Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Blightcrawler
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Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Blightcrawler » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:47 pm

I really dislike that non-binary and gender fluid is somehow considered separate from transgender. I'm still transgender even if I don't fit into the language binary.

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TorgHacker
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:24 pm

Blightcrawler wrote:I really dislike that non-binary and gender fluid is somehow considered separate from transgender. I'm still transgender even if I don't fit into the language binary.



Here's the actual text for the Transgender Avatars sidebar:

"Transgender individuals who jack into the GodNet do not necessarily appear as they do in the Flesh.

When someone who is transgender transcends and becomes reality-rated they also transform to the best example of themselves. Thus they appear the same in the GodNet.

Transgender Ords appear as their true gender.

If a person is genderfluid or non-binary, they appear as the gender they currently are."


I'm not intending AT ALL for genderfluid or non-binary people to not be considered transgender (unless they don't want to be...like a friend of mine). That's why they're all discussed under the title "Transgender Avatars". I use "transgender" both in its binary term, as well as the umbrella term.

But if you have a suggestion for a better way to word this (that doesn't involve the word "transsexual"), I'm all ears.
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utsukushi
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby utsukushi » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:00 pm

I can imagine that's distilled from an awful lot of wrangling, but I'm afraid, as I'm sure you realized, you'd really need to devote a whole chapter to it, and not just a sidebar. At least a page. I mean... "the gender they currently are" works well for fluid, but less so for non-binary, because they may just not be... But short of giving the subject its own dissertation, I think you've quite unsurprisingly done very well, for whatever my opinion is worth.

The part I'm actually not sure about is the second bit. Am I following it right that the intent is that all Storm Knights automatically Transform to their true gender when they first Transform? Or actually, when they become Reality rated, whether they Transform or not? On the one hand, I can easily see that that would be awesome from the character's viewpoint -- but from a game perspective, it has the effect of actually locking transgender characters out, making it specifically impossible to play one since that would have been... "resolved," for lack of a better word, at their Moment of Crisis. I'm not sure you actually mean to do that.

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TorgHacker
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:23 pm

utsukushi wrote:I can imagine that's distilled from an awful lot of wrangling, but I'm afraid, as I'm sure you realized, you'd really need to devote a whole chapter to it, and not just a sidebar. At least a page. I mean... "the gender they currently are" works well for fluid, but less so for non-binary, because they may just not be... But short of giving the subject its own dissertation, I think you've quite unsurprisingly done very well, for whatever my opinion is worth.


Yeah, we’re being inclusive, not going into a dissertation on the complex varieties of gender diversity. Ideally people will get the gist.


The part I'm actually not sure about is the second bit. Am I following it right that the intent is that all Storm Knights automatically Transform to their true gender when they first Transform? Or actually, when they become Reality rated, whether they Transform or not? On the one hand, I can easily see that that would be awesome from the character's viewpoint -- but from a game perspective, it has the effect of actually locking transgender characters out, making it specifically impossible to play one since that would have been... "resolved," for lack of a better word, at their Moment of Crisis. I'm not sure you actually mean to do that.


Hey, if someone wants to ignore that for their game, all power to them. But yes, that is exactly what we intend.
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Kanaris
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Re: Cyberpapacy Preview #9 - The GodNet (Part 2)

Postby Kanaris » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:48 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
utsukushi wrote:The part I'm actually not sure about is the second bit. Am I following it right that the intent is that all Storm Knights automatically Transform to their true gender when they first Transform? Or actually, when they become Reality rated, whether they Transform or not? On the one hand, I can easily see that that would be awesome from the character's viewpoint -- but from a game perspective, it has the effect of actually locking transgender characters out, making it specifically impossible to play one since that would have been... "resolved," for lack of a better word, at their Moment of Crisis. I'm not sure you actually mean to do that.


Hey, if someone wants to ignore that for their game, all power to them. But yes, that is exactly what we intend.


In our game, when a character has their moment of crisis, the surge of possibility energy through them allows them to "sort" their own possibilities to a limited extent - shifting attributes, skills and perks from their ord form to their more heroic (or villainous) reality-rated form even if they don't transform. Transforming to true gender is part of this, if the person so wishes.

