Need options from Trans People for a book idea

Saint of M

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Long story short, I don't know if I know any trans people in meat space.

Gay? Yes.
Lesbian? Yep, even have a cousin that is a happily married one.
Bi? Define.
Ace? A couple.
None Binary? One friend just came out of the closest and still trying to wrap her head around it.
But Trans? Out side of a couple youtubers, a couple people on here, at least one facebook person, nope. Not much to go on.
This is bad for me as out of the blue I thought I make one of the minor characters trans for the heck of it, but as the series continues he will take a bigger and bigger role.

Background for story.
There are some things I have learned for my self through study and happy accident on what it means to be trans, but assume I am a idiot cist gendered white guy Mormon on this.

In any case the book I am doing is a soft scifi (high tech, practically magic, doesn't explain it too much is more of a backdrop).

In any case people found a way to travel to other worlds in set travel wormhole like things like a star gate, there are about 11 inhabited worlds. They found all kinds of aliment knowledge that was seemingly abandoned, easily reverse engineered, and cured most problems.

Sometime during what I call an the first Interworld war (think a world war but on an galactic scale) an accident happened and 20% of humanity now has special powers, which often includes wolverine like healing factor.

THe area where I need a Transgendered person's opinion is with one aspect of technology. While much of technology instore was lost during the war its still a hundred times more advance than what we have in most places.

One of these was an ability to modify one's genetics and even biology to a large extent. This change includes altering one's biological sex. In some areas, most humans can get by with surguyry, but there is a safe way to change your Biology to better suit the gender you were meant to have been.



The character in question is a highschool student in a X-men type school for the gifted, or special ability schools that pops up ever season with anime (The inspiration for this idea was looking at Digi Bro's take down on Asterix War and me going even I can do a better job at this).

He is considered the smartest person on the planet despite being a normal human, and the head of his class when it comes to training future spy masters. He wasn't born a "boy" per say. My plans for his background to be revealed steadily is He was designated a girl at birth, and chose to transition at an early age when his hormones were still developing. However most of human society worships at the alter of genetic purity so his father allowed this as his company has one of the best gene altering companies, but did so in a way that left his now "son" sterile. Despite the fact he more than proves himself worthy of this society, his father refuses to change this and either this character has to wait until he is in his 20's to fix this this final issue, or do something so grand his father will have no choice but to go through with letting him be futile to save face.

Fact is he already did that in book one, keeping his cool while negotiating with a UN rep and fending off terrorists and hacking their systems at the same time, and he will do more as the book series continues.

The only sign I have as a nod to this was adding him looking at his file and yelling: They still have me as a girl. Seriously, that name has been dead how long and they still can't get it right?"

Now that we have the background, here is what I need help with. Because of how in the dark I am in this, I want to overthink this.

1. Areas where this can be be seen as a curse. After all, if it is true one's sexual identify is developed after the fun bits are in the womb, what is to stop someone from modifying the child so they have the identify that matches their bits as the treatment instead of the other way around. Not every district, nation, continent, or even planet buys into the Eugenics crap but the areas that do: What persecutions could they face. Could this be a new way of trying to "fix" someone in the same way when being LGBTQ was considered a mental disorder?

2. What would the blessings be? I can only imagine, but having a body that matches your mind's view of itself. Someone labeled male now with a body that can give birth, or female that can now father a child. I suspect there will be some gendered norms still here as old habits die hard for our species, but how easier would things be to adapt to them or even change those norms?

3. I want some nods to this character that might subtle hint he's transgendered at first, something someone in the LGBTQ community would see and go "ha, I get it" but others might not. Then progressively overt till I hit you with the subtlety of a falling grand piano on your head about it.

ANy and all suggestions would be appriciated.
 

Kae

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Seems well intentioned but there's a thing I'm missing here, what do you mean by biological sex?

