The History of Otherkin Multiple or Otherkin Host Communities
Happy to take other perspectives on the overall history of Otherkin Hosts (after which this site is named) and other spin-offs on Live Journal, Tumblr, etc. of this community after the email lists died down.
(i.e. We were wrong!! Cool! :) )
According to Jarandhel:
Thus someone must have pulled up former terminology and we started using it more often. I'm not sure how regularly it was used before 1998 or 1999 or so.
We stumbled on Rialian's Walking the Thresholds (WTT) "elven" gathering/event (the web address included something like elvesgath in it) immediately before WTT I took place at 4 Quarters Farm (June 1998). So within like a month of talking to Rialian in email and online about this event, we dragged our 6-month-old baby and partner to the woods with a bunch of crazies :) — not knowing WHAT we were getting into. Thankfully a small gather at that time, with a truckload of Kitchener kin -- Rialian LITERALLY drove to Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario Canada and drove a carload of people to the farm(!) -- some DC kin, and us NY'ers.
Note, attendees were not just elves, in spite of appearances. Just a bunch of non-humans in the woods at an Earth Sanctuary talking about things both weird and mundane.
And that got us onto Elvenkind-Digest email list, where the term "otherkin" was coined soon after in discussing the "misnomer" of "elvenkind" on the list and groping for a larger umbrella term for the issue.
Of note is that there was some trepidation on the list about "hosts" — I believe that term predated our arrival on the list or was an unintentional "coinage". They had a bad encounter with a plural member previously and were understandably concerned about us but we were "vouched for" by Rialian and the other WTT attendees and welcomed as their "token host" on the list for a short while.
Adara actually started the first Otherkin list which eventually became ours to manage. We started Newkin, Kinfrontiers &, with another host (who started Otherkin.net), co-owned the Otherkind-Hosts list. These were on Onelist that was eventually swallowed up by Yahoogroups and the list archives migrated to Yahoogroups.
In 2004-2005 list activity dropped quickly as we went back to work and other otherkin went on to their own lives or onto other platforms.
[To be continued & fleshed out…]
About the use of "Host" in this community
by the Crisses April 1, 2004, Otherkind-Hosts list
I don't know why everyone seems to think the "host" is thought to be the "original" -- these are defined separately as a rule. The "host" has several definitions in the psychological community: the person who has the most front-time and handles most socializing for the group; the person who walks into the therapist's office complaining of insomnia, depression, confusion, or because someone else told them they need a therapist but they're really not sure what the hell is going on; the most convenient person for the therapist to deal with. When the host is a more solid "person", often integration therapy will focus on drawing others into it. Just because, again, it's convenient.
Sure, plenty of psychologists put a lot of weight on the "host" personality: generally they've spent MONTHS working with that person in therapeutic settings before figuring out the person was multiple, and sometimes the "host" personality totally fades away after multiplicity was revealed because it turns out it was a veil anyway, and never really existed, and behind it there are 20 people clamoring to get the therapist's attention — a frightening situation if you're expecting simply someone who is depressed or has some problems sleeping at night to walk into your office one day then suddenly you have several people vying for your attention. As a person, the therapist will understandingly harbor a lot of regrets/remorse over the person they once knew who is now apparently gone and replaced by true chaos.
Most "original" personalities/persons are lost to conscious recall, do not front, are dead, broken, decayed, undead, missing in action, or have themselves split and thus you have the problem of figuring out which bacteria is the parent and which is the child of the process...The search for an "original" is as much of a archeological dig in one's head, or myth in the psychiatric community, as the myth that the "host" is the "real person". [Editorial Note: if one considers structural dissociation developmental theory, yes, this is a myth!]
One way, perhaps, to figure out if your therapist is on the ball is to ask them to define "host" and "original" "personalities" and to ask them how hard they really want to look for one or the other of them. :P As for the therapist's opinion on whether or not the people in your head are people or personality states/fragments -- you might not want to go there. That one, if they're honest with their opinion, is likely to get most therapists punted.
or, as we sometimes use it "We are a Host" -- we are like an army or host of angels — a group entity...a band, a consortium, a troop. There's "THE" Host — which assumes someone in here is in charge of entertaining the guests, but now that the guests are permanent residents, we're all equals, more like a hostel than a motel or hotel I guess ;) so there's no one particular person running to the kitchen to serve the meals -- and there's "a Host" which is talking about the whole contingent.
I look at it as "A group that includes native and non-native residents" i.e someone(s) who, regardless of whether the native spirit/s are present, include non-native entities.