The Gender Bendy Thread

LinLin BlackbirdThe Moonglade
edited March 2021 in Echo Canyon
It's no secret that an increasing number of Aetolians have rejected the gender binary, whether it's to swap back and forth between male/female states, or anything in between.

How has this affected your experience? I thought I'd make a general thread to talk about the effects and ramifications of Aetolia's gender revolution.

Topic ideas:

  • What differences are there when your character changes?
  • Do they change through magic? Shapeshifting ability? Do you prefer simply not to worry about it?
  • Does your character still identify as a given gender?
  • Have people treated you differently or shown a difference in their interest when you change?
  • Is it a complete nightmare to find clothing, or does your character simply not care?
  • What's your obligatory genderbent name (Masculin, Siderella, Bronecia, etc.)?


  • AolinAolin Inside a transdimensional bakery
    *watches thread with great interest, clutching dozens of male Aolin picrews*
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in Attica
    Since Bronecia got namedropped, I suppose I'll jump in here to help get things started.

    Differences between Phoe/Bronecia:
    A few images below (they're all a little old since I've not done Phoe/Bro art in a looong time).

    Physical differences
    - Bronecia is about six inches taller than Phoe is (6' vs 5'6")
    - Phoe has long hair, Bronecia has short, windswept hair and much shorter 'ear tails'.
    - Phoe's face is rounder and she has slender features. Bronecia is described as a little on the lean side, but athletic. Narrow waist and broad shoulders.
    - Bronecia wears glasses. He doesn't need them, but wears them because he thinks he looks plain without them, and that they make him more dignified.
    - The white lily hairpin changes positions. On Phoe, she wears it in her hair. Bronecia wears it on his lapel like a boutonniere.

    Personality differences
    - Both are kind of a 'sugar and ice' personality, but Bronecia is much more openly snarky, standoffish, and a lot more detached - if it doesn't directly concern him, he doesn't devote much attention to it. He's also more openly flirtatious.
    - Different terms of endearment for people they're close to. Phoe uses 'darling' or 'handsome'. Bronecia refers to female friends as 'lovely'.
    - Phoe has a preference for working with textiles as a crafter while Bronecia prefers working with metals. Both still have a deep love for flowers.

    How do they change?

    I've gone through a few different explanations, but it kind of all started when I picked up a Gem of Transmutation. In other places I've RPed (mainly D&D), I play a lot of male characters, and I wanted to kind of carry on with that without having to roll a new character. Anyway, the in-game explanation for Bronecia's existence is that he's actually a fragment of Phoenecia's personality that kind of developed into his own entity following shenanigans with a magic mirror (you know that mirror quest in Azdun where you fight your character's reflection? Yeah. There was a weird, funny glitch that I sort of ran with). I treat Bronecia as kind an alternate version of Phoe or as a twin, but they can't physically occupy the same space except in her haven. They can swap places at will, but when one is on the material plane, the other takes up residence in the compact mirror she carries around. They're both aware of what goes on when the other one is 'active'.

    Gender identity

    I treat Phoe and Bronecia as two entirely separate entities. Phoe identifies as female, and Bronecia identifies as male. I actually had Phoe be completely straight up until the split, but since then, both she and Bronecia are bisexual with heavy preference for the opposite sex. It was actually kind of fun playing Bronecia as kind of vain and preoccupied with his appearance, and giving him hobbies and interests considered feminine (cooking, fashion, flowers, etc) while still having him be somewhat masculine. I have no idea how well I succeeded with that.

    Do people treat you differently?

    Going to be honest and say it's been a bit of a mixed bag. While most people I've interacted with that knew about Phoe/Bro were actually pretty cool about it and loved interacting with their different aspects, there were a few that were utterly put off from interacting with the character entirely, and the vast majority of these people were male players that made some pretty disgusting comments. A lot of the time I'd find that most people had a preference for which one they enjoyed interacting with more, or that the things they talked about were a bit different. For male characters, they tended to view Bronecia as a hangout buddy, and for female characters, he was a sympathetic confidant.


    As far as clothing goes, that's never been a problem since Phoe/Bro is a crafter. I will say, though, Phoe has a MUCH larger selection of outfits than Bronecia does, though that's mostly because I got super lazy. I very rarely ever changed Bronecia out of his standard outfit because I never got around to designing alternates. I tended more towards a princely look for him.

