Homosexuality in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Andrew R wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Or we don't give a damn about labels and accept they are two people in love that do not need to have that relationship or themselves defined and put in a convenient category.....
These things are more than just labels, they're part of a language that makes living possible for queer folk. As Judith Butler said, this language is as necessary as bread and water. There is nothing convenient about it: it's won over through tears sweat and blood.
Why? i can date a woman without being labeled straight, a man without being labeled gay or bi, i can believe in god without picking a religion, i can enjoy games just as much without being a gamer. The words make nothing different save maybe to set up an "us and you" split to make things worse.

Maybe you can, but for queer folk, we live in a society which starves us of a language in which to communicate who we are, who we love, and how we love. Some language already exists, for example, the language which makes heterosexual relationship intelligible even in the absence of terms like straight. But queer people have to struggle against heterosexist language limitations in an effort to make who they are intelligible. This is why we are talking about language on Golarion, because our Real World language necessitates queer discourse and language ("labels"), so how does that correspond within Paizo's fantasy?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Annabel wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Or we don't give a damn about labels and accept they are two people in love that do not need to have that relationship or themselves defined and put in a convenient category.....
These things are more than just labels, they're part of a language that makes living possible for queer folk. As Judith Butler said, this language is as necessary as bread and water. There is nothing convenient about it: it's won over through tears sweat and blood.

True...but I think part of the reasoning why their might not be label is because queer folk never had to fight for their freedom to pursue whatever relationship they want. In the majority of Golarion cultures, there has never been any discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.


I think Jessica Price has already answered your question, Annabel.


@MMCJawa: Hitdice mentioned here a post by James Jacobs in this thread about language on Golarion. I think it's apropos to your comment.

But that's not quite what Annabel and Andrew R are talking about. At this point, the question is how do we in the real world talk about these fictional characters? How are they described in the text of adventure paths? How are they talked about on internet message boards and the like? Since we live in the real world, facts about the real world are relevant. The real world effects (and affects) how we view fantasy. Yes, this thread is titled "Homosexuality [sic] in Golarion", but we cannot talk about that isolated from queer identities in the real world and how we talk about them.

The real-world history surrounding the language used to talk about queer people does influence what we think about how people on Golarion would think and act. I think there are two main problems with just stating that people on Golarion don't have language for any of this, without significant further world-building. First, it implies that marginalization is located within these words. This has obvious correspondence with the real world. It leads easily to the sort of ignorant idea that just not saying "lesbian" or "bisexual" would magically end the oppression and marginalization of queer people. Second, it's not possible to distinguish between a progressive presentation of Golarion and a regressive presentation. To distinguish these requires further development of the setting (and making that development available to GMs and players). Are these words not being used in published material to reflect how people on Golarion talk? Or are these words not being used in published material due to reasons related to the harmful tropes I mention on the previous page?

The Exchange

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Annabel wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Or we don't give a damn about labels and accept they are two people in love that do not need to have that relationship or themselves defined and put in a convenient category.....
These things are more than just labels, they're part of a language that makes living possible for queer folk. As Judith Butler said, this language is as necessary as bread and water. There is nothing convenient about it: it's won over through tears sweat and blood.
Why? i can date a woman without being labeled straight, a man without being labeled gay or bi, i can believe in god without picking a religion, i can enjoy games just as much without being a gamer. The words make nothing different save maybe to set up an "us and you" split to make things worse.
Maybe you can, but for queer folk, we live in a society which starves us of a language in which to communicate who we are, who we love, and how we love. Some language already exists, for example, the language which makes heterosexual relationship intelligible even in the absence of terms like straight. But queer people have to struggle against heterosexist language limitations in an effort to make who they are intelligible. This is why we are talking about language on Golarion, because our Real World language necessitates queer discourse and language ("labels"), so how does that correspond within Paizo's fantasy?

What is so hard about "hi im bob, this is my boy freind jack" Do we need to be told that bob is a gay man and that jack is a pansexual female wolf in a male humans body to understand that relationship?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed a post. Keep it on-topic. We've had to give a number of warnings in the last couple of pages, and this thread is quickly moving towards a lockdown because of it. I will remind everyone that the topic is on Homosexuality in Golarion—any other meandering will be quashed.

Silver Crusade

Andrew R wrote:
What is so hard about "hi im bob, this is my boy freind jack" Do we need to be told that bob is a gay man and that jack is a pansexual female wolf in a male humans body to understand that relationship?

