my own gender

((I don’t know if this has been done, so if it has please tell me.))

So I’ve seen a lot of those ‘Humans are Space Orcs’ posts and I think those are really cool, but unnoticed they all consist of one thing: humans traveling with the aliens.

So there are a lot of ways you can do that, right? You could go all Star Trek and make it to where the humans and aliens all live together in harmony and travel space together and things like that. But I have a different idea and I think it’s pretty cool.

So humans don’t really know aliens exist. Obviously you have your conspiracy theorists and loons and the occasional 'abducted’ person, but for the most part it’s just generally accepted that aliens are fun and all, but they’re not /real/.

And then there’s this kid. He/she/they don’t really have a happy life, but they can’t really do anything about it. You can make them whatever you want, have any or of disorder or disability or just make them an angsty teen that comes from an unhappy home. They want to leave, but they’re too young, so they have to stay.

Then of course, the aliens come. But instead of crap like Independence Day (I say crap in a loving way, the movie was pretty good and I like it), the aliens just take one look at the kid, pick them up, and leave. That’s it. Nothing else. Just take the kid and go.

Of course the kid is terrified at first, but after like the first day or so they calm down because the aliens are treating them like gosh-darn royalty. They put the kid up in the nicest room on the ship, give them the best food they can muster from their rations, and provide for any kind of entertainment the kid might want. It’s like paradise, and the kid is happier than they’ve been in a while.

So the kid travels with these aliens on all sorts of cool adventures and throughout this period is when we get the 'Humans are Space Orcs’ discoveries. Like the kid will go up to random giant furry beasts and just glomp them and coo at them while the aliens are like “No that’s deadly it will kill you oh my god what is this kid doing?!?!” Or, if the kid has a uterus, come time for their period the aliens freak out because “Oh holy shmarda, the child is bleeding!! Why is the child bleeding?!” Hilarious antics and shenanigans ensue and the child is so happy with their new life that they never want to go back home.

Also included: drama when the aliens return to earth to find a human companion for the child (even though they didn’t ask for one you guys don’t have to do this really it’s fine) and the parents of the kid demand they be returned immediately. The kid doesn’t want to go back of course so the aliens have to fight for custody over the kid in court (I guess idk but something along those lines. Maybe the humans try to kill the aliens because the kid was “abducted” and that causes a lot of angst and problems.).

Idk just something that’s been floating about in my imagination for a while. I think it would be a really cool show though tbh like someone hire me.

8

I feel like much of the world is in a social war over what gender is and is not.

I don’t feel that its my place to tell someone else what gender is.
I believe that gender identity is something that an individual has to figure out for themselves. That being said, based on my personal experience with understanding my own gender identity, I can tell you what gender is not.

Gender is not the same as your sexuality.
Gender does not have to define your sexuality.
Gender and sexuality are two different subjects.

Gender has nothing to do with your genitalia.
Gender is not defined by a doctor, despite what’s on your birth certificate.
Gender identity is more of spectrum of variable options, instead of a binary with only two options.

Gender Identity & Gender Expression are not the same thing.
Gender identity is part of the mental and emotional understanding of yourself.
Gender expression is your style, how you’re most comfortable presenting to the outside world.

It is my belief that somewhere through out history, things like gender identity, gender expression, genitalia & sexuality somehow got all wrapped up into one single category called gender. However, it is also my belief that the people in this world are changing. Growing into a much more colorful way of thinking and understanding.

I hope the day will come when the majority will know gender to be a personal understanding of ones self, instead of an outward understanding of everyone else.

Xoxo
-Elliott Alexzander

rollingstone.com
LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom comes out as a transgender woman
LCD Soundsystem's synth player and technician Gavin Russom has come out as a transgender woman.

Gavin Russom, synth player and technician for the band LCD Soundsystem, came out as a transgender woman in a new interview with Pitchfork.

She says she took some time for self-care after the band’s 2016 tour and had the opportunity to spend time with other transgender women. She’s keeping her same name, but will go by she/her pronouns and begin presenting in a way that feels truer to herself. 

A few excerpts from her interview, of which a portion is written in first person:

I’m 43 and I can identify that once a decade, I made a concerted effort to make my trans identity known. That includes a period of time when I was a child in the ’70s, when I was going through puberty in the ’80s, and then several periods throughout my twenties, thirties, and forties. What makes this time different is that I’m in a stable moment in my life. Working with LCD Soundsystem all last year and then having a solid block of time off to focus on self-care was really important for me. This is what came out of that. I don’t like coming out so much as a term, but sometimes it’s the only way to say it. […]

Up until this point, I felt comfortable working with my own gender fluidity, my own identification within the feminine end of the spectrum, and the politics that arise from those things through my music. Retroactively, this is a thread that goes through my entire body of work. It’s an interesting way to listen to it if you weren’t already getting that.

