Roleplay Across the Gender Line - Page 12 - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Discussions > Roleplaying Experiences
twitter facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #166  
Old Jun 26th, 2020, 10:34 PM
briar's Avatar
briar briar is offline
Inter-dimensional Witch
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 7th, 2021
RPXP: 3095
briar briar briar briar briar briar briar briar briar briar briar
Posts: 1,673
Hi there!

Well, this isn't *exactly* on topic, but I think it's relevant enough to mention.

I'm transgender, male-to-female, a fact which I have known for the better part of my 32 years. Up until about age 12 or so, I played male characters in gaming, largely because most of the games I played happened in offline settings and where I come from, especially growing up, there is/was a lot of stigma towards people acting outside of their gender.

Since then, however, I've almost exclusively played female PCs, and I think it has done a lot to help me to develop and bridge the gap between being raised a male, but accepting a female persona. In fact, I might go out on a limb here and say that it has likely been the single most determining factor between whether or not I went ahead with my transition or stayed the gender I was born with and suffered through the dysphoria.

Personally, I feel that role-playing female characters have been absolutely instrumental in helping that transition along, making me happier and more confident in myself and my choice. In the real world, for a lot of transfeminine people like myself, it's incredibly hard to act like ourselves, and that is especially true when a transgender person is just starting out in their transitional journey. To me, especially, the idea of 'passing' (being treated as a woman due to my appearance and demeanor) is a need rather than a want. But the thing is, I was raised to be a boy, and thus largely male mannerisms, points of view, and habits. Breaking those habits, for most, requires us to be able to experiment and slowly change as a result of trial and error.

When you're transgender, people tell you when you're not passing. Even if you don't care about passing, you can tell when you're not just based on the reactions you get from other people. Sometimes people make it easy and say it to our faces, but we notice it even when people try to hide it. We can see the surprised look on your face or the sudden sense of unease that comes over a person when they realize the person they're talking to isn't a CIS woman or man. But that's embarrassing as hell for us and is actually a negative motivator for those who are trying to discover themselves. Granted some transgender people 'dgaf', and are just wholly themselves in every situation regardless of whether it makes them look weird, but I'd say for the greater majority of us, it's not a situation where we want to find ourselves in and will actively avoid.

As a result, the mental transition process can be incredibly slow and agonizing. And that is exactly why it is so fraught with danger for budding transgender people. It's really, really scary not knowing or being sure if you'll ever get to a point where you can feel comfortable in your own body without others constantly giving you hell for it. And it's incredibly painful when you find out that your efforts constantly don't seem like they're enough, either--it can cause a person to lose faith in themself and make choices they end up regretting later.

Role-playing, however, is different. Role-playing actively encourages you to adopt traits, points of view, and demeanors that aren't necessarily your own, though they may indeed be traits and such that you would like to be mindful of or have for yourself--we're all constantly improving after all, and that goes for everyone, not just transgender people. It provides a medium in which we can experiment with different ideologies and concepts, determine what sorts of situations work, and feel more right or authentic to us, and we also get feedback from other players and GMs. And more than that, role-playing, especially online, provides an environment in which nobody knows you or has any sort of predilection towards what gender you might be. Unless you tell someone you're this or that, people will assume based on the demeanor you portray and the energy you give off.

I think if more transgender people, especially those in their early stages of transitioning, utilized role-playing as a medium for understanding themselves and defining their own male and female traits, we'd have a lot fewer problems with dysphoria-induced depression and anxiety, and a lot fewer transgender suicides. Similarly, I also think that cis people can learn to understand, if only maybe a glimpse, of the inner workings of a transgender people by role-playing the opposite gender as well. The world needs a little more understanding, I think, especially with the mounting concerns we have in this world over who has what rights and so forth.

Anyway, I hope you find that interesting, and it adds to the discussion in a different way

Last edited by briar; Jul 1st, 2020 at 01:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old Jul 4th, 2020, 06:38 PM
SnakeOilCharmer's Avatar
SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 12th, 2021
RPXP: 3204
SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer
Posts: 2,472
Briar, that is really cool to hear.

I prefer not to disclose my own gender identity here. My pbp characters skew about 60-70% women, I'd estimate. I try to avoid producing any form of mental image of the other players, if I'm honest. I find that makes it easier to take characters as they're presented - so that I'm thinking of the Half-Elf paladin, not, say, the accounts payable clerk from Missouri who's playing them. It's more immersive for me.

