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Is struggling with one's name a common problem for alterhumans?

I don't know about you, but I've gone through a lot of names over the years, both usernames and names I actually want people to refer to me by. I'm really pleased with the one I have currently, and I don't think I'll be changing it for a while, but that's actually pretty new for me. I'm curious, do any other alterhumans have a similar problem? Is this name/identity disconnect a me thing, or a kin thing? Does anyone else struggle to find a name that really fits them?

 

Shezep

Well-known member
Gold Donor
VIP
Not sure if it's a kin thing or not, but my legal name and my common nick name don't really suit me.  They seem like empty labels that don't feel like me. Partly it's a gender thing, and partly not. My legal name is gendered, but I've met both men and women with my common name. I've thought about changing it but I don't know what I'd change it to. It's actually to the point where I feel weird giving my nick name at restaurants and Starbucks. 

My current online name seems to fit pretty well, but it's not something I'd use in person. The name was given to me, and is (literally) shinier than what I would have come up with myself. I stole my previous online name from my dog and it suited me well at the time, but when things changed it stopped being a good fit. (No, never was a dog therian.) 

Though all that does kind of suit my kintype species, who pretty much never tell anyone their real names unless threatened with death. I asked my other self about it and his answer was that if I don't know it, I can't tell it. 

 
I have gone by different names in the past but that was because I ended up tying my identity mistakes to that name in a way. So whenever I had gone by a name and claimed to have x kintype; the moment I realized I was wrong I wanted to abandon that name too. I realized that didn’t make any sense of course and the moment I learned how to better identify myself I started to go by my legal name online too and a chosen name that I feel like is me: Wakaroa. I still have a list of names that I feel like is “me” but in the end a name is just how others identify you and if you change it often it can be a bit annoying for the people around you. 

 

Vintage

Active member
Although my name hasn't resonated deeply with me, I do turn my head whenever I hear it after years and years of being called it. Pretty natural reaction. However if one was to call me Allen or Allendria, it would produce the same response. This is not something I struggle with.

 
I like my username a lot. It's become the default choice for me when I gotta pick a name.

My real name, noooooo lol. Lots of people compliment my name, but I never liked it. Just not my style. Haven't found a name that IS my style, though...other than Jane. I like it, and it's one that comes up a lot when I ask people to guess what they think my name is, but my big problem with that name is that I have a close relative by that name and I don't want to share a name with a close relative. Oh well, the search continues I guess.

Funny thing is, my middle name actually is equivalent to "Jane" in another language. I could go by it, I guess (since I really like my middle name) but maaaaaaaan it is a b**ch to get people to spell/say it right! So IDK.

Sometimes I forget what my real name is, and when asked I'm like "uh, *real name*! Yeah *real name* lol" and I probably look like I'm lying.

 
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It might be, though I could see a changing relationship with names being common to all who are "against the grain".
I've always had a weird relationship to names and have worn many many names in my short time on Earth. I'm just really not into my legal birth name, both for gender reasons (I'm nb/gq/agender/whatever) and a sense of not belonging to my neglectful birth family.
 
Much like you, I have finally come to a name and a space of identity that I think will stick! Or, at the very least, a way of experiencing my shifts in identity and experience without each change requiring a whole new name and persona. So much so that it's going in the legal books before my wedding! Enjoy your name, enjoy your self. 🙂

 

Red-in-Tooth

Machairodont Felid
VIP
The name I live by in the regular world is certainly not removed or wrong to me but it is not "my name". It is not to say I am not aptly named or even not named in an ironic sense that would only play out regularly in a major book as part of my character arch and plot element, or that I disown or even dislike my name, rather it is that I simply do not like names as people do. I, of course, as a beast have a name - something I am recognized and called by - yet I am not confident the names animals have for one another translate so literally or cleanly to any human language because of the way animals communicate, felids included. So a name to me is simply what people call me, right or wrong. I have learned to acknowledge it despite it always feeling distant, a phenomena of what I would phrase as, "What I am correctly called by people but do not call myself."

