The LGBT Gamer Community Thread.


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Silver Crusade System Administrator

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Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Kalindlara, I haven't been where you are, but I can tell you that there are people out there who will help, and who will listen. I'm not sure what sort of healthcare you have or what your finances are, but it seems like the best thing for you would be to find a psychologist or psychiatrist that is at least aware of trans issues, or ideally a specialist in gender dysphoria and transitioning.

It's really hard to find them, honestly. A lot of times you have to end up teaching them. Printing off the standards of care, recommending some good literature on the topic and that's if they are open to the idea, which in red states is kind of difficult. And you don't really know that until you've been there or someone else has been there and reported on it somewhere, which again, is difficult in red states. That said, most therapists are willing to code therapy as depression for the purposes of insurance. While it's great to say, go get some help, there are a lot of doctors that can cause more harm than good out there and you have to be careful.

My first suggestion, honestly, is to find a support group. They aren't always great and many support groups are filled with crossdressers who while fine, aren't in exactly the same boat so you have to look for one that suits you. They are usually free and it's nice to have someone to talk to, even make friends with. When done right, there are no judgements there on gender and it can be useful to find friends who have gone through similar things so they can let you know who to talk to for professional help and which doctors are good about coding insurance correctly.

Dark Archive

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Kalindlara wrote:

This isn't everything - how could it be? - but I've written so much, and I feel so guilty for wasting your time. I'm really sorry.

** spoiler omitted **...

Hi Kalindlara.

I am really glad you were so honest and open with folks in this thread with something so personal. That takes courage. Thank you.

What you're going through sounds really rough. As others have mentioned, this sounds a lot like depression. Depression can be really hard to live with because it CAN have us feeling like we aren't adequate in so many ways. What you're feeling is a totally normal component of the illness. I've struggled with it and I've worked a lot with folks who struggle with it; it's tough. I'm not trans myself, so I can't even begin to fully grasp how much harder that makes this.

I also agree you might benefit greatly from finding a space to talk through some of these things with a professional so you can get some support. If you're not ready to take that step (and I understand; it can be a scary one, especially finding a trans-friendly mental health provider) or want something more immediate, I would encourage you strongly to reach out tothe Trans Life Line. This is a free helpline staffed by transfolk for transfolk. They are there to give you a space to talk, find resources, or even just when you need someone to listen. I can't recommend them enough.

If that isn't a fit for you or you're looking for other resources, I can imagine folks in this thread have a wealth of info and would be happy to share.

EDITS: Fixed some grammar issues.


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All I can really say is: wow. Holy s!$@.

I mean... wow. I have no idea what you're going through, as I have never been in such a place before in my relatively short life. I can't relate. All that whining I've done in the past on this thread seems like-no, is-nothing that can compare to what you're going through. All I can do is to offer the same amount of support everybody else has offered me and anybody who has had a rough time who's posted on this thread.

*Offers hug*

Project Manager

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The Doomkitten wrote:

All I can really say is: wow. Holy s+*!.

I mean... wow. I have no idea what you're going through, as I have never been in such a place before in my relatively short life. I can't relate. All that whining I've done in the past on this thread seems like-no, is-nothing that can compare to what you're going through. All I can do is to offer the same amount of support everybody else has offered me and anybody who has had a rough time who's posted on this thread.

*Offers hug*

You weren't whining. You were doing exactly what you should do, which is connecting to other people who might have had similar experiences, and seeking out the support that you might not be able to get offline. There's nothing wrong with that. There's a chance it can become unhealthy (e.g. if you stop looking for offline support, if you use talking about your problems online as a substitute for actually changing anything about what's making you unhappy), but using the internet and online communities to seek out information and advice, to experiment with coming out before you do so to your friends and family, and to get support you can't get elsewhere is healthy, sensible behavior.

And your problems don't have to be worse than everyone else's for you to deserve empathy and support. :-)


Lissa Guillet wrote:
That said, most therapists are willing to code therapy as depression for the purposes of insurance.

I am sure you know a lot more than I about what a transgender person faces than I, Lissa.

But Kalindlara sounds like they are in fact clinically depressed, to me and aatea. That is bound to be adding to the persons problems and its a lot easier to find a medical practitioner who is experienced with.

Why is it that Paizo is so supportative of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.

Project Manager

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Kalindlara -- oh, hon, I really want to give you a hug. You are such a warm and bright presence on these boards; you give so much, and I'm so sorry that things are so hard for you right now.

I can't tell you what to do about the issues stemming from being trans, and I wouldn't presume to try. There are a lot of really wise people here who have better advice and resources to offer than anything I can say on that front. All I can say about that is hang in there, and find what spaces you can, online or offline, to be yourself. Hopefully the number of places and people with whom you feel comfortable doing that will grow.

On the relationship thing, I understand the allure of it and feeling like something's wrong with you because everyone else has been having romantic relationships for decades, but speaking as someone who had her first kiss and first relationship when she was your age, don't sweat it. Focus on getting yourself to a place where you're stable and content, and I know this can be hard to believe, but trust me: when you are content with who you are, potential romantic partners will come calling. (It's sort of like job hunting, that way: it's famine when you feel like you need it, and feast when you don't. I know that's cold comfort right now, but please trust me that it's not too late, and you aren't too old.)