I like to do the "Whatever feels right for the character" method of determining character gender. For example, at the moment, I have the thought of a noble background frost sorcerer, so that character feels more right being male (because I don't want the character just to be Elsa!) My usual exception is that characters whose backstory tends toward appearing in any way edgy will basically always be male, because there's a whole lot of pervasive cultural stuff about mistreatment of women being used as backstory that I don't want to go anywhere near.
__________________
They/Them.
Fully back online and up-to-date.

Last edited by SnakeOilCharmer; Jul 4th, 2020 at 06:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #168  
Old Jul 5th, 2020, 06:32 PM
ZixSerro's Avatar
ZixSerro ZixSerro is offline
Juvenile Dragon
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Aug 6th, 2020
RPXP: 50
ZixSerro
Posts: 26
The majority of characters I've conceptualized for me to play as in the past year or so have been female. I mainly make female PCs because I've been consuming a ton of media in the past decade that portrays cool strong female characters, and decided I'd like to play as someone like that. Why make every heroic badass a cool dude when they could be a cool chick instead? I've played so many male characters in the past, and they were all basic or bad and died or got discarded. Being a female character gives me a chance to play a character type I've never played before.
Reply With Quote
  #169  
Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 06:59 AM
TADHG's Avatar
TADHG TADHG is offline
Descent Gaming Bradenton
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 11th, 2021
RPXP: 1891
TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG
Posts: 761
I'm a male. When I was younger, I played exclusively Male characters. It just seemed easier. I could relate to males much easier. There might have been a few "rescue the princess" stories, but for the most part, it was all combat. And loot. We didn't feel the need to bring sex into it, and looking back at the few times we did... it was pretty scary.

I put it down for nearly 30 years. Been married, had a daughter. I hope I know a little more about women now. The first character I played after coming back was a woman. And I've created and played other female characters since. And you know what? They're just people. Their gender doesn't define them. It just happens that in PbP, they want pictures. And I've found way too many interesting looking female characters not to try my hand at a few. In fact, for a game I'm currently playing as a hafling paladin, the first images that came up were female paladins. I play them to be just as tough and strong as any male, given their stats. To tell the truth, I've no doubt there are women who can lift more than I can. But they are also body builders, and I'm just a guy who lifts weights for his job, and at no other time. But are we playing regular people, or heroes?

I've learned quite a lot in 50 years, that's all I'm saying.
__________________
It doesn't even matter.
Reply With Quote
  #170  
Old Sep 3rd, 2020, 10:41 AM
AsenRG AsenRG is offline
Adult Dragon
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Apr 17th, 2021
RPXP: 446
AsenRG AsenRG AsenRG AsenRG AsenRG
Posts: 161
I mostly play male characters. Why? No reason, I just like them. And no, they don't have to be "every masculine cliche ever" unless I want them to.

Amusingly, when Refereeing, my default mode is to put slightly more female NPCs in the setting, but not so much that anyone has ever complained. What's amusing is that I often refer to my GMing syle as "just roleplaying the NPCs".

Now, when it comes to videogames, I tend to play a lot of female characters, possibly because I find them more interesting to watch.
However, I believe that this is due to the fact that I play a lot of fighting games. Female fighters often have styles I find more interesting to use!
__________________

I have taken the Oath Of Sangus!

Last game played on RPGX: Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate RPG (solo)!

Last edited by AsenRG; Sep 3rd, 2020 at 10:43 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #171  
Old Nov 15th, 2020, 10:45 AM
farothel's Avatar
farothel farothel is offline
Adult Dragon
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Feb 25th, 2021
RPXP: 64
farothel
Posts: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by TADHG View Post
And I've created and played other female characters since. And you know what? They're just people. Their gender doesn't define them.
I can only agree. It doesn't really matter what the gender of your character is as long as you have fun playing him/her/it and so do your fellow players.

I'm male and I've played both male and female characters, both online and offline. I think if I put them all together there are a bit more females than males, but to me they're just characters. I consider backstory much more interesting than the gender.
Reply With Quote
  #172  
Old Nov 16th, 2020, 01:55 AM
InMemoriam InMemoriam is offline
Sic itur ad astra
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Apr 9th, 2021
RPXP: 1122
InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam InMemoriam
Posts: 307
@briar It's awesome that roleplaying has helped you like that!

I'm also gonna go a little off-topic.

