I’ve been contemplating for several days something, and I’ve been trying to distill it into meaning, and put nice little bullet points on how this relates to things that have been bugging me about some common Discourses I’ve been seeing, but at the end, I only really have a story. So here, have a story.
About ten years ago, sometime in the eventful 2006-2007 George W. Bush-ruled hellscape of my identity development, I was just starting to figure out how I felt about my conservative upbringing (not great) and whether I was some brand of queer (probably, but too scared to think about what brand for too long). I was working as a server at a popular Italian-inspired sit-down restaurant that was the closest thing my tiny South Carolinian town had to “fancy” at the time but isn’t really fancy at all.
The host brought a party of four men to one of my tables. It was hard to tell their ages, but my guess is they were teenagers or in their early 20s in the 1980s. Mid-40s, at the time. It was standard to ask if anyone at the table was celebrating anything, so I did. They said they were business partners celebrating a great business deal and would like a bottle of wine.
It was a fairly busy night so I didn’t have a LOT of time to spend at their table, but they were nice guys. They were polite and friendly to me, they didn’t hit on me (as most men were prone to do – sometimes even in front of their girlfriends, a story I’ll tell later if anyone wants me to), and they were racking up a hell of a tab that was going to make my managers happy, so I checked on them as often as I could.
Toward the end of their second bottle of wine, as they were finishing their entrees, I stopped at the table and asked if they wanted any more drinks or dessert or coffee. They were well and truly tipsy by now, giggling, leaning back in their chairs – but so, so careful not to touch each other when anyone was near the table.
They’re all on the fence about dessert, so being a good server, I offered to bring out the dessert menu so they could glance it over and make a decision, “Since you’re celebrating.”
“She’s right!” one of the men said, far too emphatically for a conversation on dessert. “It’s your anniversary! You should get dessert!”
It was like a movie. The whole table went absolutely silent. The clank of silverware at the next table sounded supernaturally loud. Dean Martin warbled “That’s Amore” in some distorted alternate universe where the rest of the restaurant went on acting like this one tipsy man hadn’t just shattered their carefully crafted cover story and blurted out in the middle of a tiny, South Carolina town, surrounded by conservatives and rednecks, that they were gay men celebrating a relationship milestone.
And I didn’t know what I was yet, but I knew I wasn’t an asshole, and I knew these men were family, and I felt their panic like a monster breathing down all our necks. It’s impossible to emphasize how palpably terrified they were, and how justified their terror was, and how much I wanted them to be happy.
So I did the only thing I knew to do. I said, “Congratulations! How many years?”
The man who’d spoken up burst into tears. His partner stood up and wrapped me in the tightest, warmest hug I’ve ever had – and I’ve never liked being touched by strangers, but this was different, and I hugged him back.
“Thank you,” he whispered, halfway to crying himself. “Thank you so much.”
When he finally let go of me and sat back down, they finally got around to telling me they were, in fact, two couples on a double date, and both celebrating anniversaries. Fifteen years for one of them, I think, and a few years off for the other. It’s hard to remember. It was a jumble of tears and laughter and trembling relief for all of us. They got more relaxed. They started holding hands – under the table, out of sight of anyone but me, but happy.
They did get dessert, and I spent more time at their table, letting them tell me stories about how they met and how they started dating and their lives together, and feeling this odd sense of belonging, like I’d just discovered a missing branch of my family.
When they finally left, all four of them took turns standing up and hugging me, and all four of them reached into their wallets to tip me. I tried to wave them off but they insisted, and the first man who’d hugged me handed me forty dollars and said, “Please. You are an angel. Please take this.”
After they left I hid in the bathroom and cried because I couldn’t process all my thoughts and feelings.
Fast forward to three days ago, when my own partner and I showed up to a dinner reservation at a fancy-casual restaurant to celebrate our fifth anniversary. The whole time I was getting ready to leave, there was a worry in the back of my mind. The internet web form had asked if the reservation was celebrating anything in particular, and I’d selected “Anniversary.” I stood in the bathroom blow-drying my hair, wondering what I would do if we showed up, two women, and the host or the server took one look at us and the “Anniversary” designation on our reservation and refused to serve us. It’s not as ubiquitous anymore, but we’re still in the south, and these things still happen. Eight years of progressive leadership is over, and we’ve got another conservative despot in office who’s emboldening assholes everywhere.