Yes. It's basic characterization.

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a few more posts. This kind of discussion is really veering into real-world issues, and should probably be discussed in a different thread.


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For anyone looking to continue the discussion outside of Golarion, there is an open "Gender / Sex Politics in the Real World" thread.

When it comes to non-hetero relationships, I'm fine with mentioning the relationship between NPCs like Irabeth and Anevia without labeling either of them specifically as lesbian or bi (or other characters as hetero). I don't see it as erasure so much as leaving the specifics/"Schrödinger's sexuality" open to allow both lesbian and bi players to relate to them. And it's easier for canon, as many LGBT (and hetero) people can find their own sexual identity shifting from one label to another.


I take issue with the idea the two characters mentioned couldn't be bisexual, or that their relationship might not be considerably more complex. Maybe one is lesbian and the other is bisexual. Maybe one considers birth sex important, the other doesn't, or maybe neither does. Vivianne, I am slightly offended that I am being told these characters are lesbian, and specifically lesbian, when they might not even be analogous to what we call lesbians in the real world.

Plus, I've known bisexual lesbians. Identity and coupling behavior aren't always conveniently congruent to other people.


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Detect Magic wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Maybe you can, but for queer folk, we live in a society which starves us of a language in which to communicate who we are, who we love, and how we love. Some language already exists, for example, the language which makes heterosexual relationship intelligible even in the absence of terms like straight. But queer people have to struggle against heterosexist language limitations in an effort to make who they are intelligible. This is why we are talking about language on Golarion, because our Real World language necessitates queer discourse and language ("labels"), so how does that correspond within Paizo's fantasy?
I think Jessica Price has already answered your question, Annabel.

Well, the answer was "I'm not sure" That's why the conversation persisted (via the Persistent Spell metamagic feat: the second save vs. critique failed).

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.


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RJGrady wrote:
I take issue with the idea the two characters mentioned couldn't be bisexual, or that their relationship might not be considerably more complex.
They could be! That's exactly a point I made when I first introduced the topic a few pages ago:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
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.
See also this post of mine:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
This is more a side point, but it's problematic to reduce sexuality to whom one is in a relationship with. This idea is what leads to nonsense like thinking bi or pan people become monosexual when they enter a monogamous relationship. Only presenting sexuality through relationships contributes to this sort of monosexism and erasure of non-monosexual people.

Irabeth and Anevia are understood as lesbian by the audience due to the monosexist society we live in. In fiction, characters are commonly presented as lesbian just by portraying them in a relationship to another woman. Of course, this has the obvious problem of erasing the existence of non-monosexual people! It collapses all women who experience or act on attraction to other women into the category "lesbian", even though that is inaccurate for many of those women!

This is why, when Anevia's and Irabeth's sexuality is presented to the reader solely through their relationship, they are understood as lesbian by the audience. I think that sexual identity should be explicitly mentioned, rather than merely dodged around, when portraying characters for whom it is important. One reason, among others, I think this is that it helps to avoid this erasure. By not giving a name to their sexualities, they are widely understood as lesbian, because that is how lesbian characters are often portrayed in fiction. On the other hand, if their sexuality is named, then we could have something like Anevia being lesbian and Irabeth being bisexual.

I understand that the meanders and whatnot of this thread have probably obscured my point. I also recognize that there's been many spots I haven't done a good job presenting my ideas. I apologize for my contribution to making it seem as though I support this kind of erasure and collapse.


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Hey look, privilege makes its tiring appearance again. It'd be wonderful if the conversation could stray from trying to insult others, you know?

As for needing labels, that's great -- as long as everyone gets one. Just add it to the statblock if that is the tact we want to take, and then characters can be easily identified right off the bat and no one will have to interpret the fluff text or feel left out. To do otherwise is disingenuous and promotes an idea that hetero is 'normal', which is something to be avoided.


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RJGrady wrote:

I take issue with the idea the two characters mentioned couldn't be bisexual, or that their relationship might not be considerably more complex. Maybe one is lesbian and the other is bisexual. Maybe one considers birth sex important, the other doesn't, or maybe neither does. Vivianne, I am slightly offended that I am being told these characters are lesbian, and specifically lesbian, when they might not even be analogous to what we call lesbians in the real world.

Plus, I've known bisexual lesbians. Identity and coupling behavior aren't always conveniently congruent to other people.

I think that may have been Vivianne's point?

