The term "copinglink" (c'link for short) was coined fairly recently by a member of the Tumblr otherkin community. The term is officially defined as such:
- A non-human identity (or in some cases, relation) which is consciously created. The creator is able to change and pick who/what they identify as/with as need dictates. This identity can be created by anyone, and thus, is not dictated by one’s mental health.
- A consciously created coping mechanism which centers around knowingly, willingly, and actively identifying as (or in some cases, with) the user’s choice of a non-human entity.
Why was this term created?
In recent years there has been a rising trend in the idea of using a non-human or fictional identity as a means for coping. The term copinglink was created to replace the term "copingkin", which was a bit of a misnomer since it contained the word "kin" when copinglinkers are generally not seen as falling under the otherkin or fictionkin umbrellas.
What is the difference between copinglinks and otherkin?
Otherkinity is characterized by being an integral identity as a non-human creature in a non-physical sense. Otherkinity is usually considered to be "innate", or being an identity that is present within someone "from birth", or something that is present in the constitution of one's mind, brain or spirit without having been created consciously or by experience. The only common exception are identities that arise from trauma. In short, otherkin do not choose to experience their identities, nor do they choose their kintypes.
Copinglinkers are people who consciously create and choose the nature of their identity in a way that best suits them as a coping mechanism. Because copinglinks are a choice, they do not fit within the definitions of otherkin or fictionkin.
Are copinglinks welcome in the Otherkin community?
Even though copinglinks do not fall under the otherkin umbrella, it is perfectly fine for non-kin to participate in the otherkin community. Copinglinks and otherkin do share a lot of common ground and that is worth embracing. There is nothing wrong with not being otherkin. You do not need to identify as otherkin in order to be welcome into the community.
It is perfectly legitimate to identify as a copinglinker. As long as a coping mechanism is effective in helping the individual deal with their stress and is not harmful or unhealthy, then there is nothing wrong with using it.