Regarding your cat: stop beating yourself up about it. You can't make yourself love someone when you don't, and the fact that your mother got a new cat before you were done grieving your old one isn't your fault. There's no perfect score in love. It isn't a test. Do you treat the cat with respect? Is s/he getting fed and cared for? If the answer's yes, you're giving the kitty a good home. Maybe all you'll ever be is roommates. And maybe affection will sneak up on you. It does, sometimes. Either way, as long as you're kind to the cat, you're doing fine.

You're not too old to cry. Crying as an adult over something minor isn't a sign that you're weak: it's a sign that you're emotionally exhausted. Which is understandable: depression and the sort of stress it sounds like you're dealing with are like having a severed emotional artery. You probably won't fully understand how much you were bleeding until long after you find a way to stop. I hope that you're able to find a counselor who understands gender issues and can help you, but above all, please just hang in there and be kind to yourself.

On the work front, I can't give you a job, but I am happy to give you some mentoring. If you're interested in writing for RPGs, send me some of your writing, and I'll give you a critique. If it's good, I'm happy to point you to ways to get published, and if it's not, I'll give you advice on how to make it good.

<3

Silver Crusade System Administrator

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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
But Kalindlara sounds like they are in fact clinically depressed, to me and aatea. That is bound to be adding to the persons problems and its a lot easier to find a medical practitioner who is experienced with.

I don't necessarily disagree with that but I'm advising caution. Because, it's been my experience, that a lot of therapists and psychologists don't understand our pathology and aren't interested in learning and can make it worse. So finding a T* friendly therapist is an execersise and an important one. A lot of depression in trans men and women comes from weird brain chemistry. My depression lightened a ton when I started hormones which is not something someone who doesn't know about trans people would be able to understand. I was happier, more outgoing, and stopped being suicidal. It was a big change.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Why is it that Paizo is so supportive of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.

I can't really speak for others or the company but from day one Paizo has always seemed to want everyone to feel like they could play in Golarion. It's very welcoming to a wide breadth of people. It's important that you have people that can represent part of you in a world you want to be a part of, I've always felt. Our staff is somewhat diverse and I know I always feel great when something my company does invites someone else into my hobby.

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Kalindlara, I haven't been where you are, but I can tell you that there are people out there who will help, and who will listen. I'm not sure what sort of healthcare you have or what your finances are, but it seems like the best thing for you would be to find a psychologist or psychiatrist that is at least aware of trans issues, or ideally a specialist in gender dysphoria and transitioning.

It's really hard to find them, honestly. A lot of times you have to end up teaching them. Printing off the standards of care, recommending some good literature on the topic and that's if they are open to the idea, which in red states is kind of difficult. And you don't really know that until you've been there or someone else has been there and reported on it somewhere, which again, is difficult in red states. That said, most therapists are willing to code therapy as depression for the purposes of insurance. While it's great to say, go get some help, there are a lot of doctors that can cause more harm than good out there and you have to be careful.

My first suggestion, honestly, is to find a support group. They aren't always great and many support groups are filled with crossdressers who while fine, aren't in exactly the same boat so you have to look for one that suits you. They are usually free and it's nice to have someone to talk to, even make friends with. When done right, there are no judgements there on gender and it can be useful to find friends who have gone through similar things so they can let you know who to talk to for professional help and which doctors are good about coding insurance correctly.

I would also add that reading more about your circumstance and people like yourself helps so much. What you read depends on your interests. If you're a webcomics person, then I can't recommend O Human Star or Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls or Assigned Male or The Princess enough! If you prefer mange, Wandering Son is usually incredible. if you prefer novels, then Nevada is great! If you're more into biographies and anthologies, Sex Changes is pretty good. If you're more scientifically-minded, there are tons or social and biological studies on trans people from the past ten years. If you're more of a history buff like me, there are a ton of amazing roles and names for trans people throughout history, stretching back at least 10,000 years.

Gaining knowledge helps remind you that you're not alone, and that many women before you have managed to survive this. Knowledge puts control of your development and treatment into your hands. You don't need to worry as much about whether a doctor knows much about trans treatment is you do; you can teach them and get what you need, and leave a medical professional trained to help other people like yourself in the future. Knowledge means never having to be at someone else's mercy.

Silver Crusade System Administrator

Crystal Frasier wrote:

Gaining knowledge helps remind you that you're not alone, and that many women before you have managed to survive this. Knowledge puts control of your development and treatment into your hands. You don't need to worry as much about whether a doctor knows much about trans treatment is you do; you can teach them and get what you need, and leave a medical professional trained to help other people like yourself in the future. Knowledge means never having to be at someone else's mercy.

We've had to teach at least one doctor. It helps having the knowledge to make sure you're getting the care you need.

