Meet the Iconics: Shardra Geltl

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today we introduce the next of the new iconic characters from the Advanced Class Guide: Shardra the shaman. Shardra will also be a playable character in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous set due for release in February 2015.


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

It's a sorry lot for a proud dwarven daughter to be raised a miserable dwarven son, but everyone receives one lot in life, and Shardra Geltl never knew to expect better. Childhood was kind, her sisters loved her, her brother protected her, and always she had the whispers of tools and books to keep her company. Adolescence, though, came bearing heavy burdens. Her siblings moved on with their own lives, replaced by harsh teachers and taskmasters. She weathered a staggeringly awkward first kiss as her childhood best friend grew into a handsome lad, followed by a painful arranged engagement to a lovely girl from the neighboring Dechl clan. But the mines and refinery of Xolgrit fed the war machine of Rolgrimmdur far above, and militant efficiency demanded all citizen-soldiers accept and excel in their roles, no matter how miserable.

But Shardra still had the whispers to keep her company on lonely nights.

Books quipped bits and pieces of their tales, bowls jabbered gossip shared over breakfast, and picks stammered the poems of the rocks they clove. And while the odds and ends of Xolgrit kept her company, the stones of the Old Road, carved long ago by dwarves still hunting for the sky, sang legends. More and more often, the shy dwarf slipped away to wander the crumbling paths, learning the deeds of her ancestors away from the clamor of duty and expectation. She assumed the whispers were her friends, there to keep her safe and offer respite from the dull ache of life. Then one "trustworthy" stone crumbled beneath her feet, dropping her into darkness.

The fall was short. Her arm met stone with a wet crunch, but the ache from the shattered bone faded away as the whispers rose in deafening song. All around stretched an ancient cavern. Hot springs bubbled across its floor, while mosaics and beaten gold masks decorated the walls. Mundane beasts and fantastic creatures wandered past, unperturbed by her presence.

A single tuatara waddled forward as she cradled her limb. It borrowed a tongue from the whispers and spoke. "What are you?"

"I—" She opened her mouth to speak, borrowing too from those old, quiet chants. And although the whispers had a word for all things in creation, they had no words for the expectations of others. "I don't know."

From that day on, the whispers poured themselves through Shardra's reptilian friend, speaking louder and more clearly with a mouth to form the words. She soon named the creature Kolo—an old dwarven word for the beauty in everyday things—and told Kolo of Xolgrit and Rolgrimmdur, and of the beauty of the stars in the night sky, and how to tell past and present and future apart. And Kolo taught her how to speak to spirits and borrow their favor to mend her broken bones, and of dwarven faith from long before they mingled their worship with the deities of the surface world. It taught her how to glean deeper secrets from the artifacts of the dead, and how to greet the Ladies of Crag and Ember—powerful elementals who laid claim to the hot springs and the surrounding tunnels. Most precious of all, Kolo taught her of the rivethun—dwarves who drew great power by embracing the disjunction between their bodies and souls—and she learned to brew the alchemical tinctures her past sisters used to quiet the rages of adolescence and bring their minds and bodies into harmony.

As Shardra's mystical skills and budding femininity began to show, her parents lamented their loss of a son and the addition of yet another dowry. Their irritation changed to joy as their daughter's dealings with the spirit world guided Xolgrit's miners to rich new veins of ore and long-lost treasure troves. The Geltl clan's fortunes reversed as Shardra's confidence, skills, and womanhood blossomed, and eventually clans from Xolgrit and beyond offered handsome brideprices.

Shardra's gifts attracted more than suitors, however. Lonely spirits and treasure hunters alike came to Xolgrit hoping to profit by the young shaman's insight. Neither settled peacefully into the community's rigid order. The string of lootings, possessions, drunken brawls, hauntings, and soured beer drew the attention of Rolgrimmdur, and the city-state dispatched a squad of soldiers—under the command of Captain Itcel Dechl—to put down the ragtag mercenary gangs squatting in town. Shardra herself turned her magic on its source, driving the spirit invaders back to the hot spring and demanding the Ladies of Crag and Ember keep their subjects under control.

Unsatisfied by her easy victory over a band of drunken thugs and grave robbers, Captain Dechl and her soldiers traced Shardra's path through the Old Roads, and eventually claimed the sacred shrine (and the wealth covering its walls) as a cultural treasure for Rolgrimmdur. The elemental Ladies raged at the presumption, swearing in turn to reduce Xolgrit to rubble. Both sides declared the dwarf maiden a traitor and cast her aside as they charged into battle. Shardra lashed out, seizing control of an earth elemental and using its might to collapse the ancient shrine.