    Genderbent name

    Bronecia, duh! I actually don't know where it came from. All I remember is that someone else came up with it, but I don't remember who. I never gave him his own name, but I always imagined it being either Phoenecis or Tyrian (I'm sure you'll figure out the reference). In-game, people always just referred to him as Sinclair.
  • Femflinn is actually taller and more 'dangerous' than og Flinn, they have claws and loooooooots of teeth in a deceptively large set of jaws. Male Flinn is pretty feminine looking anyway, he looks exactly like his sister, minus the curves and femflinn mostly just adds those plus a bunch of fairy bits. Their personality isn't really any different. They shape-shift, they'll change parts of themselves drastically for a quick scare or prank sometimes. People are a little weird about the change but afaik mostly because of some personal story stuff tied to it. They're incredibly vain about their female body, they *created* it and view it as another of their works of art, they're generally naked to show off. They don't care what you call them if it isn't rude. They say that they're just Flinn. They could decide to be a boy again in the next five minutes and change again two after that so they think it would be tedious to go back and forth with how they're referred to. 
  • RihrinRihrin Duiran
    edited March 2021
    Edit: I did want to notate that originally, I had planned to make Rihrin a man. But when it came time in the creator, I hit female out of habit and decided to roll with it because it's easier for me to remember the pronouns. I ended up beginning to regret this a few months in to gameplay, started considering doing a change, but it got held off and put on the back burner because of other RP that was going on. I'm so glad that I've now done it, though, because it feels like I finally have the full character I had wanted as far as what I had in my head. Not sure if it's helpful to know, but I've had enough people ask that I figured I'd add this in at the top. And, adding in a few more notes since I'm finding figuring out the differences is fun.

    What differences are there when your character changes?

    Male is half a foot taller than female. Male has a little broader shoulders, slimmer hips. Male is more hotheaded, spontaneous, and flirtatious - thinks on how to do things better in the future versus focusing on what they did wrong and wallowing in it. He also is more into living in the moment, most of the time. Enjoys booze and sweets more. Not huge on Damariel's fetters/etc, which is an internal conflict between the two. He is more into arts, especially painting. When brews, actually focuses on alcohol more. Likes blues and silvers. Prefers chakra blossoms.

    Female is softer, shyer, impatient, not as confident often. Very Tsunarde. Female is more into jewelry and clothing work. Cooking, brewing - but less about alcoholic drinks. Likes salty things, like bacon. Big on meats. Dense sometimes. More studious. Reds and golds. Prefers snow white orchids. Appreciates art, but doesn't feel inclined to it in most forms except for dance and crafts.

    Both are interested in any gender for relationships (pansexual), though they lean towards male companions versus female because of familiarity with it (since Rin was born female and most coming to them have been male). I am gradually merging personalities, though I don't think that'll ever be a full thing. But, it did start out with a lot of figuring out the other half that had not been explored, which was a real blast - still is.

    Do they change through magic? Shapeshifting ability? Do you prefer simply not to worry about it?

    They change through magic, flames/light washing over them when it happens.

    Does your character still identify as a given gender?

    They identify as that gender at the time, but do not specifically identify as one or the other priority-wise. They are just both, two halves of a whole.

    Have people treated you differently or shown a difference in their interest when you change?

    It's a mixed bag here. Men definitely come after the female part to RP more than women do, and vice-versa for the male. I have a handful that come to RP with both, and see them as equal parts. Hopefully that list will keep growing, as sometimes people don't seem to want to interact at all if I'm RPing in one side and not the other.

    Is it a complete nightmare to find clothing, or does your character simply not care?

    It was initially until the male part of Rin could figure out what they were. What they individually liked/wanted. Kind of a journey of re-discovery.

    What's your obligatory genderbent name (Masculin, Siderella, Bronecia, etc.)?

    Stine has one that is not forum appropriate. Right now, I use Malerin (reminds me of mallard ducks).
  • While I can't answer these questions it does bring up interesting things for me to think about. Anyone who knows Aya knows she is definitely more stereotypically 'masculine in behavior while physically, she is female,. It brings up considerations I haven't really thought of, oddly enough. Thanks! Might be time to evolve her a bit!
  • LinLin Blackbird The Moonglade
    This has been hella insightful. I think what I love most is that a lot of us have fallen into similar unwritten rules, sort of coinciding with one another without any apparent agreement.

    Ok so chipping in myself:

    Official Genderbent Name™:

    The Differences:
    As a woman, Lin can be severe, emotionally withdrawn, even cruel. As a man, he doesn't feel certain spoilery sources of vulnerability and isn't afraid to express himself more openly. Femlin's the mean, intense one; Masculin is the horny dope who always has a grin on his face.

