Homosexuality in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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knightnday wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Was someone asking for in-setting terms? :)
Yes! This is what I'm talking about. Instead of cursing the darkness, we light a candle. This and more could round out a book/article about different facets of Golarin's society.

I think they lack a word because sexuality is not an us and them game. they just love who they love.


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I'm going to flash my queer membership card and mention that I consider homosexual to be the correct term in a clinical, neutral setting. In a social setting, if you want to relate in a positive way to someone's identity, it's best to watch, listen, and ask to find out what they find preferable, less preferable, or offensive.

I think one thing about Golarion is that some of our terms depend on constructs that aren't present in Golarion. Even the term "gay" and its connotations refers to a construction of identity that isn't even a hundred years old. In the Middle Ages, homosexual acts were generally considered a category of sin, not of identity. You can still see this perspective in modern religionists who are worried about the world corrupting the youth... and in sexual adventurers who are motivated by curiosity more than identity. I imagine every culture in Golarion has a different norm of same-sex relationships, and within each culture are several differing perspectives.

I doubt orcs care much about "civil rights" or "sexual orientation."


Jessica Price wrote:

Removed a post and replies. Please revisit the messageboard rules.

Folks, I've said it before in this thread and I'm saying it again: please take debates about real-world issues around sexuality and gender to an appropriate thread. This one is about such subjects within the campaign setting.

The problem is, our opinions of it within the campaign setting are determined by our real world experiences and opinions, and it is natural to compare what is in the setting to the real world. I don't see how the two van be completely divorced.


I didn't read that as a request to divorce the two things entirely. Plenty of real-world relevant posts have been allowed to stand. The request was simply to keep real world discussion to an "appropriate level" i.e. not detract from a productive discussion of Golarion.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

And no, as far as I know (there are two or three of the older APs I haven't read) the APs don't identify anyone as "lesbian" or "gay" or "homosexual." They don't identify orientation at all -- they just identify NPCs' partners, former partners, love interests, etc.

So on Golarion, what is it that people use to identify sexuality, gender, etc?
I'd imagine, in terms of sexuality, the same thing we use to identify people's "types." I'm not sure, in a world with no history of viewing love and/or desire for same-gender partners as wrong or inferior, that there's as much of a need for strict categories. It's not something we've addressed, but my personal opinion is that most people in Golarion simply talk about it in terms of preference: "Oh, she usually falls in love with the tall, dark guys," and "Oh, he tends to go for blonde men," and "I think you're wasting your time there, dear -- none of her lovers have been men."
So, is sexuality something that is just communicated about other people? Or is the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc something that Golarions use to identify themselves to others?

If you want to get technical about it, those terms have heavy real-world cultural histories that aren't part of Golarion. So obviously no woman in Golarion, where there is no Isle of Lesbos, is going to refer to herself as a "lesbian."

As to whether there are terms that people use for self-identification, I'm not sure. I don't personally feel a need to self-identify as anything or even identify my preferences unless I'm explaining to someone that they don't fit them, but I recognize that others may feel differently.

The campaign setting is a world still under construction -- there are many details about it that aren't nailed down. We're not describing a preexisting world here.

A few weeks back I was in a discussion about how little we actually know about how the different...

Acts of self-identification tend to be reserved from groups of people marginalized, and thus the freedom to navigate the world unmolested by "labels" is part of not being oppressed. Queer folks are required to make their identities intelligible for others in a world dominated by heterosexuality. Deviation from heterosexuality requires us to make ourselves known, which in turn subjects us to processes which render us vulnerable to pathologization and marginalization. Heterosexual, cisgender peoples aren't bothered by the forces which bring about self-identification because they are privileged within a systems that takes them as the default, the standard in which all others are measured against.

From this perspective, not needing to identify their sexuality would lead one to believe that sexuality isn't an axis in which inequality manifests on Golarion. Not having a "heavy" language to capture non-heterosexuals would make sense in a world that never needed to capture sexual deviance in the first place.