With nothing left to fight over, the opposing armies fled.

Lacking any evidence of Shardra's actions but burning with frustration, Dechl used what remained of her authority to accuse the spirit-talker of heresy. Although friends and family staunchly defended her innocence, Shardra took the allegations as a chance to act on plans that had grown increasingly tempting. She left Xolgrit and her tutors, childhood friends, and family by paths only the stones remembered. Shardra reached the surface a guarded but curious woman, more interested in stories of the long dead than the bickering of the living. With Kolo the crag tuatara at her shoulder, Shardra now wanders the world, uncovering lost treasure and listening to the tales it has to tell. Permanent ties still chafe, even ones as shallow as a favor owed or an unpaid tavern bill, but her heart softens toward any who wander. Despite her love of the world's vast mysteries, a small part of the shaman yearns for the joy and companionship she once felt with her sisters, and Shardra corresponds with her family often, ever watchful for any discovery that might provide an excuse to write or visit her distant, glittering home.

Crystal Frasier
Contributor

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Politely educating folks on the subject of the word 'hermaphrodite'. As it has been appropriated as a slur or derogatory word, despite its origins as a neutral scientific term, it would be more courteous not to use it to describe intersex individuals. Additionally as a scientific term it does not even apply to humans (and close human analogue races such as dwarves), biologically speaking.

Some arguments could be made for the original scientific definition potentially being accurate for a few sentient races with legitimately snail-like biology, but a term derived from Greek gods is probably less Golarion-relevant and should not be used in any case.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ceres Cato wrote:

Ah, thanks to both of you.

I thought the alchemical tinctures were some kind of mind-easer. A confidence-booster like someone stated above. But you're right, somewhere in the depths of this thread I faintly remember something about this hormone therapy thing.

But I'm correct that she learned of the hormone therapy from the voicees in her head?

And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.

The culture has an incentive towards male children, they have a higher status, inherit property, and can acquire dowries through marriage. Female children on the other hand are a financial liability as families are expected to pay dowries on marriage.


Well, make that thanks to all of you, Lisa's post wasn't there when I was typing.

I grew up with the term hermaphrodite, from books and mythologies and everything. It's still in use in ancient studies classes over here for statues and the like, so I thought nothing of it.

Sometimes I wonder: Do we really need all these terms and words? Somehow I think all of this shouldn't really matter, or is that impolite to say something like that?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ceres Cato wrote:

Well, make that thanks to all of you, Lisa's post wasn't there when I was typing.

I grew up with the term hermaphrodite, from books and mythologies and everything. It's still in use in ancient studies classes over here for statues and the like, so I thought nothing of it.

Sometimes I wonder: Do we really need all these terms and words? Somehow I think all of this shouldn't really matter, or is that impolite to say something like that?

It matters Ceres because our society gets hung up on these things. To not address the is to either sweep someone's identity under the rug, or condone their marginalisation. Someday our societies may evolve to the point where it "truly does not matter", but I suspect that your grandchildren will not live to see it happen.


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Or without appropriate terms you're left with "normal" and "not-normal" which isn't ideal to say the least.


Ah, Lazar X, you're right of course, but I guess most of the time in everyday situations sexuality, regardless of its kind, shouldn't matter. The person matters more, I believe.

I don't know any transgendered people (correct term?), or at least nobody told me so, but I guess in the end it wouldn't really matter. It's one part of the whole, so to speak.

Here again I hope that I don't offend someone. That is not my intent.

Project Manager

Ceres Cato wrote:
But concerning the time of her gender awareness: From own experience I just guessed one becomes aware of their own gender when it matters. What happens to be somewhere around puberty, when you can't swim naked with the boys from the neighbourhood anymore. If you're a girl, that is

Erm, are you saying you didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl until you hit puberty?


Kryzbyn wrote:
Or without appropriate terms you're left with "normal" and "not-normal" which isn't ideal to say the least.

I don't believe in normal. It only puts pressure on everyone to conform to some weird standard. Not healthy.


Indeed.


Jessica Price wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
But concerning the time of her gender awareness: From own experience I just guessed one becomes aware of their own gender when it matters. What happens to be somewhere around puberty, when you can't swim naked with the boys from the neighbourhood anymore. If you're a girl, that is
Erm, are you saying you didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl until you hit puberty?