Which leads into the fact that I place little stake on claiming a name for myself. I cannot give word to my true name but if I were to somehow hear what it is I feel about myself, as abstract a concept as that is, I would recognize it immediately. So it is neither here nor there in the end, which leads to me taking on "names", really descriptors, of what I am. I am "red in tooth" because I am a sabertooth cat, it is a direct appeal to what I naturally do and am as my true self. It takes little imagination why that phrase is descriptive and accurate at the same time and bases itself slightly in some very primitive language; Proto-Indo European, for example, has the root of "lynx" in some forms and iterations as "lyeuks" or similar spelling, and it translates to "bright eyes" or "shining eyes" - an obvious explanation to just a quality of the animal. This type of descriptive language is more accurate to me and more or less supported my habit of being largely "unnamed".

 

Snowshoe

New member
I used to not like my real name at all, but now I go by it. I stopped correcting it to my nick name in college because it was a bit annoying to do so for every class, and now I'm just used to it. My real name sounds more professional anyway.

As for my username, I have had some variant of it for a good while now. Snowshoes are my favorite breed of cat, so I always try to get that name, or something close to it like Snowshoe Cat or Snowshoe Kitty.

 
L

Lirae

Unverified
I went through a lot of names before I settled on one that felt right. 

The first ones were my original human name, but tweaked a bit to sound different. 

Then after being in the dragon community a while, I decided to make one myself and fiddled with sounds until I found one that gave me a sense of belonging. 

I love the name Lirae, because it is my name, and it is me.

It brings me confidence and happiness to hear myself be called by others in that way. 

 

Anomaly

Active member
Lyle [Fictionkin]: Adding the system side of this, who usually needs to name new members. Ironically as the fictive who came in prenamed. 

Names are something we struggle with, and sometimes it is alterhuman related. A lot of us don't have a name that's expressed vocally, in the case of some of the animals or animalistic beings in our system this is especially something they run into. Though sometimes we struggle based on just being bad with names, we've had some people take an approach to naming themselves jokes (the example we usually use is Hey Ho Chicken On a Raft) or using random name generators. Some of us may also put sounds together, like what Vosablix did. 

Some of us still don't resonate with their name and some prefer that in the inner world they be referred to with thought language rather than their spoken name. For some the spoken name is more for people outside of the system to give them something to call them. 

 

Fost

New member
As a trans person, I struggled with my name for a long time.  I'm somewhat glad I awakened after I got comfortable with my trans identity and who I wanted to be known as, because I think settling on a name would've been a lot harder if I was contending with both those sides of myself.  I think I would've felt like I needed a name that did me justice in all forms and it would've felt like a lot of pressure.  As it stands, I think I did stumble backwards into finding a way to do that through variations of nicknames you can make from my chosen name.

I find that I use a different variation of my name in the kin community than I do in my other communities, because this version of my name feels more 'right' for this community than other variations do.

 
yo !

honestly i never thought of my personal experience as a kin-related thing but i've also had the same issue -- i don't feel great with my legal name AND the name i go by on here isn't comfortable either (it's just better than the legal name, but it's just a shortened version of an old username.) i'm interested to see how other people responded to this -- honestly, i feel really good when people name me themselves (call me by their personal chosen name for me, if that makes sense. like a nickname !)

 
I go by three names:

My legal name: Well... I don't even listen to it.

The day-to-day name: I'm trained to listen to it, if I'm not in deep thoughts or something. But it doesn't really feel like me.

And my nickname: Now this is a story: 

I got it on high school, on the first day and it just sicked with me ever since. When we got to get used to each other. Another in the class just said Henk (even when he was called Jimmy and he corrected himself soon after.) and it just hit home. That was it! That was my 'name' and I used it online and on all places ever since. And right now it's gotten to the point where if somebody says Henk I just turn my head and say "Yes?"