Since they're not labeled, we don't know what they consider themselves, but since they are presented as 2 women in a sexual relationship most people are going to assume they are lesbians. Probably without thinking much further on it.
That's why the label would be good, whatever it is: It would give us more insight into how the author intended the characters.
It's also why the label would be bad: It limits them beyond what's necessary for their part in the AP.


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Again in it's own comment then:

I always wonder about out the different races and cultures of Golarion would speak in 'the language of love'.

For example in the real world different languages have different words to describe different types of love or use adjectives and nouns together differently to express different concepts on love (for example the greek seven kinds of love.

It would be interesting to see if the elves have different words for the length of time the love covers, or who the love is with or if it is a romantic love or not.

Equally interesting to me is how the dwarves would describe the same things.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Again in it's own comment then:

I always wonder about out the different races and cultures of Golarion would speak in 'the language of love'.

For example in the real world different languages have different words to describe different types of love or use adjectives and nouns together differently to express different concepts on love (for example the greek seven kinds of love.

It would be interesting to see if the elves have different words for the length of time the love covers, or who the love is with or if it is a romantic love or not.

Equally interesting to me is how the dwarves would describe the same things.

I think these are all interesting questions, many of which would perhaps provide grounds to conceive how love and other relations require a diversifying of language. I wish I had more to add.


thejeff wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

I take issue with the idea the two characters mentioned couldn't be bisexual, or that their relationship might not be considerably more complex. Maybe one is lesbian and the other is bisexual. Maybe one considers birth sex important, the other doesn't, or maybe neither does. Vivianne, I am slightly offended that I am being told these characters are lesbian, and specifically lesbian, when they might not even be analogous to what we call lesbians in the real world.

Plus, I've known bisexual lesbians. Identity and coupling behavior aren't always conveniently congruent to other people.

I think that may have been Vivianne's point?

I understood Vivanne's point to be, "Label characters according to their sexual identity," whereas my point is, "Don't label characters according to their supposed identity."

Quote:


Since they're not labeled, we don't know what they consider themselves, but since they are presented as 2 women in a sexual relationship most people are going to assume they are lesbians. Probably without thinking much further on it.
That's why the label would be good, whatever it is: It would give us more insight into how the author intended the characters.
It's also why the label would be bad: It limits them beyond what's necessary for their part in the AP.

So, when the problem is that people assume two characters are in a lesbian relationship, the answer is to say, "Yes, they are?" I guess that will really show them, or something.


RJGrady wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Quote:


Since they're not labeled, we don't know what they consider themselves, but since they are presented as 2 women in a sexual relationship most people are going to assume they are lesbians. Probably without thinking much further on it.
That's why the label would be good, whatever it is: It would give us more insight into how the author intended the characters.
It's also why the label would be bad: It limits them beyond what's necessary for their part in the AP.
So, when the problem is that people assume two characters are in a lesbian relationship, the answer is to say, "Yes, they are?" I guess that will really show them, or something.

Not quite. It's to say "Yes, they're in a lesbian relationship, but while Anevia is only interested in women, Irabeth is attracted to both men and women."

Assuming that's the intent, of course.


I guess I could see some purpose to that in a comic book or novel set in Golarion. I definitely prefer it remain open in published adventures. All I really need to know is the situation; the GM and players can handle the rest.


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RJGrady wrote:
I understood Vivanne's point to be,

Fortunately, I expounded upon what I was saying here, two posts above the post of thejeff that you replied to. It should help clarify what is my point and what is not my point.

Silver Crusade

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Liz Courts wrote:
Removed a post. Keep it on-topic. We've had to give a number of warnings in the last couple of pages, and this thread is quickly moving towards a lockdown because of it. I will remind everyone that the topic is on Homosexuality in Golarion—any other meandering will be quashed.

Please let's keep this thread open folks. Rough patches aside, this thread has been a nice thing.

And we want to have those.


Just as an aside to address the "stamp-collectors in Golarion" argument: Who said there were stamps in Golarion? No government seems to have taken over the delivery of written messages, as far as I can tell. Cheliax might require that messengers allow all letters to be inspected, ostensibly to check for explosive runes and the like, but even then I doubt that people would pay to send messages in anything but coins.


NoncompliAut wrote:
Just as an aside to address the "stamp-collectors in Golarion" argument: Who said there were stamps in Golarion? No government seems to have taken over the delivery of written messages, as far as I can tell. Cheliax might require that messengers allow all letters to be inspected, ostensibly to check for explosive runes and the like, but even then I doubt that people would pay to send messages in anything but coins.

