ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was originally written for the anthology For Love of Leelah which didn't pan out. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] lb_lee. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features gender dysphoria, references to gender abuse and other extreme parental stupidity, running away from home, medical details of the not-too-messy variety, emotional tension, major life changes, and other challenges. The new environment is supportive and the overall tone is positive. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

"It's Your Body"

It was dark when Antonia Troy made it
to the Westbord dock, water slapping
softly against the support posts.

She crept between two shipping containers
and hid there, shivering in her grey sweater
as she waited for the boat that would
take her to her future.

It was hard to find, but if the rumors held true,
this connection would be worth everything that
she had sacrificed to reach it. Supposedly they
didn't care if you had superpowers or not, if what
you wanted was legal or not, they only believed
that you had a right to make your own decisions.

Antonia tugged at her straight blonde hair
and wished it were longer, but her mother
had hacked it off with kitchen scissors
the last time it touched her shoulders.

The boat came with the morning tide.
Antonia slunk on board with a handful
of other people who arrived on the dock.

She counted the two hundred and two miles
that they traveled across the waves to pass out of
American territory and into international waters.

It looked like a cruise ship, but it was so much more.

They were greeted by a Japanese-looking lady
with long red hair who introduced herself
as Mariko Ryan and asked if anyone was
in need of emergency medical care.

Nobody was, so Mariko worked her way through
the group, listening to what brought them here.

"Birth defect," Antonia mumbled when it was her turn.

"Partial or whole body?" Mariko asked.

"Whole," Antonia said, and the hatred
washed over her as it always did,
bitter resentment of a body that
just didn't fit her inner self.

Mariko winced. "Would you like
some help with the psychological side
of that?" she said. "I'm the Emotional First Aide
on the crew, and a pretty good empath."

"Yes, please," Antonia said.

"I can take the edge off the feelings, but
you still have a lot to work through on your own,"
Mariko said, as her talent wrapped around Antonia,
warm as a beach towel left in the sun.

That soothed Antonia's mood and her nerves
enough to finish the discussion about her needs.
"I'm boy-shaped, but I was born in the wrong body.
Can you -- can you fix it for me?" she asked.
"My parents wouldn't agree to treatment, and I
couldn't stand the thought of staying this way.
I heard this place isn't so picky about paperwork."

"It's your body. You can do what you want
with it. That's our motto," Mariko said.
"Take your pick between Dr. Josh Halliday
if you want surgical reconstruction, or
Dr. Leelah Lavoie if you prefer superpowered --
she can go all the way down to DNA."

That was more than Antonia had expected,
which left just one more hurdle. "I don't
have any cash," she admitted. "Someone
said that you take barter too? I can work ..."

Mariko smiled. "It's Your Body Shop
helps everyone who can make it to the ship.
We'll find something for you to do."

True to her word, Mariko helped Antonia
look through the list of available tasks
to find something she could do. "I like hiking,"
Antonia said. "I could take Fetch & Carry ...
and maybe train for something else?"

"Done," said Mariko, and logged the agreement.
"Do you want to start now, or do you need
a little time to rest before you start working
and meet the doctors when your turn comes up?"

"Now, please," said Antonia. "I think I'd feel better
if I can keep busy with something helpful."

So Antonia worked until lunch, mostly moving
the clean laundry to various rooms and then
soiled back to the laundry room for washing.
The steady work helped to settle her nerves
a little, and she must've walked a mile doing it.

After lunch, Antonia met with Dr. Lavoie and
Dr. Halliday. "You can call me Leelah or Dr. Lavoie,
whichever you prefer, Antonia," said the woman,
her dark hair pulled into a long tail down her back.
"We're here to help you understand your options."

"Might as well call me Josh," said the chipper young man.
"Fair disclosure: I am a surgeon, but technically I lost
my license when I refused to help my former boss
cover up her mistakes. If you have a specific look
in mind, then I may be your better bet for that."

