During last year’s discussion we
During last year’s discussion we rattled off a handful of gay and lesbian characters in our company’s various works—yes, Rufus and Burnie did come up (http://gaygamer.net/2007/03/top_10_gayest_tabletop_charact_9.html)—after which someone asked the panel about transgender characters.
Awkward comments about girdles and curses and mimics.
Between Joe, Jeremy, Steve Kenson, and myself—lifetime gamers each—we had nothing. But we acknowledged that we can do better than that. Already I’m preparing for this year’s seminar and already I’m planning to bring that topic back up with at least three examples from the interim year of Paizo products that have included positive portrayals of transgender characters.
That’s not for me, that’s not for some mythical GLBTQ agenda, that’s because a gamer at a convention told me she’d like to see a character she could relate to in our games. She wanted someone like her to slay monsters, cast magic, and be a hero.
No problem. I can do that. After all, that’s what Pathfinder is all about.
F. Wesley Schneider, Editor-in-Chief for the Pathfinder RPG, on including trans* characters in the game’s official setting.
Among other things, this has led to the creation of the genderfluid Arshea, Empyreal Lord (basically an Archangel) of freedom, physical beauty, and sexuality, champion of the repressed and oppressed. Arshea’s devotees spend a period of time living as the opposite gender during their religious training, and at the end, they are “encouraged to live their life as a member of whichever gender they feel they most identify with” (x).
This is very very cool, and a positive attitude to have about having good and diverse representation so all sorts of different people can see themselves in your stories, and as your heroes. :)
I wanted to share this because it’s about a company understanding the importance of diverse representation (especially of strong, heroic characters) to marginalized people who, like everybody else, want to be able to see themselves in your world, living their power fantasies.