Replace 'stamp collector' with anything: dagger collector. Fine wines. Coin collector. Bird watcher. The point wasn't to nitpick on whether or not stamps exist, but to illustrate that perhaps things were as important -- or unimportant -- as what they collect or otherwise do. There is always the chance, however small, that in portions of Golarion sexual preferences and identity didn't take the same path as they did on Earth.

Silver Crusade

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alchemicGenius wrote:
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?

They're probably not fit to be posted here I mean, I have some stuff I owe the boards on the other points of the LGBT spectrums(positively portrayed D/s too) that I really need to finish. After coming off a long bout of illness and one hell of a recent confidence booster, gonna try and get those done.

because I can't let all that dwelling over cecaelia anatomy go to waste


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thejeff wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

I take issue with the idea the two characters mentioned couldn't be bisexual, or that their relationship might not be considerably more complex. Maybe one is lesbian and the other is bisexual. Maybe one considers birth sex important, the other doesn't, or maybe neither does. Vivianne, I am slightly offended that I am being told these characters are lesbian, and specifically lesbian, when they might not even be analogous to what we call lesbians in the real world.

Plus, I've known bisexual lesbians. Identity and coupling behavior aren't always conveniently congruent to other people.

I think that may have been Vivianne's point?

Since they're not labeled, we don't know what they consider themselves, but since they are presented as 2 women in a sexual relationship most people are going to assume they are lesbians. Probably without thinking much further on it.
That's why the label would be good, whatever it is: It would give us more insight into how the author intended the characters.
It's also why the label would be bad: It limits them beyond what's necessary for their part in the AP.

I don't know, Jeff, on the one hand, I get what you're saying. On the other, I think the author gave us the exact amount of insight they wanted to, by writing down exactly what they wrote down. If the majority of the audience isn't willing to consider the permutations of what the author wrote, that's not really Paizo's shortcoming to correct.


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We as readers can see them as lesbian, or as pansexual, etc. I think it's a good thing for the AP to leave such things open to interpretation. For example, if events occurred such that Irabeth died, and Anevia went on to travel with the PCs, and one of the PCs started to develop a relationship with her, specifically declaring her a lesbian in the text might inhibit that. Not that it's a problem for the GM to change such things, and also it's certainly possible for someone who identifies as lesbian to find a new dimension to her sexuality. But simply leaving statements as "X and Y are together" without making any implications about whether X might consider Z a relationship partner under other circumstances makes things easiest for all concerned.


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I suppose the big thing is: are Paizo representing gay people, or are they representing people in same sex relationships? It isn't quite the same thing. With the information we receive it's not really possible to say, 'Yeah, that character's gay like me.' They could be bi, or they could be straight with an exception, or some other variant of the infinitely broad spectrum of gender identity and sexual attraction.

We can make assumptions, but when I go, 'Hey, I'm a happily married man and that's my wife' most people will assume we're both straight. Most people don't assume that my wife has had more girlfriends than I have, or that I like guys too (both true). Assumptions are a hollow thing with sexuality, really, and something to be avoided like the pox.

Really, I don't see the harm in firming up NPC's sexuality a bit. It can be as easily ignored or changed as any other facet of an NPC. Since the goal of adding non-cis characters is to represent those of us in the real world who aren't straight, it might be nice if it was more specific than the current system, which is pretty much 'doesn't currently sleep with same gender' and 'does sleep with same gender'.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
We as readers can see them as lesbian, or as pansexual, etc. I think it's a good thing for the AP to leave such things open to interpretation. For example, if events occurred such that Irabeth died, and Anevia went on to travel with the PCs, and one of the PCs started to develop a relationship with her, specifically declaring her a lesbian in the text might inhibit that. Not that it's a problem for the GM to change such things, and also it's certainly possible for someone who identifies as lesbian to find a new dimension to her sexuality. But simply leaving statements as "X and Y are together" without making any implications about whether X might consider Z a relationship partner under other circumstances makes things easiest for all concerned.

Yeah I was thinking of a way of phrasing my thoughts, and these seem to do a good job of it. That and I really think they want to phrase relationships in as neutral manner as possible so not to make it any bigger a deal than having straight characters. If they single out character x as gay or bisexual, does the corollary mean they need to identify every straight character as straight.

