Tag Archive for rant

Trans is not a gender

Alright, I think some people may disagree with what I’m going to write here, but I came across a few characters that brought it to mind, and I feel the need to write/talk it out.  Since that’s what this blog is intended for, away I go!

There was a statement I recall hearing from some real transsexual folks a while back, about how a MtF who completed her transition was not a trans man, but a woman, and the same applies for the other direction.  From a Transformers board I follow which seems to ironically have a decent proportion of transsexual folk, they want to be seen as the gender they should be, not what they are, and that’s how they present themselves.  If they could snap their fingers and be 100% the gender they should be, they would be in a heartbeat, much like many otherkin would do if they could become their species. (Also ironically, otherkin still tend to be looked down on by transexual folk, despite the fact that unlike their situation, it’s more spiritual than physical.)

Then recently, I came across someone who was getting rid of some characters, and I took a peek cause the thumbnails looked interesting.  A couple of the characters in question were female in shape and body, but with male genitals, and their gender was labeled as trans.

Trans is not a gender.  The people I mentioned above, who have to deal with the situation in real life, would consider this sort of character an insult, and in fact I’ve seen similar reactions to some mainstream depictions of such people that take the same approach.

Now, they could be in the middle of transitioning, but the art and descriptions gave the impression that this was their natural selves, and they were satisfied with being where they were on the physical gender spectrum.  Basically, it’s being used as a more palatably-named version of the old concept of the “dickgirl”/”cuntboy” concept. (Which some trans folk also find offensive, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Nowadays, there is a wider spectrum recognized in the matter of gender, which reflects itself in furry fandom.  You’ve got genderfluid folk, who go back and forth, or folk who identify as neither.  It makes perfect sense to have people who may identify as somewhere in-between, whether a full herm(with breasts or without), a “dickgirl,” or a “cuntboy.”

Now fair enough, people may be confused on these, and said confusion may make them angry that someone is challenging them, or it may make them think the person is simply doing it as a cry for attention, instead of who they are.  There may even be a few for whom that is true. Also fair enough that the two latter terms have been used as insults in the trans community for long enough that it feels wrong to use the terms, but frankly I just don’t have anything better at the moment.  And that, my friends, is part of the problem.

How do you describe the gender of such folk? Stick to the well-used terms despite their negative connotation? Make up something else and piss off the “anti-snowflake” crowd further? Or just go the smartass route(my favorite) and say “Gender: Yes”?

Now some may point out that fursonas have an element of fantasy to them. Some may choose to have their fursona mirror their real-life progress, and that’s fine. And they may decide to stop halfway between like the examples above.  But at that point, if you do stop partway on purpose, you’ve finished your transition, even if the endpoint is not a “normal” endpoint.  You’re not trans, you’re something else.

And honestly, I guess this has turned into more of a rant than a discussion or whatever, and people can claim whatever labels they like, but someone calling themselves trans as a gender does a disservice to the actual transexuals who are in mid-transition, and intend to go all the way because that’s what they truly see themselves as.

Trans is not a gender.

That said, I’ll go back to my hidey-hole now until the next time I get a bug up my tail to write about something, or when I finally get around to another art post, as I have gotten a couple pieces, and have at least one more in the works.  But that’s for another day.

Thoughts on Raiding, Communication, and What It Means to Be a Team

Warning: WoW bitching ahead!

So last week we blew through 6/7 Heroic on the Highmaul raid.  Everyone was kinda pumped cause we were leading the server rankings by a lot.  Cue last night.

Our raid leader had made no secret about his wanting to jump straight into Mythic as soon as it opened since even before the expansion release.  Before the first night I recall him talking about how he was happy with the comp he’d put together for Mythic, since it’s limited to 20 people, but I never saw any word about who was on it, and at the time I didn’t know how many we’d have (once raids opened) beyond the 20.

Once raiding started it turned out we weren’t that far over 20 – we started at around 24 all three main raid nights.  The actual roster for Mythic never actually came up at all that week though, though there was a small group for an extra run on Friday to push progression a bit further, which I did get invited to since he needed more casters, and that group topped out around 15 I believe.

Coming into raid time last night, no one other than our raid leader apparently knew what the plans were, so I was there 15 minutes early outside the raid instance, waiting for invite assuming we were going to do Heroic.You see, I’d been following the early top guilds and found out they were all around 665 or so already in item level, while our raid was down around 650 or so – thus I assumed we’d clear Heroic this week and try our first push at Mythic next week like reasonable raiders, maybe with one or two shots to see what kargath was like on Heroic.