Uhm, it didn't really matter until then. Hitting puberty at approximately 12 years I never thought of these things. Most of the time stuff like, to which restroom to go, etc. was just something I learned, but never something I thought of. Even more so that more often than not my father took me with him when I had to go to the restroom. Or to the changing rooms in swimming halls.

Hmm... maybe my childhood was a bit weird, I don't know. But I always guessed my friends were raised like that as well.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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In_digo wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:

Mulibrous Tincture

** spoiler omitted **...

Crystal, do you know if there are any plans to release a similar official substance for those who are looking for a FtM transformation?

I don't expect there are even plans to ever print Mulibrous Tincture and make it official, but here you go...

Anderos Salve; 5gp/jar

Spoiler:

A human and halfling specialty brewed from animal organs and rare roots, anderos salve is sold under a hundred different claims, from reversing balding and growing facial hair to transforming a soldier into a superhuman juggernaut. More realistically, older men use it to slow the aging process, alleviate impotence, and restore the vigor of youth. Smearing a dose of anderos salve on the upper arm or chest reduces the physical penalties from age by one point for 1d4 hours, and provides a +1 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saves to resist becoming fatigued for one hour. A creature may only benefit from the effects of anderos salve once per 24 hours
Applying one dose of anderos salve per day for two or more weeks causes irritability, difficulty sleeping, and muscle cramps. Imbibers must make a DC 12 Fortitude save each day or be fatigued for 24 hours. Once the user has successfully saved against the salve’s effects two days in a row, they may continue applying it without further ill effects. Applying anderos salve once a day for more than four weeks begins to reduce fatty tissue, stimulates hair growth, and makes features more angular, causing a feminine-bodied being to take on increasingly masculine features. After two months, a feminine-bodied imbiber no longer suffers any penalty to Disguise checks to appear as the “opposite” sex. After four months, the imbiber instead takes a –2 penalty to Disguise checks to disguise themselves as a woman.
The transformational effects of anderos salve wear off at half the rate they developed, though sufficient long-term use makes the transformation effect permanent (GM discretion).
One jar contains ten applications of salve.

Alchemical Component Two jars of anderos salve may be added as a material component for the alter self spell, extending its duration as per the Extend Spell feat.

The Exchange

Kryzbyn wrote:
Or without appropriate terms you're left with "normal" and "not-normal" which isn't ideal to say the least.

Although that is really still the case, we just substitute words (like cis) for normal and define (sometimes redefining and renaming daily) everything otherwise "not normal" more exactly


Jessica Price wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
But concerning the time of her gender awareness: From own experience I just guessed one becomes aware of their own gender when it matters. What happens to be somewhere around puberty, when you can't swim naked with the boys from the neighbourhood anymore. If you're a girl, that is
Erm, are you saying you didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl until you hit puberty?

I fairly distinctly recall suddenly realizing the difference, probably somewhere around 10 or 11? Obviously I knew that I was a boy and that some of the other kids were girls, but exactly what the difference was and why it was important wasn't really clear. (I had something of a strange childhood for a few crucial years there. Missed some social conditioning. Probably would have hit me sooner in a normal school setting.)

It's also probably less apparent if your internal sense of gender matches what the world is pushing at you. There's no conflict to make it obvious.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Can we get away from language implying that non-cis folk are not normal? It's not cool. :(


Liz Courts wrote:
Can we get away from language implying that non-cis folk are not normal? It's not cool. :(

What's non-cis?

The Exchange

Liz Courts wrote:
Can we get away from language implying that non-cis folk are not normal? It's not cool. :(

I am complaining that current wording IS doing that


Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.

Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ceres Cato wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Or without appropriate terms you're left with "normal" and "not-normal" which isn't ideal to say the least.
I don't believe in normal. It only puts pressure on everyone to conform to some weird standard. Not healthy.

To this date, nobody was able to define "normal" satisfactorily anyway AFAIK. Normal is more about a vague, unspoken consensus than any scientific definition.


thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.

It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.

The Exchange

Ceres Cato wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.
It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.

Not really, these days gender identity is often not tied to anything physical

Silver Crusade Assistant Software Developer

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You might be surprised. =) There are lots of xy women out there that are not transgendered.


Andrew R wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.
It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.
Not really, these days gender identity is often not tied to anything physical

But your biological identity (is that even a word?) is hardcoded into your genes. As far as I know.