I mean I doubt I am the only person, but most characters that are not in a relationship in games I GM are left with open questions on sexuality, so any interested character can potentially seduce/flirt/start a relationship with that NPC.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
For anyone looking to continue the discussion outside of Golarion, there is an open "Gender / Sex Politics in the Real World" thread.

Please, don't bother making the trip unless you are hawt.


MMCJawa wrote:
If they single out character x as gay or bisexual, does the corollary mean they need to identify every straight character as straight.

Yes absolutely. Straight characters should be identified as straight.

Now, I do the same thing as you when I DM, where most NPCs aren't given a pre-determined sexuality. It's left unstated and if it ever comes up, I can make something up that fits the need of the characters and story. But for some NPCs, their sexuality is important to their character. So if there's an NPC whose heterosexuality is important to their character, it should be stated. If there's an NPC whose bisexuality is important to their character, it should be stated.


I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.


An ooze?

Grand Lodge

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RJGrady wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.

A person who is completely, totally, monomaniacally devoted to their craft.

A person who doesn't have that level of devotion, but has a philosophical idea that sexuality is an impediment to human (or elven, or dwarven) intellectual development.

A person who is asexual.

It does happen.


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Kittyburger wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.

A person who is completely, totally, monomaniacally devoted to their craft.

A person who doesn't have that level of devotion, but has a philosophical idea that sexuality is an impediment to human (or elven, or dwarven) intellectual development.

A person who is asexual.

It does happen.

That just means they aren't overtly sexual. That doesn't make their sexuality unimportant. In fact, many people who are asexual struggle with a sense of normalcy. Obviously, some can't be arsed and don't care, but it's a bigger issue if you like the idea of being married but realize you don't have a sex drive like most people.

For someone who chooses some kind of personal development that emphasizes celibacy, sexuality is important. Perhaps even more important than it is for people who regard it as a mundane issue.


[I’ll just join in the chorus of posters who find the present conversation fascinating but also difficult for figuring out how they’re going to interpret Paizo’s inclusion of LGBTQ characters in Golarion.

On the one hand, I have a great deal of sympathy for the idea that identities would develop much differently in contexts other than those familiar from the real world, and that leaving some details unstated makes that point as well as makes it easier for GMs to fit characters into their games in various ways. On the other hand, depending on how strongly Paizo’s inclusivity is meant to reflect real-world sexual diversity, I wonder if being too reticent about the details may sweep more specifically LGBT characters into an undifferentiated mass of Q.

I don’t mean to be sharp, but just how diverse is the setting if in most cases one can’t distinguish what we would call lesbian and gay from bisexual characters, to repeat an example that has come up before in this thread? Of course, that appropriately models what one might be able to learn from casual interaction with an NPC, but if the meta purpose (does that sound too strange?) is to provide characters that enable as many types of people as possible to look at Golarion and say, “Hey, people like me exist in this game world!” I can see why it might be useful to be more definitive in some cases, occasionally. I think Anevia and Irabeth are a particularly telling couple: I don’t think it’s hard to see why a trans lesbian reader might be particularly delighted if Irabeth was clearly what we would call lesbian, or why a bisexual reader might be if Irabeth was stated to be bisexual. (In the latter case, I gather that in the real world some bisexual people find it difficult to find partners who really believe that they are interested in people of that partner’s gender.)

I do like Ms. Price’s suggestion from earlier in the thread for how unrepressed societies might handle the social niceties:

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."

But I’m not sure where that leaves characters that know, for example, that they’re only attracted to people of one gender, for example. As RJGrady put it, earlier, there are differences between “‘Sorry, I prefer women,’ vs. ‘Sorry, I’m a lesbian.’” All else being equal, it would at the very least distinguish between characters who prefer more or less direct approaches to the relevant situation. And that’s not even beginning to get into how cliquey humans (and I imagine, elves, dwarves, and so on) can get, or Annabel’s point about the desirability of being able to name oneself. Identifying the terms used in Golarion would provide the option for defining a character as what we would call lesbian or gay when that would be desirable – for the sake of diversity as such, or for a player for whom the point is important. Maybe people in Golarion generally refer to “women who love women” and “men who love men,” if that has enough connection to real-world terminology without being obtrusive?

As a last note, I do love Mikaze’s suggestion of “firefly” for more specific contexts. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
RJGrady wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.

I would say any NPC who is mostly going to serve as canon fodder or item provider.