But it still does seem strange that the other roles that these identities take haven't been cleared up in the material, especially now that we see more queer folks being represented in the material (i.e. women like Anevia Tirabade).


If that is the goal, it's probably best to make this purely an FAQ thread, and move the discussion around those answers to Gamer Life.

The Exchange

lolwut
There is nothing to show that this is even remotely true in golarion

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a few more posts I had missed and responses. Keep this thread Golarion specific. There are other threads for real world topics.


Do you want it in Gamer Life or Off Topic?


I really don't see the need to push ANY sexuality into a game like Pathfinder. Far better to leave such things vague and "off screen"- not stemming from homophobia, mind you- but because this is a GAME. Hot button issues should be left neutral in an RPG that seeks to appeal to everyone. Want a gay iconic? Hint at it all you like- "Is the wizard Ru-Paulonius gay, or just polymorphed?" etc. Answer- nunya, and whatever you want in your campaign!

I don't believe that gay bashing, sexism, racism, or any other blight that those of us with common sense abhor should be tolerated in OR out of game. At the same time, a game that is played by all walks of life shouldn't beat this one over the fans heads necessarily.

Do I mind a gay iconic? Not really, but I don't think that should have to be explained to younger players (who's parents have the right to teach them as they feel is right). Leave it vague, and let it be what it needs to be- a game. That's my two cents.

Fenris Ulfhamr- gamer, metalhead, father, and Christian.

The Exchange

Mentioning that in her (kira i think her name is) past string of lovers was at least one woman is no big deal, to roll her out as the GAY iconic that happens to have a name and be a cleric would have been a mistake. Nothing wrong with them mentioning a character in that context any more than to describe a black character s to bring up race arguements. all about how it is handled


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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
Do I mind a gay iconic? Not really, but I don't think that should have to be explained to younger players (who's parents have the right to teach them as they feel is right).

That's no reason to not have a lesbian character in an adventure path. Lesbians exist in real life too! Your children are going to learn that fact eventually. If they don't learn it from playing Pathfinder, they'll learn it from meeting a lesbian, or from being a lesbian, or from watching the news, or in school, or from their friends, or whatever.


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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
I really don't see the need to push ANY sexuality into a game like Pathfinder. Far better to leave such things vague and "off screen"- not stemming from homophobia, mind you- but because this is a GAME. Hot button issues should be left neutral in an RPG that seeks to appeal to everyone.

Outside of some loving glances and one kiss, there have been no depictions of sexual acts, opposite-sex or same-sex, in Pathfinder. If you want to strip out any mention of non-opposite-sex humanoid relationships and self-identity, then you should strip out all relationships and self-identity from it, including ... no families, no inheritance, no princesses or princes, no couples, etc. That sounds pretty dull.

Inclusiveness for all is not pushing sexuality.

Baron Ulfhamr wrote:

Do I mind a gay iconic? Not really, but I don't think that should have to be explained to younger players (who's parents have the right to teach them as they feel is right). Leave it vague, and let it be what it needs to be- a game. That's my two cents.

Fenris Ulfhamr- gamer, metalhead, father, and Christian.

What about the younger players who have non-hetero or non-cisgendered friends, family members, or parents? What about those younger players who are non-hetero or non-cisgendered themselves? What about the Paizo employees themselves, and their friends & family members? What about all of the above who are also good Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and atheists? Why do all these people deserve to be excluded while your heterocentric-exclusive worldview is maintained?

No one is stopping anyone from running Pathfinder and/or the Golarion setting however they wish in their home games. If you don't want to include non-hetero relationships or non-cisgendered individuals, that's your prerogative... but don't expect Paizo to remove them from their products.


The correct spelling is "cisgender". No capitalization. It's a prefix (it literally means the opposite of trans).

Project Manager

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
I really don't see the need to push ANY sexuality into a game like Pathfinder.