It was on my mind the whole fifteen minutes it took to drive there. I didn’t mention it to my partner because I didn’t want to cast a shadow over the occasion. More than that, I didn’t want to jinx us, superstitious bastard that I am.
We walked into the restaurant. I told the hostess we had a reservation, gave her my last name.
She looked at her screen, then looked back at us. She smiled, broadly and genuinely, and said, “Happy anniversary! Your table is right this way.”
Our server greeted us, said, “I heard you were celebrating!”
“It’s our anniversary,” Kellie said, and our server gasped, beaming.
“That’s great! Congratulations! How many years?”
And I finally breathed a sigh of relief, and I thought about those men at that restaurant ten years ago. I hope they’re still safe and happy, and I hope we all get the satisfaction of helping the world keep blooming into something that’s not so unrelentingly terrible all the time.
Common experiences of lesbians who don’t know they’re lesbians yet
curiosity, I recently googled “Am I lesbian quiz”. Half the “Are You a Lesbian” quizzes just asked outright, “Are you attracted to women?” as though that isn’t the
very answer a questioning lesbian is trying to figure out. The other
half marked me as heterosexual for things like owning more nail varnish than
dogs. I hope this list will give you more nuanced ideas to think about
as you explore your identity.
These experiences are all really common among - but not universal or exclusive to - people who later realize they’re lesbians and find a comfortable home in the lesbian label and community.
It’s mostly stuff that I and
other lesbians I know have wished we knew when we were first coming to
grips with our lesbian identities, because the fact is it takes a long
time to discover how common a lot of these experiences are among
lesbians, and not knowing what to look for when trying to figure out if
you’re a lesbian can be hard.
‘Attraction’ to men
Deciding which guys to be attracted to – not to date, but to be attracted to – based on how well they match a mental list of attractive qualities
Only developing attraction to a guy after a female friend expresses attraction to him
jealous of a specific female friend’s relationships with guys and
assuming you must be attracted to the guys she’s with (even if you never
really noticed them before she was interested in them)
Picking a guy at random to be attracted to
to be attracted to a guy at all, not just choosing to act on it but
flipping your attraction on like a switch – that’s a common lesbian
Having such high standards that literally no guy meets
them – and feeling no spark of attraction to any guy who doesn’t meet
Only/mostly being into guys who are gnc in some way
Only/mostly being attracted to unattainable, disinterested, or fictional guys or guys you never or rarely interact with
Being deeply uncomfortable and losing all interest in these unattainable guys if they ever indicate they might reciprocate
Reading your anxiety/discomfort/nervousness/combativeness around men as attraction to them
Reading a desire to be attractive to men as attraction to them
Having a lot of your ‘guy’ crushes later turn out to be trans women
Relationships with men
Dreading what feels like an inevitable domestic future with a man
Or looking forward to an idealized version of it that resembles literally no m/f relationship you’ve ever seen in your life, never being able to picture any man you’ve actually met in that image
repulsed by the dynamics of most/all real life m/f relationships you’ve seen
and/or regularly feeling like “maybe it works for them but I never want my
relationship to be like that”
Thinking you’re commitmentphobic
because no relationship, no matter how great the guy, feels quite right
and you drag your feet when it comes time to escalate it
along with escalation because it seems like the 'appropriate time’ or bc
the guy wants it so bad, even if you personally aren’t quite ready to
say I love you or have labels or move in together etc.
