Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
While it's true that all gods can it has been historically show that few gods do.

Could you elaborate on what you consider "historically shown"? This is not a taunt, it is a question for understanding, because....

My experience has been that "gods" tend to show up in an astonishing amount of forms different from their own. The same god appearing as a dwarf to dwarves and human to humans, or Bahamut appearing human, etc etc.

They all seemed to have the trait of "appear to the mortal as needed" that they consistently use.

Perhaps my thoughts come from gaming and fantasy books, after all Zeus never changed up, but on the other hand, Loki did.

Interested in your thoughts...
 

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Will C.

First Post
No, probably not. I generally like to keep media and my games separate. Politics should be kept out of gaming.

This is not to say that someone else couldn't make their elves a certain way as according to their world, but for me, I like my elves without ties to newer sexual interpretations and hardly ever think about an elf being of the opposite sex by just sleeping. In fact, this post is the first time it's ever crossed my mind.
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
but... why would a gender-switching species be "politics"?

Retconning the story of Sargeras and the corruption of the Eredar wasn't "political" either. It was a design/story choice.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
To answer the question more directly, I won’t use the blessing of Correllon as written in my table cannon, but I will adapt it to suit my home game’s world. Instead of the blessing being a rare thing that can happen to any elf, it’s specifically an Eladrin thing, and it’s a normal part of their mutable nature. Changing sex characteristics is as natural for them as changing seasons. And as with seasons, some stick with one set of characteristics their whole lives, others change as the seasons change, and some change often and on a whim.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Perhaps my thoughts come from gaming and fantasy books, after all Zeus never changed up, but on the other hand, Loki did.

AFAIK, Zeus never used a non-male human form, but he displayed some protean trickery of his own. He raped Leda in the form of a swan. He fathered Perseus as a golden rain that seeped into the womb of Danaë. Europa he had in the form of a bull. Eurymeousa was seduced by Zeus in the form of an ant. Phthia was “visited” by Zeus as a dove.

He got guys, too. Ganymede, he abducted in eagle form.
 
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Yup. Cis and trans are simply Latin anotonyms, literally meaning “next to” and “across from” respectively, and since nonbinary people are not cisgender, they are transgender.
A tangential word of warning from an amateur philologist: this reasoning is treacherous. Our wonderful language is full of word pairs which, from their prefixes, would seem to be antonyms, but aren't: "access"/"abcess", "concern"/"discern", "compute"/"dispute", "incite"/"excite", "inspect"/"expect"... See if you can find some of your own! It's fun! ...if you're a very particular kind of geek.

EDIT: And even in the case of antonyms, well, an "ingress" may be an entrance, but an "egress" is not "anything that is not an entrance". Antonymy is not always exhaustivity.

More topically, it seems weird to apply this binary logic of "If not X, then Y" to, y'know, nonbinary people. Granted, logic is logic, and a binary is impossible to escape at some point -- "nonbinary" itself could not be more explicitly a binary term -- but still.

Ehhh, aliens speak to each other in English when no humans are present to hear them in cutscenes in that game, so I don’t assume the writers put quite that much thought into the possibility of translation errors. But even if we assume that there is some degree of English having insufficient vocabulary to accurately communicate the nuances of the Krill caste system, I would still argue that the choice to “translate” their pronouns differently depending on the stage of life the subject is in is an indication that there is a concept at least roughly analogous to gender associated with caste and morphology at play in their society.
It also sounds like they may be sequential hermaphrodites (I know nothing of the game other than what you have described). If so, the "concept at least roughly analogous to gender" may simply be biological sex, or tied to biological sex or reproductive function. Or the pronouns could be assigned by the human translators on that basis -- would hardly be the first time. They might not make the gender/caste distinction in their own grammar at all. (Which is not to say that they can't make the distinction very heavily in other areas. Turkish is a genderless language, but Turkey is hardly a genderless culture.)

This is one of the things I love about fantasy. It gives us the frame of reference to ask questions like “would trans-ness still exist in a culture where gender was traditionally chosen rather than assigned?” despite such cultures not existing in real life.
Well, the greater implication of the question is "Will trans-ness still exist in our culture as trans rights continue to make strides?"