I mean realistically...the average AP has limited amount of space to provide information, and many NPCs will only interact with PCs for a very limited period of time (which in the case of guards, might only be the duration of getting stabbed).

Unless a specific NPC features heavily in an AP/adventure (Anevia, Irabeth, etc), or there sexuality is critical to plot or quest (ie. loved one kidnapped/murdered/now a rival, etc), than in many cases it won't come up.


knightnday wrote:
To do otherwise is disingenuous and promotes an idea that hetero is 'normal', which is something to be avoided.

How ironic that Annabel would call gay people like us as "queer folk", considering the original meaning of the word queer. I guess straight people are "not queer".


MMCJawa wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.

I would say any NPC who is mostly going to serve as canon fodder or item provider.

So, characters that are barely characters.

Project Manager

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RJGrady wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what an NPC is like, for which sexuality is NOT important to their character.

Well, I spent my teen and college years 100% focused on music, and my early professional years focused on my career, and all of that time confused as to why everyone else spent so much time thinking and fretting about sex and romantic relationships. Part of it was, I'm sure, that I didn't have any mental and emotional energy to spare for it, but I also just wasn't interested.

I occasionally was mildly worried that something was wrong with me since everyone else seemed to care so much about it, but I certainly didn't "struggle" with it. I honestly didn't think about it much -- I had stuff I was doing and it was mostly an annoyance, and something that people kept trying to put on me that didn't feel like it fit. I occasionally went on first dates because I felt like I was supposed to, but I was mostly just relieved when they were over and I could get back to doing stuff I cared about.

Ultimately, I guess I was just a late-bloomer, and it's definitely part of who I am now, but I don't think that changes that when I was 25, sexuality felt like something other people kept imposing on me, rather than something that was part of who I was and what I cared about. It wasn't suppressed, it wasn't sublimated, it wasn't something I was intentionally avoiding -- it was just something that on my own I didn't think or care about.

I don't think that means that I was "barely a character" -- it certainly didn't give me less of a personality.

So I think I'd agree with Kittyburger: I'd play an NPC for whom sexuality isn't something central to their character as having intense focus on some other aspect of their life, and likely either blandly patient or mildly annoyed when people try to flirt with them.

Silver Crusade

Here's a question...
What about people who prefer the same sex, but come from a noble or high powered merchant family? Would it be somewhat along the line of. "We don't care what you feel, this is your duty to the family. So just lie back and think of the Taldor. We arranged this marriage when you were a baby, so by all the gods you're going to do what is expected of you."

Someone's preferences would get lost in the power struggles and marriages for alliances not love.


Jessica Price wrote:


I occasionally was mildly worried that something was wrong with me since everyone else seemed to care so much about it, but I certainly didn't "struggle" with it. I honestly didn't think about it much -- I had stuff I was doing and it was mostly an annoyance, and something that people kept trying to put on me that didn't feel like it fit. I occasionally went on first dates because I felt like I was supposed to, but I was mostly just relieved when they were over and I could get back to doing stuff I cared about.

Ultimately, I guess I was just a late-bloomer, and it's definitely part of who I am now, but I don't think that changes that when I was 25, sexuality felt like something other people kept imposing on me, rather than something that was part of who I was and what I cared about. It wasn't suppressed, it wasn't sublimated, it wasn't something I was intentionally avoiding -- it was just something that on my own I didn't think or care about.

That sounds ... pretty important.

Quote:


I don't think that means that I was "barely a character" -- it certainly didn't give me less of a personality.

Far from it!

Quote:


So I think I'd agree with Kittyburger: I'd play an NPC for whom sexuality isn't something central to their character as having intense focus on some other aspect of their life, and likely either blandly patient or mildly annoyed when people try to flirt with them.

... and that sounds a lot more interesting to put in a NPC stat block then getting out the label-maker and sticking a 21st century sexual identity on each and every NPC writeup that has or might in the future have some kind of romantic relationship.


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Abyssal Lord wrote:
How ironic that Annabel would call gay people like us as "queer folk", considering the original meaning of the word queer. I guess straight people are "not queer".

I don't see the irony. It's well-known that "queer" has been re-appropriated from a slur to a positive term. In fact, the original meaning of queer is part of the political statement behind adopting the term. To adopt the term "queer" is to resist heteronormativity. Hence we have fields like queer theory, organizations like Queer Nation, and identities like genderqueer. But it's perfectly possible for straight people to be queer. Consider, for example, a straight trans man. He could be queer.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

What about people who prefer the same sex, but come from a noble or high powered merchant family? Would it be somewhat along the line of. "We don't care what you feel, this is your duty to the family. So just lie back and think of the Taldor. We arranged this marriage when you were a baby, so by all the gods you're going to do what is expected of you."