Savioronedge
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Savioronedge » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:32 am

TorgHacker wrote:
utsukushi wrote:The part I'm actually not sure about is the second bit. Am I following it right that the intent is that all Storm Knights automatically Transform to their true gender when they first Transform? Or actually, when they become Reality rated, whether they Transform or not? On the one hand, I can easily see that that would be awesome from the character's viewpoint -- but from a game perspective, it has the effect of actually locking transgender characters out, making it specifically impossible to play one since that would have been... "resolved," for lack of a better word, at their Moment of Crisis. I'm not sure you actually mean to do that.


Hey, if someone wants to ignore that for their game, all power to them. But yes, that is exactly what we intend.

Please, petty please! correct me if this is wrong.

Living through the difficulties of being transgendered in today's world is heroic; the heroism of the inner city police officer or firefighter who believes they are just doing a job and not out for the glory of it. But it shouldn't be. Being who you are should just be a consequence of living, not a battle that needlessly takes so many promising lives.

Torg: Eternity is about facing pretend monsters, unreal fights, and impossible situations. The characters routinely face "unbeatable" odds, but they have the Cards to change those.

In real life, we don't have the destiny deck. Those of us who live outside the heteronormative hegemony have to fight every day--sometimes with our selves just to get up and function, and sometimes with people who don't want to understand. These players shouldn't have to watch the characters go through these real life battles when a perfectly good solution in the name of "Reality Wash" is available.

Of course, if the people at your table are fine with the concept and you can all have fun while one of a character deals with the TG demons on top of the rest of the troubles, enjoy your game 《/Seriousness 》until I will send the T:E police to stop you!

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Yoric
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Yoric » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:50 am

Savioronedge wrote:Please, petty please! correct me if this is wrong.

Living through the difficulties of being transgendered in today's world is heroic; [...]


The way I see it, role-playing games can be used as escapism and/or as a stage to explore real-world problems. I've used them for both. I, for one, am glad that Torg:Eternity provides one more throttle that can be used to customize between these two.

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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Wakshani » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:54 am

I can't put myself into the shoes of people who are trans, gender fluid, or otherwise faced with some major challenges in this world, but I can say that there's certainly no intention to hurt any players on this one. The Cyberpapacy is probably the most … repressive … of the invading cosms, having One True Way and anything that doesn't fit into that shape, be it gender, religious belief, or just being left-handed, is something that they see as needing "correction".

It's a tough call, ultimately … I mean, people game to have fun, you know? You want to escape the world that we're in, with all the drudgery and bad day at work and having a boss and that one tooth acting up and all that jazz, and being able to put all that aside and step into the form of a barbarian who just kicks down doors and thwacks people with an axe, or an awesome wizard bending the cosmic energy of the universe to your will, or being the supersmart gal who can make a nuclear engine out of three pieces of chewing gum, and old sock, and a coconut? That's just COOL. And you don't really want to see that kind of oppression that you see in real life in your face.

On the other hand, playing as Indiana Jones gives you a chance to punch Nazis, and, honestly, do you ever *not* want to punch Nazis? It's like having a bunch of cool people around and NOT talk about dinosaurs, you know? Some things just cross all barriers.

(My favorite dinosaur's the Triceratops, for those playing at home.)

At the end of the day, we're telling stories and playing pretend. When that hurts somebody, you gotta call a time out and deal with it. Like, one of my friends has a HUGE phobia about spiders. Didn't know this and wound up dropping one into an encounter and, well, that didn't go as planned. Afterwards, we had to have a sit down and talk about it, and skittery 8-legged baddies were quietly moved offstage in future adventures, to be poured out onto different adventuring bands that didn't have this one person in them.

And if anybody takes something that I've personally written, or that my name is attached to, and gets hurt by it, my response isn't EVER going to be "Suck it up" … it's always, "Okay, while unintended, my actions hurt you. I apologize, but now I need to ask you to help me make it better so that this is avoided in the future."

So, by all means, if you feel some wording is bad, keep floating ideas on how it can be improved. Ain't nobody here that wants to see you hurt, so when you feel it, we gotta step up to make sure we do better the next time.

Err, at the writing thing, not the hurting thing. I mean, I have a whole CLOSET of things for THAT, but, that's a whole other discussion. :D :D :D

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Gargoyle
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:35 am

I want to interject here for a minute on the transgender representation.

On a personal note, I'm a trans woman. I've been out for about a year now and I help lead a support group for transgender adults that is very diverse including a lot of non-binary and gender queer folk. My day job is that I work at NASCAR. My transition was not easy and is still ongoing, not sure that it will ever be "over". But I'm way healthier and happier for it.