Then on Vent I hear “we’re doing Mythic?” from the main tank, and our GL confirmed it, saying we were gonna give it some tries see if we get stomped or not.  I start checking the raid roster trying to tell if all the invites were out or not to see if I was in or not, since he can be slow about invites, and we still hadn’t gotten an official list of the main Mythic raid roster.  Finally, they start, and I’m able to count 20 folks already in, and felt my mood dropping faster than Kargath did on Heroic last Tuesday.

AT NO POINT did he ever state invites were going out or finished, and he NEVER officially stated who was on the roster.  I freely admit the other S Priest in our guild is probably better, but he could have at least had the decency to let the rest of us know who was or wasn’t going to be on the Mythic roster rather than letting us figure it out after they’re in there poking the beast.  It killed my sense of being a team, at least as how I felt that night to be left out completely in the cold like that rather than at least be informed about what the plans are.  While I might now have been happy to find out in advance I wasn’t on the main roster, I at least would have known and had time to get used to it, or at least felt like I was enough a part of the team to be told about things like that.

It also meant I wasted time sitting outside the instance that I could have spent doing other things, and once he sent out the general invites to work on heroic instead that night, it felt like I was just going through the motions… and I’m still not happy about it either today, even after sleeping on it.

I’m also guessing that for now, loot is going to be funneled to the main Mythic raiders, so I’m probably not going to see any upgrades outside of bonus rolls or stuff form outside raids for a bit.  There’s been no official word, but considering the previous lack of communication, and that we run under a “loot council” of 1(said raid leader) there probably won’t be any communication on it whether that is the case or not.  It’s understandable, and would make the most sense for progression, but dammit, if we’re all a part of the same team(even benched) it would be nice to actually KNOW!

I’m also left wondering what’s going to happen when Blackrock releases.  Mythic Highmaul will still be going on, so what will happen with heroic runs?  Will he just jump straight into Mythic Blackrock and ignore heroic?  Will there still be Heroic runs on main raid nights in a few weeks?  How is he going to work bench players in, as if he just pushes and pushes, then when one of us comes in, we won’t be familiar with the fights or as geared, and that may cause progress to backslide a bit, and from what I’ve seen I believe that means he’d be even more likely to leave benched players benched then, so that we just end up twiddling our thumbs doing nothing the entire tier.

I’ll probably be discussing this with one of my friends(and one of the main healers) to see if he can put a bug in the RL’s ear to start thinking about letting the rest of us “mere mortals” know his plans and think ahead about some of these things and let us know – that way I can make plans appropriately, whether that means looking to raid heroic on different nights(if necessary with a different guild) once Mythic is in full swing.  As long as I don’t touch Mythic with another guild, I’ll still be able to come in if needed, as bench players are needed for when people can’t make it.

BUT DAMMIT, IF WE’RE PART OF THE TEAM TOO THEN LET US FRIGGING KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!

</rant>

As far as classifying myself, I’d say I’m probably Mythic borderline skillwise.  I still make small mistakes occasionally, but if I start screwing up regularly on a mechanic I do my best to find a way to succeed at it.  Mythic is usually fairly unforgiving, and the only time I’ve done full Mythic(old heroic) clears was post-nerfs typically.  Even in SOO with Chocolate Disco, we only got 4 or 5 bosses down before the 6-month break I took.

On the other hand Heroic(old Normal) is going to be too easy eventually.  I was 6/7 last week, and was around middle of the pack on the DPS charts, so I wasn’t getting carried either on these fights.  Even this week, on Butcher(basically a Patchwerk fight) me and the other Shadow Priest were neck and neck in damage.  I look at Tectus, and he outDPSed me by 4k there, but I had to run for the debuff 5 times and he never got a single Crystalline Barrage.

Thus, borderline, as I fall into the grey area between obvious Heroic hero and natural Mythic player.

And hopefully, our guild master will start communicating better and I won’t get left behind completely, lost in the void between what he dreams of and the reality of what we have.

Moods

I’m writing this as I random-dial stargates in Second Life for lack of anyplace to go. Every so often I seem to get into one of these moods – I want to do something, but don’t know what.  I want to hang with people but don’t know who or where.  It’s like this itch in the back of the mind that I just can’t quite scratch.