If we mention that Bob the Mayor is married to Helen the Baker, we've put sexuality into the game. If a prince hires the PCs to rescue the woman that he loves from a bandit lord, we've put sexuality into the game. If a mother and father ask the PCs to take a message to their son, we've put sexuality into the game. Any time you mention that someone's in a relationship, is in love with someone else, has children, or, heck, has parents, you've put sexuality into the game.

And that's all we do with the non-straight characters in Pathfinder: mention to whom they're married, with whom they're in love, who their kids are, to whom they give tokens of affection. Sometimes, as with straight characters, it's a passing mention of who their spouse is. And sometimes, as with straight characters, their relationships or loves or loves-turned-to-hate are the motivation for their actions in the adventure. (Not to mention that this information is generally provided for the GM, and how much of it is conveyed to the players is left to her discretion.)

Non-straight people exist in the real world, they exist in Golarion, and they exist on our staff and among our freelancers. They exist among our customers. Not acknowledging that is, essentially, saying that non-straight characters should be treated differently from straight characters -- that they (and by implication, real people like them, whether they're our contributors or our customers) are not allowed, or at least not wanted, in our world or our game, when the opposite is true.


Jessica Price wrote:
...Great stuff!...

Beautifully and politely said. :)

I continue to be a little awed at the wonderful people at Paizo. They're creative, positive, and thoughtful, and despite their growing popularity and size, they have managed to maintain a great bond with their customers, something not all companies are able to do. From weighing in on topics like this, to being able to ask the Creative Director questions yourself, it shows they put a great deal of care toward not just their products, but also their fans.

So here's another HOORAY for Paizo and their inclusiveness! Keep up the good work! It really is appreciated.


The sad part is that what Jessica said needs to be repeated every few months to next wave of people who didn't think their "we don't want any sexuality in rpg" stance deeply enough. Well, at least the sad part is that some of them instead of reacting "huh, I haven't thought about that" cry foul and state that it is not true instead of actually thinking it after facing facts not fitting their worldview...


I think they're fun to play with when they get like that.


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I might have been fun the first or second time. One tenth it's just tedious - and I suspect it is tedious for others. The same old disruption repeating over and over...


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True, but at least there's this thread so that people who feel that way don't start a new one every month or two.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
True, but at least there's this thread so that people who feel that way don't start a new one every month or two.

I was about to respond by angrily linking to other threads on the same topic by people complaining about "politics" in Golarion.

Then I remembered I can't hear sarcasm over the internet.

Congratulations, you win this thread. You also win every other thread on this subject!

Grand Lodge

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Meh, it's obvious everyone in that movie is a pervy hobbit fancier.

But Sam will kill them if they try anything.

(yes, I know I'm late)

Grand Lodge

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Jessica Price wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

And no, as far as I know (there are two or three of the older APs I haven't read) the APs don't identify anyone as "lesbian" or "gay" or "homosexual." They don't identify orientation at all -- they just identify NPCs' partners, former partners, love interests, etc.

So on Golarion, what is it that people use to identify sexuality, gender, etc?

I'd imagine, in terms of sexuality, the same thing we use to identify people's "types." I'm not sure, in a world with no history of viewing love and/or desire for same-gender partners as wrong or inferior, that there's as much of a need for strict categories. It's not something we've addressed, but my personal opinion is that most people in Golarion simply talk about it in terms of preference: "Oh, she usually falls in love with the tall, dark guys," and "Oh, he tends to go for blonde men," and "I think you're wasting your time there, dear -- none of her lovers have been men."

As far as gender, Golarion's still pretty binary, I think. I'd like to see us do more with androgyny (especially through Arshea), but it's hard to pull off characters that don't identify as male or female, both because of how we're taught to think about gender (it's one of the first things most people identify about other people), and just because we don't have good language for it. "It" reads as dehumanizing in English, and sentence structure gets convoluted in a hurry when you're trying to avoid gendered pronouns. I remember editing some text about Arshea and feeling like the sentence construction was awkward, but not being able to come up with a fix that didn't use a gendered pronoun.

I think it can be done, and even done well, but the more text there is about a character, the harder it is to do, and the more spotlighted some of those linguistic convolutions become. I'd love to slip at least some minor characters in where we just don't identify a gender, and see how people read them, because I think we could do that...

