Horo Musuko – Wandering Son

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Wandering Son is a manga and an anime. Having not read the Manga I have no idea how it differs from the anime. It’s very heartwarming anime or can be for transpersons and their allies. As the main characters are transpersons themselves. Those who insist that being transgendered is something sexual will be made very uncomfortable since the cast consists mostly of middle-school students, fresh out of elementary.

The show revolves around a ‘boy’ who believes he is a girl at heart, and close friend, a ‘girl’ with the reciprocal issue. I cannot, in a short post, list the trans issues this story touches but it’s a fascinating show.

I will talk about one scene that was very poignant.

The ‘girl’ who believes herself to be boy, is going through puberty and very upset about the development of her breasts. A situation not helped by her girl friends (who don’t know she is trans). Their compliments and expressions of envy about how ‘cute’ she looks during a poolside physical education class drive her to the point of seeking out a sound proof environment (the bottom of the pool) where she can scream in silence.

I know how she feels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knights of Sidonia

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Anime has done it’s usual thing turning our concepts of gender and sexuality on their ears simply as a bit of colour in a different larger story.

 

Knights of Sidonia is a new(ish) anime realized simultaneously fully voiced and localized in multiple languages and happens to be marketed as an exclusive ‘netflix original’ (more of this and I might have to sign up again)

the plot of this … Mecha action meets Battlestar Galactica anime isn’t relevant to my post (but I AM enjoying it so far).

what is relevant is the concept of bi-gender. the anime is set in the far future in a ‘siege ship’ a giant spacegoing habitat that might contain the last of humanity. Humanity has … altered itself to survive. Clones are common, with the notable exception of the protagonist every human is now capable of photosynthesis and needs only eat once a week. and some humans are both genders just not at once, they manifest as men or women depending on the gender of the person to whom they are attracted.

I thought it was an interesting twist. Even the ‘boys’  and ‘girls’ uniforms of the military academy the characters are attending seems are mixed. Girls have skirts, guys have pants Bi-genders wear skorts. Why this identification is necessary I do not know. but aside from that the characters seem to be treated no differently not the clones not bi-genders the only odd one  out is the main character, a genetic anomaly who cannot synthesize.  Even the cyborg bear seems to fit in…

anyhow Just thought I’d share.

I have an ‘imperfect’ post brewing in the drafts section that I hope will see light of day. In the meantime. I’m still alive, still journeying.

Aoi Futaba (“You’re Under Arrest”)

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At some point I’ll talk more generally about the hit or miss but at least VISIBLE presence LGBT and especially Transfolk have in imported Japanese cartoons. but I wanted to Gush about my anime Heroine.

Officer Aoi Futaba, Bokotu Precinct.

Aoi is a major supporting character in the Anime TV series ‘You’re under arrest’

YUA

Aoi is first portrayed as a confused male victim of hardwork and a strict instructor, she trained hard and went undercover as a woman to catch a serial rapist and never went back to being a man. In later episodes the show’s writers imply very strongly that this wasn’t an accident but the trigger for her own transgender self recognition and choice, even going so far as to have her now guilty instructor coming back to try and “fix” his over zealousness and make Aoi a man again. This fails.

Aoi’s portrayal will strike many chords with transwoman especially, workplace related trials. The first episode nearly revolves around the locker room issue. And a later early episode, in which a movie star for whom Aoi clearly has feelings, proposes to her, deals with the disclosure issue.

Aoi is perhaps guilty of the common t-girl tendency to try too hard. In the words of one of the show’s main characters:

“you’re the kind of daughter my MOM wants!”

She hasn’t forgotten her athleticism and the former high school basketball star often puts some impressive moves on perpetrators during the show.

She’s a good hearted soul whom I’d be happy to call friend if she weren’t just ink on a cell.

This is to her advantage. She’s drawn more beautifully than the other girls in the precinct and often attracts men more easily than they do. She’s voiced by a female voice actor, which I think is a little unfair but…

Anyhow.