Or jumping ahead and trying to rush to the ‘comfortably settled’ part of relationships with guys, trying to make a relationship a done deal without investing time into emotional closeness
like you have to have relationships with guys and/or let them get
serious in order to prove something, maybe something nebulous you can’t
Only having online relationships with guys; preferring not to look at
the guys you’re interacting with online; choosing not to meet up with a
guy even if you seem very into him and he reciprocates and meeting up is
a boyfriend mostly so other people know you have a boyfriend and not
really being interested in him romantically/sexually
Wishing your boyfriend was more like your female friends
Wishing your boyfriend was less interested in romance and/or sex with you and that you could just hang out as pals
Thinking you’re really in love with a guy but being
able to get over him in such record time that you pretend to be more
affected than you are so your friends don’t think you’re heartless
After a breakup, missing having a boyfriend more than you miss the specific guy you were with
Worrying that you’re broken inside and unable to really love anyone
Sex with men
Having sex not out of desire for the physical pleasure or emotional closeness but because you like feeling wanted
OR: preferring to 'be a tease’ to feel wanted but feeling like following through is a chore
Only being comfortable with sex with men if there’s an extreme power imbalance and your desires aren’t centred
Using sex with men as a form of self-harm
numb or dissociating or crying during/after sex with men (even if you
don’t understand that reaction and think you’re fine and crying etc for
Being bored with sex with men/not understanding what the big deal is that makes other women want it
Doing it anyway out of obligation or a desire to be a good sport/do something nice for him
having sexual fantasies about specific men, preferring to leave them as
undetailed as possible or not thinking about men at all while
Having to make a concerted effort to fantasize about the guy you’re “attracted” to
Early interest in women
Not recognizing past/current crushes on women until you’ve come to grips with your attraction to women
Being unusually competitive, shy, or eager to impress specific women when you’re not that way with anyone else
Wanting to kiss your female best friend on the mouth for literally any reason (”to practice for boys” included)
Getting butterflies or feeling like you can’t get close enough when cuddling with a close female friend
Looking at a close female friend and feeling something in your chest clench up and being overwhelmed with love for her - love you may read as platonic
had strong and abiding feelings of admiration for a specific female
teacher, actor, etc., growing up that were deep and reverent
Having had an unusually close relationship with a female friend growing up that was different and special in a way you couldn’t articulate
relationships would be simpler “if only I were attracted to women/my
best friend who would be perfect for me if she/I weren’t a girl”
a female friend is treated badly by a man, having your protective
thoughts turn in the direction of “if I was him/a man I’d never do that to her/my girlfriend”
Being utterly fascinated by any lesbians you know/see in media and thinking they’re all ultra cool people
your favourite character in every show be that one gay-coded or butch-looking woman
(like Shego from Kim Possible or Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica)
Feeling weirdly guilty and uncomfortable in locker rooms etc., when your
female friends are less clothed than they normally would be around men
and being more careful not to look than they are
The 'straight’ version of you
Thinking that all straight girls feel at least some attraction to women
that your interest in seeing attractive women/scantily clad women/boobs
is an artificial reaction caused by the objectification of women in
Being really into how women look “aesthetically”/“just as artistic interest”
Thinking it’s objective and uncontested that almost all women are way more attractive than most men
Being a really intense LGBT+ “ally” and getting weirdly
emotional about homophobia but assuming you’re just a Really Good Ally
and v empathetic
Having like half your friend group from school turn out to be LGBT+
Getting emotional or having a strong reaction you don’t understand to f/f love stories etc.
Having had people think you were gay when you had no suspicion you were gay
Exploring attraction to women
Feeling like you could live with a woman in a romantic way, even if you can’t imagine doing anything sexual with a woman
Feeling like you could enjoy sexual interaction with a woman, even if you can’t imagine having romantic feelings for a woman
you couldn’t be a lesbian because you’re not attractive enough, cool
enough, or otherwise in the same league as most of the women you know
with het sex/romance in media by imagining yourself in the man’s
position or just never/rarely imagining yourself in the woman’s position
Really focusing on the women in het porn
Being really into the idea of kissing/being sexual with a woman 'to turn guys on’
Being really annoyed when guys actually do express interest in watching or joining in when you do that
Only feeling/expressing attraction to or sexual interest in women when you’re inebriated or otherwise impaired
Having a lot of conflicting gender feelings that are only possible to resolve once you understand you are/can be a lesbian
that being gnc and feeling a disconnect from traditional womanhood mean
that you can’t be a woman even if that’s what feels closest to right -
many lesbians are gnc and many lesbians feel disconnected from
traditional womanhood since it’s so bound up in heteropatriarchy
you’re attracted to women and not being able to parse that (esp + any
gender nonconformance) as gay, taking a long time to figure out if
you’re a straight man or a lesbian
Being dysphoric about the
parts of you that make straight men think your body is owed to them,
having to figure out what that dysphoria means for/to you
you’re attracted to women, but feeling weirdly guilty and uncomfortable
trying to interact with them as a straight man, and only later
realizing you’re actually a trans lesbian
Knowing you’re gay, but experiencing a lot of the symptoms of comp het
when you try to interact with men romantically/sexually, and only later
realizing you’re a trans lesbian and not a gay man
nonbinary and taking a long time to sort through being able to
respect/understand your nonbinary identity and your lesbianness at the
Wanting to be a lesbian but feeling like if you don’t already know you are one you can’t be
guilty about wanting to be a lesbian, feeling like you’re just
attention-seeking or trying to be trendy
Suppressing your lesbian
dreams because you think exploring that desire would mean you’re a
bad/homophobic person using lesbianness selfishly
Wishing you were a lesbian to escape the discomfort of dating men
about how much fun it would be to be a lesbian and just be with women/a
specific woman, but thinking that can’t be for you
Worrying that some of your past attraction to men was actually real so you can’t be a lesbian
Worrying that bc you can’t be 100% sure you’re not attracted to men and can’t be 100% sure you won’t change your mind, you can’t be a lesbian
Worrying that you only want to be a lesbian because of trauma and that means your lesbianness would be Fake
Worrying that trauma-induced complications in how you experience sex (e.g., a habit of self-harming via sex w men or a fear of any sex at all) mean you’re not a Real Lesbian
Every item on this list is common among Real Lesbians. It’s all Normal Lesbian Stuff. If you’re worried that you can’t be a lesbian even though it’s the life you really want for yourself, I hope this gives you permission to explore that. You are allowed to be a lesbian.