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

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Lissa Guillet wrote:


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Why is it that Paizo is so supportive of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.
I can't really speak for others or the company but from day one Paizo has always seemed to want everyone to feel like they could play in Golarion. It's very welcoming to a wide breadth of people. It's important that you have people that can represent part of you in a world you want to be a part of, I've always felt. Our staff is somewhat diverse and I know I always feel great when something my company does invites someone else into my hobby.

Most every employee at Paizo grew up a freak and/or geek. We know what it's like to be excluded and told we can't join in. And we don't want our worlds or products to push that kind of attitude. We try hard to make sure everyone (not just LGBT folks) know they can be heroes in Golarion.

Of course, having a huge amount of queer staff doesn't hurt.

Project Manager

^What Crystal and Lissa said re: LGBT support.

You don't really get into making RPGs if you aren't a reader or at least an enthusiastic consumer of stories, and I'm fairly certain all of us here have had the experience of escaping into the world of a book (or comic, or TV show) when real life doesn't feel safe or right for us.

Personally, I feel that if I'm making worlds, but not in such a way that they can be refuges for others who'll need them, I'm sort of betraying the ones that gave me a second home when I needed it.

Dark Archive

Crystal Frasier wrote:


I would also add that reading more about your circumstance and people like yourself helps so much. What you read depends on your interests. If you're a webcomics person, then I can't recommend O Human Star or Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls or Assigned Male or The Princess enough! If you prefer mange, Wandering Son is usually incredible. if...

I second O Human Star! Beautiful art and very well written.


Kalindlara wrote:
Don't tell me I need help, either. I know that. Everyone else I know - my mother, my fake boyfriend - they all say that. "You need help." It's their excuse for not listening. Nobody listens. Nobody listens, and I'm alone.

The fact they say that you need help does not mean they are not listening - they might say that because they are listening and feeling that they are unable to help you on their own. They might be listening and knowing the dangers of untreated depression.

Shadow Lodge

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Hi Kalindlara,

I can't really relate to the trans issues. I'm a guy and I've always known that inside and out. But I am bi and I do know what it is like to have to hide who I am. I spend 20 years in the Air Force, most of that under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I have had supervisors tell me to my face that they would kick the s~*% out of a f+@ before they would ever work with one. So I know what it's like to feel like you have to hide. It hurts in ways that just cannot be described to feel like you're lying to the world.

That is nothing to be ashamed of. You do not have to do or say anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you are not ready for. You do not have to share yourself with the world or even with us on line. That includes loving a cat that is not yours if you are not ready. And you do not have to feel bad about your mother buying things for you. Even if she can't understand your personal issues as a trans person, she obviously loves you and wants you to be happy. We also want you to be happy, but I think most of the people here understand that you may not be ready to be happy. It will come in time though; and it is a goal worth working towards.

Thank you for sharing a little piece of your pain. I hope it has helped and we will always be here for you.


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Kalindlara,
Just know that there are folks out there who can relate to the things you are going through. I went through major depression for a time and managed to crawl out. It was the hardest time of my life. It feels utterly hopeless but please know it's never completely hopeless. I can't relate to what it is to be someone trapped inside yourself like a trans person. But I can relate to pretending to be someone you're not as a gay man. I did it for so many years and it made me miserable. My case was extreme as well as I did end up losing my friends and family and had to go out on my own. BUT and this is a big BUT. I made new friends, I found my husband who I love with all my heart. I am now living my dream of exploring Europe (moved to England last year). I know from your vantage point it all seems dark, and me saying that it gets better is a platitude. But it really really does. And you need to know there are those of us out there who would accept you just as you are and would be there to support you through any transition. But please above all, you need to see someone who can help about the suicidal thoughts. You are a unique and special person, and people like you are needed for society to move forward. Your loss isn't something that people would just get over, and as a society we would be loss for your loss. Please find some support somewhere near you.


Kalindlara, I don't know what it's like to be trans, but I do know what depression is like. I know the heavy weight it can put on you and the guilt you feel when you start failing to accomplish things and move forward. I'm sorry I don't have any good advice for you. I'm kinda not out of my own situation, so I'm struggling too.

I hope you find your groove and start making beautiful music. Whenever things seem hard, maybe you should come here and talk with the droves of people here? It seems like a lot of us want to support you and that's better than nothing, eh?


Lissa Guillet wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
But Kalindlara sounds like they are in fact clinically depressed, to me and aatea. That is bound to be adding to the persons problems and its a lot easier to find a medical practitioner who is experienced with.
I don't necessarily disagree with that but I'm advising caution. Because, it's been my experience, that a lot of therapists and psychologists don't understand our pathology and aren't interested in learning and can make it worse. So finding a T* friendly therapist is an execersise and an important one. A lot of depression in trans men and women comes from weird brain chemistry. My depression lightened a ton when I started hormones which is not something someone who doesn't know about trans people would be able to understand. I was happier, more outgoing, and stopped being suicidal. It was a big change.

I am sure you are right about therapists.

I do know about depression generally and Kalindlara sounds depressed. And depression has a tendency to make every kind of other problem worse.