She’s been my heroine since before I admitted to myself that I was Trans.

 

~~ Big Hugs ‘Jaypeg’

 

Terry Pratchett — Transpositive? LGBT positive?

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With his Discworld books, Terry Pratchett, created a fascinating flat world born on the backs of four cosmic elephants carried by a stellar turtle… and over the years has taught us a lot about ourselves. The Colour of magic came out in 1983 and over the last 30 years he’s made us laugh and think. The biggest problem I have in writing this entry is sticking to my points and not diverting to the cool tangents a fan of his work can run off on.

On Prachett’s Discworld dwarves are ALL bearded, beer quaffing, axe weilding short warriors. Everyone, If a dwarf likes another dwarf, gender is apparently only discussed in private. This leads to some interesting situations.

In the Fifth Elephant Sam Vimes ( Chief of a very influential police dept. and currently a diplomat) asks his wife about a Dwarf Opera they are watching. His wife is explaining the history behind the legendary dwarfs the Opera chronicling. Stating at one point that they are some of the most famous and tragic lovers in history.

Vimes asks “Lovers? Which one was the…”

“They were both DWARFS” His wife responds tartly.

IF this sounds familiar to real life questions you’re tired of hearing, you are probably LGBT or an ally.

The Gender of dwarfs becomes a major side story in an earlier story, “Feet of Clay”. The actual storyline involves Sam Vime’s Ank-Morkpork City Watch in a case involving a plot to overthrow the current ruler of the city using Golems. In the process he frees a golem, gives it the power of speech and makes it a constable.

The local priests are quite upset with him and call the golem , named Dorlf, an abomination. To which Sam Vimes replies that ‘abomination’ is what those in power commonly call the act of giving a voice to the voiceless.

But that bit of Prachettian awesomeness is not why I mention “Feet of Clay” no it’s a minor subplot and a new character. A dwarf hired by Vimes to be his new forensic Alchemist. (though he doesn’t use the term forensic. having just invented the concept):

Cheery Littlebottom

Corporal, then Sargeant (in later novels) Littlebottom has the distinction of being the first discworlder dwarf to openly express herself as a female dwarf: spelling her name Cheri, welding high heels onto her dwarven boots, wearing skirts, and admitting she hates quaffing.

“The beer always ends up on my neighbour”

She goes through hardships over this choice (and the trend she starts) not just in this novel but for several to come (including the earlier referenced ‘Fifth Elephant’ in which she is part of Sam Vimes’ diplomatic journey into a very conservative region of the discworld). Troubles with which any transwoman can relate.

But Transmen get an entire novel to themselves.

To be honest it’s probably more about the Victorian legends of women impersonating men to acquire male privilege, and it draws it’s title from an infamous bit of misogyny written in the 17th century. 

In the “Monstrous Regiment” Pratchett tells the tale of a young desperate women who masquerades as a man in order to provide at least one more recruit to her desperate nation in the middle of a losing war. Only to find that every last ‘man’ in her military unit (except their oblivious Captain) is a female with the same idea.

I’d recommend Pratchett to anyone open to humour and fantasy over thirty years he’s played with tourism philosophy and an entire thread of  his books on policing, civil society and justice.

But they are, in my mind, almost Must Reads for any transperson.

 

~Big Hugs. Jaypeg

 

 

I am a Nerd!

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Perhaps that should be also a Nerd. After all, in addition to being a fan of science fiction and anime and miniatures war gaming I carry other labels such as Trans-Woman (bet you never would have guessed that one 😉 ), Veteran (cold-warrior and weekend warrior but still Veteran enough to join the Legion), Nurse (a label I spend cold hard cash every year to continue to be permitted to adopt),Humanist, Feminist (THOSE two another article for another day), Auntie, Cousin, Friend, Roommate, Gamer, Fan, Reader,Blogger, Tory, Bleeding Heart, Meatitarian, Black Thumb…

No one is ever just one label. Among mine is Nerd.