Given that biological sex is actually a fairly complex topic that most people (Including myself) don't really know that much about, there are several factors involved and I don't really feel like looking it up because it'll be a lot of work, because again it's a really complex topic, obviously from my understanding sex is informed by Chromosomes, genes, hormones and cells and it's possible for a person to have like different things on each and basically be completely mismatched, with the biology basically not really indicating any sex or the sex opposite of what the person looks like so it's really weird, given this situation it'd be kinda hard to know what you mean by this not to mention that the idea of "Biological sex" tends to be generally promoted by transphobic individuals, so maybe it'd be best to leave the discussion of that for transphobic characters.

Also another minor nitpick, transgender means someone that is not the gender assigned at birth so non-binary people are transgender too, just like a different type of transgender from a transfeminine or a transmasculine, not to mention that transfeminine and transmasculine non-binary people also exist, actually non-binary in general is pretty complex as it's a term that encapsulates many states of being, many of which aren't even remotely close to similar, whether it's the idea of agender which is people that don't feel like any gender, genderfluid which are people that fluctuate from one gender to another at different times, bigender which is people that feel like two different genders at the same time to even things like gendervoid and voidpunk whose purpose is actually more to highlight the absurdity of the concept of gender and how stupid it is by claiming that one's gender is a void that swallows the matter around it or even things like a robot or monkey or a line of code inside a computer or any other ridiculous thing you can think of to even people that genuinely believe they are that rather than doing it as some social commentary, basically transgender is like a really complicated topic.

1. As response to this I'd say that it's important to keep in mind that transgender is not a sexual identity it's a gender identity and it's possible for a trans person to have any sexual identity in addition to their gender identity, so actually people confusing it for that could be a good example of discrimination perhaps in the manner of ignorance, now you're talking about a transmasculine character, the experiences for transmascs are actually wildly different from that of transfemmes, so I'd recommend talking to a transmasc specifically if you want information about what that's like, since I'm not transmasc I'd rather not say anything about what it's like since all I know is what what I've been told.
Regarding the topic of Eugenics it's really complicated as I mentioned above, biological sex isn't really as clear-cut as people like to pretend it is, so perhaps deciding to research the topic in depth and providing a clearer picture of how it actually is while highlighting how people choose to ignore it in order to fit their gender-binary pre-conceptions while pressuring trans people to use this thing to become what they have deemed as "Biological sex" could be a good argument, the fact that it's sci-fi could also lend itself to use a different standard for "Biological sex" than what people mean in current times driving home the whole absurdity of the concept and how it basically just gets mentioned as an excuse to justify transphobic beliefs.

2. The blessings are pretty simple, what people mainly mean by trans is someone that doesn't really feel the body they have matches what they are, you're going for a character that is transmasculine, which is to say used to have a body that wasn't masculine, feminine in this case (Though other types of bodies exist, typically referred to as intersex), so in this case it should be pretty clear-cut, he feels comfortable with who he is now, it's kinda hard to explain because it's something that cis people take for granted but it's that he wouldn't feel like a stranger in his own body anymore, for more about that, I'd recommend reading about gender dysphoria, which exists in such a variety of ways that you would first need to sort out what kind of dysphoria the character used to suffer pre-transition which are all pretty complex, ranging from a deep discomfort with one's body, to a feeling of wrongness when people treat you like the gender you were born as, to dressing as the perceived other gender to even existential angst which comes in all flavours from being unsure you exist, to being unsure the world exist, to feeling like you're living an entire different being's body, to even things as being very quiet because you hate the fact that a voice that isn't your own comes out of your mouth, so once we understand what bothered the character we can maybe highlight things that would give them particular relief, a simple one being that if the character maybe used to have really strong voice dysphoria then it could be that he used to be really quiet but now that he doesn't feel that he's now very talkative and things of the sort.

3. The curse, can be really simple or really complex, really up to you but it could be things as people often dead naming the character, failing to recognise as their real gender to even things such as overcompensation which is really common, like since he's trying to prove he's a man now he engages in the most stereotypically masculine ways possible to compensate for that perceived sense of being fake, coming both from people around them doubting that he is a man or a perceived struggle that if he doesn't instantly seem like a man to everyone maybe it's all just pretence, again the range of feelings one can have from this are pretty varied and the psychology is pretty complicated.