I've started using "Arshean" for trans characters in Golarion (transitioning, nonbinary, genderfluid, etc.) and I think that works pretty well for my own game. Especially since anyone who's reasonably plugged-in to the world lore has a decent chance of understanding what's meant by that.

Just my $0.02. :)

Silver Crusade

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+1 to "Arshean"

Also, for those having Stupid Sexy Seltyiel reactions to his Mythic artwork, look up Andrej Pejic. ;)


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Mikaze wrote:

+1 to "Arshean"

Also, for those having Stupid Sexy Seltyiel reactions to his Mythic artwork, look up Andrej Pejic. ;)

Mythic Seltyiel is mega butch compared to Andrej Pejic. Pejic in full-fem mode is girlier than most cis female models.

Stupid Sexy Pejic. {sighs happily}

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:

+1 to "Arshean"

Also, for those having Stupid Sexy Seltyiel reactions to his Mythic artwork, look up Andrej Pejic. ;)

Note to self: Do not look up anything Mikaze mentions when others are around.

Silver Crusade

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It has been mentioned that the word 'lesbian' comes from the Isle of Lesbos. 'Sapphic' is from Sappho, who was an Ancient Greek poet, born on the island of Lesbos.

'Orrery', the mechanical representation of the solar system, was actually named after the Earl of Orrery.

If we are to use English to represent the Common Tongue of Golarion it would be almost impossible to cut out every word that has its origins in a reference to our own history/geography etc.

So I think it's okay for us to use 'lesbian' to refer to women whose preferred sexual partners are also women, despite the lack of an Isle of Lesbos in Golarion.

Project Manager

Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.

Then denizens of of Golarion wouldn't use the word "paladin" either: there is no Palatine Hill in Golarion.


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I think an easier explanation would be that there is a similar word from a similar context that a word is derived from. Or when you use a word, realize you are just using the "universal translator" to change whatever they call it in setting into what the players can understand.

Part of the problem with using a lot of riddles that are homophone or rhyme dependent, you'd think it wouldn't make sense within the game world since their words wouldn't be our words.

Project Manager

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.
Then denizens of of Golarion wouldn't use the word "paladin" either: there is no Palatine Hill in Golarion.

Correct. We are, essentially, translating everything said in Common into its closest English equivalent.


"Lesbian" might not have an equivalent if that particular culture considers same-sex romances to be a habit, not a category of person. So you could actually have one character say (universal translator) "She's a lesbian," and the other character says, "A what?"


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Jessica Price wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.
Then denizens of of Golarion wouldn't use the word "paladin" either: there is no Palatine Hill in Golarion.
Correct. We are, essentially, translating everything said in Common into its closest English equivalent.

So why treat "lesbian" different from every other word? In a discussion about paladins on Golarion, you wouldn't jump in to say that people on Golarion don't use the word paladin due to its "heavy real-world cultural history". In The Worldwound Incursion, Irabeth is described as a paladin, but no word is given to her sexuality. It's a striking omission, especially since in discussions of her and Anevia, one sees the word "lesbian" all over the place.

Avoiding giving a word to characters' sexuality also has a side effect of playing into bisexual erasure. Note that in discussions of The Worldwound Incursion, Irabeth and Anevia were (almost?) universally understood as lesbians. If a character's sexuality is presented only by mentioning sexual partners, then to present a bisexual character, sexual partners of multiple genders must be mentioned. The simple fact of the society we live in is that a female character described in a relationship with another woman is understood by default as lesbian and a male character described in a relationship with another man is understood by default as gay.

RJGrady wrote:
"Lesbian" might not have an equivalent if that particular culture considers same-sex romances to be a habit, not a category of person. So you could actually have one character say (universal translator) "She's a lesbian," and the other character says, "A what?"