Sometimes I’ll talk about how the nerdy things I enjoy either allowed a little of my closeted femininity to safely slip out without triggering a drum head court-martial by my fellow men followed by the loss of my guy stripes and the breaking of my Man-sword.

Other times I’ll talk about how the nerdy entertainments I consume affirmed my transgendered nature. (sometimes only in hindsight),

In this space in the future I’m going to talk about several imported Japanese cartoons and/or their characters, as well as some sci-fi and fantasy novels that made me feel better as me. Even during the time when I was not admitting myself to myself. (bear with me. that will be explained when I get around to posting a back story.)

The first two I’ll wish to talk about, SOON!  Are Aoi Futaba from the Anime “You’re Under Arrest” and Terry Pratchet’s “Discworld” novels, primarily the ones focusing on the Anke-Morkpork City Watch.

But this is just a heads up. When I say ‘trans in media’ I’m usually NOT referring to their notable absence in most Hollywood films and broadcast TV shoes.

Watch this Space

~Big Hugs, Jaypeg.

 

PS – Nerd Points to anyone who recognizes my blog’s tagline.

 

…of Innacuracies, Alias, Identity, and this blog.

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The cartoon at the bottom of the “Welcome to ExtractingJoy”  post

This one:

https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/t1.0-9/1507894_10153656858245058_697251804_n.jpg

has a mix of truth and exaggeration, as do, I suspect,  all good jokes.

One conceit is that no amount of surgery, hormones nor body building can change your underlying bone structure beyond some very limited cosmetic tweaks.  I, for one,  will never emulate a fashion model nor a movie star.

That’s okay.

It just means I join the rest of the women who are ‘too’ (too fat, too flat,  too tall, to skinny, too wide, too narrow, too pale, too blotchy…. and so on and on… and on) In my case I’m merely, on a bad day and looking in the wrong mirror, “too man”.

Blame the media for setting an impossible standard for womanhood in order to sell beauty products through fear. That struggle is not unique to t-girls. (I must confess though, some of us, get greater yields from their struggle and DO have before and after photos ALMOST as extreme as the cartoon)

The other, and largest,  hyperbole is the concept of THE surgery.

There is no ‘THE’ surgery.

Instead, for both trans-men and trans-women there are  a series of therapies, some (many) surgical, some biochemical, and some simply a matter of physical training (voice and elocution for example.) The ones a girl or guy must go through depends on the kind of new identity they want to build and the regulations of the jurisdiction(s) that control that identity. (Quebec for example requires Doctor’s notes affirming that MANY specific surgeries and hormone therapies have been completed and that the Trans-person has lived five years in their new gender before updating a birth certificate) however, legal identity issues are an entire entry for another day.

Today I’ll just talk about my alias. Call me ‘Jaypeg’ here please. This may seem strange. Most of you are here by invite and know exactly who I am.

I’m going to be venting here from time to time. Sometimes I’ll bitch about my job, and when I don’t kvetch,  I will be sharing my private life.  My employers have no need to know what I think of them nor what I do in my spare time. Additionally,  keeping my self and them anonymous means that even if they do catch a hint, it will be difficult to prove I’m in violation of any codes of employee conduct.

That’s Jaypeg explained,  but also other people and places will be reduced to initials or simply ‘redacted’, as military censors like to do.

My client’s at work have a right to privacy, So do many of my friends and associates in the LGBT+ community.  And some stories are not entirely mine to tell, even when I have a desperate need to share my tiny part. I hope you’ll forgive me for this secrecy and  respect  both my privacy and that of those I mention here by not trying to pierce the veil I have drawn over their identities.

 (BTW, despite WordPress saying that my Webmaster (an awesome lady) wrote this. rest assured. this post was authored by me.

~big hugs. Jaypeg.