc)" Survey, 254 responses
  16. Who-is-Page. (2021). The 2021 Nonhumanity & Body Modification/Decoration Survey Results Breakdown
  17. FFF > About Us > Vision
  18. FFF's "Make It Real" recording on YouTube.
  19. FFF > Videos and podcasts > Anthro New England 2020
  20. FFF's November 29, 2021 announcement poston Twitter.
  21. FFF's February 16, 2022 announcement post
  22. Alt+H > About
  23. Alt+H's January 4th 2022 post on ]Tumblr]
  24. FurScience > Who we are
  25. FurScience > Therianthropy/Otherkin
  26. Werelist > Focus Group Discussion/ Training Opportunity with FurScience on Werelist
  27. Alt+H > Research
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