As to depression in transgender people, I don't know. Finding a good therapist who knows about transgender issues seems an excellent idea.

Lissa Guillet wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Why is it that Paizo is so supportive of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.
I can't really speak for others or the company but from day one Paizo has always seemed to want everyone to feel like they could play in Golarion. It's very welcoming to a wide breadth of people. It's important that you have people that can represent part of you in a world you want to be a part of, I've always felt. Our staff is somewhat diverse and I know I always feel great when something my company does invites someone else into my hobby.

Ah, you work for them. I must say I like their attitude.


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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Why is it that Paizo is so supportative of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.

One thing I love about fantasy RPG, is none of the BS in this world- the homophobia, the transphobia, racism, sexism, or any intolerance, has to have anything to do with the game-setting, where the roots of those things never happened.

I know some people think, that allegory in fantasy is lazy, but, the hell with that. I like to address social issues in game, by PCs defending the rights of persecuted Half-Orcs, or tackling superstitious ignorance, over certain traditions of magic.

I can do that, without anyone in-world, not cheering when the heir to the crown, is a transgender woman. Who on her coronation declared, they are crowing a queen, not a king.

I'm a straight, white guy, from a conservative part of the country- I met most of my first LGBT friends through gaming. Thank God for that!


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While I agree that RPGs should enable you to play and enact whatever scenario you enjoy the most, I personally find it tremendously refreshing that it easily enables me to build a fully egalitarian society where the main conflicts come from social status, borders, political intrigue, ancient feuds, emotions and other sources that have nothing to do with race, sexuality, gender or anything of the sort.

Silver Crusade

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Before D&D started, one of the main uses (if I can put it that way) of science fiction was to explore real life issues in a way that was acceptable.

Take racism for example: in the US in the 50s and 60s, mainstream TV was very resistant to shows that had a certain viewpoint on race, because the TV execs believed that this would cause some southern states to protest, and cause sponsors to pull out.

But shows like Star Trek could explore issues of race in a 'safe' way, as they did in the episode 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield', where two men from the same planet had racist attitudes (deadly, at that), but the crew of the Enterprise couldn't understand why, as they were both half black and half white.

'Yeah, but he's black on the left side!'

It might seem a mite unsubtle from our 21st century perspective, but was entirely appropriate for its time, when casual racism was ingrained into the national psyche.

So RPGs can certainly be used by us to explore whatever real life issues we want. LGBT issues have further to go than issues of race. I'm not saying racism has been 'solved', but when was the last time a town protested about a 'mixed' marriage between a black person and a white person? Yet we know about the protests about gay marriage.

If we can use our shared stories with RPGs as the medium, we can use them to explore societies that have no prejudice about, say, trans* people. We can certainly have a crowned 'king' declare herself a 'queen', and we can have the populace be puzzled, or angry, or...indifferent; whatever way we want to explore.


Silverclaw- Interesting observations.

On racism, I don't doubt a great deal of progress has been made. The success of the civil rights movement in the US and the horrible example of the Nazis has made racism... very unfashionable. At least in English speaking countries. It is not always true in other parts of the world, in some Asian countries you will find a lot more overt racism, or so I understand.

But racism hasn't died its just gone underground. We Australians fall over each other to call for treating illegal immigrants who arrive by boat ever more harshly. Sadly much of Europe is similar. And we are very wary of Muslim "extremists" and the Australian Aboriginals remain very poor and disadvantaged compared to the rest of society.

You will hardly find an Australian who says they are racist. But all these groups... they are not white.

And I believe the incredible level of imprisonment in the US compared to similar countries has race at its core. So many prisoners are black. But hey you have a black president and may even have a woman next, so the world seems to be changing for the better. If not as completely as it may seem.

On LGBT issues, the world is almost unrecognisable from when I grew up in the 60s and 70s. But I think its the "T" that is furthest from being accepted and understood.

Silver Crusade

Joynt Jezebel wrote:

Silverclaw- Interesting observations.

On racism, I don't doubt a great deal of progress has been made. The success of the civil rights movement in the US and the horrible example of the Nazis has made racism... very unfashionable. At least in English speaking countries. It is not always true in other parts of the world, in some Asian countries you will find a lot more overt racism, or so I understand.

But racism hasn't died its just gone underground. We Australians fall over each other to call for treating illegal immigrants who arrive by boat ever more harshly. Sadly much of Europe is similar. And we are very wary of Muslim "extremists" and the Australian Aboriginals remain very poor and disadvantaged compared to the rest of society.

You will hardly find an Australian who says they are racist. But all these groups... they are not white.

And I believe the incredible level of imprisonment in the US compared to similar countries has race at its core. So many prisoners are black. But hey you have a black president and may even have a woman next, so the world seems to be changing for the better. If not as completely as it may seem.

On LGBT issues, the world is almost unrecognisable from when I grew up in the 60s and 70s. But I think its the "T" that is furthest from being accepted and understood.

As I said, I don't think racism has been 'solved', but comparing the struggle against racial prejudice to the struggle against LGBT prejudice, more progress has been made against racism.