"Conversely, my superpowers mean that I can change
your body completely, but you'll wind up looking like
you would have if you were born female in the first place,"
said Leelah. "I can tweak some things a little, but I
don't have Josh's ability to sculpt everything to order."

"So like ... sexual reassignment surgery, only
it could be done with powers if I want it that way,"
Antonia said, feeling her way through the options.

"We call this kind of work sexual realignment service,"
said Leelah. "We aren't here to assign anything.
We're just going to help you line up your body shape
with your innate identity. You're the one who knows
your true gender -- although Mariko says your idsig
reads girl-girl-girl very loudly, so any empath
or telepath will clock you the right way."

"Okay," said Antonia. Maybe that explained
why the one lady at the department store had been
so warm, and so firm about reinforcing her
gender expression. Antonia had heard
that telepaths were nice people.

The three of them talked for over an hour,
exploring Antonia's past and her feelings --
not because she needed to 'prove' anything
like if she'd gone to a shrink and a regular doctor,
but to help them figure out how their skills
matched up against her needs.

In the end, Antonia settled on Leelah,
wanting to bring out the truth that lay
hidden within her body and make it real.

"Congratulations," Josh said, clapping
his hands without a trace of jealousy.
"I'll leave the pair of you to it, and
I'm off to my next appointment."

"We can begin now, or make an appointment
for tomorrow. It's your choice," Leelah said.

"I'd rather do it now," said Antonia. "I don't
want more time to worry myself to a frazzle."
She'd never worked with a healer before --
most people hadn't -- and she had
no idea what it would really feel like
even after Leelah's careful explanations.

"Okay, then," Leelah said. "Give me
your hands whenever you're ready."

Antonia held out her hands at once.
Leelah took them in a warm, firm grasp
and politely ignored the shaking.

The power rippled through Antonia,
rich and strange, touching things
and changing them in subtle ways.
It felt like peeling the skin off a sunburn,
but somehow spread throughout her body.

When it finally ended, Antonia looked down
at herself with a pang of disappointment.
"I don't look any different," she said.

"Remember what we talked about earlier,"
said Leelah. "It will take time for your body
to change. Doing it too fast can be miserable and
dangerous. You need time to adapt too. I can
fix your body, but I can't do the headwork for you."

"Yeah, Mariko offered to help with that," said Antonia.

"Well then, take a nap and take her up on it,"
Leelah suggested. "As for the difference --
how does your body feel right now?"

Antonia thought about it. "Exhausted, but
I wasn't walking that much earlier."

"Major changes take major energy,"
Leelah explained. "That tells you
we got some good work done today.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need
to go inhale a whole cheesecake."

So Antonia went to her assigned room and
napped, then woke up feeling subtly different
as the changes made themselves known.

Mariko guided her through an exercise
to explore gender identity and expression.
"What does being a man mean to you?
What does being a woman mean?"
the EFA prompted, offering a worksheet.
"This will help you figure out your presentation."

Antonia made it through a few lines
in each column before a sudden surge
of emotions made her burst into tears.

"Hormones," Mariko explained
as she held out a box of tissues.
"Expect mood swings for at least
a few weeks, maybe months, but
they will taper off with time."

The next day, Antonia went through much
the same cycle of working and healing.
She talked with Leelah as well as Mariko,
gaining further insights on the process.
It helped distract from the weird feeling
of Leelah's power sweeping through her.

"You know, after I turned eighteen,
I spent a year in Quinn's House in Montreal,"
Leelah confided. "My parents didn't deal well
with me being genderqueer. So you're not alone."

"I thought Quinn's House was for kids
with superpowers," Antonia said.

"It's open to youth who had to leave home
because of special abilities, gender issues,
or sexual orientation," said Leelah. "For me,
it was gender -- my powers only came in later."

"I kind of thought all people with powers
were superheroes," Antonia said softly,
"or, you know, supervillains instead.
I guess it's nosy of me, but I can't help
wondering, why didn't you ... I don't know,
do something bigger with yours?"