It usually seems to strike when I’m between “projects” as such, or the end of one is in sight and I don’t have another already in mind.  I detailed in a previous post how I got a bunch of crap done during my vacation at the end of the year.  I’ve done as much organization of my place as I can until it’s about time to move into whatever place I end up moving into.  I actually am synchronizing my SF, FA, and Weasyl galleries, but I’m doing it paced, and I’ve only got 3 story series left before that’s done.  I could go finish sorting my art, but I just think of how much there is and lose motivation.

Mention of a possible alt run in my WoW guild did get me moving a bit on my mage, but I finished all the available dungeons, and I’m still 88, and don’t feel fussed enough to quest right now on that toon and do the same tasks for the 10th time.  I’m caught up on all my shows.

I got nothin’.

I thought maybe I’d hop on SL a bit, maybe hang out, but IoW still doesn’t have much in the way of hangouts.  I got to hang with some tinies and hatchies playing a game of Aggrivation while I caught this week’s MLP ep, but they all moved on, and like I mentioned before, outside IoW I have no idea where to go, being a scaly dragon type.  I’m not looking for medieval RP or random sex, and all the old dragon hangouts are mostly gone.  Almost all my old furry hangouts are too.

And thus, dialing random stargates and seeing where I end up.  So far, I’ve encountered one good build:  A recreation of Twilight Town on par with that of Midgard in the sim of the same name.  Coincidentally, that’s the only place I’ve run into people actually talking anywhere nearby.

I hate feeling like this.

I could just go to bed, but that also feels like a waste.  There’s plenty of day(even if no daylight) left!  If I could just figure out what to do.  It’s like slogging through a quagmire looking for the way out of the forest when you don’t know which way is north.  So I figured maybe if I start writing something it’ll get it out of my system or at least point me in the right direction.

One thing I did read today that resonated with me was someone else complaining about loneliness, but with the caveat that he’s actually usually happy when alone, and he has plenty of friends and such, but it doesn’t help.  Someone else responded that loneliness can actually come from two different things: either you’re looking for more connections with other people(which people usually assume it is) or deeper connections.  It seems like most people just dismiss the second completely, leading to the “I’ve got all the friends in the world, so why am I lonely?” quandry.

On looking back, I feel I definitely fit in the latter category.  I’m a bit of an introvert, so lots of friends has never been my thing. Looking back at times I’ve felt lonely, it’s usually because I haven’t had those deeper friendships(or more) at that time, or at least said friends weren’t around.  If a dragon cries out but no one hears, does anyone care?

I’ve also never been big on big groups for the same reason.  Smaller groups are great; I can hang with them, listen to the conversation and join in when I have something to say, whether intelligent or just a bad pun. And we all know bad puns are the best kind!

It’s also kind of funny how many places in SL will fit a dragon, even if it might be a bit cramped.  It seems like it’s only rarely that I end up somewhere where I’d be hitting my head or pokeing up into the next floor above, even though most stuff is built for a human frame.

I also think I might be a bit prejudiced against humans and near-humans in SL. 😮  Part of that though is because a lot of people with normal human avs are walking around with a cork and two sequins, placement optional, in proportions that either are ultimate supermodel, or teetering on the edge of uncanny valley.  The other part I guess may be a bit of subconscious “if you can be anything you want, why limit yourself?”  That could easily go the other way as well though, and I bet that if I hung around in some of the places with humans and near-humans being the majority, that they might look askance at my draconity… once they get past how awesome an av it is, that is!

Then there’s also the groups that assume its roleplay.  For some people the idea of being yourself meaning being something other than human is hard to get a grasp on, I guess the same way I see about people who just take their RL look and tweak it in SL.  But it is what it is, and I know that too, even if it bugs me on some level.  I know it’s not fair, but that doesn’t stop it anyways, though I’m pretty good at burying it.

In other news, I’m working on getting more artses.  Found out one of the artists on my list actually is open for work, and just waiting to hear back now.  With moving on hold and being caught up on Transformers until HTS gets the new stuff in, I got plenty of money for art again.

While I’m ranting, I’m going to admit I don’t get what’s so hot about YCH(Your Character Here) auctions.  95% of the time it’s a mostly finished picture of two folks porking and all that’s done is instead of the artist having to come up with a species/markings set, he just recolors it like whomever won it.  More power to the artist for making extra bank on something that simple, but I just don’t get it.

Now the other 5% I can understand, and see as fine:  that being there’s some huge crowd scene for a story illustration or something along those lines, and the author is offering cameos to people who might want in.  That, I get.  But random porn with no link to anything, and likely no choice in your “partner” (as the other slot is probably a YCH too)?