Someone's preferences would get lost in the power struggles and marriages for alliances not love.

In a culture which doesn't privilege heterosexuality, I'm not sure how much sense this scenario makes. To put a finer point on it, why is the scenario a gay person being forced into a different-gender relationship? Why didn't you ask about a straight person being in an arranged marriage to someone of the same gender? If heterosexuality isn't privileged, the former doesn't seem more plausible. Reproduction isn't an issue, since wealthy and powerful people would have access to low level transmutation magic.

Silver Crusade

Because the marriage was arranged before the person in question was even born. It's less about the sexes of the people involved and more of doing what their parent's expect, and not marrying for love but for power. Since the thread is about homosexuality, then I see no point of bringing a hetrosexual promised in marriage to someone of the same sex.

So the question is, is homosexuality (and other things related to sex, such as cheating, bastard children, women staying virginal until they get married) viewed differently amongst the noble classes as opposed to the common classes?

I can also see Cheliax being less friendly towards homosexuality, more so towards male homosexuality. We know that Asmodeus is a rampant mysygonist, and I'm sure he'd be unamused by a man "acting like a woman" by being submissive. They might even have the logic. "It's not gay if you're topping"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:
How ironic that Annabel would call gay people like us as "queer folk", considering the original meaning of the word queer. I guess straight people are "not queer".

I don't see the irony. It's well-known that "queer" has been re-appropriated from a slur to a positive term. In fact, the original meaning of queer is part of the political statement behind adopting the term. To adopt the term "queer" is to resist heteronormativity. Hence we have fields like queer theory, organizations like Queer Nation, and identities like genderqueer. But it's perfectly possible for straight people to be queer. Consider, for example, a straight trans man. He could be queer.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

What about people who prefer the same sex, but come from a noble or high powered merchant family? Would it be somewhat along the line of. "We don't care what you feel, this is your duty to the family. So just lie back and think of the Taldor. We arranged this marriage when you were a baby, so by all the gods you're going to do what is expected of you."

Someone's preferences would get lost in the power struggles and marriages for alliances not love.

In a culture which doesn't privilege heterosexuality, I'm not sure how much sense this scenario makes. To put a finer point on it, why is the scenario a gay person being forced into a different-gender relationship? Why didn't you ask about a straight person being in an arranged marriage to someone of the same gender? If heterosexuality isn't privileged, the former doesn't seem more plausible. Reproduction isn't an issue, since wealthy and powerful people would have access to low level transmutation magic.

Depends on how transmutation magic is considered for the purposes of producing an heir...Real life has made up all sort of arbitrary rules regarding that

It also might be that there isn't a possible mate of the appropriate sexuality of the same station. There might only be a handful of eligible future husbands/wives available within the status range of a specific noble family, so there might be a pretty high probability that none of the available suitors are gay/lesbian. I mean the arranged marriage trope is all about at least one partner not being happy with the proposed union, so sexuality would be just another layer (not even the worse...A woman being forced to marry a gay man is still preferable to having to marry Ramsey Bolton :/ )

Than again, given what is presented in Golarion...arranged marriages might be rather uncommon, so the only thing might be a moot point. Taldar, Brevoy, and Cheliax might be the only major nations that frequently use it.


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If there's no taboo against homosexuality, it's also possible arranged marriages could be same sex. Possibly against the preference of one or both parties.

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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
I can also see Cheliax being less friendly towards homosexuality, more so towards male homosexuality. We know that Asmodeus is a rampant mysygonist, and I'm sure he'd be unamused by a man "acting like a woman" by being submissive. They might even have the logic. "It's not gay if you're topping"

That assumes an overall association between femininity and submissiveness that isn't present in Golarion.


Jessica Price wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
I can also see Cheliax being less friendly towards homosexuality, more so towards male homosexuality. We know that Asmodeus is a rampant mysygonist, and I'm sure he'd be unamused by a man "acting like a woman" by being submissive. They might even have the logic. "It's not gay if you're topping"
That assumes an association between femininity and submissiveness that isn't present in Golarion.

But it exists on other worlds - it might be that the association between masculinity and domination could be infernal influence and only recently introduced on Golarion when Cheliax turned to diabolism.

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