Sure, if people on Golarion have no word meaning "a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women", then the hypothetical universal translator won't be able to translate "lesbian". But I think it requires work to portray such a culture. If no mention is made of how people on Golarion identify sexuality, then people assume, as can be seen in discussions of Irabeth and Anevia, that it makes sense to apply words like "lesbian" to characters on Golarion. Even though the descriptions of these characters carefully avoided giving a word to their sexualities, they are widely referred to as lesbians.

The other issue with the dodge about the etymology of "lesbian" is that the etymologies of "gay", "bisexual", and "transgender" aren't tied into a real world place. So saying people on Golarion don't say "lesbian" because Lesbos isn't on Golarion doesn't answer whether they use any of those other words (or the Common/Varisian/Orc/Necril/whatever translations).

Silver Crusade

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Jessica Price wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.
Then denizens of of Golarion wouldn't use the word "paladin" either: there is no Palatine Hill in Golarion.
Correct. We are, essentially, translating everything said in Common into its closest English equivalent.

So whatever word they would actually use, the Universal Translator would translate that word in the Common Tongue as 'lesbian', and the lack of an actual Isle of Lesbos in Golarian is no more a hindrance than the lack of the existence of The Twelve Peers of Charlemagne prevents the English word 'paladin' being used for whatever they use in the Common Tongue.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:


Sure, if people on Golarion have no word meaning "a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women", then the hypothetical universal translator won't be able to translate "lesbian". But I think it requires work to portray such a culture.

Just portray any culture other than 20th and 21st century Westernized society, and you're probably there. It is work, in the sense that most Pathfinder players are from 20th and 21st century Westernized societies, but is certainly easier than portraying a people whose main religion consists of cults to individual deities, but not all the same deity.

The Exchange

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Are we really going to argue about the origin of the english word and how it translates here?


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Quote:
the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.

Here I think is the cusp of what I was trying to say earlier: how can we talk about queer (or homosexual) folk on Golarion if there is no language to capture queerness on Golarion? The language of queerness is irreducibly tied up into the everyday life of queer folk, and for many this language is necessary for a livable life. Some of the terms are imposed on our bodies as means to govern and pathologize us (homosexual and MSM come to mind), but others are necessary parts of making ourselves intelligible in a social world dominated by cisgender heterosexuality. For queer folk, to go unidentified is to undergo erasure. Unidentification is a luxury and privilege of cisgender heterosexuality. It is this dynamic that makes queer life what it is today: whether we live to try to "fit in," or at the margins, or at places which subvert heterosexual cisgender hegemony.

So when speaking of queer folk, it's often mentioned by staff and fans that Paizo portrays gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters. Except now, it is that they don't (or can't, which is what I was suspecting) because Golarion lacks language to accommodate the existence of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters.

Essentially, portraying gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters before considering what it means to be gay, lesbian, and bisexual on Golarion is putting the cart before the horse.


Andrew R wrote:
Are we really going to argue about the origin of the english word and how it translates here?

Internets, Duh! Of course we are. If we can't be pedantic here where can we be?


Annabel wrote:
Quote:
the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.

Here I think is the cusp of what I was trying to say earlier: how can we talk about queer (or homosexual) folk on Golarion if there is no language to capture queerness on Golarion? The language of queerness is irreducibly tied up into the everyday life of queer folk, and for many this language is necessary for a livable life. Some of the terms are imposed on our bodies as means to govern and pathologize us (homosexual and MSM come to mind), but others are necessary parts of making ourselves intelligible in a social world dominated by cisgender heterosexuality. For queer folk, to go unidentified is to undergo erasure. Unidentification is a luxury and privilege of cisgender heterosexuality. It is this dynamic that makes queer life what it is today: whether we live to try to "fit in," or at the margins, or at places which subvert heterosexual cisgender hegemony.

So when speaking of queer folk, it's often mentioned by staff and fans that Paizo portrays gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters. Except now, it is that they don't (or can't, which is what I was suspecting) because Golarion lacks language to accommodate the existence of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters.

Essentially, portraying gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters before considering what it means to be gay, lesbian, and bisexual on Golarion is putting the cart before the horse.