Adoptables also fall into that category as well.  I can understand commissioning a character for something, even if I see it as lacking in imagination.  Offering a new species for people to make characters of?  *eyes all the sergals and chakats* Done, and done. But creating a character and selling *rights* to that character?  Selling the artwork is fine, but I don’t think a lot of the people really get it.  First off, the legality of such a thing is shady, but putting that aside, what’s to stop someone else who likes the concept from creating one of their own?  Let me just put this bright pink fox-thing with blue wings over here next to all the other bright pink fox-like things with blue wings.

Maybe I’m just cynical from being a greymuzzle and having been around furry stuff for over 15 years, compared to all the fresh 18-24-somethings glomming onto it all starry-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Some furry types are common for a reason, so when someone likes it and wants to be all “Look at me I’m a special snowflake” they try and twist it, just like all the other snowflakes and end up with something that’s been done 10 times over. Taste the rainbow of fur colors!  Instant demon/dragon/other-badass, just add horns, or bat/dragon wings.

Yes, I realize the irony of a blue dragon with foxish(or Eastern dragon, depending on perspective) features complaining about this.  I didn’t choose it to be different, I went with it because it felt natural and like myself.  I’m also sure there are furs out there that ended up with a somewhat common form from the same reasoning.  You’ll have to forgive me though if I don’t believe that when you have a fox-cat-skunk-dragon that looks like a box of crayons threw up on it.  There’s a term for that sort of fursona, but I can’t recall it right now, or enough of it to google up the term.

Damn, I sound old and crotchety, don’t I?  Like I should be waving a shotgun and telling them damn kids to get off my lawn.  Meh, who needs a shotgun when you’re like 20 feet tall, armored with scales, and have teeth and claws? 😀  Forget the breath weapon though, that’s never really gelled well with me – to the point I joke about the “IoW Spirit” one I use in my av as my breath just being minty fresh.

I guess that’s enough ranting for now.  I’m feeling better, and it’s time to post the next batch of stories.  Oh, and Singles Awareness Day is coming up, so remember to hit the stores the day after for lots of cheap chocolate!

“D”, DD, and Dragon Myself Around

First off, probably going to get into some mature subject matter, so be prepared!

I just recently found out about a new manga called D.Y.N. Freaks.  It just started back middle of last year I believe, but it’s not only by the author of Demonbane, it features the big “D” himself, after a fashion!

For those not familiar, Demonbane is basically a Super Robot VN(Visual Novel) borrowing heavily from HP Lovecraft.  Put simply, the protagonist works with a living embodiment of the Necronomicon to take half of the powers of the Lovecraft universe and use them as weapons in a giant robot against the other half in the middle of Arkham.  The original “game”(as VNs are basically choose-your-own-adventure novels in the form of a PC program) was also an adult game, with plot-related sex scenes, which honestly are mostly played for humor than anything else.  They put out a all-ages-friendly version of it too, as well as a semi-sequel, but only the adult version was ever translated to English.  They also made an anime version, but it cut out half the plot and some major characters, so it ends up rather disjointed if you aren’t already familiar with the story from the VN.

This manga appears set in one of the Demonbane universes(and I can’t really explain that without spoilers), but in Y City.  It involves some artifacts of the various Elder Gods and Outer Beings that have infected people, making them into “mages” who can access that power, or get used by it. From the four chapters translated so far, the D is for Demonbane, the Y is for a mage who has the pwoers of Yog Sottoth, and the N is for the third main character, who dons the mask of Nyarlathotep.  He puts out a sort of Kamen Rider vibe, especially considering he has the Hunting Horror, a souped-up magical bike that was only in one of the Demonbane story paths.

Either way, more Demonbane action gets me very hype.  Now I just have to wait for more to get scanlated.

The second point I wanted to cover was the double-D or why the heck everyone seems to love oversized breasts.  (I said it might cover some mature stuff!)  It’s not that I don’t find breasts attractive, but they have to match the body they’re on!

I guess it comes down to proportions.  For smaller girls, a smaller bust is just fine.  If you’re a twig, you shouldn’t have balloon breasts the size of your head!  On the other hand, if you’ve got some meat on your bones, bring on the C and D cups!  Maybe DD too, but after that you start hitting the “too much of a good thing” level, unless you’re getting further into fantasy races.  (Then again, there are some who say anything more than a nice handful is a waste – but then how big are your hands?)