Me, I'm cis female, but due to my looks, had been teased about being a boy for a lot of my childhood. It wrecked my self-confidence. Kids are vicious! It's been quite a long while since the last time it happened, but I did develop a bit of a complex about it.

In video games, when I'm made to play a male character that acts as an avatar for me, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. If he is his own realized character, then I'm okay. As such, I've never roleplayed a male character. If there's ever a customizable avatar, and whenever I make characters for D&D, they're always female, and I do tend to play more "feminine" personalities for them.

Now that being said, due to the depiction of women in much of the media I saw when younger, and especially so in my country's love for overdramatic, snooty women in telenovelas, I also have a complex of "girly" things. I cannot stand the thought of makeup (on myself. Others can of course do as they desire), I don't want people commenting on my wearing a dress or skirt, don't want to be seen fixing up my hair or otherwise caring for my appearance. It's a tad complicated, and now that I think about it, either a cause or effect of my social anxiety! So those feminine characters are usually headstrong and independent; feminine but not "girly". Not that those characteristics can't overlap!

So physically, I need to play female. Mentally, I edge away from it.

I realize my complex and resulting views can come off as judgemental and decidedly un-woke , but I do try to limit them to myself and no one else, and of course I'm trying to get over them.
__________________
Status: Below baseline, which means normal! | GMT+8

Last edited by InMemoriam; Nov 16th, 2020 at 02:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #173  
Old Nov 16th, 2020, 08:04 AM
bothers's Avatar
bothers bothers is online now
Rhymes with 'frothers'
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 12th, 2021
RPXP: 7369
bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers bothers
Posts: 885
Quote:
Originally Posted by InMemoriam View Post
I realize my complex and resulting views can come off as judgemental and decidedly un-woke
I don't think so. I think it's more than reasonable to want more complex representation of women, and I also think it's natural for some people to reject cultural impositions of how a person "should" look, or how they "should" behave. That was part of the ethos of the entire punk movement, after all!

Like you, I'm also a cis woman, and I've fairly comprehensively rejected stereotypical "femininity" as it's narrowly depicted in (presumably - you don't say which country you come from, but western standards of femininity get everywhere) industrialised western culture. I don't think that's quite the same thing as a judgement of what we think of as stereotypical femininity. I see it just as a rejection of the expectation that I need to take on that role myself in order to have validity as a woman.

I'm also like you in that I don't really roleplay male characters. But for me, it's more that roleplay gives me so much scope to tell interesting stories about women that I haven't heard before, especially the sorts of women you don't often see in mass media. Stories about older women, or women whose appearances aren't primarily defined by how physically attractive they are to men, or women who have complex flaws and motivations and who ultimately are interesting people, not just some coat rack on which you hang the abstract concept of "lady". The more I think about it, the more I'm starting to realise that this in itself is just another tiny way of actively resisting culturally-imposed notions of womanhood.

It's not that I think I can't roleplay as a male character (lord knows everyone on the internet assumes I, the player, am a man already). But I've read stacks of novels and seen reams of visual media where men are the heroes, and the antiheroes, and the protagonists, and the antagonists, and far fewer with women in those roles, and I just feel like there are stories missing. And roleplay lets me tell those.

Whew, I went off on my own tangent there, didn't I? This is an excellent thread, though. Briar's perspective is a highlight for me - thanks so much for posting it. The intersection between authentic self-expression and sociocultural expectations, and how they can be expressed or subverted through roleplay seems much more complex for some people than it is for others.

Last edited by bothers; Nov 16th, 2020 at 08:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #174  
Old Nov 18th, 2020, 11:00 AM
farothel's Avatar
farothel farothel is offline
Adult Dragon
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Feb 25th, 2021
RPXP: 64
farothel
Posts: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bothers View Post
It's not that I think I can't roleplay as a male character (lord knows everyone on the internet assumes I, the player, am a man already). But I've read stacks of novels and seen reams of visual media where men are the heroes, and the antiheroes, and the protagonists, and the antagonists, and far fewer with women in those roles, and I just feel like there are stories missing. And roleplay lets me tell those.
If you want to read some stories with complex women in the main roles, I would suggest the Hollows series written by Kim Harrison. Great books and great characters.

Anyway, whatever character I create I try to make it interesting, whether male or female. I always write a backstory, often a quite long one with a complex personality.

