a man choses

I had this nagging dissatisfaction with the new League of Legends lore they are rolling out for a while now. It felt that the writers don’t really know how to write character driven stories when that was meant to be the focus of the champion flavor stories, or struggle with creating sensible worldbuilding when they could only use the old lore as a vague jumping off point.

To find out that one of the senior writers is a fantasy/sci-fi author who got known for his warhammer 40k stories just puts the whole thing into perspective, I feel. After all if they chose this man as a senior writer, the rest of the writing team probably comes from similar background too.

A lot of the writers definitely know how to put one word after another and not sound terrible, but knowing how to write one thing (say, a long tale of military skirmishes and war) doesn’t make you adept at writing everything (character driven short stories). Someone who can write an epic adventure using an already established world might not be able to creating a compelling, coherent world of their own from scratch.

Quite a few years passed since the time when I devoured fantasy and scifi literature en masse, but based on what I remember, it makes so much sense why the new lore left me dissatisfied overall. The characters I am supposed to be invested in can’t really stand on their own - but their stories would work as out of context takeouts from a bigger, unknown epic.

It’s disheartening because it means that the quality of the lore is unlikely to improve, but it’s good to finally pin down what was bothering me so much about it.

4

I heard that Mr. Neill Blomkamp only had you in mind for the role. Did this make it easy for you to play the character or did this put more pressure on you? It was very flattering. I just came on and he was like “I want you to do you, just bring what you want to the role.”  I was like “Really?” It was incredible because you’ve got a guy that exactly knows what he wants but he trusts in his actors incredibly. So we’ve got to come on and have a really good time and play, so I didn’t really feel the pressure.

Exeunt pursued by man in bear suit.

I had two weird dreams last night, which I suppose were technically all part of the same dream, wherein I was visited by dead people. I mean they weren’t dead Dead in the dream, but my brain was self aware enough to be like, “you know these people don’t belong here in your house…they’re dead…also they’re Terry Pratchett and Robin Williams, this is a dream”. 

I first knew something was off kilter because when I walked into my kitchen, Terry Pratchett was sitting there drinking a mug of tea. The dragon under the stove was also a give away, but famous authors, even dead ones, are not often found in my kitchen (contrary to what you’ve heard about my baking). He was reading something, and to my absolute horror I realized it was one of my manuscripts. I started to stutter and sat down in front of him, and because I am British offered him a slice of cake to go with his tea, so I might slide my work out from under his fingers. Not to be distracted by the prospect of a Victoria Sponge however, Terry looked up at me and said 

“It’s a shame really, I was rather enjoying it until the words just stopped…why did you stop? Did you lose your words too?”

At which point I rocketed upright in bed and tried to rationalize why Terry Pratchett would be in my dream and giving me a mild telling off for not writing anything…and then because it was Terry and I miss him, had a bit of a cry and went back to sleep.

Which was when I “woke up” in my bed because I was being prodded in the side. Assuming it was my husband trying to wake me I rolled over and told him to go away, at which point the voice of Robin Williams bounced around the room at full volume as he yelled, “Rise and shine funny-girl, it’s time to climb the walls!”

Ah yes, thought I, I am still asleep and dreaming…or I am in a coma and someone is playing Robin Williams to try and wake me up…which was the point when I heard Terry Pratchett ask, “Is she up yet?”

“No.”

“Tip her out the bed.”

So because Terry Pratchett told him to, Robin Williams tipped me out of my dream bed, and laughed at me when I swore.

“Ach aye, there’s your accent lassie, none of that Amerrrrrican inflection, eh? Just had to get you good and mad.” said Mr Williams, in his own Scottish imitation, hauling me upright and carrying me over his shoulder out the door while I squawked and flailed at the indignity of it all.

The next few images where a blur of motion and sound, but after that we were in a castle which I recognized to be one of my own ideas. My own characters stood stock still like cutout cardboard mannequins, frozen in time, the last action I had written them into. 

Terry was walking between them, pausing every now and then to peer at them through his spectacles like they were an exhibit in a wax museum and giving a little nod every so often, like he had just seen the eyelashes in the wax and was mildly impressed.

Robin at this point, had his arm around my shoulders and was giving me the grand tour of my own work, yelling out jokes about my characters and making me laugh at them.

“And here we have underdeveloped character number three! Half baked and still gooey at the center, it’s salmonella for everybody but at least it tastes good!”

When I looked round again, Terry was sitting at the foot of the dais to the empty throne, sheets of paper between his hands again as he read from the script.

“It says here “exeunt pursued by man in bear suit”…” he said.

“I thought it was funny…” I replied sheepishly…looking at the world which had sparkled mere moments before and watching the color seep away until it was turning grey and cold at the edges… “I thought…well it doesn’t matter. I scrapped it.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did you lose your words?”

“No…”

“Then why aren’t you writing?”

“I don’t…”—by now the world was starting to fall apart and crumble to dust, falling upwards into the pitch black sky as though it was being pulled away by a black hole.