Lissa Guillet wrote:
You might be surprised. =) There are lots of xy women out there that are not transgendered.

Elaborate, please! I don't get it o_O

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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For context on the idea of "when does gender become a thing you notice" discussion, I have a distinct memory from when I was around four and realizing that I wasn't supposed to be a boy, and my parents introducing me as a boy felt horribly wrong, like they were lying and forcing me to lie, or setting me up for an expectation I had no idea how to fill. I couldn't really understand WHY I felt that way, just that I did.

That knowledge was in the back of my head most of my childhood as sort of an abstract fact; I knew it but didn't understand how it applied to my life.

Then puberty started. All of a sudden, everything was terrible and that knowledge became a very critical fact. I had trouble thinking or relating to my body, like the sensation of walking around in wet jeans, where you know your butt is covered but you can't get comfortable no matter how you try to sit. Once I started hormone therapy, all that awfulness went away, and my emotions made sense and I could think straight.

So yes, kids can be aware of their gender, but I expect it's something you take less note of if it doesn't feel staggeringly wrong.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Ceres Cato wrote:
But your biological identity (is that even a word?) is hardcoded into your genes. As far as I know.

The majority of the time. But there are a large number of possible exceptions to that.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Ceres Cato wrote:
Lissa Guillet wrote:
You might be surprised. =) There are lots of xy women out there that are not transgendered.
Elaborate, please! I don't get it o_O

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

Swyer syndrome

Intersexed people

There are more.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.
It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.
Not really, these days gender identity is often not tied to anything physical

The correct term is that gender identity may not be tied to anything OBVIOUS. There are a lot of physical factors that define gender and sexual identity, besides the exterior packaging. For one thing you can have someone that showes an exterior female physiology yet the person is carrying an X/Y chromsome set. and that's just the tip of the iceberg as to how complex it can get.


Crystal Frasier wrote:

For context on the idea of "when does gender become a thing you notice" discussion, I have a distinct memory from when I was around four and realizing that I wasn't supposed to be a boy, and my parents introducing me as a boy felt horribly wrong, like they were lying and forcing me to lie, or setting me up for an expectation I had no idea how to fill. I couldn't really understand WHY I felt that way, just that I did.

That knowledge was in the back of my head most of my childhood as sort of an abstract fact; I knew it but didn't understand how it applied to my life.

Then puberty started. All of a sudden, everything was terrible and that knowledge became a very critical fact. I had trouble thinking or relating to my body, like the sensation of walking around in wet jeans, where you know your butt is covered but you can't get comfortable no matter how you try to sit. Once I started hormone therapy, all that awfulness went away, and my emotions made sense and I could think straight.

So yes, kids can be aware of their gender, but I expect it's something you take less note of if it doesn't feel staggeringly wrong.

Thanks Crystal, but one question remains: Do you think it's mostly an issue if your environment is concerned with these things? Or would it be easier if there was no expectation regarding your gender?

This somehow reminds me of my mother, who always was angry with me that I wouldn't play with dolls, or later in my teens, when I wouldn't do any "girl" things like spending friday nights in discoteques and meeting boys. No, I had to spend my friday nights with other boys playing stupid imaginary fantasy games.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Ceres Cato wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.
It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.
Not really, these days gender identity is often not tied to anything physical
But your biological identity (is that even a word?) is hardcoded into your genes. As far as I know.

Genes aren't biological destiny, any more than blueprints are a house you can live in. Your body uses your DNA as a guide to try and build you, but it has to make due with the materials available (which is why inadequate nutrition stunts development), and sometimes the biochemical systems in your body misread your genes (due to stress, disease, or other environmental factors), just like if a construction crew misreads the plans. There are conditions like androgen insensitivity syndrome, a mutation where a fetus simply lacks chemical receptors for testosterone, and even though their DNA is XY, their body never developed any masculine features (including a penis)

If I don't have an arm, that doesn't mean my DNA just has no code for an arm. It means that I may have developed atypically in the womb, or I may have had a congenital defect that eventually lead to it being removed, or I may have had an illness or injury that required it be removed.


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Ross Byers wrote:


Androgen insensitivity syndrome

Swyer syndrome

Intersexed people

There are more.

Thank you. I learn something new every day.

Project Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ceres Cato wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
But concerning the time of her gender awareness: From own experience I just guessed one becomes aware of their own gender when it matters. What happens to be somewhere around puberty, when you can't swim naked with the boys from the neighbourhood anymore. If you're a girl, that is
Erm, are you saying you didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl until you hit puberty?