"I didn't want to make a spectacle of myself.
I wanted to make a difference. Here I can.
There are more ways of being super
than just being a hero," said Leelah.

"Oh." It made sense, in a way.
"You're my hero," Antonia admitted.

"I'm just glad I can help," Leelah said.
"You might talk with Tahoma -- the man with
the dragon tattoo on his shoulder. He knows
a lot about gender and personal growth, plus
he's good at smoothing things over in case
a conversation gets too tense. He likes
to lay out on the sun deck, and a little bit
of basking time would do you good too."

"Thanks, I'll do that," said Antonia.

So after that session, she went outside,
and sure enough there was the fellow
with the green dragon coiling over olive skin,
half-hidden by his long brown hair.

"Hi," she said shyly. "Are you Tahoma?
I'm Antonia. Leelah said we could talk ..."

He rolled over and smiled at her.
"Yes, Leelah suggested it to me too,
because she knows that I teach
some of the teens in my family,"
he said. "A little extra talk is
the least I can do for someone
willing to expand my tattoos."

Antonia hadn't made any secret of
her reason for coming here, so
it made sense for people to spread
the word and offer insights ... even if
she wasn't used to getting much support.

"You can't just go to a regular shop?"
she asked, eyeing his beautiful artwork.

"No, I'm allergic to all the inks, even
the 'hypoallergenic' ones, so I come here
to get a healer to change my skin tones,"
Tahoma said. "This way, I can be
a proper comare with a sexy tattoo."

Antonia recognized the term that some
organized crime families used for
a girlfriend, or apparently, boyfriend.
She had also heard rumors that
the It's Your Body Shop catered to
supervillains as much as superheroes
and ordinary people, but hearing and
seeing were two different things.

"You're a mobster?" Antonia squeaked.

Tahoma raised an eyebrow at her.
"By family, yes. By profession, yes and no,"
he said. "I provide comfort for someone;
I don't go around cracking heads.
Just because I have super-strength
doesn't define my job for me."

"It doesn't?" Antonia said, wavering.

"Not in my family," said Tahoma.
"I like making people happy, and I like
providing a safe practice partner for teens
learning to flirt and dance and so on.
But that's not what really matters."

He pointed a lazy finger at the wall,
where a sign read: Respect each other.
Keep controversial opinions to yourself.
No political fights - No religious fights -
No financial fights - No cape fights!
This is a medical facility, not a boxing rink

Oh, right. They weren't supposed to argue
over which side of the cape anyone was on.

"Sorry," said Antonia. "But wait, if you
already have a girlfriend, then why are
you letting other girls flirt with you?"

"Because it's safe," he explained.
"I'm already spoken for, so everyone
knows that it's just for fun, for practice,
and nobody expects anything serious.
The girls and boys learn what they like,
with someone who can overlook
a novice's clumsy mistakes."

At first it seemed odd for a mobster to take
such pains with teenagers, but then Antonia
remembered the Reputation unit in her Civics class,
which had included a comparison of assorted groups
and individuals according to their principles, showing
how they moved along a spectrum from good to evil.

Some of the black capes could be trusted
to respect things like medical neutrality, so
maybe they cared about healthy relationships too.

Antonia sighed. "I wish I'd had that kind of help,"
she said. "My first high school dance was a disaster."
That was mostly because her parents had forced her
into a tuxedo and made her go with another girl.

She wasn't into girls. Her gaze swept over
Tahoma's rippling expanse of muscles.

"It's never too late to learn about yourself and
how you like to be with people, especially
when you're making changes," Tahoma said,
patting the lounge beside him. "Take a seat
and throw me a few lines, or ask questions,
whatever you like. I won't break."

So far this ship felt like the safest space
she'd ever been in, with no sign of anyone
disobeying the courtesy rules. She hadn't even
noticed Tahoma's affiliation until he mentioned it.

Antonia stretched out on the lounge, the sun
warm and pleasant on her back, adding to
the lethargy from the recent healing.

Then she frowned, shifting position.
That was no better. She shifted again.