Unless I missed a large part of the conversation, no one's said that Golarion lacks language to accommodate LBGT characters, just that they wouldn't called that because they don't speak english on Golarion. Although, now you've got me wondering whether the Taldane terms for male same sex attraction are synonymous with "carefree" and "weird," but that's a level of nerdism I only feel comfortable investing in my home brew setting.

Project Manager

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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Malachi -- the point wasn't that we can't use lesbian to talk about women in Golarion; it's that it's not a word they'd use themselves, as the reference doesn't exist in their world.
Then denizens of of Golarion wouldn't use the word "paladin" either: there is no Palatine Hill in Golarion.
Correct. We are, essentially, translating everything said in Common into its closest English equivalent.
So why treat "lesbian" different from every other word?

Who said we do? I said, if you want to be technical, "lesbian" is not the term they'd use.

I also said I wasn't aware of what term women who prefer women use on Golarion, or whether they have a term, as it's not a detail of the world we've put into canon, as is the case with tons of other facets of everyday life that we haven't gotten around to defining. I'm not sure what was unclear about that.


Mikaze wrote:
Was someone asking for in-setting terms? :)

As both a Desna fan and a yuri fan, this just made my day, and you do some splendid writing. Do you have any other stuff like this elsewhere?

to the topic at hand:

Golorian seems to be a pretty open minded place when it comes to homosexuality, and really, our terms for homosexuals are relatively new from a historical perspective. It's quite possible that Golorian doesn't even have a term for homosexual relationships. For those of us Earth residents though, it's much easier to use terms like gay and lesbian because we are familiar with them.


Hitdice wrote:
Unless I missed a large part of the conversation, no one's said that Golarion lacks language to accommodate LBGT characters, just that they wouldn't called that because they don't speak english on Golarion.

Funny that you posted that 11 minutes before Jessica Price clarified that Golarion may lack such language.

Jessica Price wrote:
Who said we do? I said, if you want to be technical, "lesbian" is not the term they'd use.

I was (am) confused as to why the etymology was even mentioned. The universal translator convention is so widely used within fantasy that's it's weird to see it explicitly brought up.

Anyway, the word "lesbian" is treated differently from e.g. "paladin". In Irabeth's description, for example, she is described as a paladin three times ("she had become a paladin of Iomedae", "the half-orc paladin caught up with the tiefling at a ruined tower", "the paladin would have certainly stormed off into the Worldwound"). No word, lesbian or otherwise, is given to her sexuality. Similarly, Anevia isn't referred to by the words "lesbian" (or "bisexual") or "transgender". Referring to her as transgender would have been particularly useful, as it would've helped avoid the use of offensive phrases like "born a man" or "revealed herself to actually be a man".

You say that we can use these words to describe these characters, even if they would not use the words themselves. However, in published Paizo material, these words are not used. In this way, Paizo treats words like "lesbian" and "transgender" differently than words like "paladin".

Jessica Price wrote:
I also said I wasn't aware of what term women who prefer women use on Golarion, or whether they have a term, as it's not a detail of the world we've put into canon, as is the case with tons of other facets of everyday life that we haven't gotten around to defining.

Then I join Annabel in finding it strange that Paizo would make a conscious effort to include queer characters in their adventure paths without coming to a decision on how people on Golarion talk about these things.


Gorbacz wrote:
Countdown to Simone de Beauvoir or some other Western Marxism Honcho getting invoked in the thread. 3,2,1...

Hey! You leave my girlfriend out of this!

[Pees standing up]


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I must say I had never heard that "homosexual" was an offensive term (and I was recruited to Trotskyism by a former member of a gay New Left Maoist collective), but I've always been a big fan of Gore Vidal and his argument about "homosexual" versus "homosexualist."

JOHN ESTHER: You’ve often contended that “homosexuality” is not a noun but instead a verb, an act -- so one can only be a homosexualist or same-sexualist.