So my nickname is my name by now. Followed by my IRL day-to-day name. Miles further is my legal name.

Still, Even Henk still feels human. I don't really know my 'real' name, nor even know I had one. And quite frankly: It just doesn't care to me: names.

 

Nim

Member
I am quite similar to Wildlife, I used to tie a name to my whole identity which would include a ‘type and even other things like a hogwarts house. I used to be so unsure of who I really was, until I learned more about my autism. Turns out these identities I had were more similar to characters I created and then subconsciously tied to my own identity. 
So even when I joined this community 2 years ago, the first year and a half I kept changing my name to fit what I called my “moods” looking for *the* name that was truly me. I loved looking up names and their meanings. 
I still feel like changing my name sometimes but at the same time Nim is a name I have used since I was 16 and is a comfortable constant. 
 

edit: forgot to mention I am only talking online nicknames and names for game characters, my alterhumanity and names were kind of a personal secret, okay for online but nothing I mentioned to anyone irl

 
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JohnnyIsAKit

New member
Personally, Ive gone through a couple names over my life, usernames and regular ones. I struggle with making decisions, so it is very hard for me to stick with one thing. I also get bored of things very easily and will desperately try "changing them up" to spruce up my life. Even with the name I currently wish to go by- Johnny - I still believe at some point I may get bored with it. Life is just so boring. But when I was younger, I made the name Mutt....its a bad past that I dont feel like recalling, and please DO NOT look it up. I doubt youll find anything anyway. As a disconnection from that name, but keeping the basics of it, I now go by Kit online. This name hasnt bored me, which is wonderful. So I think Ill be keeping it for a long time. p.s. I based my irl name off of one of my fickintypes lol

 
I came up with the name Drakmanka many many years ago when I used it for an OC in a story. This was before I awakened, but I had been going through a phase where I really didn't like my legal name and was flirting with getting it changed when I was old enough to go through the process. Thus I was considering names to use, and flirted with Drakmanka for a while. Turns out my 'kin name is pronounced very similarly to Drakmanka; it's very hard to pronounce with human speech organs though, so I've settled for Drakmanka. It's become my handle pretty much everywhere online.

As to my legal name, I respond to it but it feels... hollow. I respond better to my nicknames, interestingly. My full first name feels awkward and like it's too big for me (despite having the same number of syllables as Drakmanka). When I use it, I feel like I'm not referencing me, but rather this human shell I inhabit. I use it more as a placeholder because others recognize it as me.

 
Not sure if it's a kin thing- actually, I didn't consider it a kin thing at all until I recently discovered my elf kintype! But I've never really liked my name I was given at birth. I "made up" (or maybe remembered??) the name Karashoo when I was around 8 years old. At first Karashoo was my imaginary friend who I remember being sort of like the quiet kid in class (yes I actually would play pretend and have fantasies where me and my imaginary friends were in school on an alien planet), but later on- I'm not sure how exactly- I decided to use it as my name. The older I got, the more I hated my real name. High school really solidified this feeling because my friends and I would have like roleplay nicknames and "ninja names" because we were into Naruto, and I started going by Kara. Soon I started going by Kara everywhere online and asked all of my friends to call me that instead of my real name. Now I'm completely sure that that's what I want to change my name to.

 

Amber

Astral skydancer
Staff member
Guardian
Gold Donor
VIP
This is an interesting read.. I never identified with my legal name, too. It's just some name that was given to me, but doesn't have to do anything with me. I don't even like it too much. I just use it as a label others recognize me under, that's it. "Amber" is already better... I like the sound, although the meaning still hasn't got to do with me much. This is different for my "real" dragon name. I selected (or remembered?) this name over 20 years ago, but never told anyone... for some reason, I feel it's important to keep it secret. What I can tell is that it means "the blue flame". Which is not too much of a surprise :biggrinderg:

 
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