"Problem?" Tahoma asked.

"I can't get comfortable," she grumbled.

"Girls often feel better with something propped
under their chest, especially during puberty,"
Tahoma said gently. "Lying flat isn't as
comfortable for girls as it is for boys.
Try using your elbows or a towel. "

Antonia stared at him, then pulled
the neck of her t-shirt so that
she could see down her front.

And there they were.

Two small, swelling mounds
broke the flat plane of her chest
and pointed hopefully to her future.

Antonia started crying again.

Tahoma handed her a handkerchief,
which was made of turquoise and white silk.
Antonia sniffled into it for a while, struggling
to get her wayward emotions under control,
then sheepishly handed it back. "Thanks."

"You are welcome," said Tahoma.

It helped amazingly just to have
people around her who acknowledged
what she was going through and that
sometimes it was worth crying over and
that for her, this was the real puberty, even if
it was late and required the help of a healer to start.

"Silly me," Antonia said. "I guess I thought
that someone could just wave a hand over me
and fix everything. That it would be easy.
I didn't realize how much ... work it would be."

"That's the thing about superpowers,"
Tahoma said. "They make things possible.
They don't necessarily make any of it easier.
The question is, do you feel that it's worthwhile?"

Antonia grabbed a deck towel and scrunched it
into a support for her tender new boobies,
then lay back down on the lounge.

"This is the most worthwhile thing I've ever done."

* * *


Antonia Troy -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and straight blonde hair just above her shoulders. Born with a male body, her gender identity is female. She changed her name from Antonio to Antonia. At sixteen, she ran away from home and made it to the It's Your Body Shop, where she offered to trade work for sexual realignment service. Antonia enjoys hiking, and she prefers to tackle challenges promptly instead of waiting. She's good at collecting gossip, but still learning to distinguish between levels of accuracy.
Qualities: Good (+2) Fast Start, Good (+2) Heard It Through the Grapevine, Good (+2) Hiking, Good (+2) Iron Will, Good (+2) Social Studies
Poor (-2) Transgender

Dr. Leelah Lavoie -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and straight dark brown hair that falls to the middle of her back. She is Canadian, from Montreal. As a young adult, she spent a year in Quinn's House because her parents kicked her out of the house on her eighteenth birthday. She is the senior doctor for the It's Your Body Shop. Leelah enjoys cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and other foods high in fat and sugar to replace energy used by her superpowers.
Origin: She took part in an experimental study intended to improve the stamina and diagnostic ability of doctors on long shifts. Instead it activated her superpowers.
Uniform: On duty, she wears scrubs. Off duty, she wears casual clothes, often in the bright colors and patterns of tropical climes.
Qualities: Master (+6) Body Autonomy Activist, Expert (+4) Doctor, Expert (+4) Genderqueer, Good (+2) Cooperative Games, Good (+2) Determination, Good (+2) Foodie, Good (+2) Tattoo Artist
Poor (-2) Bullshit Tolerance
Powers: Expert (+4) Body Manipulation, Good (+2) Healing
Limitation: Leelah can't really "frontload" calories ahead of a healing session, but her power does run substantially on calories and she can "backload" afterwards to make up the fuel expended.
Motivation: To help people feel at home in their bodies.

Dr. Josh Halliday -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short wavy brown hair. He wears glasses. He is British. Technically he doesn't have a medical license anymore, because he was driven out of a London hospital for refusing to cover up a superior's mistake. So he took his skills somewhere he could do some good for people who couldn't necessarily go to a regular hospital. He is the junior doctor for the It's Your Body Shop. He is involved with Mariko Ryan, and they share Room 305 on the upper deck plan.
Qualities: Master (+6) Ethics, Expert (+4) Dexterity, Expert (+4) Surgeon, Good (+2) Gentle, Good (+2) People Skills, Good (+2) Strategy Games
Poor (-2) Fussy