As you point out, nowadays people don't like to admit that they are racist, because they know that it is seen by society to be wrong. That realisation (that society sees racism as 'wrong') is not the end of that struggle, but it is an indicator that progress is being made.

Yet even today, many are happy to be prejudiced on LGBT issues, because although there is a big part of society that believes this prejudice is wrong, there is a huge part of society that is totally okay with it, and which sees gay people as 'wrong'. This indicates that less progress has been made against LGBT prejudice as has been made against racism.

Even the individual issues concerning each letter of 'LGBT' have made differing levels of progress in this regard.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:

Silverclaw- Interesting observations.

On racism, I don't doubt a great deal of progress has been made. The success of the civil rights movement in the US and the horrible example of the Nazis has made racism... very unfashionable. At least in English speaking countries. It is not always true in other parts of the world, in some Asian countries you will find a lot more overt racism, or so I understand.

But racism hasn't died its just gone underground. We Australians fall over each other to call for treating illegal immigrants who arrive by boat ever more harshly. Sadly much of Europe is similar. And we are very wary of Muslim "extremists" and the Australian Aboriginals remain very poor and disadvantaged compared to the rest of society.

You will hardly find an Australian who says they are racist. But all these groups... they are not white.

And I believe the incredible level of imprisonment in the US compared to similar countries has race at its core. So many prisoners are black. But hey you have a black president and may even have a woman next, so the world seems to be changing for the better. If not as completely as it may seem.

On LGBT issues, the world is almost unrecognisable from when I grew up in the 60s and 70s. But I think its the "T" that is furthest from being accepted and understood.

As I said, I don't think racism has been 'solved', but comparing the struggle against racial prejudice to the struggle against LGBT prejudice, more progress has been made against racism.

As you point out, nowadays people don't like to admit that they are racist, because they know that it is seen by society to be wrong. That realisation (that society sees racism as 'wrong') is not the end of that struggle, but it is an indicator that progress is being made.

Yet even today, many are happy to be prejudiced on LGBT issues, because although there is a big part of society that believes this prejudice is wrong, there is a huge part of society that is...

OTOH, progress on LGBTQ prejudice is happening incredibly rapidly. The changes in even the last decade have been astounding. Racial progress may have started earlier and arguably may still be further along, but it's not moving very fast these days. It's unacceptable to be openly, publicly racist, but there's an awful lot of prejudice below the surface - much of which is perfectly acceptable, as long it's couched in non-racist language. You can't say the N-word, but you can talk about inner city thugs and everyone knows what you mean.

Trans issues are, I think, on a similar trajectory to other LGBTQ issues, but a decade or more behind. They're just starting to hit the mainstream.

I really think we'll still have serious racial issues long after the worst of the LGBTQ problems are only a memory.


I don't disagree with a word Silverclaw.

I think Lesbain and Bi-sexual women are most accepted, followed by Gay nd Bi-sexual men, with Trangendered people least accepted.

And Transgendered people have problems in addition to societal attitudes as well. Feeling you were born in the wrong body... all the time. Surgery is expensive, very major indeed and whether surgery can really deliver a change of gender has at least been questioned. I have had transgendered friends, but I am rather glad I am not trans myself.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Unfortunately, racism is indeed alive and well-- it's just gone underground in a lot of places-- especially in areas deemed "liberal" like New York or Massachusetts.

A friend of mine who's African-American and originally from Alabama once told me that it's sometimes harder to succeed in seemingly-liberal places: the racists smile, shake your hand, and talk to you as if they like you. And then they don't hire you/promote you/rent you an apartment. He said that, with overt racism, at least you know where you stand.

Which reminds me of a not-joke...

Q: What's the difference between a Southern racist and a Northern racist?
A: A Southern racist doesn't care if Black people live nearby as long as they don't get 'uppity.' A Northern racist doesn't care if Black people get 'uppity,' as long as the don't live nearby.

Alas, most of my relatives are Northern racists... who don't seem to realize that they are racists.


Haladir wrote:

Unfortunately, racism is indeed alive and well-- it's just gone underground in a lot of places-- especially "liberal" areas.

A friend of mine who's African-American and originally from Alabama once told me that it's sometimes harder to succeed in "liberal" places: the racists smile, shake your hand, and talk to you as if they like you. And then they don't hire you/promote you/rent you an apartment. He said that, with overt racism, at least you know where you stand.

Which reminds me of a not-joke...

Q: What's the difference between a Southern racist and a Northern racist?
A: A Southern racist doesn't care if Black people live nearby as long as they don't get 'uppity.' A Northern racist doesn't care if Black people get 'uppity,' as long as the don't live nearby.

Alas, most of my relatives are Northern racists... who don't seem to realize that they are racists.

Very much true. The current progress in racism seems to be pushing "southern-style" racism towards "northern-style" racism - making it less obvious, but no less damaging.

Silver Crusade

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thejeff wrote:
I really think we'll still have serious racial issues long after the worst of the LGBTQ problems are only a memory.