And if you’re not sure yet – if you took the time to read this entire thing because you’re curious about your identity, if you identified with a bunch of items on this list – you may or may not be a lesbian, but friend, you almost certainly aren’t cishet. Welcome.
(I’d love to hear other things lesbians wish you’d known were A Thing when you were first exploring your identity!)
Please help and support this show by watching is legally on Netflix THIS FRIDAY ONWARDS! I normally hate these types of posts, but for this show, it’s needed. It’s not often we get such a female driven show like this within the anime industry, and compared to the many male driven animes, it’s not even a fraction of how popular it SHOULD be.
LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA FOLKS! GIVE IT A GO! YOU WON’T REGRET!
make sure you’re taking care of yourself, first. you know when you’re in an airplane, they always play some video telling you that, in the event of a crash, always put your air mask on first before helping those around you. and i always think, what if there is a child? shouldn’t i help the child first? they need me to put their mask on for them, they can’t do it by themselves. but the thing is, you can only help someone else get their mask on if you’re conscious. if you don’t put your mask on first, you might pass out helping them get on theirs. then, they wont be able to help you. or worse, you could faint before they have it on right and now you’re both screwed. now, imagine this mask is mental health. you have to make sure you’re okay before helping everyone else around you.
i know it’s kind of a meme in the fandom that viktor thought making A SCENE and greeting yuuri naked in japan but i think that was completely unintentional? which makes it even funnier imo?
allow me to explain
i don’t know exactly how long after yuuri’s video went viral that this scene happens, but it’s safe to say that at least a couple of days passed? perhaps a week or a bit more, even though the anime makes it look like it’s on the next day?
so he’s been avoiding the media for days, keeping his phone off so absolutely nobody’s going to be able to reach him until people forget about this madness
which means he’s also entirely clueless about the rumors of viktor being his coach
and it makes it so much funnier because we know yuuri’s dad doesn’t know jack shit about figure skating, and viktor doesn’t know how to speak japanese AND IT WAS PROBABLY TOSHIYA WHO FIRST TALKED TO VIKTOR WHEN HE ARRIVED AT YU-TOPIA?
TOSHIYA IF YOU’D ONLY GET INTO YOUR SON’S ROOM, LOOKED AROUND AND DID THE MATH YOU WOULD KNOW
so what has happened was probably something like “i have no idea what you’re saying mr. foreign-dude but you’re probably here for our famous onsen so yes make yourself comfortable” which viktor, tired as fuck from his travel (a long ass flight from st. petersburg to tokyo, probably? plus the train from tokyo to hasetsu?) GLADLY ACCEPTS
hell yeah i’m going to enjoy the fuck out of his hot spring
since yuuri is nowhere to be seen why not take some time to relax after a long travel, am i right
it’s not like viktor would understand if yuuri’s parents were to say “oh yes yuuri is holed up in his bedroom but he’ll come out eventually” so as viktor is pretty sure he found the right place and that yuuri is there he’ll just wait and have a nice soak meanwhile
AND THEN YUURI JUST BARGES INTO THE ROOM WHERE VIKTOR IS BATHING
well, this was not how i had planned this to go but here you are?