Mariko Ryan -- She has golden skin, brown eyes, and straight dark auburn hair that falls to her waist. Her heritage is Japanese (mother) and American (father), with dual citizenship. Her shielding isn't very good, hence the low tolerance for crowds, which means she can't work onshore. She provides counseling for the It's Your Body Shop. She is involved with Dr. Josh Halliday, and they share Room 305 on the upper deck plan.
Origin: Her superpowers emerged at puberty.
Uniform: On duty, Mariko wears a white uniform with black shoulder tabs that carry the rank insignia. Off duty, she likes casual, breezy women's wear.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Compassion, Good (+2) Beautiful, Good (+2) Emotional First Aide, Good (+2) Massage Therapist, Good (+2) Shakuhachi Flute Player
Poor (-2) Coping with Crowds
Powers: Good (+2) Mindhealing, Good (+2) Telempathy
Motivation: To help people cope.

Tahoma D'Amore -- He has olive skin and brown eyes, with a dragon tattoo wrapped over his right shoulder and extending across his back. He has straight dark brown hair all the way to his butt, and a short beard and moustache. His striking appearance makes him stand out even in a large crowd; he always attracts attention. His mother is a Marionette bodyguard who had a delightful fling with a Navajo dancer while on assignment in Arizona and got pregnant. Not really being a motherly type, she handed off the baby to some of the Family houseparents to raise, but still kept in touch. Tahoma is a talented silversmith, skilled at making both Navajo and Italian styles of jewelry. His work is very popular with the other comares.
Origin: He inherited Super-Strength from his Italian mother.
Uniform: Sexy clothes. Tahoma loves to show off his handsome body. Often he goes shirtless with an ornate necklace draped across his chest.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Comare, Expert (+4) De-Escalation Skills, Good (+2) Jewelry Maker, Good (+2) Self-Defense, Good (+2) Stamina, Good (+2) Stoic, Good (+2) Teacher
Poor (-2) Conspicuous
Powers: Average (0) Super-Strength
Motivation: To make people happy.

* * *

(This link is tragic.) The death of Leelah Alcorn has inspired a number of memorials.

(Many of these links are awful too.) Transgender youth face many hazards including misgendering and other gender abuse, mental injuries, religious abuse, parental rejection, homelessness, sexual assault, and murder. There are things that parents and society can do to help.

The farthest range of a nation's influence is the Exclusive Economic Zone at 200 miles. The It's Your Body Shop adds a couple extra miles for buffer against "misunderstandings." International waters have far fewer restrictions on many activities that are more limited within national borders.

See the front and side views of the It's Your Body Shop. The upper deck holds the bridge, quarters for the ship crew and medical staff, library, internet room, fitness center, and lounge. The bridge faces a curving bank of windows which look over the ship's bow. The captain and first officer share Room 301. The six mariners share room 302. They rotate in 12-hour duty shifts, so that the captain and three mariners are on duty during the day, first officer and the other three mariners at night. Dr. Leelah Lavoie has room 303 to herself. Dr. Josh Halliday and Mariko Ryan are involved, and they share room 305. Room 304 houses the female medical staff and Room 306 houses the male medical staff. Extra support staff come and go. Sometimes they get tucked into one of the bunk rooms; other times they wind up sleeping on hide-a-bed couches in the various lounges. The other decks are shown here. The second deck holds the medical offices, waiting room, recreational room, galley, and cafeteria. The third deck contains the laundry rooms, Control Room 1, Procedure Room 1, the nursing station, Procedure Room 2, Control Room 2, and a large storage area. The lower deck is open at the bow, with a railing around a large sun deck. The enclosed space houses the patients. There are two large rooms for families or long-term patients, then a large lounge, eight small rooms for individual short-term patients, and a small lounge. The rooms have windows along the side of the ship.

There are many descriptions and metaphors for transgender experiences, because people have different feelings on the topic. The birth defect model is popular with some doctors and also with transfolk who have a positive relation with the medical industry; they see gender dysphoria as something which can be fixed with medical interventions. Additional versions include journey, born in the wrong body, a clockwork heart, two spirits, all kinds of bodies, and many more.

Counseling can help transfolk overcome challenges, so long as the counselor has a good foundation in the field.

Body autonomy is the premise that the owner of the body is the one who decides what happens to it. In theory, this is a human right. In practice, it's just a wish and is routinely violated, often by people purporting to respect it. This is especially a problem for transfolk, who cannot simply fix the problems with their bodies, but must BEG for someone else to do it -- usually for years, at great expense, and with no guarantee of ever getting any benefit from it. Naturally this gatekeeper issue fills many transfolk with rage. This also feeds into the high rates of depression and suicide.

Coping skills include keeping busy with productive activities. Know how to develop coping skills.

There are many different phrases now for medical intervention to change sexual organs. I've always called it "sexual realignment surgery" because I found the term "sexual reassignment surgery" offensive since it purports that the identity is "assigned" by society not perceived by the person. Which is rather the whole problem in the first place, a disjunction between those two. I was pleased to find that this phrase has escaped into the wild and is now visible in the referenced link, along with "sexual confirmation surgery" -- another good one -- and the factually neutral "genital reconstruction surgery."

Idsig is short for identity signature, a packet of information that a telepath or empath can pick up from people. It contains whatever the person considers to be core elements of their nature. That often includes things like gender, sexual orientation, religion, family role, etc. The amount of detail varies based on the clarity of the sender, the ability and power level of the receiver, and other factors.

Backloading is a term for gorging on calories after the exertion of superpowers to make up for the expended energy. Some abilities, especially Super-Strength and Super-Speed, run primarily on calories; some run on other types of energy; but even abilities that run on other things may raise the caloric requirements somewhat. A soup may be able to do frontloading, backloading, both, or neither.

The Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory has 1500 calories per slice. The 6" size says it serves 4-6 people, so that's probably somewhere between 6000 and 9000 calories. It's also a substantial amount of protein and, crucially, chocolate. Superpowers can demand anywhere from two to four times the ordinary 2000 calories/day diet, and the high-burn ones sometimes need more. Anyone making a major push may cook off thousands of calories in a few minutes. Even with superpowers, energy isn't free, it has to come from somewhere. Here is a recipe for a peanut butter chocolate cake cheesecake. See, it has real-food ingredients, so if you are burning lots of calories, dig in. Otherwise just cut it into tiny pieces; that stuff looks as rich as a truffle, and I doubt I could eat more than a couple of bites anyhow.

Gender identity and gender expression can be mapped onto spectra or worksheets. This kind of material is typical for the better personal-health classes in Terramagne-America. You can guess Antonia didn't get much of that. Stupid parents are stupid. There are also worksheets that transfolk may find helpful during transition, such as a coming out timeline, coming out constellation, or list of personal aspects. Here are some good questions about gender identity.

Mood swings often happen during gender transition. It is perfectly normal to be weepy, giddy, and generally overwhelmed during a major life change with fluctuating hormones, which is basically a second puberty. It helps to have supportive friends you can talk with who help buffer the effects. Know how to handle mood swings.

Homeless shelters are rarely kind to anyone who is different, unless they are thematic, such as a safe haven for transkids. T-Canada has a Quinn's House in Montreal for kids kicked out by their parents for reasons of gender, orientation, or soup ability.

In our world, it can be very difficult to find good coaching -- and there are some rather awkward examples -- for such things as healthy relationships, flirting, dating, and romance. Special needs youth often need extra help, like this set of parental guidelines for coaching vision-impaired kids. One way the Marionettes handle this is to have some of the comares offer education in matters of sex/romance, which lets novices learn from experts and thus minimizes the risk of anything going seriously wrong. Many cultures have used variations on this theme.

Tolerance is a fundamental skill of civilization. Here is a workbook on teaching tolerance. The It's Your Body Shop is soup-friendly but not exclusive to people with superpowers, and it is one of the earlier examples of cape neutrality where people are firmly discouraged from arguing over superhero/supervillain issues.