I think this is quite true. The reason I think this is the case is that LGBT people come from all walks of life - most people are finding out that somewhere along the line a family member, coworker, friend, or neighbor identifies somewhere in the LGBTQ alphabet. On the other hand, it will be easier for people to continue identifying other races and ethnicities as "the other".

Time will tell.


Celestial Healer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I really think we'll still have serious racial issues long after the worst of the LGBTQ problems are only a memory.

I think this is quite true. The reason I think this is the case is that LGBT people come from all walks of life - most people are finding out that somewhere along the line a family member, coworker, friend, or neighbor identifies somewhere in the LGBTQ alphabet. On the other hand, it will be easier for people to continue identifying other races and ethnicities as "the other".

Time will tell.

Yeah, that's a lot of it. The attitudes really started to change as more and more people started coming out. Which was easier and safer to do as attitudes changed and more people were out, so the process accelerated.


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It's pretty rare for a racist white family to discover they have a black son. It's pretty common for a homophobic family to discover they have a gay son. So there's that.


Not to mention that it's not always apparent when someone is queer. Some homophobes might *gasp* like a person before finding they're gay.

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So, I would just caution here, trying to compare peoples pain and say who has more pain because that's a really individual thing and it's pretty easy to accidentally belittle someones experience on that. Just a note.

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Yeah, plus I'm not sure it's accurate. We've made progress on some gender/gender identity/orientation fronts and backslid on others, and same thing when it comes to race.

Silver Crusade

Joynt Jezebel wrote:

I don't disagree with a word Silverclaw.

I think Lesbain and Bi-sexual women are most accepted, followed by Gay nd Bi-sexual men, with Trangendered people least accepted.

And Transgendered people have problems in addition to societal attitudes as well. Feeling you were born in the wrong body... all the time. Surgery is expensive, very major indeed and whether surgery can really deliver a change of gender has at least been questioned. I have had transgendered friends, but I am rather glad I am not trans myself.

You say you don't agree with a word (fair enough), but don't say what you disagree with. I say that because I do agree with what you wrote after writing that you disagree with me, which leaves me puzzled regarding what you disagree with, exactly.

I know I got sidetracked, but my actual point was that we can use the medium of RPGs to explore real life issues in the same way that science fiction writers in the 50s and 60s used that medium to explore real life issues of their day. The example I used was a Star Trek episode dealing with racism, but this wasn't meant to mean that racism is better/worse than any other kind of prejudice, it was just a well known example. I can't recall a ST:TOS episode that dealt with LGBT issues.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
I don't disagree with a word Silverclaw.
You say you don't agree with a word (fair enough), but don't say what you disagree with. I say that because I do agree with what you wrote after writing that you disagree with me, which leaves me puzzled regarding what you disagree with, exactly.

Psst, Malachi. He said: I don't disagree with a word.

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I know I got sidetracked, but my actual point was that we can use the medium of RPGs to explore real life issues in the same way that science fiction writers in the 50s and 60s used that medium to explore real life issues of their day. The example I used was a Star Trek episode dealing with racism, but this wasn't meant to mean that racism is better/worse than any other kind of prejudice, it was just a well known example. I can't recall a ST:TOS episode that dealt with LGBT issues.

I would also caution about that. I know there are certain things I'll walk out on if a gm does them poorly... again. If you are affected by real word issues like race or gender identity or being gay, you may not want to deal with exaggerated real life issues as a thing to overcome. Like, I had a trans friend beaten and raped and it's kinda made me sensitive to those issues and I would kinda like to avoid them in my games. Give me some handwringingly evil villains and I'm pretty happy but when your villains are perpetrators of issues I or dear friends have had to deal with in real life, it can really take you out of the game or worse. That's just my advice. I'm not saying don't do it but make sure your table is a) ready for it and b) willing to deal with it.

I had a GM who decided to take our happy go lucky four color high school supers game and out of nowhere he brought in a racist supervillain on to campus who then killed the mother of one of our friends on camera and wondered why our characters didn't remain the four color bastions of lawful goodness and why we personally took that very hard. And then that spiraled down to, this game isn't fun anymore. As an example.

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Players and GMs need to have a thorough discussion of topics they want to avoid in their gaming, either one-on-one or as a group, as well as hash out the "house rules" (the kind that have nothing to do with the game, more like "this is the kind of things that I expect when playing in my house" sort of thing).


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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I know I got sidetracked, but my actual point was that we can use the medium of RPGs to explore real life issues in the same way that science fiction writers in the 50s and 60s used that medium to explore real life issues of their day. The example I used was a Star Trek episode dealing with racism, but this wasn't meant to mean that racism is better/worse than any other kind of prejudice, it was just a well known example. I can't recall a ST:TOS episode that dealt with LGBT issues.

I would also caution about that. I know there are certain things I'll walk out on if a gm does them poorly... again. If you are affected by real word issues like race or gender identity or being gay, you may not want to deal with exaggerated real life issues as a thing to overcome. Like, I had a trans friend beaten and raped and it's kinda made me sensitive to those issues and I would kinda like to avoid them in my games. Give me some handwringingly evil villains and I'm pretty happy but when your villains are perpetrators of issues I or dear friends have had to deal with in real life, it can really take you out of the game or worse. That's just my advice. I'm not saying don't do it but make sure your table is a) ready for it and b) willing to deal with it.

