18 Sep 2012

kaigou: And now I, chaos butterfly, shall flap my wings and destroy the world! (2 chaos butterfly)
I'm going to keep writing, but before I dig back into the current wip, I've been contemplating the treatment of intersexed characters in fantasy/alt-history (setting aside strict SF where we get into advanced tech that allows for gender-switching, surgical changes, and various other jazz not applicable to my wip and thus kind of outside my focus right now). First of all, there do seem to be a growing number (if still very, very tiny overall, but more than twenty years ago) of transgender and crossdressing characters, though it's much harder to find self-identified intersexed characters.

By "crossdressing" I mean the plot device whererin our hero/ine must dress/hide via clothes (or, in at least one case, via magic) as the opposite sex, in order to achieve some goal or escape some evil. (Incidentally, all the crossdressing I can think of are female-to-male, not the other way around, but it's not like I've read everything.) However, in 99% of that kind, so far, that I've read (excepting one lesbian historical fantasy work wherein the lead simply preferred to dress/act along masculine gender lines, but made no attempt to hide or lie about being a woman), the cross-dressing character is quick to return to original gender roles as soon as the evil is passed. Or alternately, as soon as the character's decloaked and forced to find a way forward despite the handicap of appearing-as-original-gender.

And in most cases, 'transgender' doesn't get used as a phrase in fantasy, probably because it's a very modern, relatively recent, notion, so its use does feel somewhat anachronistic. But authors with some sensitivity do seem to be somewhat good at signaling in many other ways that a character -- if moved to our day and age -- would effectively consider hieself 'transgender'.

So far I've only been able to find two alt-history/fantasy works with intersexed main characters, and... I'm a little bothered by something. )


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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