I would say that yes, if elves did not assign genders to their children, elves would not be trans within their own culture, but could be trans to people from cultures that did have more rigid gender norms. For example, let’s assume that in Eladrin culture, it is considered normal for personalities to shift dramatically with the seasons, and the blessing of Corellon is at least common knowledge if not common occurrence, and so they never developed a cultural concept of “men” and “women.” An Eladrin who finds themselves preferring what humans would consider male sex characteristics but exhibits personality traits humans would consider feminine probably wouldn’t develop a strong sense of identity connected to womanhood or manhood, because those just aren’t part of their world. However, if this character made a trip to the prime material plane and encountered humans, those humans might have preconceived notions about this Eladrin based on their physical appearance, manner of dress, and behavior. They might be surprised to learn that this Eladrin is “male,” because of their own cultural gender constructs and related biases. Upon learning how humans view gender and sex, this Eladrin might even incorporate this new perspective into their own sense of self. They might be inclined to refer to themselves as a “woman” around humans, because they find this (admittedly foreign) concept more closely aligned with their identity than that of a “man.” In a human-dominant society, they are for all intents and purposes trans, because their identity as it relates to that culture’s concept of gender does not match the gender that culture’s norms would ascribe to them based on the culture’s own criteria. It’s effectively like having a gender assigned at contact with another culture, instead of at birth.
Hmm. It seems to me like you're still implicitly attributing them a gender identity, despite the stipulation that they don't have one. The humans call them a "man", and if they don't line up with all the human norms for that label, so what? They don't line up with human norms in a lot of ways, and never expected to. But referring to themself as a "woman" in contradiction of the label assigned them implies they have a preference in the matter. Doing so to the likely confusion, consternation, and possibly even hostility of the humans implies they have a strong preference.

Say a human enters, oh, dwarven society, and finds out that they have defined social roles for unak and khivud dwarves. When she asks what these words mean, she is told "right-handed" and "left-handed". Now, this human is right-handed, but her behavior more resembles that of khivud dwarves. It strikes me as more likely for the human to accept the translations and write off the social expectations associated with unak as a dwarf matter than it is for her to challenge the definitions of words in a language that is not her own and the norms of a society that is not her own for the sake of a concept that is not a part of her own identity and is unlikely to become one. A dwarf, acculturated to feel that unak and khivud are important, might well be motivated to carve out a place for himself as "right-handed, but khivud anyway, they're not actually the same thing". An outsider, though? Anything is possible, but I think dwarves expecting a human to care about whether they call her unak or khivud would be projecting their own attachment to those concepts onto somebody who honestly doesn't have it.

(Corollary question: Are unak and khivud genders?)
 
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To answer the question more directly, I won’t use the blessing of Correllon as written in my table cannon, but I will adapt it to suit my home game’s world. Instead of the blessing being a rare thing that can happen to any elf, it’s specifically an Eladrin thing, and it’s a normal part of their mutable nature. Changing sex characteristics is as natural for them as changing seasons. And as with seasons, some stick with one set of characteristics their whole lives, others change as the seasons change, and some change often and on a whim.
And, as I believe I said earlier, my eladrin (well, high elves) are tied to a Fair Realm* that possesses an "eternal now" nature, and in fact to specific Summer, Winter, Spring, and Autumn Courts. For them, the seasons don't change. Change is something that happens to mortals. So a blessing of physical mutability is especially unsuited to them.

*Tolkien Fact of the Day: Fair is Sindarin for... "mortal". Pronounced differently, though.
 


A tangential word of warning from an amateur philologist: this reasoning is treacherous. Our wonderful language is full of word pairs which, from their prefixes, would seem to be antonyms, but aren't: "access"/"abcess", "concern"/"discern", "compute"/"dispute", "incite"/"excite", "inspect"/"expect"... See if you can find some of your own! It's fun! ...if you're a very particular kind of geek.

EDIT: And even in the case of antonyms, well, an "ingress" may be an entrance, but an "egress" is not "anything that is not an entrance". Antonymy is not always exhaustivity.

More topically, it seems weird to apply this binary logic of "If not X, then Y" to, y'know, nonbinary people. Granted, logic is logic, and a binary is impossible to escape at some point -- "nonbinary" itself could not be more explicitly a binary term -- but still.

It may indeed be linguistically treacherous--which is a fascinating concept/turn of phrase in its own right--but in this instance, it happens to be accurate. The general consensus (though you'll certainly find individuals who argue otherwise) is that enbies--that is, nonbinary folks--do indeed fall under the larger umbrella of trans.

Which you may have already known, but I wanted to put it out there for those who didn't. :)
 

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