I feel very blessed because the world that I operate in is relatively open-minded. I mean, the electronic music world can be extremely bro-y and also close-minded and sometimes even worse than maybe a more traditional office job. However, at least where I’ve found myself, the people who are around me have been very supportive. I still had fears that I might experience consequences, mostly because I know so many trans women who have lost their jobs when they’ve come out. It’s a very unfortunate reality. There was a fear and awareness that my ability to do this really is a privilege—and it shouldn’t be, but it is. […]

It has been a process of paying really deep attention to what’s going on with me. I had a very significant moment very early on when I called my bank and the teller said, “Oh sir, thank you so much for calling us.” It’s so hurtful, and of course they don’t know—they’re just looking at a document that has a gender identifier. But it was so powerful to just be enough in my own body to say, “Whoa, that didn’t feel good.”

There was legitimately something unmanageable for me about living as a cis man. I was working so hard just to present this image of myself that ran very deeply counter to who I really am. There’s nothing theoretical or intellectual about that. It’s the physical thing in my body. It felt like there was almost another person constantly walking next to me being like, “Hey, hey, hey, pay attention to me, hey, hey, hey.” To some degree I wish I had been able to work through it sooner, but I’m also very glad that I worked it the way I did. Having gone through 42 and a half years of being in denial and trying to work through this stuff has given me a lot of experience.

Congratulations, Gavin. Thank you for sharing your music and your story. 

Tater? Didn’t know he was bi until he met Ransom

just, listen to me. I figured out I was bi when I caught myself staring at my oldest friend’s cleavage. Like, I was 17. Sometimes you don’t figure out you’re bi, because, you know, heteronormativity and all that, you tell yourself, I like the opposite gender and this fascination for my own gender are friendships/admiration/whatever.

So bi Tater who never even thought he was bi until that Haus party where he met Jack’s old team, and, well, he knew how to appreciate beauty in all its forms but, no one was pretty like Ransom. NO ONE. Tater just couldn’t stop staring.

At one point in the evening, he grabs Jack by the arm, eyes lost.

‘Zimmbonni. You made coming out to us last month, yes?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Now is my turn. This is me coming out. To you.’

‘Oh? Oh! It’s great, Tater, thank you for-’

‘I have known for last five minutes.’

‘…Really?’

‘Yes. Your friend Ransom too pretty. I not straight anymore.’

‘…It doesn’t really work like that-’

‘Too pretty for me to stay straight.’

Tfw you see a post that talks about the “innate male and female energies we all possess” as an agender person who’s only connection to masculine and feminine energies is solely from how I present :/ like I feel no “innate” male/masculine or female/feminine energy.

I’m just kinda tired of it tbh like I get where the people who use that binary, but like I wish people didn’t imply that it is in everyone under the sun. Idk I could make a long post about the many reasons I feel the male/female and masculine/feminine energy binary isn’t helpful or applicable in 99% of my craft lol


I just… Wish people wouldn’t act like it’s something everyone experiences. Or like the inner god and goddess. As a secular witch that makes me uncomfortable and as a nonbinary/agender/generless witch it makes me extra uncomfortable.

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Six: A Creature Who Is Also A Character

If you’ve read The Horse and His Boy from the Chronicles of Narnia series, you doubtless remember Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah (or Bree for short, a lovely call-out from Lewis to Tolkien and The Prancing Pony in Bree). In fact, I don’t think you can read the book without remembering good ol’ Bree with his pride and his snarky comments and growing friendship with Hwin. Both the talking horses of the book are distinct. They have personalities that are easily identified and easily attributed to their experiences growing up. Bree became self-confident from years of captivity as a war horse among non-talking horses that seemed witless to him; by comparison, he was a genius, able to understand what his human riders commanded easier and faster than the other non-talking horses. Hwin, on the other hand, while also captured and raised among non-talking horses, is shy and more logical and reasonable as one of the stable horses for a noble house. These two are fantastic foils to each other throughout the story. But it’s easy to take two talking creatures and build them into full characters–they can tell you about their background and their experiences; they can throw out jokes and win hearts through glorious conversations. Think about other creature companions, though, ones like Hedwig who reveled in flying free and had an attitude sometimes, or the trusting, loving relationship that builds between Jakkin and Heart’s Blood the dragon in Jane Yolen’s The Pit Dragon series.