There’s also anthromorphization of existing characters where it can get distasteful real fast too.  I was poking around Second Life and came across some MLP furry avatars where someone had made them all very well-endowed.  In my opinion, a lot of those didn’t really fit for what I would envision, if you were trying to stay true to the character.  But instead, you end up with the “if it’s female, must attach huge bazongas!” approach.

Taurs have the body-mass to balance a larger bustline visually though, I have to admit.  As for dragonesses – if they’re anthro, my above guidelines stay.  If you’re dealing with a standard quad(“feral”) dragon, then no.  Just, no.

I’m not sure if I really made a point there but I wanted to get it off my chest. (*snrk*)

I also managed to get in touch with some of the other old-time folks from the Isle of Wyrms in SL, and Limbo actually did used to be Lyre.  The original Cathedral and Limbo sims had to go because of tier prices, so Daryth converted Hedgetopia to a new Cathedral sim, and Lyre became Limbo.  The first move was already done, but Limbo is still waiting for a rebuild to turn it back into itself.  Gertie and a few of the hatchies also bought one of the other sims, to “keep it in the family.”

I then went through to see what still existed of my old landmarks, and ended up deleteing at least half of them.  There were a few of those places that I was sad to see go:

  • Lost Furest is completely gone.  Cheetah took a slightly longer break than I did, and it closed down in the meantime, but she plans to get another sim eventually, someday.
  • I took a longer look at Furnation.  They had to do the same as IoW, and the current Prime sim isn’t the original Prime sim.  The two sandbox sims are gone, leaving a single sandbox crammed back into Prime’s space.  All the rest has gone to either residential, or a (admittedly very pretty) natural park area.  There’s still a few landmarks there though I recognize, such as the Luxor pyramid, the not-a-sphinx, and Club Fur.  Heck, I have a screenshot from early 2006 of me entering Club Fur!
  • The Sci-Fi museum at Indigo is sadly no more.  They had some awesome displays, including a to-scale model of a Klingon Bird of Prey you could walk around in.
  • Arador is completely gone.  It was one of the few non-RP places that dragons congregated at that I knew of.
  • Not really a sim per se, but Reverie Animations is completely gone now from SL.  They had some great animations at decent prices, but there’s no more stores of theirs in SL anymore, anywhere.
  • Also in that vein, the stores for Aventity Avatars, whose fox provided the ears for my avatar, seem to have disappeared.  Where the main store used to sit is now part of Furnation’s natural park area.

After that, I did do a little exploring using the search function, to try and find someplace else to hang out at.  I didn’t have much luck with that, but I found a few things:

  • Midgar is still Midgar i.e. FF7 RP bonanza.  It was packed on the map, but I wasn’t looking for RP, so I didn’t stop by.  They’ve been going however since 2006.
  • The awesome life-size mecha statues are still in the Akira sim, though they’ve been cut back a lot.  Now it’s just Daitarn 3 and the rusted Dougram, with no sign of Grendizer or the other two that had been there.
  • The Monster’s Garage store with all the Ultraman-related avatars is still there, but no new avatars still from when I was there last over 2 years ago.
  • The maker of my Sidetrack transforming Micromaster avatar is still around and has added a ton of new Micromaster avatars(and some Minicons too).  If I wasn’t watching my spending, I could probably blow a lot there easily.
  • Grendel’s is still around, but with fewer sims again
  • Sylver’s Kinzart Kreetures store is still kicking, and a lot bigger than it used to be.
  • The Dr Who-related sim, the Three Minute City, is still around also.  Didn’t stop by there this time however as I haven’t been keeping up with New Who.
  • I also found a great mecha-based sim with it’s own combat system and a lot of designs derived from Battletech(but not all).  They even have a free Kit Fox/Uller av to start you off!(And a Hatchetman too.)
  • The only two non-RP, non-store places that mentioned Dragons other than as a generic place were Ryu Valley, which apparently still has its awesome Macro room, and The Scaly Spot, which from the description was a sex/dance club for scalies and scalie lovers.  The former was fairly empty(and I didn’t see a way to the Macro room, though I didn’t look too hard because of that) and the only ones I saw at the latter club were “escorts.”

That sort of leads to another pet peeve of mine, or at least it reminded me it existed: why are most gathering places some combination of sex club, dance club, or RP?  There’s not a lot of places where you can just chill and chat about random things, it just seems like.  It seems like a lot of furry places especially end up as combination sex/dance clubs – at least the ones with any sort of population(barring Luskwood, which has been around forever).  Maybe I’m just getting too old for this, but where are all the sane, not-constantly-horny, intelligent folks at?

And where did all the dragons go?