jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

Today I read a Q&A that went something like:

Q. Is it possible for one of my fantasy harpies to be transgender when they're an all-female species? Isn't that like a human who thinks he's an elf???

A. Of course it's possible, because gender isn't the same as physical sex. Write your own fluff to explain if it makes you feel better.

This is going to sound melodramatic, but the answer that my heart was aching to hear was "who are you to tell [PLAYER] what body their character would prefer?"

Because the breasts, and the hair, and the outfits all help, but there are times when I don't want to see a human in the mirror. When it hurts the same way that seeing a guy in it did. And I can't even go on, like, Tumblr, and cry about it with my SJW friends, and have them reblog hug gifs and stuff at me. Because I am fucking appropriating the transgender experience, as a therian / otherkin.

Also we're a plurality, so we're fucking batshit Lovecraftian crazy.

(Apologies to any bats in the audience.)

Everyone is cheering Paizo on for giving a Pathfinder NPC a backstory that included a gender transition. Is there anyone in all of fucking Golarion who longed to, say, be a dragon, and somehow managed to change into one?

Pathfinder Kitsune (which suck, BTW) can change shape between human and anthro fox forms. The book says they often take human form to blend in. What is that like? What's it like having to look like a different species than your own all day, every day, in a world that even the fucking designers say is "human-centric?" And hear people like the players on Pathfinder's forum talking about how "I hope they don't let more weird races in here! This is a D&D clone, not the Mos Eisley cantina!"

THIS IS SUCH A BIZARRE EXPERIENCE I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT THAT COULD BE LIKE

We got, like, one new species trait in Inner Sea Races. One. There are fewer than ten printed pages in all of Paizo's publishing line which substantially address their half-assed Kitsune, or Golarion's half-assed copy of Inari. And that's counting the Forest of Spirits' write-up.

They've made hundreds and hundreds of miniatures now, and not a single Kitsune character.

And yet I rarely complain about it at all, because a major game publisher has PLAYABLE Kitsune in a worldwide organized campaign OMG!!!

(Don't get me started on the number of MMOs and video games that I've sifted through, looking for anything. Don't get me started on video game portrayals of dromaeosaurids (raptors), either.)

This is ridiculous, right? It's a petty example! It's nothing to get worked up about! And you're right, I mean, Pathfinder sucks for a thousand other reasons and I'd rather play Fate.

But, like, tell that to the people who all took the time out of their day to tell me how spoiled and entitled I am, a few years ago, just for pointing out on their forums how unfair it was that you couldn't play Kitsune (then) in Pathfinder Society unless you went to a convention and got a "racial boon."

These games are my fucking escape from dysphoria, and there were people being given permission to inhabit the body type I longed for as a fucking random-drop reward, for being rich and flying a thousand miles to Paizocon. And being like "eh, maybe for my next character" and then losing it in their overstuffed RPG binders.

I called out people's speciesist attitudes, and their ageist cultural supremacy bullshit that makes them want to police anime / Japanese things in "their" game. BUT NO. If I'd wanted to play a character who looks like me, I should've gone to their gods-damned convention! So that they can safely limit the amount of ANIME SHIT in their FUCKING ELFGAME, and keep those DAMNED TEENAGE GIRLS and their Naruto crap in the manga section where they belong.

And no, I wasn't making fun of teenage girls or manga or anything. I was trying to point out all the prejudices involved.

Because it's not just otherkin. It never is.

Whenever there's something fantastic and awe-inspiring, someone's life depends on it. Someone needs it to express themselves, to feel alive, to escape from a terrible world. Whether they feel driven to worship it, fanfic it, fuck it, or be it, as long as they aren't hurting anyone it is fucking oppressive to shame them for it. And that shame is always going to come from more powerful people, and hurt less powerful ones.

Want an example that involves otherkin? Mormons believe that they are all angelkin godlings in training. They literally believe they'll "grow up" to be gods just like, you know, God. And rule over planets and stuff. But that's okay! Because, like, they're smiling white boys riding bikes / wearing nametags, and older white men who are rich. Rich, old, white men can do whatever the fuck they want.

