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Bridging the Gap Between Human and Other

by Aaron, The Hondas

Hot off the heels of our Soulbonders and Multiples essay, we've decided to do another "Bridging the Gap" piece. This time, the focus is on how humans and nonhumans can understand and support each other.

The concept of people who are not human living in a human world isn't a new one. The changeling tales in European folklore still have a hold on us today, and the Bible has stories about angels who assumed human form. And as for the idea of people living in a body that does not fit them, we can certainly all identify with that, can't we? How many people who will read this essay live in a body that's the wrong gender, or don't have enough bodies for all the people inside them?

If it were as simple as humans and nonhumans finding common ground over dissatisfaction with their bodies, things would be a lot simpler. Hey, nothing's ever that easy. People who identify as a species other than human, specifically those in multiple systems, report that it's often easier for their multiplicity to be accepted than it is for their species. In the medical climate, multiples with nonhuman system members are unheard of. We think that it's likely that most doctors don't even realize that it's possible. But even in the presence of non-pathologically minded folks, the "race barrier" can pop up, with lots of misunderstandings and disappointment for both.

We can't point a finger at any one side to lay blame, because both can make mistakes. A person who comes out to their friends as nonhuman and gets only laughter, disbelief, or concern for their efforts is going to become bitter very quickly. Humans do their friends a big disservice when they decide that a person who identifies as "other" is either roleplaying, or fashionably rebelling against society. It's even worse to decide that species dysphoria makes a person mentally ill. Humans -must- stop knee jerk reactions like these if relations between humans and nonhumans are to improve.

But people who -are- human have their own concerns, too. They want their otherworldly friends to accept them as equals, and not pity them for being "only human." It is a lot easier to sustain a friendship on equal terms, with the idea that the species differences just add an extra twist, sort of like a teaspoonful of tabasco sauce in your chili. But a human is going to be soured on the idea of otherworlders entirely if they're told that a nonhuman is automatically -more- than a human, or if they read a few too many messageboard posts that begin with "Stupid humans!"

It seems reasonable enough that in this world we interact in with each other, all of us are equals, and all of our truths are also just that, equally true. So, how can we help each other out?

Humans can:

  • Accept that what a person tells you about their race or past -is- their truth, without demanding proof, and understanding that the person themselves may not have all the answers
  • Treat and respect nonhumans just as you would anyone else
  • Avoid treating a person's race with derision. This is an important topic to your friend, and you shouldn't be belittling them.

Nonhumans can:

  • Avoid looking down at humans or attaching epithets (aka "mundies," "infuriating humans")
  • Understand that regardless of homeworld history or social status, everyone in the earth world is on equal footing, and should be treated as such
  • Accept humans as equal to you, just as you want them to accept you as their equal.

And, just in case our own position isn't clear, we here at your local Honda dealership believe that on this planet, all are on equal footing, and all of us are capable of wonders, regardless of race or species. Let's treat each other with the respect that we'd like to get ourselves, and things will be a lot easier all around.

You can write to Pavilion at pavilion@ karitas . net. Back to the library
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