Each one of the most beloved, best remembered creature companions become favorites because of one thing: They are memorable characters. They have personalities and they are a part of who the main character is. Making sure your creature companions have personalities is an important step toward making your creature worth having. Just with extraneous characters who don’t fill any gap in the plot, creature companions must be put to work, too. To build that relationship both with the plot, the characters, and the audience, start with the small stuff: Who is this creature?

Who are they?

Starting at the very basics of personality, begin by asking yourself who this creature is. Where do they come from? Do they have family? What makes them happy or sad? Even if your creatures are regular animals or are mythical creatures that don’t have the power of speech, I still recommend knowing what makes the creature laugh. Maybe they don’t laugh like we do, but what makes them happy? How do they express that feeling?

Personality is as much expressed by behavior as it is by speech. Be sure you’re taking corresponding animal behaviors into account, including the bits combined to create your mythical creature. There’s a character in an old, old set of children’s books, Gink from Patricia Coombs’ Dorrie the Little Witch series. Gink is a black cat who follows the main character about, and while he has no lines, the cat appears in every picture of every book in the 20-book series. (Though Gink has no specified gender, my own cat Gink was male, so forgive me if I’m mildly biased.) Despite his silent role and few actions that are directly related in the plot (some! He does help from time to time!), Gink becomes an entire character of his own through his behind-the-scenes, background participation in the story with the audience. His curiosity, playfulness, and warnings–in short, his reactions–to Dorrie’s plights give the audience a distinct impression of who Gink is.

Think about when your creature will show affection and how, versus showing annoyance, anger, caution, hunger, and interest. What makes them curious? What will help them become more trusting and how does that trust manifest? What will always draw them in and what will they stay away from? 

What do they want?

It’s said every character, no matter how little screen-time they receive, should have a goal. Whether that’s getting a coffee or rescuing their family, everyone wants something. If you have a pet at home, you know it’s true even with them. Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns introduces Lightfoot, young unicorn prince whose ideals change as he accompanies the human Cara in her endeavors to save the world of Luster. He begins the tale wanting nothing more than to defy the fate his family has left him. He’s willing to leave every single one of them behind to do it, too, but by the end of the series, that desire has changed. As a character, he evolves, as all good characters should.

Be aware of why your creature is out there and why they’re willing to accompany your characters on whatever it is they’re up to. How does agreeing to do this help them get further toward their want? Maybe it’s just the security of knowing there are others to protect against dangers, or the promise of food at a regular pace, but it could also be their own quest to find something or someone, or even to save their homeland from certain destruction. Wants are small or large, but they must be present if you hope to build off of them and create real, natural, and effective actions for this creature to take.

What’s the worst thing they could face?

You’re going to put your characters through some Things™, and we all know it. Reactions cover a wide spectrum for all characters and your creatures will be no different, because, after all, we want them to be characters, too. So why not treat them that way when making them? You can’t know how broad their reactions will span until you’ve put some thought into the worst thing that could happen. This is more than just their worst fear. It branches into the idea of who they become when faced with difficult situations, as well. What could turn them not only into a cowering creature but also the worst version of themselves? What kinds of tactics would they be willing to engage in if things go horribly wrong? It helps you touch on morals when dealing with these creatures to whom you may not immediately ascribe the idea of having morals. Make them just as round as your real-life humanoid characters by making sure you know what they’re willing to do, how far they’ll go, and where the line is drawn in the metaphorical sand.

Long story short, your creatures are characters too! I can’t be alone in watching a couple of fish in a tank, pointing at one and saying, “That one’s got an attitude!” In a similar way, you should be paying attention to your creatures’ personalities–mainly that they have one. Remember that you don’t want them to be stock characters, so treat them like your other humanoid creatures when creating them. Without distinct personality, they cease to be companions and simply remain cardboard space fillers. They should be important! You want them to be memorable! Work on them like people and help to round them out.

Next up: Speech!

A lot of reactionaries who mock trans folks, nonbinary folks, neurodivergent folks/otherkin, and so on sometimes like to call themselves individualists. And that’s really funny to me.

What’s individualist about policing the individual expression of others? Isn’t getting them to conform to a single uniform identity collectivist or whatever?