I'm afraid to tell people the specific relationship that I feel there is, between me and Inari Okami, because I'm afraid I'll be shamed for it.

And you know, maybe Mormons don't exactly talk about this in public, either. Maybe they deny it when it's brought up, like in an infamous 60 Minutes interview, because they're ashamed of being so weird and they really want people to like them.

But they're rich enough that they can afford a space to talk about it. I'm a fucking trans girl who is unemployed and messed up in the head, so I'm afraid to even go on fucking Tumblr, haven of SJW types, because I can't without being attacked.

BY the SJW types.

For "appropriating" my own fucking transgender identity.

I want a community, a role model, and a hope for the future. One that maybe involves treating non-humans as people, instead of as food to be raised in a fucking rape factory. And seeing people who identify with non-humans as what they are.

I want it so badly.

Date: 2015-10-23 02:34 pm (UTC)
feralkiss: Clouded leopard close-up, looking up with perky ears. (cl_lookup)
From: [personal profile] feralkiss
The whole "appropriating [own!] transgender experience" bullshit is maddening, but impossible to discuss on Tumblr because everybody and their dogs put in their grain of salt even when they have no clue what the fuck they're talking about.

(I already wrote about it in my article here but I suppose you've seen it before? http://akhila.feralscribes.org/2013/on-the-appropriation-of-trans-narratives-by-therianthropes/ It also doesn't bring up neo-pronouns because this was a submission for a therian publication and there was a character limit.)

I miss Tsu and her refreshing ideas - sad she became some sort of horrible villain or otherkin boogeyman in the mind of many because she dared discussing dysphoria, autism and social justice topics; I think mostly people could not make the distinction between her being unapologetically supportive of all individuals, but not necessarily condoning their action. I guess they decided she was an evil person for associating with X or Y, and drove her away from the community. I did not always agree with her but could still listen to what she said and appreciate the conversations.

Date: 2015-10-25 12:46 am (UTC)
feralkiss: Profile view of a clouded leopard head, intense look. (cl_bw)
From: [personal profile] feralkiss
I don't think that's the only reason she disappeared, but she did mention on more than one occasion that the burn-out from all the attacks were something made her withdraw from most public otherkin spaces.

(I mean, not you, but some people, and I think of Tumblr especially.)
Edited Date: 2015-10-25 12:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-25 03:07 am (UTC)
desertroot: abstract painting suggesting movement in the night - with the word "Bats" on top of it (bats)
From: [personal profile] desertroot
""appropriating [own!] transgender experience" bullshit is maddening"

Yes.

-Isil

Date: 2015-10-25 03:13 am (UTC)
cereus: Cereus cactus blossom (Desert)
From: [personal profile] cereus
I miss having Tsu around as well. She was exploring* lots of interesting things about how otherkin-ness and neurodivergence/disability and gender go together. And I miss all the good conversations.

But I can totally understand why she walked away from certain internet areas, too.

*(and I assume still *is* somewhere off the internet)

Date: 2015-10-25 03:30 am (UTC)
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] cereus
"different identity maybe" Oh, hadn't thought of that! If so I hope she's finding good people to talk to.

And if not, there's still lots of the world that is off-internet. :)

Date: 2015-10-25 03:04 am (UTC)
desertroot: abstract painting suggesting movement in the night - with the word "Bats" on top of it (bats)
From: [personal profile] desertroot
"Apologies to any bats in the audience."

As a bat - in my opinion, no apologies are necessary. ;)

Besides the smart-ass joke. I do think games and stories are a place for Trans, and Otherkin, and otherwise non-typical people to explore the parts of the world that get ignored or suppressed in their everyday lives. And so I can totally "get" your frustration.

-Isil (mostly)
Edited (Annoying typo) Date: 2015-10-25 03:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-25 03:33 am (UTC)
cereus: Cereus cactus blossom (Cereus)
From: [personal profile] cereus
Yeah, actually admire all your game design work. It's not easy.

We recently actually started playing a game of Shadowrun - but one of our partners actually had to re-work the whole system because it was so awkward. But the game is going very well now!

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We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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