Uhm, it didn't really matter until then. Hitting puberty at approximately 12 years I never thought of these things. Most of the time stuff like, to which restroom to go, etc. was just something I learned, but never something I thought of. Even more so that more often than not my father took me with him when I had to go to the restroom. Or to the changing rooms in swimming halls.

Hmm... maybe my childhood was a bit weird, I don't know. But I always guessed my friends were raised like that as well.

Sure, but I assume you knew which you were. It "not mattering" is different from not knowing.

And the reason you're able to feel like it didn't matter, presumably, is because the gender you knew you were and the gender people treated you as were the same.

Being able to not really worry about it until adolescence is one of the privileges that a lot of us enjoy as cis people. Kids get gendered pretty hard and pretty early, whether it's being asked to line up in different lines for boys and girls in kindergarten, or being tacitly told which toys are appropriate for them due to their gender, or even how people address them and talk about them within their hearing.

I mean, think about one of the first things people traditionally have said when a child is born: "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"

If you're someone whose gender matches up to the gender people assume you are, you don't have to even really notice or think about it. But if there is dissonance there, you may not have the luxury of not noticing or thinking it's important.

(You don't even have to be trans* for some of those experiences to be alienating. If you're a boy who doesn't conform to masculine gender roles particularly well, or a girl who's not interested in being feminine, it can still be uncomfortable, although I imagine it's considerably less dysphoric than being trans*. Go read some blogs from parents whose little boys really like nail polish; the way people react to seeing a boy wearing nail polish, or dressing up as a princess, or whatever, is pretty disapproving.)

The Exchange

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:


And we still don't know why her parents thought of her as a boy? That's weird.
Assuming she's trans* and not intersex, her parents thought she was a boy for the same reason most parents think they know their children's gender. They looked at her genitals when she was born. Most of the time, that works.
It's in the genes! Or something like that. You know, with the x and y chromosome and stuff like that.
Not really, these days gender identity is often not tied to anything physical
But your biological identity (is that even a word?) is hardcoded into your genes. As far as I know.

Genes aren't biological destiny, any more than blueprints are a house you can live in. Your body uses your DNA as a guide to try and build you, but it has to make due with the materials available (which is why inadequate nutrition stunts development), and sometimes the biochemical systems in your body misread your genes (due to stress, disease, or other environmental factors), just like if a construction crew misreads the plans. There are conditions like androgen insensitivity syndrome, a mutation where a fetus simply lacks chemical receptors for testosterone, and even though their DNA is XY, their body never developed any masculine features (including a penis)

If I don't have an arm, that doesn't mean my DNA just has no code for an arm. It means that I may have developed atypically in the womb, or I may have had a congenital defect that eventually lead to it being removed, or I may have had an illness or injury that required it be removed.

the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed"....

The Exchange

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Jessica Price wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
But concerning the time of her gender awareness: From own experience I just guessed one becomes aware of their own gender when it matters. What happens to be somewhere around puberty, when you can't swim naked with the boys from the neighbourhood anymore. If you're a girl, that is
Erm, are you saying you didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl until you hit puberty?

Uhm, it didn't really matter until then. Hitting puberty at approximately 12 years I never thought of these things. Most of the time stuff like, to which restroom to go, etc. was just something I learned, but never something I thought of. Even more so that more often than not my father took me with him when I had to go to the restroom. Or to the changing rooms in swimming halls.

Hmm... maybe my childhood was a bit weird, I don't know. But I always guessed my friends were raised like that as well.

Sure, but I assume you knew which you were. It "not mattering" is different from not knowing.

And the reason you're able to feel like it didn't matter, presumably, is because the gender you knew you were and the gender people treated you as were the same.

Being able to not really worry about it until adolescence is one of the privileges that a lot of us enjoy as cis people. Kids get gendered pretty hard and pretty early, whether it's being asked to line up in different lines for boys and girls in kindergarten, or being tacitly told which toys are appropriate for them due to their gender, or even how people address them and talk about them within their hearing.

I mean, think about one of the first things people traditionally have said when a child is born: "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"

If you're someone whose gender matches up to the gender people assume you are, you don't have to even really notice or think about it. But if there is dissonance there, you may not have the luxury of not noticing or thinking it's important.

(You...

As a guy who hates sports i have heard insinuations that i must be gay or feminine. And worse when i admit that i can sew...