Robin came in front of me then, placing both giant hands on my shoulders and leaning in until we were butting heads.

“I know it’s hard,” he said, smiling right into my soul, “I know it’s hard when all you want to do it stop. And sometimes you have to, sometimes you can’t chase the demons out. But what you can do, and no one ever tells you this, funny-girl, what you can do…is make ‘em laugh. You can’t burn ‘em out, you can’t chase ‘em out, and you can’t leave without them because it’s your head, but you can make ‘em laugh. You can shake hands with the devil and make him laugh. The world is your clam chowder, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll still find the pearl. Does that make sense? No? Good, nothing makes sense, nothing in this whole existence we like to pretend is reality makes sense, nothing but doing your best and trying to make yourself happy, and if you can’t do that do it for others. You can, you know you can…otherwise your mother wouldn’t be so angry when you tell jokes and there wouldn’t be a man over there dressed in a bear suit waiting to follow us out.”

Laughing and crying, I looked over to where he had pointed, and there was indeed a man in a bear suit. He waved, and I waved back. 

By now the world had dissolved, the walls melting away until only the cut out people remained, illuminated by starlight where previously there had only been black. I turned round when I felt a hand on my shoulder and found Terry standing behind me, his eyes crinkling up under bushy eyebrows as he smiled, handing me back my manuscript.

“I have to go now,” he said, “we both do, because this isn’t real and you’re dreaming. But I’ll have that cake before I go.”

So the three of us turned together to walk out over the stars, pursued by a man in a bear suit.

I woke up sometime before four am, with a heavy ache in my throat, feeling rung out and completely exhausted, but ultimately feeling as though somehow everything is going to be okay. I’ve got walls to paint and chores to do, but later on I’m going to bake a cake and then I’m going to write. And I’m keeping the bear suit joke.

Yo, a friend of mine made an amazing list about imortant and historical trans men!

A list of historical (and some recent) trans men since everyone likes to ignore the fact that we did in fact exist before Chaz Bono came out

(TW: transphobia, obviously, and r*pe)


• Hatshepsut (1479 - 1458 BC)
Hatshepsut was a female Egyptian
pharaoh, who went to great lengths to
present as a man, wearing male
clothing and a fake beard, took on
wives, and used both male and female
pronouns.
Though it cannot be definitively said
if Hatshepsut was a trans man or not,
a lot of the evidence points to that
being the case.

• Anonymous Man (16th century)
Henri Estienne wrote of a FTM man
who was burned alive for living as a
man, learning a trade, and taking a
wife. The man was outed by someone
who recognized him from their
hometown and when given the option
between death and living as a woman,
the man chose death.

• Jospeh Lobdell (1829 - 1912)
A frontier man and skilled marksman
who lived on the frontier with his wife
before being locked in an asylum for
insisting that he was a man.
Scholars used to label him as a lesbian
before it was revealed by his own
writings that he more likely was in fact
a trans man.

• Reed Erickson (1912 - 1992)
After inheriting his father’s fortune in
1962 and after transitioning in 1963,
Erickson launched the Erickson
Educational Foundation in 1964 and
through that laid the foundation for
several trans activism organizations
like the Harry Benjamin International
Gender Dysphoria Association,
Paul Walker’s Janus Information
Service, Sister Mary Elizabeth’s and
Jude Patton’s J2CP, and several
others.
He was also an alternate health
practices supporter and funded
research on homeopathy and
acupuncture.

• Billy Tipton (1914 - 1989)
An American jazz musician from 1936
to 1970, Tipton began presenting as
male full time in 1940, with only his
two cousins knowing his assigned
gender.
To avoid explaining his breasts and his
lack of package, he would tell women
that he had been in a serious car
accident that resulted in damaged
genitals and broken ribs that he had to
keep wrapped constantly.
No one knew he was trans until he
died and and it was revealed by the
autopsy.

• Dr. Alan L. Hart (1890 - 1962)
An American physician, radiologist,
TB researcher, writer and novelist.
Alan L. Hart was one of the first trans
men to have a hysterectomy and a
gonadectomy in the US and his
research on TB detection saved
thousands of lives.
He presented as a boy as a child and
was encouraged by his grandparents
and parents to do so, and was listed as
his grandparent’s grandson in their
obituaries. He’s was recorded as
always begging to cut his hair, wear
boy clothes, and would refer to himself
as a boy as a child.
He’s the first documented trans man
in the united states. His doctor who
helped with his transition described
him as “extremely intelligent and not
mentally ill, but afflicted with
a mysterious disorder for which I have
no explanation” and said that “from a
sociological and psychological
standpoint [Hart] is a man”.
Not only was he a man of medicine but
he was also a fiction writer, and such
a lot of his fiction writing reflected his
own experiences and feelings.