Deanna and I knew each other online here and on Reddit on some transgender forums. I followed her posts here, she followed my posts there. It was a bit of a surprise when we found out we knew each other in different spaces. When she came out online, I was thrilled, I didn't feel as alone.

First: let me say that positive representation is a great thing. We need it in the media, and I see this inclusion as positive. That's what Deanna and U.S. is trying to do here, and not just because it's good for LGBT people but because it's good to have characters that every player can identify with.

Second, I have signed an NDA, was involved in some early playtest discussions, and was aware of the plans to have the Storm Knights physically transition when they transcend. It never occurred to me that it would be perceived as "You can't play transgender characters." until it was mentioned here. The reason why is this: Those Storm Knights are still trans, no matter what their bodies look like. I don't look like a guy anymore. I never felt like one. Lately I have gained what you call "passing privilege" and these days very rarely does anyone realize I'm trans unless I tell them.

So for me, it's a helluva fantasy to not go through the medical side of transitioning and my reaction was "Sign me up, where are the invaders so I can go make a heroic choice for good?" So from my point of view, it's fine, and these characters like Chloe Beech, are still as trans as the day they were born. Physically/medically transitioning, even perfectly, does not erase the trauma and perspective that transgender people have, or the stigma that society sometimes puts on us. Believe me, when I tell people I'm trans, they often treat me differently, no matter that I don't "look" trans. We aren't defined just by the bodies we're in, we're defined by the experiences and our perspective.

Third, there isn't enough room in the book for a good discussion of gender identity. It's a very complex subject and representation may require the reader to do some research if they want to thoroughly understand the terminology, which is evolving and sometimes not consistent.

That said, if you want to play someone who doesn't look like their true gender, as Deanna said, it's fine. Maybe a blurb saying so in that in that particular sidebar would be good to add, but again, space might be a problem, and the more she adds, the more there is a chance for misunderstanding and the terminology becoming dated.

I think the way she did it is consistent with the logic of the Everlaws though. They transform characters to be more like the archetype and the idea that the Everlaw sees these incongruities between their physical form and what they really are and transforms their physical form fits in with the mythology of Torg.

Wakshani wrote:I can't put myself into the shoes of people who are trans, gender fluid, or otherwise faced with some major challenges in this world, but I can say that there's certainly no intention to hurt any players on this one. The Cyberpapacy is probably the most … repressive … of the invading cosms, having One True Way and anything that doesn't fit into that shape, be it gender, religious belief, or just being left-handed, is something that they see as needing "correction".


In case anyone is wondering, it's not just Cyberpapacy trans Storm Knights that are transformed physically, it's any Storm Knights who transcend. Not really a retcon, but adding some detail to something that hasn't been addressed in the past. I can see the logic of this misunderstanding though.

TLDR: I can understand why some people perceive the approach that was taken as erasing transgender people, but it's quite the opposite.
"That old chestnut?"

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Badger3d
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Re: Transgender characters in Torg Eternity

Postby Badger3d » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:45 am

First off I am Transgender, my take is that I wasn't thrilled with the wording as it sounds like its creating a separate rule for transgender people, and mandates this change rather then allowing it, I would make this more inclusive and open to GM player interpretation, also transgender is a verb not a noun. I think this should apply to more then Gender, ie Captain America before he was injected with serum and Game-Rays, as an Ord n his heart he already was Captain America if he went on the Godnet, he could be Captain America
I would rewrite it as:

"Individuals who jack into the GodNet do not necessarily appear as they do in the Flesh.

For example when a transgender person transcends and becomes reality-rated they also transform to the best example of themselves. Thus in most cases they appear the same on the GodNet.

Ords on the GodNet appear as their true gender, which may or may not match their physical gender",
or an Ord who are disabled or are physically not the person they are in their heart, may transform into a physically different person while on the Godnet."

Wondering if this should extend elderly who are "young at heart" appearing young, or a very mean person appearing hostile (glowing red eyes, etc)?

As a side note, I wonder would happen to a Amazon StormKnight from Hesperia, connected to the GodNet? This could be to be a contradiction to Storm Knights transform to the best examples of themselves. If a player wanted to play a man who was transformed to a female Stormknight on Hesperia, but is a man inside, on the GodNet I'd let them play as a man.


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