I had a GM who decided to take our happy go lucky four color high school supers game and out of nowhere he brought in a racist supervillain on to campus who then killed the mother of one of our friends on camera and wondered why our characters didn't remain the four color bastions of lawful goodness and why we personally took that very hard. And then that spiraled down to, this game isn't fun anymore. As an example.

That very thing is one of the reasons a lot of science fiction and fantasy deal with real life issues through metaphor and analogy rather than directly. As in his old Star Trek example.

You can also do things like explore what life might be like without those prejudices.

But yes, you definitely need to be about not striking your player's weak spots. And that you probably don't know all of them.

Silver Crusade

thejeff wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
I don't disagree with a word Silverclaw.
You say you don't agree with a word (fair enough), but don't say what you disagree with. I say that because I do agree with what you wrote after writing that you disagree with me, which leaves me puzzled regarding what you disagree with, exactly.
Psst, Malachi. He said: I don't disagree with a word.

Oops! Brain fail!

I totally apologise, Joynt. : /


No problem Silverclaw. Its not as if you responded abusively.

On the question of games going too far, it can easily happen. I recall running Champions where the PCs found out through telepathy a villian wanted to rape the female PCs- it was in his description.

They wound up standing around his unconscious body bashing his mouth into the curb. Way to treat them imho, but its going at least to the verge of what is fun.

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Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. It means a lot to me. <3

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Kalindlara, I haven't been where you are, but I can tell you that there are people out there who will help, and who will listen. I'm not sure what sort of healthcare you have or what your finances are, but it seems like the best thing for you would be to find a psychologist or psychiatrist that is at least aware of trans issues, or ideally a specialist in gender dysphoria and transitioning.

It's really hard to find them, honestly. A lot of times you have to end up teaching them. Printing off the standards of care, recommending some good literature on the topic and that's if they are open to the idea, which in red states is kind of difficult. And you don't really know that until you've been there or someone else has been there and reported on it somewhere, which again, is difficult in red states. That said, most therapists are willing to code therapy as depression for the purposes of insurance. While it's great to say, go get some help, there are a lot of doctors that can cause more harm than good out there and you have to be careful.

My first suggestion, honestly, is to find a support group. They aren't always great and many support groups are filled with crossdressers who while fine, aren't in exactly the same boat so you have to look for one that suits you. They are usually free and it's nice to have someone to talk to, even make friends with. When done right, there are no judgements there on gender and it can be useful to find friends who have gone through similar things so they can let you know who to talk to for professional help and which doctors are good about coding insurance correctly.

First, thank you for your advice and support. ^_^

I actually have been in contact with a local support organization. They have separate groups for cross-dressers and trans individuals, too. One of my friends volunteers there. A lot of the problem is on my end, unfortunately - I don't feel confident meeting new people as who I currently am, even if I know that they'll be supportive. Between that, my general discomfort with (certain types of) gatherings, and the (mild) difficulty of attending, I've only been there once.

There was some talk of starting a gaming group for some of them, but I haven't been following up on that - I don't know if the potential players will still be available.

I don't have any names yet on the medical side, but I did get a list of trustworthy psychological professionals from them, some of whom an old friend (and former psychologist) vouched for. My next step is to call and try to get an appointment, but... I think I mentioned how hard it is to do things for myself. It looks easy - I know it's easy - but actually doing it is so hard.

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The Doomkitten wrote:

All I can really say is: wow. Holy s~@#.

I mean... wow. I have no idea what you're going through, as I have never been in such a place before in my relatively short life. I can't relate. All that whining I've done in the past on this thread seems like-no, is-nothing that can compare to what you're going through. All I can do is to offer the same amount of support everybody else has offered me and anybody who has had a rough time who's posted on this thread.

*Offers hug*

Thank you for your support (and hugs!)... but please don't feel that way about your own troubles.

What you're saying, there, is something I think all the time. It's part of why it took me so long to come to this thread - I didn't think my problems were worth bringing up compared to what others must be going through. Miss* Price has the right of it - don't let my problems keep you from asking for help with your own. You're special too.

So I'll see your hug, and raise you a blown kiss. blows kiss

*(I assume? Apologies if incorrect.)

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Jessica Price wrote:
The Doomkitten wrote:

All I can really say is: wow. Holy s+*!.

I mean... wow. I have no idea what you're going through, as I have never been in such a place before in my relatively short life. I can't relate. All that whining I've done in the past on this thread seems like-no, is-nothing that can compare to what you're going through. All I can do is to offer the same amount of support everybody else has offered me and anybody who has had a rough time who's posted on this thread.