• Michael Dillon (1915 - 1962)
The first FTM person to have a
phalloplasty. He’s also believed to be
the first FTM person to undergo hrt.
While in the hospital with a head injury
he met a plastic surgeon who gave
him a double mastectomy and a note
to help get his birth certificate
changed.
Dillon performed SRS on Roberta
Cowell, the first British trans woman to
receive SRS, but because Dillon had
not completed his medical training the
surgery was considered illegal.
Later on he ended up devoting the
rest of his life to Buddhism in India.

• “Little Axe” Broadnax (1916 - 1992)
Little Axe was an American gospel
singer. I couldn’t find much on his
personal life, but he was apart of
several gospel groups between the
1940’s and 1980’s.
He was not discovered to be trans
until his death in 1992.

• Lou Sullivan (1951 - 1991)
An American author and activist, and
also one of the first trans men to
publicly identify as gay. He’s heavily
credited to the modern understanding
of gender identity and sexuality being
different things.
As a child, he would write in his journal
about being confused about his
identity, and expressed his ideas of
wishing he were a man and wanting to
be a gay man there from a young age.
He moved away from Milwaukee in
1975 to San Francisco so he could
have easier access to not only hrt but
a more understanding community. His
family was supportive of this move and
gave him a man’s suit and his
grandfather’s pocket watch as going
away presents.
In San Francisco, he lived openly as
a gay trans man but was denied SRS
constantly because of his sexuality,
since at the time trans people were
expected to adhere to a more
heterosexual lifestyle. He finally had
SRS in 1986.
He was diagnosed as HIV positive in
the same year, and said afterwards:
“I took a certain pleasure in informing
the gender clinic that even though
their program told me I could not live
as a Gay man, it looks like I’m going to
die like one.”
As an adult he was active in the
Gateway Gender Alliance, which was
one of the first educational
organizations that offered support for
FTM people. He was an editor for The
Gateway,
a newsletter with “news
and information on transvestism and
transsexualism” that originally primarily
focused on MTF issues, but started to
also talk about FTM issues under his
editing.
He was a founding member of the
GLBT Historical Society in San
Francisco, he founded FTM
International - an organization
specifically for trans men - and was a
huge advocate for gay trans men, and
gay trans people in general.
He ended up passing due to HIV
related complications.

• Brandon Teena (1972 - 1993)
TW: r*pe, assault/violence, murder

Brandon Teena was raped and
murdered at age 21 for being trans.
He asserted that he was male from a
young age and began identifying as
a man during adolescence. He would
constantly reject school dress code by
dressing masculinely.
When he was 18 he tried to join the US
army but failed to enter after listing his
sex as male.
In 1993 he began living as a man full
time and associating with John L.
Lotter, Tom Nissen, and Lana Tisdel.
During a Christmas Eve party, Nissen
and Lotter forced Brandon to pull
down his pants revealing that he was
trans. They forced him into a car, drove
to a nearby meat packing plant, and
raped him. They then took him to
Nissen’s house, where they told
Brandon to shower, allowing him to
escape out the bathroom window and
to Tinsel’s house.
They went to the ER where while
Brandon was having a rape kit done,
he was asked invasive, rude, and
unnecessary questions about him
being trans so they left.
When Nissen and Lotter found out
about the police report and rape kit
they started a hunt for Brandon, and
eventually found him on December
31st when they shot and killed him and
the two other people in the house
where he was staying. Brandon was
also stabbed in the chest to ensure he
was dead.
He’s had two movies made on his life
a documentary called The Brandon
Teena Story
and movie called Boys
Don’t Cry.

Some more recent trans men include:

• Thomas Beatie - in 2007 was the first
trans man to become pregnant
through artificial insemination after
finding out his wife was infertile.

• Balian Buschbaum - a former German
pole-vaulting champion. He competed
during the early 2000s and retired in
2007 to transition

• Chaz Bono - son of Sonny and Cher,
he is a writer, musician, and activist

• Ian Harvie - a comedian and actor, he
was in Transparent and Roadtrip
Nation

• Buck Angel - a former adult film star
and producer, and is now a trans
activist, writer, and speaker

There are obviously many, many other well known current trans guys out there, but those are just some ✌️

The history of trans guys is often overlooked and/or forgotten, so hopefully you learned something from this

Lame adaptations and sequels are always like, “how can Mina go back to her stifling Victorian marriage after her experience with the dark, seductive Dracula??”

Meanwhile, Mina marries her best friend, who she’s known since they were children, who she share common interests with, they build a home together, work as partners, make immense sacrifices for each other, support each other through their traumas.

Guys, a marriage isn’t stifling and restrictive just because two people… get along, I guess?

10

Z Nation meme | four relationships [¼]  —– Murphy and Warren

I’m counting on you.

10

the olicity q: [16/?]

husband quote of the day while watching the cockles panel with me:

“jensen looks like that obnoxious kid in the class who is trying to flirt with a girl he likes. you know, the one that pulls her pigtails and pours glue on her art project just to get a rise out of her and that’s somehow flirting? he’s doing that with misha. like. right now.”

(also when we watched the mishalecki panel later he said in soft awe “they have so much chemistry, dude”)