In any case, I would recommend maybe you ask in some trans communities online rather than here, since people are more open about talking about these topics in places like those, I for example don't really for comfortable talking about my experiences here a lot of the time, the fact that it's something I've only come to terms recently doesn't really help either because it means I'm still unsure about a lot of stuff, also since I haven't really done anything to transition yet other than therapy I'm not like a good source of information or anything.
 

Saint of M

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To reply to this.

1. Nitpick away. Either I wouldn't know its nitpicking or want to do this right and know i am out of my depth so want to do this justice.

2. What I undersnad about Sex, Sexuality, and Gender.
Sex is the bits and chromosones you have (usualy male or female) at bith. It gets complicated when it comes to those born with both fun fun bits, or none at all, but that is th emain gist.
Gender Identity develops much later than in the fetus than the private parts, so its how you view yourself. How much of this is genetics and scoietal and finding where you fit in is a discussion for a latter day, but you can be born with one set of genitals but feel you are in the wrong body.
Sexuality is who you want to be romantic with.

This is the reason I used biologicals sex in there, which might be wrong terms used.
If someone feels the need to add to this, I believe the text limit for these posts is a 1000 characters so type away.

regardless, thanks
 

Satinavian

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Given that biological sex is actually a fairly complex topic that most people (Including myself) don't really know that much about, there are several factors involved and I don't really feel like looking it up because it'll be a lot of work, because again it's a really complex topic, obviously from my understanding sex is informed by Chromosomes, genes, hormones and cells and it's possible for a person to have like different things on each and basically be completely mismatched, with the biology basically not really indicating any sex or the sex opposite of what the person looks like so it's really weird, given this situation it'd be kinda hard to know what you mean by this not to mention that the idea of "Biological sex" tends to be generally promoted by transphobic individuals, so maybe it'd be best to leave the discussion of that for transphobic characters.
Biological sex is the body and only the body. Nothing social, nothing about feelings or self image. And yes, it is still a complicated thing with the numerous varieties of "intersex".
It is still some extremely useful criterion for people talking about bodies, natural abilities and body functions. Now that is also something that a lot of transpeople explicitely don't want to deem important but that makes its use not transphobic.

Also not everyone likes transgender as umbrella term or uses it that way, especially many non-binary people. OP seems to use ot only for transwomen and transmen.


As for the OP

1 ) I am not sure about this eugenics and trans topics. Where is the connection ? Eugenics implies a focus on genetics, lineage and how it is expressed in the phenotype. Per se that has little to do with gender idendity or transgender. And while "genetic engeneering to make someone genetically female" is atm pure science fiction, if it were possible, i don't see why some eugenics fanatic doing such intensive remodelling would want the result to be sterile. Or does this "genetic purity" philosophy include that genetic modifications are wrong and thus should not procreate ? But why is the child then so heavily modified in the first place ? Something does not match up here or is missing.

2) Feeling good in ones own body is the important thing. I am not sure there is anything else worth mentioning or worth the effort. Dysphoria is bad. How your SciFi culture treats its genders and whether that makes a difference is your thing to describe.

3) No idea how to pull that off convincingly
 
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Kae

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Biological sex is the body and only the body. Nothing social, nothing about feelings or self image. And yes, it is still a complicated thing with the numerous varieties of "intersex".
It is still some extremely useful criterion for people talking about bodies, natural abilities and body functions. Now that is also something that a lot of transpeople explicitely don't want to deem important but that makes its use not transphobic.
I never said otherwise, I just meant that scientifically speaking it's actually super complicated, sure we could reduce it to what sexual organs you posses but those come in a wide variety and can be altered, we could say secondary characteristics but those can be altered through hormones, we could say chromosomes but that still doesn't work because it's possible for someone that has XX chromosomes to have male organs from birth even and vice versa, we could reduce it to the genes inside the chromosomes that determine this but it's possible for cells to ignore the signal from the genes to indicate one's sex and for the individual to have the "opposite" one, or something, seriously research it, it's actually not very clear-cut like at all and biologically it's entirely possible to not be consistent, with some aspects of your biology indicating one gender and others an entirely different one and for it to not even be reflected physically.