*Offers hug*

You weren't whining. You were doing exactly what you should do, which is connecting to other people who might have had similar experiences, and seeking out the support that you might not be able to get offline. There's nothing wrong with that. There's a chance it can become unhealthy (e.g. if you stop looking for offline support, if you use talking about your problems online as a substitute for actually changing anything about what's making you unhappy), but using the internet and online communities to seek out information and advice, to experiment with coming out before you do so to your friends and family, and to get support you can't get elsewhere is healthy, sensible behavior.

And your problems don't have to be worse than everyone else's for you to deserve empathy and support. :-)

I don't have a lot to add to this, I just want people to read it again.

I've spent a long time finding substitutes for fixing my problems - still am, if I'm being honest. Don't follow my example. ^_^

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
But Kalindlara sounds like they are in fact clinically depressed, to me and aatea. That is bound to be adding to the persons problems and its a lot easier to find a medical practitioner who is experienced with.

I don't necessarily disagree with that but I'm advising caution. Because, it's been my experience, that a lot of therapists and psychologists don't understand our pathology and aren't interested in learning and can make it worse. So finding a T* friendly therapist is an execersise and an important one. A lot of depression in trans men and women comes from weird brain chemistry. My depression lightened a ton when I started hormones which is not something someone who doesn't know about trans people would be able to understand. I was happier, more outgoing, and stopped being suicidal. It was a big change.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Why is it that Paizo is so supportive of LGBT people? I think its an excellent idea, its just not what you think of from a RPG.
I can't really speak for others or the company but from day one Paizo has always seemed to want everyone to feel like they could play in Golarion. It's very welcoming to a wide breadth of people. It's important that you have people that can represent part of you in a world you want to be a part of, I've always felt. Our staff is somewhat diverse and I know I always feel great when something my company does invites someone else into my hobby.

I'm really hoping that hormones will have a similar effect on me - I'd heard that from others' experiences.

As for Paizo and inclusivity, I actually remember the first time I caught sight of LGBT representation in RPGs. It was an issue of Dragon, or maybe Dungeon - I can't even remember if it was Paizo-written yet. It was an article on a sample thieves' guild, and it was slipped in there that the guildmaster was interested in men - not hidden, but just casually noted, as if it were no big thing. I remember being very impressed by that. ^_^


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It's good to have you back, kalindlara.

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Jessica Price wrote:

Kalindlara -- oh, hon, I really want to give you a hug. You are such a warm and bright presence on these boards; you give so much, and I'm so sorry that things are so hard for you right now.

I can't tell you what to do about the issues stemming from being trans, and I wouldn't presume to try. There are a lot of really wise people here who have better advice and resources to offer than anything I can say on that front. All I can say about that is hang in there, and find what spaces you can, online or offline, to be yourself. Hopefully the number of places and people with whom you feel comfortable doing that will grow.

On the relationship thing, I understand the allure of it and feeling like something's wrong with you because everyone else has been having romantic relationships for decades, but speaking as someone who had her first kiss and first relationship when she was your age, don't sweat it. Focus on getting yourself to a place where you're stable and content, and I know this can be hard to believe, but trust me: when you are content with who you are, potential romantic partners will come calling. (It's sort of like job hunting, that way: it's famine when you feel like you need it, and feast when you don't. I know that's cold comfort right now, but please trust me that it's not too late, and you aren't too old.)

Regarding your cat: stop beating yourself up about it. You can't make yourself love someone when you don't, and the fact that your mother got a new cat before you were done grieving your old one isn't your fault. There's no perfect score in love. It isn't a test. Do you treat the cat with respect? Is s/he getting fed and cared for? If the answer's yes, you're giving the kitty a good home. Maybe all you'll ever be is roommates. And maybe affection will sneak up on you. It does, sometimes. Either way, as long as you're kind to the cat, you're doing fine.

You're not too old to cry. Crying as an adult over something minor isn't a sign that you're weak: it's a sign that you're emotionally exhausted. Which is understandable: depression and the sort of stress it sounds like you're dealing with are like having a severed emotional artery. You probably won't fully understand how much you were bleeding until long after you find a way to stop. I hope that you're able to find a counselor who understands gender issues and can help you, but above all, please just hang in there and be kind to yourself.

On the work front, I can't give you a job, but I am happy to give you some mentoring. If you're interested in writing for RPGs, send me some of your writing, and I'll give you a critique. If it's good, I'm happy to point you to ways to get published, and if it's not, I'll give you advice on how to make it good.

<3

I don't know what to say. hugs tightly Thank you so much.

I might PM you about that last part at some point. ^_^

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Freehold DM wrote:
It's good to have you back, kalindlara.

<3


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I'm sure most of us are really willing to help when and how we can, Kalindlara. I'm glad we could offer some good support here. Lots of hugs all around.

Silver Crusade

Sooo some insurance things are changing and while it may or may not be a bad thing it's put me in a really bad head space as I now have to postpone for a few weeks my preapproval for surgery that I've been waiting to get for over 20 years. Also, I'm not sure exactly the context but an old guy at the table next to us mentioned transvestite. It might have been about us or it might not have been but combined it's really hard to live in my skin today.


Sorry to hear that Sunshine. Hopefully things start going better for you soon.

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