    No matter the form, Lin's height and weight don't change; fat and muscle are simply redistributed elsewhere.

    The Method:
    With Lin a former Azudim, she didn't have a great explanation for it at first, beyond seeing @Aisling and @Rasani changing and starting to really pine for it. Retroactively, the explanation became Idrethi handwavey magic: she can build her entire body from scratch and hold it together with sheer willpower, so the act of reconfiguring it to suit her needs is trivial. I play it gruesome, with her bones and musculature shifting to accommodate the different shape.

    Gender Identity:
    Lin is female, and identifies as female. She was born female and had what she thinks of as female experiences. Gender is a very weird thing to her; she understands that it's more complicated than the binary, but when it comes to applying it to herself, she falls back on a simpler viewpoint. Her "male" side has become an intrinsic part of herself, but it fits neatly into her self-image and doesn't impact her identity at all.

    Lin never wore much and often went topless, so this was actually a pretty simple issue for her. She has learned, the hard way, that sometimes things that dangle between your legs can be easily hurt, so she's traded out her loincloths and skirts for really snug pants instead. Sometimes @Sibatti makes her stretchy clothing that can mold to either body shape, and she doesn't have any real notion of "boy clothing" or "girl clothing," so she'll wear it regardless.

    Difference in Player Reception:
    For the most part, no one treats Lin too differently; some have even cottoned on to her rigid gender identity and don't even bother switching pronouns (not that she cares). There is a certain subset of characters who have absolutely zero interest in Lin as a man, and some that have outright asked her to turn into one. The latter I usually never RP with more than once - I'm surprised at how tacky I find it.

    Seeing how people react to the genderswap has been, is, and will forever be one of the most enjoyable experiences in the game, however.
  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and trees
    edited March 2021
    Official Genderbent Name™:
    Boybatti. I will also accept Siboyti.

    The Differences:
    Boybatti is taller and still more on the femme/androgynous side, and a definite pretty boy. His tail is longer, but doesn't move around as much in the way that hers does, most often just a dead weight. He is far less animated, very unexpressive, and always looks like he's displeased or bored. It takes a lot for him to express himself in a visible way. When he does, though.... he's very transparent and intense, and more prone to following violent/darker urges. In the sense that some characters are predators, he's a snake as opposed to a wolf or a rojalli.

    He spends less time doing deep, stream-of-consciousness style thinking, and his thoughts are significantly more straightforward and basic. This can help in that he's more direct and to the point, and in a way much more confident than Girlbatti. Sib has always been attracted to all the genders, but Boybatti is much more likely to have a reaction (and also follow through).

    I struggled with how I would approach him in his role as Watcher, because I so firmly associated it with a feminine witch archetype, but quickly became comfortable with being an adorably dedicated boy witch.

    Since then, he's taken to his duties with a bit more work ethic than Girlbatti, but I think she is the more creative of the two. Neither are more gutsy or willing to push the limits of 'acceptable sacrifice' than the other.

    The Method:
    A complex Shamanic ritual involving certain star alignments, animal parts, body fluids (no, not those kinds of fluids), and marking of the body. It's a temporary change, and it comes with a baseline of dull, aching pain that gradually increases the longer she stays a man, and then has a wicked hangover afterwards.

    Gender Identity:
    Sib has always been a bit like an animal in the sense that she's never really perceived gender as a thing. She's cognizant of differences in sex, but they're purely physical/biological things to her and not so much tied to an identity.

    It's only been relatively recent that Sib has cared about clothing overly much. She was pretty much feral-wear up until she became the Watcher, and that she doesn't really run around so much as a dhurive-wielding Sentinel any longer. Now she wears dresses, spiked heels, short shorts, knee-high boots, etc. of a certain aesthetic. Boybatti pretty much adopts a lot of the clothing that she wears, but because the character is so vain, they'll only wear what makes them look most like a snack. Boybatti will wear pretty much anything regardless of whether it's traditionally feminine or masculine.

    Difference in Player Reception:
    I've been pleasantly surprised that it's been all positive. I feel that right now Boybatti gets more attention, but that could be the novelty factor. The most notable difference has been with the people Sib is closest with - @Pilar @Lin @Aisling. It's completely changed their relationships, for better or for worse! Especially with Lin! :open_mouth:
  • I don't go back and forth so I don't really have any take on most of the questions, but I just selfishly wanted to chime in because I've gradually changed Valdas' pronouns over time, even though its presentation has changed little (and tbh I'm open to whatever changes feel right!). It started out he/him because honestly I was returning to the game and didn't even know any other option. Then switched to they/them when I knew the option and it felt right. But as it got Idreth and slowly has its own Thing(tm) going on I switched to it/its, in part because it helps with the presenting 'otherworldliness' / 'monster' vibe that I want going on (for my own headspace for roleplaying it too). It's 'the creature' or 'the beast' and rarely 'the Nazetu.'