Medical neutrality includes two aspects: that medics provide care to everyone regardless of affiliation, and that others allow them to do so without interference. Our world is doing a piss-poor job of this; Terramagne is doing much better.

Growing breasts is a major milestone for male-to-female transfolk. It is every bit as awkward, embarrassing, uncomfortable, and exciting as it is for cissexual women.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-24 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
"not a boxing rink" looks like it should be "not a boxing ring" -- though the idea of a "boxing rink" is ... interesting.
Edited Date: 2015-11-24 11:40 am (UTC)

Re: Well...

Date: 2015-11-24 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
Interesting. I didn't know about that usage of "rink", only about the usages that involve skates or ice. Thanks for the new info.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-24 08:12 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Tahoma... oh, myyyy!

Too many feelings, not enough words to comment on this. I wish there were something like it here.

LOVE this!

Date: 2015-11-24 08:49 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
You've just given me a BRILLIANT idea for G., in Mercedes.

Because THIS can be done BEFORE age eighteen.

Brain running full tilt, gotta go make notes.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-26 12:44 am (UTC)
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
A VERY good sh{o,i}p!

Is Quinn's House connected with Quinn of the Teflon Tesseract?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-24 10:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rix-scaedu.livejournal.com
""I'm a boy, but I was born in the wrong body. "

I'm not sure here if Antonia is saying, "I have a male body but that's wrong." or whether she's supposed to be saying, "I'm a girl but my body is wrong." I realise that it means almost the same thing but I got a bit thrown when, after this sentence, Antonia was getting her body converted to female because I understood it to mean that Antonia was male and wanted a body that fitted that.

I suppose it comes down to the way Antonia talks and, potentially, dialectic differences on my part.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-24 02:50 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (tux)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Confused me too... until I realised/remembered that Ysabet always assigns names based on internal identity...

What has me still wondering is how a guy with Navajo background ended up with a name I recognise as Lushootseed and a tattoo of... given his nature... Chinese origin? Thereby hangs a.... tail... ;)


Date: 2015-11-24 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>>Confused me too... until I realised/remembered that Ysabet always assigns names based on internal identity... <<

I'm glad that helped you figure it out. Antonia is still so new that some things are jumbled. See below for discussion of clarifying that.

>> What has me still wondering is how a guy with Navajo background ended up with a name I recognise as Lushootseed <<

It was listed as Navajo when I looked for names. Possible explanations:
* The same name appears across a wide range, like "Mary" does.
* It may have been borrowed from one tribe to another.
* These days, more people are intertribal than not, so "Navajo" could mean "mostly Navajo" and Tacoma could have been named after a Lushootseed or other relative.
* Or the name was simply listed wrong, and his mother being Italian may not have noticed.

>> and a tattoo of... given his nature... Chinese origin? Thereby hangs a.... tail... ;) <<

I would bet that it's either a power animal which resonates for him, or a gift from friends following a Chinese assignment. It has to mean something, most people choose their tattoos very carefully, and mob ones are all the more prone to symbolism.


Date: 2015-11-24 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I based that conversation on some real-life examples. When transfolk are young -- and especially if they've been misgendered by abusive parents -- then they tend to jumble descriptions of their identity and body.

If it's confusing, however, I'll favor clarity over replicating how some trans teens talk. Would it work better to say "I'm a girl, but I was born in the wrong body" or "I have boy parts, but I was born in the wrong body" here? At the beginning of the story, Antonia is a girl with a penis that she doesn't want.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2015-11-25 06:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rix-scaedu.livejournal.com
If what is written is what Antonia would say, then given all the other gender clues up until that point I think it is up to me to connect things properly - after all, you're telling us about Antonia and how she speaks is an important clue to how her mind works. In this case I think she means, "My body is a boy but I'm a girl," but I may well be wrong.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-24 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paantha.livejournal.com
I agree!

Thank you!

Date: 2015-11-24 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked this.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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