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Trans AMA
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Trans AMA Reply with quote

I'm a 28 year old trans woman, and given some other discussions going on and that some people want to learn, I wanted this to be a place for open, good-faith discussion about trans issues and identities. If you want to learn, ask!

If you don't want to learn, I will not respond to you.

I also want any other trans users to feel free to use this as a platform to educate about their personal experiences too.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11919
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! First and most important question:

How do we say your name?

Is it like in 'Godzilla' (my assumption) or is it more latin-esque like 'tortilla'?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the latter part of Godzilla, as you thought. Yours would be Darkside?
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Sam the Eagle



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 2649
Location: 192.168.0.1

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given this is Sinfest, what kind of question were you expecting to field?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More to the point, it's the Sinfest forums, which I'd been reading on and off for a while.

I guess the sort of questions I was expecting was stuff like "How do you feel about such-and-such representation?" "What kinds of harassment have you faced?" "What makes you say you're trans, or what has your experience of gender been?"

Like, I say all that, but I don't really have set expectations. I'm okay even with potentially insensitive questions, as long as the goal is to learn, and not to "ask" rhetorical, bigoted questions that are meant to be "gotcha" questions.
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enchantedsleeper



Joined: 15 Jun 2013
Posts: 1031
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zilla wrote:
I guess the sort of questions I was expecting was stuff like "How do you feel about such-and-such representation?"


Oooh... I wasn't originally planning to ask anything, but since you gave that example, I'm inclined to ask - do you read the webcomic Questionable Content? And if you do, what do you think of Claire as a character and as trans representation?

Personally, I like her a lot and I enjoy her and Marten's relationship, but it feels like an... overly simplistic portrayal of trans issues, where every potentially tricky situation is somehow navigated wonderfully, conflict is resolved in a few strips, and everything is smiley and happy. I think it's deliberate on Jeph Jacques' part, as he's given his characters a lot of negative relationship drama in the past, and this feels like him deliberately charting a more positive course. But it also feels like he's glossing over a lot of real issues and going "nope, not gonna deal with that here".

That's just me, though, and I'm cis, so I'd love to know what you or any other trans folks in this forum think about her portrayal, if you do have an opinion. I guess it's kind of an old question to ask since Claire was introduced years ago and most of the significant stuff with her character happened a while back, but since you mentioned representation, I thought I'd ask.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 7568

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooh, I also have a question. This is one I've seen multiple responses to, but I feel like learning as many personal opinions as possible is probably best.

what are your feelings towards "rule 63", more specifically fan creations of existing cis characters that have their gender and sex changed. I'd be interested in opinions of media that has magical gender and sex swapping as well (like in el goonish shive).
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enchantedsleeper wrote:

[...] do you read the webcomic Questionable Content? And if you do, what do you think of Claire as a character and as trans representation?


I do, and I like how normalized she is. It's really refreshing to have a character be trans and /not/ have it be the be-all, end-all character trait, and to show that we can be happy or have our own struggles that have nothing to do with gender.

I do still kind of wish it explored how she felt a little more, but I mean, those stories exist elsewhere, and we do need those characters where being trans is just one fact about them, and you get to see how normal we really are.

Quote:
Personally, I like her a lot and I enjoy her and Marten's relationship, but it feels like an... overly simplistic portrayal of trans issues, where every potentially tricky situation is somehow navigated wonderfully, conflict is resolved in a few strips, and everything is smiley and happy. I think it's deliberate on Jeph Jacques' part, as he's given his characters a lot of negative relationship drama in the past, and this feels like him deliberately charting a more positive course. But it also feels like he's glossing over a lot of real issues and going "nope, not gonna deal with that here".


I'm kind of waiting for Claire's turn on the drama wheel too. If anything breaks her and Martin up, it's going to be a rollercoaster of emotions.

Thanks for asking!
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
ooh, I also have a question. This is one I've seen multiple responses to, but I feel like learning as many personal opinions as possible is probably best.

what are your feelings towards "rule 63", more specifically fan creations of existing cis characters that have their gender and sex changed. I'd be interested in opinions of media that has magical gender and sex swapping as well (like in el goonish shive).


So.

I love a lot of media that explores these themes, but there are also tons of problematic media about it as well. Back when I was young, I read a young adult novel called "Help! I'm Trapped in my Sister's Body!" That book really confirmed my feelings because of just how differently I felt from the protagonist who wanted to get out as fast as possible.

Stuff like EGS can be kind of mixed? I'm kind of miffed that both Tedd and Elliot identify as genderfluid, when it seems like Tedd never enjoys being male. I can buy Elliot though, since he doesn't really mind either way anymore and seems to be embracing being a girl. I think the author still hasn't worked out some gender feelings, tbh.

My go-to for recommendation is Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl. In particular, what stands out to me is how the protagonist, Hazumu, really seems to be an example of a trans girl, who had really always been a girl at heart, and just now gets to express it. And then that's reinforced by certain nearly supernatural phenomenon that are kind of spoilers for the biggest arc of the anime.

Hourou Musuko, at least the manga, *really* captured the feelings of dysphoria and loneliness that growing up trans can have. There's no magic here, just pain and longing and occasional exploration and validation. And rejection. It's emotionally brutal at times, but it hits close to home.

There's also a lot of genderbending stuff that I enjoy not because I connect with it, but just because it's fun to explore. But there are problematic ones, and tons upon tons of really sketchy tropes that can come into play. Don't get me started on "traps." That entire paradigm and framework for crossdresser or trans characters reveals a super regressive and bigoted mindset. Any time media includes a crisscrossing character for "moe appeal," it hurts my soul.

So, yeah, it varies.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 7568

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that really makes sense, it was a hugely broad question and i think most people's responses are "it's okay when it's done respectfully, but can go very bad when done poorly."

Can you give an example of the moe appeal thing? I dabble in anime but some of the terminology is beyond me.
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Meet Felix, from Re:Zero. This character is commonly cast as a crossdresser, though I've heard there's more going on with gender identity there? But that's not the common interpretation, and Felix is basically "a guy who dresses cutely" to most people.

This character's gender and presentation is meant to be a cute dichotomy, and they're basically completely objectified and their own wishes are discarded or subsumed in favor of the plot and the characters around them.

Basically, any time "but they're actually a guy!" Is used as a punchline or meant to intrigue without providing any real depth to the character, thats when it irks me.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 7568

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oooh yeah. i can definitely see where that would be irksome. thanks for answering my questions!
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Sam the Eagle



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 2649
Location: 192.168.0.1

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you travel and if so do you have any extra problems at airports or during custom clearance?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam the Eagle wrote:
Do you travel and if so do you have any extra problems at airports or during custom clearance?


Yeah, I travel, and I don't personally tend to set off the scanner unless my hair is wet, but my girlfriends who are trans tend to get pulled over a lot. It's excruciating, and for them, it happens every
Single. Time. Sometimes it even means they have to get one on one interviews. And they have anxiety issues.

Security theater is terrible.
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HKVeteran



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 91
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like I should have figured this out by now, but when you say "Trans Woman" does that mean you've transitioned TO a woman or FROM a woman?

I am assuming the former but I want to be sure.
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