    I suppose its vibe is still more masculine, because it is conventionally so, but I try to incorporate some things that muddle with that a bit--largely inspired by @Qelres and their Nazetu style, as well as what we've weirdly independently hiveminded on about Nazetu, haha. So it wears a lot of (or will eventually qualify as 'a lot' as I work on building the repertoire) jewelry, opulence, and a Fashion Skirt. But I also don't have a large social sphere so most people still go with he/him, which is fine, but the RP I hold dearest (read: Qelres and Veris) rolls with that development and change.

    Just as a side note, as someone who flirts with gender identity myself, it was a really nice thing to come back to! And I love that it's something people are playing with and embracing.
  • Rasani and Mansani look no different, save for a beard, a lil boobage and chest hair. She's butch and I very purposefully made them not very different because she was already a masculine person and I didn't like the implication that she'd somehow be MORE masculine just because she had a beard.

    People are more interested in Mansani for some reason, maybe it's the beard.

    Rasani always feels female. I've played her as a transwoman since her inception. The gender switch stone as admittedly purchased and used more because I felt like I'd be harassed for making a trans character and I didn't wanna deal with that nonsense.
  • Hi, hello. Siderella was name-dropped, but I just hadn't gotten around to this thread. Definitely fascinating to see how people seem to abide by the same unwritten rules - or at least loosely draw from the same territory.

    Obligatory Genderbent Alias:


    How do they change?

    It depends on the mood in the room and if anyone else is there, to be frank. When he revealed this to one of his daughters, for instance, it was just a shimmer of green energy that one could liken to a transformation sequence ripped from popular animation. In private, it is a bit more anatomical or grisly, a la what Lin mentioned with the change of musculature and etc. It largely depends on my own mood - some days, Sid wakes up and that is how she presents. No transformation scene, just daily life.

    The differences ...

    Sid and Siderella aren't all that different in terms of physical appearance. The hair is longer, the hips change only a little. Modest bosom begins to exist. She remains fairly slender and wiry. Her personality is less inquisitive and her temper is very short; she's more prone to growing bored when sitting still. Put simply, she's a bit of a venomous bitch. She's far more likely to act on something then and there instead of spending time being calculating - or considerate. Much more aggressive.

    Why does she even exist?

    This is a complicated question I'd rather keep secret; there's a lot going on with that question that hasn't even been explored with the character's closest friends and family. I will say there are many reasons and one of them is that Sid feels more able to channel the Nightmare's disapproval or anger as Siderella - and sometimes that effect has been sorely needed in the order.

  • Okay so I don't genderbend Teotl, they just... I mean I started the game with them as female but almost immediately the wield changed their pronouns and gender to 'neutral' and it just made way more sense to me so I just ran with it. But this is an interesting conversation to engage with

    Does your character still identify as a given gender?
    They avoid the conversation most of the time, only really bringing it to attention if neutral titles don't exist. They would probably prefer if everyone assumed they were as sexless as a doll most of the time, and have even said as much in a few conversations, as they aren't super physical in that way atm.

    Have people treated you differently or shown a difference in their interest when you change?
    Honestly people gender Teotl male and female on instinct fairly evenly now. But people also correct themselves and that makes my day every time. Just casual. Fantasy setting. No big deal. But the engagement with some does shift with the uncertainty of what lurks behind the loincloth.

    Is it a complete nightmare to find clothing, or does your character simply not care?
    Feminine tops that don't assume that breasts are a thing would be lovely. Teo is flat chested but still likes femme things occasionally. So much seems about 'accentuating curves' which is great for certain body types and aesthetics, but not all of them.

    What's your obligatory genderbent name (Masculin, Siderella, Bronecia, etc.)?
    uuuuh. Um. I guess Teotl is Teotl. I broke the game. Oops.
    Bend lots of ways? Heotl? Sheotl? Xeotl? *turns binaries into confetti*
  • TekiasTekias Wisconsin
    Whelp, since I recently joined the 'gem of Transmute' club, hi!