AND OF COURSE, STANDING UP WAS COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY BUT VIKTOR BASICALLY INVENTED BEING EXTRA AND… LET ME SHOW YOU MY HOT BOD BECAUSE I GOT TO SEE YOUR ALMOST-EVERYTHING AT THE BANQUET SO I THINK IT’S FAIR YOU GET TO SEE ME NOW AM I RIGHT???
in viktor’s mind, yuuri is this extroverted, outgoing party animal he got to know at the banquet and was absolutely mesmerized by, so he probably thinks yuuri’s going to be alright with this extra introduction? also knowing yuuri lives and probably worked at the onsen for a while viktor maybe just assumes he’s probably unfazed by nudity?
You see a sentence
written in cyrillic. Some of the letters are familiar. You see the
meaning shimmering underneath the surface. You almost grasp it, but it slips away. The letters on the page mock you silently.
You know this Czech word. You’ve already learnt it in Polish. It is not the same word. It is a grave insult. Your slavic friends are shocked and embarassed for you when they hear you speak it.
There is a sentence in
Croatian. There is a sentence in Serbian. There is a sentence in
Bosnian. They are all the same sentence.
You have to write about your day in Slovak. You spend the night polishing the draft. You fail your assigment. It’s written in Czech. You don’t know Czech.
P is not what it seems. You have to remember that.
The Croatian sentence
does not mean what the Bosnian sentence means. They both mean the same in Serbian.
That word has a diminutive. The diminutive has its own diminutive. The diminutive of the diminutive also has a diminutive. Nobody knows what the final diminutive of a word is. Some say the knowledge had been lost in centuries past and matrioshkas are the echo, the tangible warning left for us to remember. No living creature should hold the means of diminishing something into nonexistence. Others say you may still find some of them in old soviet textbooks, if you dare to look in abandoned schools of Chernobyl.
Someone is speaking to you. Is that a he or a she? You aren’t sure. It’s an abstract concept. Why does it have gender.
You see a word in a
dictionary. It has seventeen letters and only one vowel. You close the dictionary very carefully not
looking at the phonetic transcription. The shape of it haunts you in
your sleep. You wake
up face damp with tears, a bitter taste on your tongue. The clock blinks 3:03AM. You do not dare look up that word again.
This word means the
same thing in the five slavic languages you’re familiar with. You use
it in the sixth one. That word does not exist in this language. It never
did. There is now a word-shaped void in the fabric of this language.
The natives look at you uneasily. There is a new quality to the silence and your palms start to sweat.
H is not H. H is not H. H is not H. H is not H.
One day you flip through your dictionary. A page is missing. What was the word? You can’t remember. There is pressure building at the back of your head. The clock blinks 3:03AM.
You write my name
is in cyrillic. There are shadows dancing on the walls. They grow
longer with each letter you write down. It is not cyrillic you’re
using. You keep writing my name is. The shadows now bleed from
the tip of your pen. It’s irrelevant. You need to remember the right
N is not N is not N is
not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N
is not… If only you could remember the letters. The letters are important. What was it, that wasn’t N?
There are nine different prefixes
you can add to a verb to change its meaning. There are fifty three different suffixes you have to add to a verb to make it
work. In the end the only thing left of the original is a vague shape
of one of its middle consonants.
You can feel the anguish radiating from the verb’s mutialted form. A desperate sob escapes through your clenched teeth.
You’re so, so sorry, you didn’t meant to. You didn’t. It doesn’t matter.
You now read a text in
Russian. You’ve never learnt Russian. Why are you reading that text? The words burn your eyes,
the meaning searing your mind.
There’s a shot of vodka in front of
you. You don’t drink alcohol. You don’t care. All existence is
meaningless, your soul’s in eternal pain. A broken matrioshka lays at your feet. There is no salvation, she says boring into your eyes. You open your mouth to answer, but there is only a burst of harsh rustle. It dies in whispering echoes a moment later. Your glass is empty again.
Critical Role is a series on Twitch produced by Geek & Sundry where (famous) voice actors Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Ashley Johnson, Sam Riegel and Matthew Mercer play Dungeons & Dragons. Sometimes there are guests players and they are all always AMAZING.
