nfelddav's page

Organized Play Member. 9 posts (59 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Organized Play characters.



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Kate Baker wrote:


I'm making a samsaran occultist, and I was thinking that the character has been through so many different lifetimes at this point in their reincarnation that they feel like "man" and "woman" are sort of arbitrary and limiting. They/them pronouns. Anything problematic so far?

Oooh, interesting. I would explore the character's relationship with their gender. Maybe they've found that the strict categories don't work for them anymore, and they tend to move between them. Or maybe they've come to feel their own gender is apart from both male and female. Or maybe they've come to the conclusion that those categories are really meaningless to them. And so on. (For a cis person, I wouldn't have a character who aggressively rejects binary gender as meaningful, but it makes sense for the conception of one's own gender)

Tallow wrote:

Please, someone in the know correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you want to portray a non-binary character, and you don't have personal experience of the travails one goes through to represent as non binary, wouldn't the most respectful thing be, to portray that character choice confidently?

It would seem to me that if you portray the fact they are non-binary with some level of confusion or self-angst, that might perpetuate a stereotype?

So, I definitely agree on being confident with respect to knowing that they're non-binary, with presenting non-binary, and not having angst about it. But ongoing development of their sense of gender, and of their beliefs about gender, possibly reflected in changes in their presentation, is to me a significant part of being non-binary in a culture that doesn't have a clear role for it. It may be a stereotype, but I think it's a pretty accurate one, and I don't find it a negative one, as long as you're playing it seriously and respectfully. Gender is incredibly complicated, we as a society have been wrestling with it (with the advantage of scientific methodology) for several decades now, and we're still mostly left with more questions.


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Kate Baker wrote:

And while I'm here, I'll ask one! I'm thinking of making a nonbinary PC for PFS. Any particular pitfalls I should avoid?

Hmm. Our existence may not be recognized enough to have many negative stereotypes. On which subject, I'd personally appreciate making sure people acknowledge the character's gender, don't just let them use the wrong pronouns.

Nonbinary encompasses a lot of identities. In my (modern white american enby) experience, non-binary folks tend to have quite evolving ideas of their own gender. Eg, I identified as agender before settling on genderfluid, as I came to better understand both myself and the concept of gender (which is a very weird concept to a lot of NB folks). So in Golarion, I think it would matter a lot what the context of this nonbinary character is. If they're from a race/culture with a well established non-binary identity, it's likely to feel fairly natural to them, possibly the only confusion being why this seems so hard for other people to grasp. Meanwhile, someone from a race/culture without that background, or even without any kind of gender theory, is going to do a lot more fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what it means to be them.

Plus, magic opens up all kinds of new ways to be non-binary. I have a Kitsune PFS PC with no concept of gender as separate from biology. They use whatever pronouns people associate with the shape they're currently wearing. If anyone asks what gender they are, they look confused: "now I'm a boy... now I'm a girl... now I'm somewhere in between." I'm curious what would happen if the met someone with a well developed concept of gender, but it hasn't happened yet.

Basically, it's a huge umbrella where what "non-binary" means can very a ton. If you have ideas of a character concept, I might have more useful insight.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
nfelddav wrote:


These are not mutually exclusive. For whatever reason, they *are* centering themselves. And we're not saying that we think who apologize at length are being transphobic. But this thread is about how to be inclusive, and here's some advice on how to do it particularly well!

-Overcome a lifetime of social awkwardness and don't say anything anyone might consider harmful- is not a reasonable piece of advice to a group of geeks.

At least for me, in awkward social situations, an exact script is really useful. "If you mess up up someone's pronouns, say 'Sorry, they.' and then move on." would be a really useful rule to me (was, in fact).


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:


It also makes the issue all about you and your feelings.

Or they're just babbling incoherently. I wouldn't trust any reading into that more than i would trust reading tea leaves.

These are not mutually exclusive. For whatever reason, they *are* centering themselves. And we're not saying that we think those who apologize at length are being transphobic. But this thread is about how to be inclusive, and here's some advice on how to do it particularly well!


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Tallow wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Serisan wrote:

The difference between "he...sorry, they" and "she...sorry, they, I just have such a hard time with...(insert things and reasons)...and that's why I keep screwing up" is, in fact, self-indulgent and it doesn't help the situation at all.

It lowers the chance of someone reading into it and suspecting you of doing it deliberately out of malice or hatred instead of incompetence. Which is kind of important if you're doing it that badly.

From all the learning I've been doing, while an explanation seems to make logical and even intuitive sense, it is not a preferred response of those I've spoken to and from articles I've read.

The preferred response folks gave told me they prefer is a simple, unequivocated, "I'm sorry, They." A sincere, simple apology, and a simple, immediate correction.

Otherwise it comes off like you are making an excuse for yourself and that you don't care.

Pretty much this. Getting pronouns right is hard, and we know it's hard. Believe me, trans folks know how hard it is to overcome bad societal programming.

The apology does a good job conveying that you're not intending harm, and will be appreciated. Going on into an extended thing about how hard it is for you, or maybe about your other friend who is trans and how you're trying so hard to get their pronouns right, is more than likely to read to the (invariably tired of people screwing up their pronouns) trans person as you seeking reassurance from them that you're being a good friend/ally, regardless of what your intent was. And that's putting more responsibility and emotional baggage on the trans person in this interaction, which is not what you want to be doing.

In case there was ambiguity, this applies to your typical interaction in which you use the wrong pronoun, not like, an online discussion about pronoun usage.


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Rigby Bendele wrote:

Hello, Actual Nonbinary VC here, ready to help!

Jen hits on most of the big points, but the other thing that you can acknowledge it as appropriate in the scenario. If there's a nonbinary npc, you can say "You see a nonbinary person ahead" just the same as you'd say "you see a man" or "you see a woman". That, honestly, is probably the most normalizing thing that you can do and it's appropriate in those contexts!

This is so perfect and such a good idea, I'm kicking myself for not already doing it. (One more victory over cisnormativity!)

One thing to add about using people's pronouns: if you notice you've made a mistake or you've been corrected, apologize, correct yourself, then move on. Correcting yourself isn't as good as getting it right the first time, but it's better than not. And self-indulgent explanations about how hard it is to get pronouns right are not better.

Liberty's Edge

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Female Half Elf Summoner 8 Init+2// HP:45// AC:16/FF:14/T:11//F:+3/R:+4/W:+4///Ivan HP:54//AC:36/FF:33/T:12//F:+10/R:+10/W:+4

"Wheeeeeeee" Fetch promptly falls over.
reflex save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9