Also not everyone likes transgender as umbrella term or uses it that way, especially many non-binary people. OP seems to use ot only for transwomen and transmen.
Sure, it doesn't change the fact tat's what it means, but there are actually a lot of disagreements in general in the trans community, it's not uncommon for binary trans people to find the often proposed idea between non-binary circles that gender is nothing but a social construct rather upsetting, these don't make non-binaries not trans just a different kind of trans, even if they don't believe in the concept, it's definitely an interesting topic to debate after all how could one be trans when gender doesn't really exist? But for the purposes of current categorization they are still defined as such, could that change in the future? Maybe, hard to know really.

To reply to this.
2. What I undersnad about Sex, Sexuality, and Gender.
Sex is the bits and chromosones you have (usualy male or female) at bith. It gets complicated when it comes to those born with both fun fun bits, or none at all, but that is th emain gist.
It's a bit more complicated than that but that's how most people understand it, I don't know the exact science but as I said above it's possible for these things to not match.

Gender Identity develops much later than in the fetus than the private parts, so its how you view yourself. How much of this is genetics and scoietal and finding where you fit in is a discussion for a latter day, but you can be born with one set of genitals but feel you are in the wrong body.
Not necessarily, it could mean other things, the whole thing is extremely complicated because there is no one consistent trans experience, for some it's not so much that the body is wrong it's more the way they are perceived and such, again I'm by no means an expert and for me it's mainly discomfort with my body and existential angst, but it's weird I don't really want to get into it.
Sexuality is who you want to be romantic with.
This one is actually incorrect, technically speaking there are two axis here a Sexual orientation axis and a romantic orientation axis, sexuality representing who you're sexually attracted to or if you even experience sexual attraction and romantic orientation representing who you like to date or if you even experience romance in the first place, it's possible for someone to be heterosexual and aromantic, meaning they experience sexual attraction and like sex but they don't like romance, it's also possible for the opposite for someone to not experience sexual attraction but do experience romance and traditional notions of love, one of the reasons a lot of asexual people do enjoy dating, it's understandable if this isn't well known though, as the loudest asexuals tend to also be aromantic, meaning they don't like sex or romance.

Yes, I didn't bother researching all of this until last year.

This is the reason I used biologicals sex in there, which might be wrong terms used.
If someone feels the need to add to this, I believe the text limit for these posts is a 1000 characters so type away.

regardless, thanks
Don't worry about it, it's not like a big deal, I guess what I was trying to say is that biological sex is a term that gets thrown around online at all, but save from biologists I don't think it's something most people understand at all, I know for example that I don't understand it, all I know is that a biologist told me that what I thought I knew was wrong, but I'll be damned if I can remember what he said all that well, like if you legit want to get it right you're going to need to do a lot of research.
 

Saint of M

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Came back to lurk. And thanks for the input.

The idea for Eugenics in my story is kinda an idea I got from Goldwin's law and anti homoselxual laws and experiments that happend.

Eventually gays were eventuality targeted like the Jews, Democrats, Communists, and Romoni before them by the Reich, with the excuse they were not adding to the race, but was most likely an excuse to gay bash.

Having same sex attractin for a long time was actualy considered a mental ailment like depression and Schizophrenia, and there have been plenty of experiments to try to beat the gay out of people.

It doesn't take much imagination for me to think there are still reeducation camps meant to turn kids and teens strait in parts of the USA such as was depicted in "But I'm a Cheerleader."

COnsidering how much more drastic none binary is, to the point the only treatment is to drasticly modify the body with hormone treatments and surgery, I was thinking this might have something along the same lines.

I also don't think people will give up their prejudices either. We still have witch hunts for things. Maybe not the the extent as the actual Werewolf and Witch trials throughout the dark ages and the renaissance, but I and many had grand parents and parents that were alive in the time of Stalin's various purges and McCarthyism. There are too many cases with the War on Drugs, some of you probably have first hand experience with the Satanic Panic, and we all lived through multiple "Video Games Cause VIolence" outcries after this or that school tragedy.

I suspect there will still be pregidice, racism, and homophobia in the future. Therefor I think there will still be transphobic ideologies as well.