They are all very close friends (some are spouses and married) and had this D&D campaign even before it started being broadcasted. Matthew is the Dungeon Master. Everyone is always in-character during the games, thanks to their talent, the voices and acting and RP is TOP NOTCH and you cry and laugh a lot.
The episodes can be up to 4 hours long sometimes, and there is 110 episodes so far (roughly the same length as a TV show with 7 seasons). It’s very intimidating, but you can also just listen to it and not watch them.. although (and i’m not even biased when I say that) watching Laura Bailey react to everything is like, one of the best thing about CR. Also the physical acting is sometimes important! The show is being uploaded in podcast form tho!
It’s broadcasted every Thursdays on Twitch, and then the episodes are added to Youtube on Mondays.
Who’s in the Party aka Vox Machina (some things will be left unsaid to avoid spoilers):
Vex’ahlia (Vex) played by Laura Bailey *harp music*
Half-Elf Ranger. Went from Neutral Good to Chaotic Neutral, and currently is Chaotic Good. Vax’s twin sister. She has a bear named Trinket whom she loves more than anything in the whole world (tie with Vax, probably). She winks a lot and flirts with everybody. SHE LOVES MONEY. A good person but sometimes does questionable things like lying and stealing. Self-worth issues. Lowkey bisexual, only kinda confirmed off-screen.
Vax’ildan (Vax) played by Liam O’Brien
Half-Elf Rogue. Chaotic Good. resident emo boy, but also a Soft Boy. Vex’s twin brother. Very emotional. A bit obsessed with Death. Depressed. Loves to prank Grog, and would die (literally) for his twin sister. Bros with Grog and Scanlan. Loves to braid hair. An actual bird. Canon bisexual.
Grog Strongjaw played by Travis Willingham
Goliath Barbarian. Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral? VERY TALL. Has an intelligence of 6. Pike’s best friend. Thinks water is poison (but not anymore, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). The cutest murder machine. Fighting is like yoga for him. LOVES women and brothels. Also ale.
Pike Trickfoot played by Ashley Johnson
Gnome Cleric. Chaotic Good. The Mom friend. Grog’s best friend. Loves the goddess of Light and Healing, Sarenrae, whom she is a cleric of. She will swing her holy mace in your face if you threaten her friends. An actual angel?? Played by an actual angel? Plays only when she isn’t busy on the set of Blindspot.
Keyleth played by Marisha Ray
Half-Elf druid. Neutral Good. Percy’s best friend. Basically The Avatar. Most powerful member of the party. Vox Machina’s moral compass, she is 90% of their impulse control. Very wise but very socially awkward. (Spoilers) She jumped off a cliff, turned into a goldfish and died that one time. She’s okay tho. She loves the twins. She loves all of her friends tbh. Gets arrested a lot??. Scared about her future. Lowkey bisexual, kinda confirmed off-screen.
Lord Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III (Percy) played by Taliesin Jaffe
Human Gunslinger (Fighter). Neutral Good. Keyleth’s best friend. A little bit haunted. Obsessed with contracts and demons tbh. THE SMARTEST BOY. Build a lot of impressive stuff. Sometimes he makes jewelry for the party out of sea shells or dragon scales. Talks fancy. Loves explosions. Has PTSD.
Scanlan Shorthalt played by Sam Riegel
Gnome Bard. Neutral Good or Chaotic good? Unsure. Probably Chaotic Good. Bros with Vax and Grog. Really fancies Pike. A player. Has a lot of issues but hides behind humor. The funniest and most talented. Is often naked. Very loyal. A complex character. He doesn’t like Trinket. Canonically not Straight. Probably Pan??
Taryon Darrington (Tary) played by Sam Riegel (for a while)
Human Alchemist. Alignment?? He’s a good boy. A REAL DIVA. Rich. Super smart. Has an automaton named Doty who writes down his adventures. Vex’s best friend. Bros with Percy. His arc was brief but he started as a pompous brat and ended being a soft and loyal member. Scared easily. Loves being an adventurer. Canonically very gay.
Beloved NPCs, played by Matthew Mercer (but only some of them because Matt plays over 100+ NPCs)
SHAUN GILMORE. Human. The prettiest and (canonically) gayest shopkeeper in all the lands. Actually an incredibly powerful sorcerer. Had a crush on Vax and vice versa.