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Ceres Cato wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:

For context on the idea of "when does gender become a thing you notice" discussion, I have a distinct memory from when I was around four and realizing that I wasn't supposed to be a boy, and my parents introducing me as a boy felt horribly wrong, like they were lying and forcing me to lie, or setting me up for an expectation I had no idea how to fill. I couldn't really understand WHY I felt that way, just that I did.

That knowledge was in the back of my head most of my childhood as sort of an abstract fact; I knew it but didn't understand how it applied to my life.

Then puberty started. All of a sudden, everything was terrible and that knowledge became a very critical fact. I had trouble thinking or relating to my body, like the sensation of walking around in wet jeans, where you know your butt is covered but you can't get comfortable no matter how you try to sit. Once I started hormone therapy, all that awfulness went away, and my emotions made sense and I could think straight.

So yes, kids can be aware of their gender, but I expect it's something you take less note of if it doesn't feel staggeringly wrong.

Thanks Crystal, but one question remains: Do you think it's mostly an issue if your environment is concerned with these things? Or would it be easier if there was no expectation regarding your gender?

This somehow reminds me of my mother, who always was angry with me that I wouldn't play with dolls, or later in my teens, when I wouldn't do any "girl" things like spending friday nights in discoteques and meeting boys. No, I had to spend my friday nights with other boys playing stupid imaginary fantasy games.

No, it is definitely not an environment or gender expectations issue at all. I have know butch trans women and femme trans men and everything in between. The fact that my experience with hormones immediately cleared up so many emotional issues and cranked my chronic depression down from a ten to a three, and the fact that I share that experience with literally hundred o trans people I have met over the past twenty years, tells me that there is likely a biological aspect.

And even if there weren't a biological aspect, would it matter? Trans people transition, and feel better about themselves. Does it matter what the cause is?


Andrew R wrote:
the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed"....

I thought the example had more to do with genetics than with transgenderism.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
[the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed".......

As in this quote from the one just before the last "Masters of Sex" episode?

"I'm not leaving this hospital with an IT!"


Crystal Frasier wrote:

No, it is definitely not an environment or gender expectations issue at all. I have know butch trans women and femme trans men and everything in between. The fact that my experience with hormones immediately cleared up so many emotional issues and cranked my chronic depression down from a ten to a three, and the fact that I share that experience with literally hundred o trans people I have met over the past twenty years, tells me that there is likely a biological aspect.

And even if there weren't a biological aspect, would it matter? Trans people transition, and feel better about themselves. Does it matter what the cause is?

No, it doesn't matter, as long as they feel better about themselves I think everything's fine. I just tried understanding it.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew R wrote:
the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed"....

The kinds of people who interpret it that way already view trans people as broken, and ignore anything we say to the contrary.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
[the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed".......

As in this quote from the one just before the last "Masters of Sex" episode?

"I'm not leaving this hospital with an IT!"

The need to force an obvious physical gender on a baby can be destructive. Of course so can circumcision. Maybe we need a ban on all non-function correcting cosmetic operations on children.

The Exchange

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
the only problem with that kind of example is that it might lead some to think they are right that transgendered/intersex people are "broken" and need to be "fixed"....
The kinds of people who interpret it that way already view trans people as broken, and ignore anything we say to the contrary.

Fair enough, some might just see it as you agreeing with them. Mostly people will see what they want to see. Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others

Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.


LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

But we can strive for one! Every day!

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?


By the way and regarding the topic (which is Shardra): I'm still unsure if the voices in her head are the voices of long dead transgendered dwarves or if I understood something terribly wrong. And are those dwarves still around somewhere?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?

Well, duh! We both can't show up wearing the same dresses. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?

One can not toss a pebble into a pond and expect an absence of ripples.

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?

One can not toss a pebble into a pond and expect an absence of ripples.

By that all actions are wrong because all actions cause ripples so end the world to stop the ripples.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?

One can not toss a pebble into a pond and expect an absence of ripples.
By that all actions are wrong because all actions cause ripples so end the world to stop the ripples.

I once saw a man in high heels. Thought he looked rather fetching in them. Totally unrelated, but he had nice feet.


LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Frankly i do not see why people care so much about how others view and portray themselves if it doesn't effect others
Because we don't live in a society where it doesn't.

Really? if i wear a dress how does that effect you?

One can not toss a pebble into a pond and expect an absence of ripples.

I can when I freeze the pond first.

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