    I haven't used it much yet (in fact, there's only been the original MaleTek, FemTek, and now recently with the gem a return to MaleTek), but I do plan on using it more in the future. I was wary of the change at first, since I decided to make the first switch with Config Pronouns and bypass the 150cr Pill (leery about stuff that ruins a line of income for the game, since I feel that's often looked into and reversed/removed), but held off on the change back until I had the 1000cr artifact to go with the fact that I now have 5 tri-trans classes and being able to switch statpacks would be nice.
    • What differences are there when your character changes?
    MaleTek's a 6'6" beanpole of a Human, far more of the mage type build that he was when I made him. FemTek's considerably shorter at 5'0" with curves and muscle to fit the more physical classes she's been since (Luminary, Monk, Carnifex). Other than that, same color skin/hair (MaleTek's cropped short, FemTek's down to her back).
    • Do they change through magic? Shapeshifting ability? Do you prefer simply not to worry about it?
    He doesn't know IC how it's been done yet, but I'm going to make it an extension of being an Idreth and being able to re-weave his/her form at will. Thusfar he's only been able to alter minor details (hair color, etc) and only a full reweave with considerable effort (done twice before), but even those efforts left gender/sex beyond his ability.
    • Does your character still identify as a given gender?
    MaleTek feels like being a male is the natural, always-been-this-way form, while FemTek is the same with being female. Which doesn't clash with the clear memories of the prior form.
    • Have people treated you differently or shown a difference in their interest when you change?
    Not that I've noticed, no. I mean, there was an instance when FemTek first came out, but that was a personal RP line that made sense for both chars.
    • Is it a complete nightmare to find clothing, or does your character simply not care?
    I've settled into an outfit for both forms, a separate look depending on what bits need to be covered.
    • What's your obligatory genderbent name (Masculin, Siderella, Bronecia, etc.)?
    As used above, MaleTek and FemTek.
    Formerly: Spiegel. Eidycue.


  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    edited April 2021
    When I first came back to Aetolia after a literal decade away and I had an irresponsible amount of disposable Adult Money and decided to live the fantasy of getting every artifact I ever drooled over back when I was absolutely destitute, the very first artifact I bought was the infinite reincarnations gem, because I always hated that I had to lock myself into a possibly suboptimal statpack. It was only after this fact that I found out you could change your gender with it magically, and only after I found THAT out that I learned that the entire game had had some sort of transgender revolution while I’d been away and made changing your coded gender and sex a snap, and it really kinda opened up the world for me.

    As a player, I’m definitely one of those people who has "mains." I main roles/characters in Overwatch, I tend to sink all of my energy into one character in MMOs like WoW, I will play like 500 hours of one character in Fallout, etc, etc. Alting just never really felt fun to me, but I do still like having diverse play experiences. This is true from PVE (shout out to my seven classes, you’re the real MVPs) to my RP opportunities.

    I have a lot of energy and investment in Tetchta, her being pretty much my original character that really got me into Aetolian Roleplay, but it did bother me to be stuck into one gender. Sometimes Tet just felt like a man, and sometimes I just wanted to play a man without rolling a whole new character. And given that Aetolia is a fantasy world that really leans into self-determination, it was kind of a nobrainer for me to shift genders on a whim. That said, I wanted some of it to be outside of my control, so I actually wrote a script to randomly determine Tet’s gender-- I did have to manually activate it, so I did it whenever I was like “should I be a boy or a girl today” and let RNG decide. This lead to a really funny incident where I was roleplaying with @Irys for days and kept being like “She should meet FemTet” but every time I rolled, it determined to keep Tet Masc (extra funny because I weighted the RNG to favor female).

    There were definite differences between MascTet and FemTet personality-wise, but very little physically. They were subtle, though, and honestly have become increasingly less important as I continue to roleplay the character over time; in fact, the more I kinda delve into Tet’s self-expression, the more I find gender becoming more and more irrelevant to her RP and growth as a character. She’s starting to push beyond the need for gender or sex, and I think it’s very likely that, as she progresses further, she’s probably going to just transition into a non-binary character entirely. Generally, this is the ethos that I am increasingly coming to embrace with Tetchta as a character and their growth, and I’m really here for it:

    The funny thing is that I don’t think I would have arrived at this place had it not been for the ability to freely swap gender and sex whenever I pleased, so having that opportunity open to me really let me explore facets of my character’s Roleplay without much concern, and in the end I came to a significantly more fun conclusion that feels more organic to me than just being forced to be her initial gender would have been.

    Also if you’re transphobic and any of this gender/sex stuff in Aetolia bothers you, I want you to know that you’re trash, are totally unwelcome in our community, and I hope you stop playing the game forever :)

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