Allura Vysoren. Human. Very graceful and smart. Amazing arcanist (wizard). Vox Machina’s number one emergency contact tbh. She loves Kima, in a gay way. Canonically bisexual.
Lady Kima of Vord. Halfling Paladin. She serves the deity Bahamut, The Platinum Dragon. Small but will kick everyone’s ass. Sassy. Will kill you if you prank her. Butch Icon. Loves Allura very much. Canonically very gay.
/!\ SPOILERY NPCs /!\ :
J’mon Sa Ord. Nonbinary. SO ELEGANT. Barefoot at all times. Kind of tired of Vox Machina’s shit, but is still fond of them nonetheless. Spoilers x1000: Actually a (good) Dragon. The coolest sovereign. I’m in love.
Cassandra De Rolo. Human. Percy’s sister. Is running a kingdom while her brother is out and about shooting at bad dragons. NEEDS A FUCKING NAP. LET HER SLEEP, MATT.
Characters came and went (Tiberius Stormwind played by Orion Acaba for example) and some guests come back more often than the others, but this is getting way too long so let’s stop here.
Honestly, CR is the best thing I’ve ever watched. I never laugh as much as I do in front of a TV as I do in front of CR. Same for surprise and tears and stress and everything a show can make you feel. It’s truly something else.
We’ve talked a lot about the repeated deaths, but that’s not all that can happen in this kind of situation. What kind of injuries do you think the IPRE dealt with until the year was up and they were reset?
Magnus loses an arm. It’s an early cycle and he shouldn’t have had to make that kind of sacrifice, but he did it to help someone else and no one is really surprised. No one knows what to do - should they offer to help him with things? Would that be insulting? When Magnus comes far too close to losing his other arm in the same year, he learns to ask for help when he needs it.
Merle is too close to an explosion and loses his hearing. Lucretia offers him one of her notebooks, and it’s both a wonderful idea and a mistake because he uses it both to communicate and to leave notes all over the ship. They’re very dad-like notes, commanding various crew members to pick up this mess or go do some chore. When they try to argue Merle just shakes his head and motions helplessly at his ears, even though they are writing him a note in return. It’s not long afterwards that they reach a world that has sign language and everyone learns the basics.
Lup has been burned, badly, but it takes a while before she lets anyone help her manage the pain because she doesn’t want to feel better when she can’t do that for Taako because he died in a fucking fire. It’s Barry who finally catches her with her guard down late one night, and he and Merle find a combination of cooling spells and herbs that make the pain (the physical pain) more bearable.
Davenport is blinded, and for a while he won’t accept any help. He’s the captain, he’ll figure it out on his own. He tries to pilot the ship with muscle memory and crashes it somewhere remote, and he just screams in frustration at losing the one thing he’s the best at, even if it’s only for a year. He’s quiet for a while, not interacting and going through the motions as well as he can, until Magnus wanders into the cockpit and asks what the big, red button is for. Davenport explains, more of the crew wander in, and he ends telling all of them about the ins and outs of their vessel. It’s a good day, and after that (both that year and after) he spends less time in the cockpit and more time with his family.
Lucretia can’t walk anymore, not easily and then not at all, so Magnus offers to give her piggyback rides everywhere she wants to go whenever she wants. Lup and Barry make her a chair (permanently levitating so that stairs aren’t an issue), but she finds she likes the company while exploring the new towns. She takes up Magnus’s offer more often than anyone expects her to.
A landslide that takes Lup catches Taako, too; he takes a serious blow to the head. When he wakes up he doesn’t speak, and doesn’t really look at anyone. But he listens to them, he can hear them, and eventually Lucretia picks up some journals and sits with him. At first she reads, but eventually she just shares interesting things that happened that day and gossip; even though his expression doesn’t change she can tell he’s enjoying the conversation from the way his ears flick around with as much movement as always. When the year is done they still gossip, but it’s never one-sided. (Except when it is, years and years later. Taako has a bad day and Lucretia offers to read to him, and he lets her. It’s a little sign that things are… better. Improving.)
One year there are days Barry hurts too much to walk on his own, and Lucretia’s chair makes a second appearance. Lup isn’t there, or Magnus or Merle, so the ship is quiet more often than not… until Taako and Barry go barreling down the hallway together clinging to the chair and targeting Davenport of Lucretia. It shouldn’t be funny but it is - one light and fun moment during a particularly bad cycle.