GORE VIDAL: Only a country like this one could have thought up [the idea] that sexual tastes, whatever they may be, dictate identity. Only a bunch of morons would have come to that conclusion.


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:

Anyway, the word "lesbian" is treated differently from e.g. "paladin". In Irabeth's description, for example, she is described as a paladin three times ("she had become a paladin of Iomedae", "the half-orc paladin caught up with the tiefling at a ruined tower", "the paladin would have certainly stormed off into the Worldwound"). No word, lesbian or otherwise, is given to her sexuality. Similarly, Anevia isn't referred to by the words "lesbian" (or "bisexual") or "transgender". Referring to her as transgender would have been particularly useful, as it would've helped avoid the use of offensive phrases like "born a man" or "revealed herself to actually be a man".

You say that we can use these words to describe these characters, even if they would not use the words themselves. However, in published Paizo material, these words are not used. In this way, Paizo treats words like "lesbian" and "transgender" differently than words like "paladin".

Jessica Price wrote:
I also said I wasn't aware of what term women who prefer women use on Golarion, or whether they have a term, as it's not a detail of the world we've put into canon, as is the case with tons of other facets of everyday life that we haven't gotten around to defining.
Then I join Annabel in finding it strange that Paizo would make a conscious effort to include queer characters in their adventure paths without coming to a decision on how people on Golarion talk about these things.

Sort of a no win scenario there. Why did Paizo include any number of things without coming to a decision about them? Where are the game specific terms for stamp collecting, for various diseases, for weather events and types of plants?

If they had not included queer characters, people would have asked why they were not included. Now they are getting flack for not having worked out every angle and nuance of queer lifestyle on Golarion? There are hundreds of other aspects of Golarion that they have not worked out -- or at least not released yet -- so should they stop every aspect of the game until they can release a definitive treatment of each?

It seems, and this is my point of view mind you, that some patience is called for. That is, unless you are asking Paizo to put aside everything else to answer this burning question? Not to be unkind or unsympathetic, but the question of what people call themselves ranks just under what the people of Golarion call stamp collectors. Would it be nice to know? Sure. Are there a number of other things that would be interesting to know as well? Yes.


Philatelists. Except, you know, translated into Taldane.


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Philatelists. Except, you know, translated into Taldane.

Oh, I don't think so!

Lord Dice asked me to do that once, and I told him it sounded disgusting. Then he went and found Dicey, and that's when all the "It's not cheating if you're with a goblin" trouble started.


Lady Dice wrote:
"It's not cheating if you're with a goblin" trouble started.

'Tis true, milady, it isn't cheating if it's with a goblin.

[Waggles eyebrows]


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
I must say I had never heard that "homosexual" was an offensive term (and I was recruited to Trotskyism by a former member of a gay New Left Maoist collective), but I've always been a big fan of Gore Vidal and his argument about "homosexual" versus "homosexualist."

To some extent it's a generational thing. The shift away from homosexual and towards gay is really only a few decades old. Part of it is to avoid the clinical and pathologizing usage of the word "homosexual" within psychology (though interestingly, the term was originally coined in the late 1800s as a neutral replacement for "sodomite"). Note that homophobic and anti-queer groups really like to use the word "homosexual". The American Family Association, for example, has a news site where they auto filter "gay" to "homosexual", sometimes to amusing results.

knightnday wrote:

Sort of a no win scenario there. Why did Paizo include any number of things without coming to a decision about them? Where are the game specific terms for stamp collecting, for various diseases, for weather events and types of plants?

If they had not included queer characters, people would have asked why they were not included. Now they are getting flack for not having worked out every angle and nuance of queer lifestyle on Golarion?

I'll let slide mostly without comment that you just compared queer identities to stamp collecting, diseases, weather events, and types of plants.

I do agree that it would be asking too much to expect Paizo to having worked out every detail of queer lifestyle. But that's not what's being asked here. Whether people on Golarion have a concept of and terminology for transgenderism, bisexuality, etc. is a major and basic detail. Working out that one important detail doesn't require one to work out every angle and nuance of queer life on Golarion.

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