Looks is more difficult, as pictures searched on the internet most often depict beautiful women (at least with the search terms I use apparently). And my own photo manipulation skills are not all that good to modify the pictures.
__________________
Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
"Magic can turn a frog into a prince. Science can turn a frog into a Ph.D. and you still have the frog you started with." Terry Pratchett
"I will not yield to evil, unless she's cute."
Reply With Quote
  #175  
Old Nov 19th, 2020, 10:36 AM
Astra's Avatar
Astra Astra is offline
Chicane dans ta cabane
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 11th, 2021
RPXP: 6830
Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra
Posts: 1,382
Yes! It's so difficult to find character art of women that isn't full of plate mail bikinis and stripper stilettos.
Reply With Quote
  #176  
Old Nov 20th, 2020, 05:26 AM
SnakeOilCharmer's Avatar
SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 12th, 2021
RPXP: 3204
SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer SnakeOilCharmer
Posts: 2,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra View Post
Yes! It's so difficult to find character art of women that isn't full of plate mail bikinis and stripper stilettos.
Oh god yes!

And two of my recent characters have been WOC, which is even harder. I think it's easier to find non-sexualized female spellcasters, mostly because the robe aesthetic was never as stripperific.
__________________
They/Them.
Fully back online and up-to-date.
Reply With Quote
  #177  
Old Nov 20th, 2020, 10:15 AM
Wynamoinen's Avatar
Wynamoinen Wynamoinen is online now
Eternal Bard
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 12th, 2021
RPXP: 27096
Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen Wynamoinen
Posts: 7,753
I agree with you, SOC, but there are rays of hope:

https://www.reddit.com/r/EbonyImagination/
https://www.reddit.com/r/ReasonableFantasy/
__________________
GM of Uncaged: Found Family, a folklore-inspired D&D 5e one-shot adventure.
Reply With Quote
  #178  
Old Nov 20th, 2020, 05:20 PM
Astra's Avatar
Astra Astra is offline
Chicane dans ta cabane
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 11th, 2021
RPXP: 6830
Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra Astra
Posts: 1,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeOilCharmer View Post
Oh god yes!

And two of my recent characters have been WOC, which is even harder. I think it's easier to find non-sexualized female spellcasters, mostly because the robe aesthetic was never as stripperific.
Ech... there's definitely a lot of "malegaze sorcerer with DD's and a spellbook" out there though... maybe I need to find a better source for my art. I get most of my character portraits from the same 3-4 artists on DeviantArt/Artstation who actually draw reasonable women.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynamoinen View Post
These are awesome!

Last edited by Astra; Nov 20th, 2020 at 05:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #179  
Old Nov 20th, 2020, 08:56 PM
Menzo's Avatar
Menzo Menzo is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 11th, 2021
RPXP: 2753
Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo
Posts: 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynamoinen View Post
Oh. I've just spent 5 or so minutes scrolling through the pictures. They're freakin' AMAZING!

Of course, there's the issue of non-sexualised imagery for female characters. Sometimes, of course, you actually want that, because it fits the specific character. Y'know, if your actually playing some seductress bard in a pirate game. But most of the time your character has a Charisma or 8-10, has led a rough life in the wilderness, and has all the social skills of a turnip. And the usual array of images just don't fit.

But there's also the additional issue of realism. Or, well, as much realism as you can afford in a fantasy game. A fighter just wouldn't wear a chainmail bikini. You want armor to cover as much of the torso, upper arm, upper leg, neck and head as possible, without it becoming too encumbering. And your character's wearing an off-the-shoulder dress that shows plenty of cleavage? That might be fine for a formal event, but it's gonna get pretty chilly when you're huddled around the campfire on a winter's night.

And let's face it... the image you selected may (visually) be the sexiest thing known to man, but your character hasn't had a bath in over a week!
__________________
I am currently recruiting players for Night City Blues, an introductory adventure for Cyberpunk Red.
I am currently playing in Uncaged: Found Families and The Topaz Championship.
I have taken the Oath of Sangus.

Last edited by Menzo; Nov 21st, 2020 at 02:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #180  
Old Nov 21st, 2020, 01:40 AM
TADHG's Avatar
TADHG TADHG is offline
Descent Gaming Bradenton
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 11th, 2021
RPXP: 1891
TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG TADHG
Posts: 761
I got lucky. I had found a decent picture for my female elf character. A serious picture, for a serious character, a doctor. I had a hard time getting it to attach though. It might be in the Fu-Bar thread though, as part of Outplay.
__________________
It doesn't even matter.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:31 PM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.( 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2021, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB