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#edit: also I know we don’t know if he is cis but he isn’t publicly trans and this is about my own transmasc experience
sseomtada · 8 months ago
on: jungkook's behavioral baseline, skinship, and the meaning fans ascribe to certain behavior
jk didnt post for jimin and jikookers already started to say they broke up :// i actually feel pretty sad rn :(
14 Oct
i'm going to try and break down why this idea is illogical on all fronts, and i'm going to take the chance to address these two other questions at the same time:
> ppl get insecure or annoyed with tk's interactions but personally it kind of makes me sad? and i frankly don't understand the way jungkook snuggles up to jin or hobi all the time, actually goes out of his way to hug them or seek some kind of physical intimacy with them but from the top of my head i can't even recall when was the last time he (at least publicly) hugged jimin. it's just weird and sad. i know you havent replied to asks in a long time but i needed to say this bc it genuinely had me feeling bitter these past couple of days so i came here.
> I wish jikook had what hopekook and taekook have
there seem to be two lines of reasoning going on here: a) jungkook initiates physical affection / responds positively to physical affection more often with hopejin* than he does with jimin (and that means he likes them better/is more comfortable with them?) & b) jungkook not posting for jimin's birthday is indicative of the status of their relationship
*will not include tae here because i believe their situation is more complex, and they have in fact only recently started being more frequently physically affectionate again, which is a whole other conversation to have.
there are things to consider when thinking about a). it's going to read as a detour at first, but bear with me
let’s start with baselines. you can understand these as the basic behavioral tendencies all of us have and which are developed throughout our childhood and teenagehood. easy way of explaining it is the usual way in which you behave in relation with the world (parents, family, siblings, friends, strangers, adults, seniors, and in the case of korea, hyungs/dongsaengs). a look at jungkook's history will show, among other things, an introverted person who's always been sensitive to inputs of all kinds (touch, sound, smell, sight) and feels easily overwhelmed by them
bts exist in the very unique circumstance of having a great part of their lives broadcast to thousands (in those first years) and millions (now) of people. not all, but most of the access we have to bts’ personality is filtered through that medium. they had to contend with the knowledge of being filmed and observed whenever they presented themselves in front of a camera, then and now, and it's always been clear that jungkook's nature (his baseline) didn't necessarily mesh well with that reality; it took him years to nevermind be, but act like he felt comfortable in front of a camera when they were off-stage
this ties in with his inner struggles for identity while being in an entirely new environment, learning to live with 6 hyungs who themselves had their own struggles and intra-group conflicts, and being away from his family at the small age of 13 years old. jungkook spent the most sensitive years of his life in a pressure-ridden environment while himself feeling confused and unsure about the path he was creating for himself (see, for instance, jimin categorically telling him he was talking nonsense when he shared that he was thinking of dropping bts pre-debut and becoming a dancer in the US)
jungkook's special circumstances and tender age during the first years of bts make his behavior in front of cameras especially susceptible to awkwardness and unnaturalness. jimin himself commented many times during those years about jungkook's "hidden" personality behind the cameras, how he was both cuter to them and also "had a manly side", and i think people don't take this information as seriously as they should: you best believe this means there were, and very likely still are, many (important!) parts of jungkook that we have never seen and never will, and can only catch glimpses of or know through the measly clues bts leave in their comments about him. see taehyung telling us back in the beginning of 2019 that we had "no idea" how kookmin behaved toward each other behind the scenes, and if we did know, we would be shocked
taking all of this into account (the fact that there are many ways in which bts - and kookmin - relate to each other behind the scenes which we aren't privy to, as told to us by themselves, and that there are many reasons as to why one might feel more comfortable displaying a certain type of behavior in front of cameras, and that jungkook is someone who especially shows having hard limits in circumstances where he feels placed out of his comfort zone, vulnerable or exposed), let's go back to the idea of baselines: it seems to be a pretty common conception that being physical with people (nevermind while in front of cameras, being observed by millions) is indicative of higher emotional intimacy/connection. i think it's true to the extent that physical affection and comfort is certainly a good metric to use when measuring emotional affection, but not all ways of being physical are created the same. usually socialized in a way that impairs their abilities to communicate their feelings in more explicit ways, cis men often use physical play (common in korean culture) to relate to each other, and it doesn’t necessarily speak to their level of emotional closeness, though it can. in jungkook’s case, when you observe the ways in which he’s relaxed in front of cameras in the past years (becoming more open and easy with the affection he’s used to showing behind the scenes), the deduction can be made that he’s someone who sees that kind of language as an intrinsic way of relating to people he holds platonic and familial affection for
[a bit of a detour, but this is why i’m not particular fazed by him hugging mijoo (and his other tattoo shop friends) or particularly feel like that necessarily indicates romantic involvement. i would in fact bet a lot of money on the idea that jungkook is just as easy with physical affection with the women in his life. before bh used to edit their bombs down to death, there were a few instances of him hugging and putting arms around female staff, and you can see the same kind of ease in the pictures he used to take with high school female friends / classmates]
that said, jungkook is resolutely not 100% always comfortable with all physical contact initiated by his hyungs, including hobi, tae and jin. there are several instances i can remember off the top of my head of him flinching away from being touched or pushing away from physical play/contact with all of them. with that, we can again establish jungkook’s baseline: he enjoys physical contact, is very physically affectionate, but he’s also sensitive to that kind of contact, and, again, easily overwhelmed or triggered by it. the math seems pretty simple when taking into consideration all of the parts we’ve established up to this point, but let’s make it explicit: jungkook is someone who enjoys physical affection, but he’s also extremely sensitive to many types of sensory inputs and is frequently overwhelmed by them, regardless of what or who is the cause; we’re aware that no matter how much practice one has in that kind of environment, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is able to behave totally naturally when being filmed, nevermind when you’re also having that behavior broadcast to the world; we are told by bts themselves that jungkook displays different sets of behaviors when they aren’t being filmed; there are a few types of physical contact and play that jungkook is comfortable with in front of cameras, and there are types he can sometimes show hesitance or struggle with
exploring that last observation further: what jungkook shows hesitance with isn’t the people initiating physical contact with him (jimin’s case being a little special; we’ll get to that) so much as it is the type of physical contact being initiated, how, and when. he almost never minds jin’s puppy play-fighting contact because it’s straightforward and comfortable regardless of the context they’re in. but when jin grabs him by the neck and tries to make him do something he doesn’t want to do, when tae sometimes acts sticky during interviews, when hobi decides he wants to give him kisses, those are all instances where we see him either trying to escape, not responding or denying touch. with jimin, i frequently see the argument being made that he’s uncomfortable, and since people notice he doesn’t often show hesitance with some of the other hyungs’ type of physical play, people then make the logical leap that it means he’s uncomfortable with jimin. i categorically do not believe this to be true. i would go as far as saying that it’s not that he has less tolerance for the contact being initiated, but that he’s more sensitive to it. the neck and body touches, the getting up close and personal, the flirting, the eye contact, all of those seem to be things jungkook has a hard time dealing with in front of the cameras (and much of that, you’ll notice, are things jimin does to jungkook exclusively; not one of the other bts members explicitly and consistently flirt with jungkook as a go-to mode of behavior the way jimin does, and in that same vein we hardly see jungkook displaying the type of legitimate shyness he displays when he’s reacting to jimin’s plays with anyone else)
so when we know that jungkook and jimin are incredibly often together, both during schedules and outside of them, that bts refer to them as a duo, that we have many known instances of them hanging out solo in hotel rooms during tour (and in their own homes outside of tour), that they share the same favorite things (favorite numbers, seasons, movies, food, restaurants, hobbies, values, likes and dislikes), that the motto of their relationship is “you are me, i am you”, does it make sense to take the particular way in which jungkook gives and receives physical affection to/from jimin in front of cameras and choose to interpret it in a way that denies other things we know to be true about them?
we know for absolute fact that they are at the very least the best of friends and the closest two within bts. is there sound logic in believing that two of the most affectionate bts members, who are frequently physical with each other!, who so happen to be literal best friends, would not enjoy being physically affectionate with each other? it’s not true no matter which way you slice it: not with the instances we do have of what i believe is better expressed as tension between them, which i find easily explainable, as evidenced, and obviously not with the frankly immense amount of footage we have of them being extremely, intimately physically affectionate
in stark terms, what we see when we interpret their behavior correctly, taking into consideration their patterns so far and the things we know to be true about them as people, is that 1) jimin behaves toward jungkook in a special way, which he reserves for jungkook only, and 2) jungkook responds to jimin in a special way, which he reserves for jimin only. and there’s exactly nothing about that which makes me think they’re anything less than exceptionally intimate, and going by the info we have, in ways which we’re likely not even privy t
this brings me to b), which i have an even harder time taking seriously in any type of way. first of all, shippers who measure jimin and jungkook’s level of closeness by their twitter posts and get disappointed all by themselves when km don’t perform to the extent that they want to can sincerely, honestly and kindly fuck off. it's particularly myopic to think that the act of posting on twitter is a direct proportionate reflection of, nevermind their relationships, but bts themselves. the same way our patterns of posting on twitter do not necessarily indicate the entirety of our personality, our history, or the current status of our lives, mental health, physical health or personal relationships, you can pretty much take for granted that bts’ activity in their twitter account is a thousand times more limited, restricted and separate from their daily lives, feelings and emotions
is it a first when you look from the perspective of the last 6 years in which jungkook’s posted on twt for his birthday? yeah. yet have we ever applied the same level of 1:1 literal proportionality when jungkook didn’t post for the other members? is he fighting or on bad terms with yoongi, hobi and namjoon because he didn’t post for their birthdays this year? is the fact that he hasn’t posted for any birthday at all during the entirety of 2020 not relevant info when trying to understand this particular instance? are we ignoring the very things we were so excited about a few days ago (riding together every single time since march and what that can possibly mean; being together at 4m on the morning of jungkook’s birthday; jimin specifically and specially purchasing jk's birthday cake himself) because of a singular tweet? do we know anything about how jimin spent his birthday, with whom, or what well-wishes or gifts he received? do you really believe the extent of jungkook’s presence/actions during jimin’s birthdays is the tweet he casually writes out and sends in 5 minutes or less every year? jimin also used to post a lot, and a lot of pictures with jungkook, much more than he did with any other member - is the fact that he’s stopped doing that alone indicative of the decay of their relationship when we have so much real evidence pointing to the contrary?
plainly put, and i do apologize that this is going to sound harsh, people are letting their own feelings of insecurity about the fact that jungkook didn’t post and their own feelings of rejection when jungkook shies away from jimin’s contact color their understanding of their dynamics and relationship more than the actual facts we have at hand to work with. this is a truth. and it doesn’t mean you can’t feel whatever type of way you feel about any of those things, but it does mean that whatever way you’re feeling about it isn’t a fact, and these are your feelings, and jimin and jungkook have no responsibility for how the ways in which they behave with each other might trigger feelings in you or in me. we’re responsible for our own feelings. and the way you or i feel is very unlikely to truly reflect an accurate reality, especially a reality which we’re so distanced from
will include here a twt thread i posted on 1/25 on this same subject, but focusing on an adjacent point:
i see where the impulse comes from, but one thing that mystifies me a little is when people ask "why does jungkook not treat jimin, his lover, exactly how he treats his other extremely platonic friendships?"
if we have verified knowledge brought via literal facts that jimin is the person jk hangs out the most with outside of what being in bts entails for them in terms of interactions, and that he's the person jk, in his own words, feels closest to in terms of feelings and thoughts, isn't it pretty interesting in itself that jungkook does not interact on camera with jimin the same exact way he interacts with his other hyungs?
correct my logic if i'm wrong, but you can't really pick and choose; either their relationship is different in nature or it isn't. the fact that it may show itself on camera in ways which you don't understand (and don't like) is an issue of your perception. if you use the baseline of jk's skinship on camera with his "dad figure" hyungs, like hobi, to measure the romantic baseline of km's relationship, is that logical? is the feeling of hurt that people consistently communicate to me they feel when jk doesn't initiate skinship with jm as much as he does with hobi logical? outside of theorizing he and jm are together, do we have any idea how jk would behave in the context of a romantic relationship? and not to mention it being the case of a romantic relationship that is not public knowledge, and yet all your interactions with your s/o in the context of your workplace are consistently being filmed for the purpose of becoming content to be purchased? and not to mention that even then, jimin and jungkook demonstrate frankly extremely intimate and boundary-crossing levels of skinship and physical closeness. kissing/mouthing someone's ear to comfort their pain being only 1 instance out of 100000
(and on the topic of the rose bowl kiss/hug moment, you can't both argue that jungkook always looks uncomfortable with overt skinship for fanservice purposes and that the rose bowl moment is planned fanservice he masterminded)
the issue is not jk or his behavior. the issue is how people independently decide what behavior indicates more affection, what behavior indicates more closeness, in a way that's entirely subjective, and without taking into account the context in which the behavior is happening. the fact that jimin is an outlier in many ways is relevant to the reality of their relationship. whatever you or i may personally feel about the behaviors which make their relationship an outlier in comparison with how they behave with the other members is really not
if their relationship is romantic, that in itself means that skinship between them carries different connotations for them, and thus it makes sense why both of them sometimes react to skinship initiated by the other in different ways than they react when it's any other member. and if their relationship is romantic, it makes more sense why they aren't cuddling up (in the specific way hopekook sometimes do, for instance) while at their job (korean culture doesn't really look favorably on couples' pda, i'll tell you that). even then, they're together 24/7 while on the clock and while not, and do enough skinship as it is. the access we have to behind the scenes interactions proves it (and army_twt whining that jungkook and jimin playing around talking to or being around each other make up 90% of all behind the scenes content proves it even further)
the amount of interactions they have isn't an illusion created by bh editing out other members' interactions. if you look at any Memories 20xx, there are hours of bts interacting as duos, trios and as a group. it's the recurrence of km as a duo which catches attention. the fact that we have only 10 or so minutes of jimin and jungkook interacting in a 10hr dvd and people still perceive the memories series as "jimin and jungkook ft. crew" is a simple consequence of the fact that there is no other duo within bts that shows the recurrence/pattern they do. and this recurrence is not fabricated by the company, but natural. the reason why other pairings don't have the same amount of content is bc there's simply no such pattern between other bts members. that there is a pattern at all with these two is noteworthy on its own
without an underlying narrative (which considers facts, cultural behavior, patterns of behavior, their individual baselines, and correctly perceives both every bts member's individual personalities + their dynamics as a group and as duos) that differentiates hopekook, taekook, namkook, yoonkook and jinkook from each other, they really have no leg to stand on, and skinship with jungkook, which he does with every skinship-prone member, isn't really a particularly good argument for romantic undertones, not considering everything we've outlined here. if that's the case, why on earth would we use jk's behavior with his platonic hyungs as base for interpreting his behavior with a romantic interest/boyfriend?
kookmin are the only pairing which fits every category and has an underlying narrative that makes sense. if they aren't a real couple, no one in bts is
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alecthemovieguy · 2 years ago
Being Nicole
‘Supergirl’ star Nicole Maines’ passion for transgender rights makes her super in real life, too
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Transgender activist and actor Nicole Maines knew she was a girl around the age of 3 or 4. 
“My case is kind of unique because I have a twin brother (Jonas),” she told Ellen Degeneres during an appearance on “Ellen” in 2018. “So, growing up with him, he was identifying with all these male things and feeling very comfortable in his body, and I wasn’t.” 
Maines, the subject of the Mount Washington Valley’s One Book One Valley community read “Becoming Nicole,” slowing began publicly transitioning in the first grade, and officially presented herself as female in the fifth grade, when she changed her name from Wyatt to Nicole. 
Maines, who is turning 22 on Oct. 7, became the center of the precedent-setting Maine Supreme Judicial Court case Doe v. Regional School Unit 26 regarding gender identity and bathroom use in schools. Maines had been barred from using the female bathroom after a complaint, but the court ruled that denying a transgender student access to the bathroom consistent with their gender identity is unlawful. 
In 2018, Maines debuted as Nia Nal/Dreamer, television’s first transgender superhero, on “Supergirl.” She is returning as a series regular for season five which premieres Sunday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m. on The CW. 
One Book One Valley has a series of events throughout October culminating in an evening with “Becoming Nicole” author Amy Ellis Nutt on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at Loynd Auditorium at Kennett High School in North Conway, N.H. In addition to Nutt, the plan is to have the Maines family be part of the discussion through a Skype connection.
I recently talked with Maines about growing up transgender, activism, privilege and the upcoming season of “Supergirl.”
“Becoming Nicole” is beautifully written, but it is very journalistic and academic in its approach. Is there anything you would’ve done differently or included in telling that story?
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I don’t know. I think, of course, Amy did a phenomenal job, and I am so happy with how the book came out because I think it really does have something for everyone, whether or not you’re just starting to learn about transitioning and you’re looking for something new. But there was so much that had to be cut out in the final editing process and, unfortunately, a lot of what did get cut out was original writing from Jonas’ perspective. I don’t know if it was something I would’ve done differently, I think it is more of a shame that it couldn’t make it into the final cut. It was just so long before it was cut. So, I do hope at some point people do get to see that because it is really, really beautiful.
In “Becoming Nicole,” a therapist told your parents that you weren’t transgender because you were peeing standing up. What are some other examples you’ve encountered of misinformation about what transgender is?
Where do I even begin? So many people think that it is one of those things that you can kind of slap a label on and say, “This is what this is,” and with something as expansive as gender it is really impossible to paint it as very black and white. So many people have tried to say “Oh, all trans people look like this. This is how you spot a trans person.” And that’s 1) offensive, and 2) not true or realistic. 
I think a lot of that has to do with how historically we are represented in the media: men in dresses and this and that. It is so much more expansive than that. No one group of people looks a certain way, and it is dangerous to try to categorize people like that. So, I think besides the peeing standing up, which is ridiculous, what is equally ridiculous is the idea that some people think that they can spot a trans person, and that’s sort of the whole basis of their argument. 
You know how sometimes you read certain blogs or you read certain Twitter accounts just to make yourself mad? I stumbled across one, it was a really popular TERF account — which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists, which is pretty much feminists who believe trans women aren’t women, and they use recycled rhetoric from the ’70s saying that trans women are just men trying to invade women’s spaces and stupid shit like that. It was this person going on and on about, like, “Oh, none of you pass. None of you look like women. Yada yada yada.” And I was like, 1) no room to talk because her haircut was atrocious, and 2) come say it to my face. It really made me mad. It is atrocious that people think they can spot something like that. It is ridiculous. 
It is kind of like the back-handed compliment that I receive a lot, that is “Oh, you don’t look trans,” or “Oh, never really would’ve guessed.” A lot of the time, I try not to jump on people for that because I know it is coming from a place where they’re trying to give me a compliment, but what does trans look like? What did you think I was going to look like? 
And, of course, everyone thinks that we are supposed to look like men in dresses, which —  even if we did — is rude as hell to say something like that because, not only is that stupid, but it is also reinforcing negative beauty standards among women, not just trans women, but women. Because you hear about the bathroom bills and they are like, “Oh, we are going to enforce no trans people in bathrooms.” Well, how are you going to enforce that? And then you get cases of cis women getting kicked out of the bathrooms because they look more masculine than others. Even for cisgender women that is not a black and white line. People look different, and it is totally unfair and unreasonable to say just because someone has harder features than somebody else that this is what is going on in your pants. That feels like a wild, crazy assumption to me. 
So, obviously your father always loved you, but he struggled with your identity. Was there a specific moment when you finally felt truly seen by him?
I know a lot of moments where he really started having light bulb moments. I think for me, one of the first moments where I felt like I started being seen was when I started wearing girl’s clothes to school. My transition started going there slowly, but between second and third grade I had gone from wearing longer hair to wearing girl’s clothes all the time. I don’t know if it was even just my father, but by everyone, but that is when I started feeling like I was being seen. Then in fifth grade was when I had fully transitioned. I was allowed to pierce my ears and I was allowed to wear skirts and dresses. That really felt like I am seen. And then, of course, when my father finally started fighting for me. Because I knew, at that point, he still didn’t fully understand, but when he started defending me and defending my transition and my using the girl’s bathroom, I felt like I had him on my side. 
I love last season of “Supergirl.” One of my favorite moments was when Nia Nal/Dreamer publicly announced herself as both an alien and a transgender woman because it put a positive face on a group who were being demonized in the show. How important do you think it is to give a face to marginalized people?
It is incredibly important. The best way to fight against marginalization and the most effective way that we fight back against people who are trying to erase us is with visibility. When you have an administration who, for incidents in a crazy hypothetical, removed me from the 2020 census, then the best way to combat that is to be more visible than ever. By saying, OK, you’re trying to make people think that we are not valid, you’re trying to make people think we don’t exist and that we are not solid and valid in our identities and our existence. Well, then we are going to show you that we are. We are going to show you: no, you cannot ignore us because we are here and it doesn’t really matter what you believe. It doesn’t really matter if you say, “Well, I don’t really believe in transgender.” Well, it isn’t really something for you to believe in because whether you like it or not, we are here. We exist and that’s not a matter of opinion. You do not get to choose whether or not my identity is valid because I am not doing it for you and we are not going to let you erase that. So, I think visibility is the number one method of defense against erasure. 
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Based on the trailer, the new season of “Supergirl” partially deals with the betrayal and anger Lena Luthor feels toward Carol Danvers hiding her identity of Supergirl from her. This seems like an apt metaphor for the similar sense of betrayal, hurt and confusion some people feel when a loved one comes out as trans or gay. Do you think that is intentional?
I don’t know if it was intentional. I think because there are so many different layers with Carol and Lena’s relationship, and especially with the Kryptonian-Luthor relationship. I think it is hard to boil it down to just that, because I get why Lena is upset and I get why those feelings are floating around, but personally, I’m kind of like nobody owes any facet of their identity to anybody but themselves. If they did not feel that they wanted to share a part of their identity with you, you don’t get to be mad about that. That is something that belongs entirely to them and if they did not choose, for whatever reason to disclose that part of themselves, that’s not because you necessarily did anything wrong, that’s because they had a choice and that’s not necessarily on them either. But, like I said, it is different between being trans and being a superhero. It is hard because, at the same time, it is like, “Oh, you were treating me like Lex, and I’m not Lex. You can trust me.” So, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff floating around, but I don’t know if it was a 100 percent intentional, but there are definitely connections. 
That’s the great thing about sci-fi is that it can always be used as a metaphor for exploring social issues. 
How will Nia Nal be challenged in the new season?
The theme of this season is communication, and so something Nia is struggling with the first chunk of the season is communicating with how she feels with Brainiac because they’ve been dating and they have been having communication issues. Neither of them are the best at relationships, and so this is kind of a new area for her and she’s trying to work out, “How do I express how I feel without hurting you?” And that’s something she struggles with a lot. It is being open and honest with how she’s feeling and trying not to bottle up what she is feeling for the sake of other people. 
What I also really love about Nia Nal is when she puts herself out there — kind of going off the whole thing of passing — she does pass as both a human and a woman, and so she doesn’t need to put herself out there, but by doing so she empowers others. Do you also try to lead by example in your own life?
Absolutely, I recognize 100 percent as Nia and as Nicole that I have an insane amount of privilege. I’m white and, like you said, I pass and I’m on TV. And I mention that I am on TV because when we look at issues like HB2 and we look at bathroom bills and stuff like that, that is not necessarily going to affect me as someone who passes and as someone who is in Vancouver. I’m working in Vancouver, HB2 will not affect me. I am not there. But I recognize that there are issues that are affecting members of my community who don’t have the same significant platform that I do. And so it is my responsibility as a member of that community, as someone with that platform, to lift them up and to start to shine a light on issues that are affecting members of my community, even if I personally will not feel the impact of that harmful legislation. 
It is important and that’s what we talk about in feminist circles. We are always talking about how can people with privilege use that privilege to lift others up, to better the situation of others who don’t have those some privileges. We ask that of men, we ask that of white people, we ask that of abled-body people, of trans women who pass. We ask that people use their privilege responsibly. And so that is what I try to do and I hope that I am succeeding. I just try to use my platform and use my voice to talk about issues that I feel matter. 
Going back to “Becoming Nicole,” the book discusses “The Little Mermaid” as a metaphor for being transgender because Ariel doesn’t feel she belongs in the ocean and everyone tells her you have to be with your own people blah, blah, blah. Ariel was one of your favorite characters growing up, do you feel even at a young age you were drawn to this character because your struggle paralleled her struggle?
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I guess subconsciously, yes, but on a surface level, I liked mermaids. I don’t know why I liked it so much and that’s why I say subconsciously I was drawn to it. I remember loving that more than anything else. I loved everything about her. I remember I was like, “That is what I want for myself.” I was like, “She is so beautiful, and she is so graceful,” which is not a trait that I’ve been able to replicate in my own life. I remember being so drawn to her, and I was like “Mom, Dad, that is what we are going for. That is the look.” Between her and, I’ve said it before, Storm from the X-Men. I remember watching “X-Men: The Animated Series” as as kid and she had that hair and the cape and was like “Oh, that’s drama. I love it.” 
And now you have your own cape. 
Well, metaphorically speaking. I don’t have a superhero cape. I feel a little cheated. 
Well, maybe you can get one. 
No, I have the best supersuit. It is shiny and holographic. It is awesome. 
One part I really liked in “Becoming Nicole,” I think it was before you were going to enter fifth grade, you were asked what kind of story you’d tell and you said it would be this mystery/comedy/fantasy with a sassy character and a sidekick who was even sassier. If you were to write that story now what do you think it would look like?
Oh my God. Well, it would definitely have the sassy character and the sassier sidekick, because I remember growing up I was always the biggest fan of the sassy comic relief characters, which is why I tried to play that role in my own regular life, which took some getting used to. I remember in middle school people didn’t exactly get the whole me trying-to-be-funny and I think it just came across as annoying. If I was going to write that story now, I think it would absolutely be about murder that would be the mystery. The comedy that would manifest itself in probably macabre, offbeat humor about murder. And then the fantasy ... they are all vampires. I’m just describing “Bit.”
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I haven’t been able to find anyway to watch “Bit” (which stars Maines as a transgender teen who falls in with four queer feminist vampires, who try to rid Los Angeles' streets of predatory men), but I am very interested in that film. What was it like making that?
It was so amazing and I hope you’ll be able to watch soon. Right now, it is making its festival rounds, and hoping someone will choose to distribute it, and we’re like, “Pay us, please!” It was so incredible. Everyone on set was amazing and our writer/director Brad Michael Elmore is the coolest dude on the planet. I was talking about using our privilege to tell stories that matter and to raise up minority voices, and that’s absolutely what he did in this situation. I know a lot of the festivals we have gone to have been feminist festivals and gay festivals, and we’ve had a significant amount of people kind of be like, “Oh, you were written by a straight cis white guy,” and we’re like,“Yeah, and he’s doing exactly what we want him to be doing, which is using his privilege to create this super awesome movie featuring queer and interracial talent, this intersectional group of feminists.” We had a female DP which how awesome is that? We had this super awesome kaleidoscope of different identities in this film and I feel like some folks are very quick to write it off because it was written by a straight cis white guy. 1) I don’t feel that is fair to Brad, and 2) I don’t think that is fair to the movie. The movie is so cool and the movie deals with such cool issues and it approaches them all in such a fucking awesome way. To write it off because of who our director is feels very shortsighted. 
And obviously you wouldn’t say or do anything that felt disingenuous to your own experience. 
Yes, absolutely. I was like, “Ye of little faith.” 
When you were 13 years old you went to the Maine statehouse and spoke to dozens of representatives to convince them to vote against a bill that would make it legal to discriminate against trans people. Do you have any interest in getting into politics either working for a campaign or as a candidate yourself?
I think I would be willing to support someone else’s campaign. Politics are not for me. I do not have the stomach for that. I do not have the patience for that. I know where my lane is and it is absolutely not going for an elected position. I am more the person who shows up when the politicians are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. That’s when I get involved. 
The big thing I took away from “Becoming Nicole” was that prejudice and hate is something that is taught, because the boy who started harassing you the most was told by his grandfather that you were wrong and that he should go after you. And so I guess the question is, what do you do to undo these wrongheaded lessons that are passed down by parents or grandparents?
I think the first step comes from within. You cannot make anybody do anything. You cannot make somebody unlearn hate and prejudice. That journey has to start with themselves. With my father — and, of course, he was never outwardly hateful or anything, I always knew he loved me — but his journey to acceptance started with him deciding to pick up Jennifer Finney Boylan’s book (about being a transgender woman) and read it. He had to ask himself what he was so afraid of if his son was his daughter. He had to ask himself what about that terrified him so much. And that’s what every person has to do. 
Every person has to be aware of their own prejudices and their own biases. We all have them. We have to be aware of them. We have to actively work to undo them because it is something we are taught, not even just by our parents or caretakers, but through television and society. We are pumped full of biases and prejudices that we are not even aware of, and so we have to pay extra care and extra caution to do undo those. And when we catch ourselves, we have to recognize, “No, that’s not right” and go from there.
It has to be a conscious choice, and so that is hard. It is a hard thing to do. It is a really gross feeling to try to unlearn stuff like that, and so a lot of people won’t do that because a lot of people are more comfortable being like, “No, I don’t get it, that’s gross, I don’t like it and I’m going to hate it.” That is much easier and much more comfortable then asking yourself what you are afraid of. As socially responsible participants in the community, we have a responsibility to ask that question anyway. All of us have to ask that question and not just about trans issues, because if we don’t do that, if we are looking for what is easy and what is comfortable at the expense of other people, then stay inside. 
And I feel like the biggest thing is if you’re afraid of a gay person or trans person or black, Hispanic, whatever social issue, if you actually talk to these people that you are afraid of, that you’d see that they are just human beings.
That is the number one thing. It is so much easier to marginalize a group of people when you are not putting names to faces, when we are not putting faces to groups, when you are dehumanizing them. It is so much easier to sweep their plights under the rug and be like, “Oh, they don’t matter,” because you are not talking to them, you’re not seeing them as people. That’s why I always say, “Come say it to my face.” It is so much harder to be an asshole to someone’s face because you have to look them in the eye and tell them their rights don’t matter.
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jcmorgenstern · 2 years ago
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@superohclair oh god okay please know these are all just incoherent ramblings so like, idk, please feel free to add on or ignore me if im just wildly off base but this is a bad summary of what ive been thinking about and also my first titans/batman meta?? (also, hi!)
okay so for the disclaimer round: I am not an actual cultural studies major, nor do I have an extensive background in looking at the police/military industrial complex in media. also my comics knowledge is pretty shaky and im a big noob(I recently got into titans, and before that was pretty ignorant of the dceu besides batman) so I’ll kind of focus in on the show and stuff im more familiar with and apologize in advance?. basically im just a semi-educated idiot with Opinions, anyone with more knowledge/expertise please jump in! this is literally just the bullshit I spat out incoherently off the top of my head. did i mention im a comics noob? because im a comics noob.
so on a general level, I think we can all agree that batman as a cultural force is somewhat on the conservative side, if not simply due to its age and commercial positioning in American culture. there are a lot of challenges and nuances to that and it’s definitely expanding and changing as DC tries to position itself in the way that will...make the most money, but all you have to do is take a gander through the different iterations of the stories in the comics and it’ll smack you in the fucking face. like compare the first iteration of Jason keeping kids out of drugs to the titans version and you’ve got to at least chuckle. at the end of the day, this is a story about a (white male) billionaire who fights crime.
to be fair, I’d argue the romanticization of the police isn’t as aggressive as it could be—they are most often presented as corrupt and incompetent. However, considering the main cop characters depicted like Jim Gordon, the guys in Gotham (it’s been a while since I saw it, sorry) are often the romanticized “good few” (and often or almost always white cis/het men), that’s on pretty shaky ground. I don’t have the background in the comics strong enough to make specific arguments, so I’ll cede the point to someone who does and disagrees, but having recently watched a show that deals excellently with police incompetence, racism, and brutality (7 Seconds on Netflix), I feel at the very least something is deeply missing. like, analysis of race wrt police brutality in any aspect at all whatsoever.
I think it can be compellingly read that batman does heavily play into the military/police industrial complex due to its takes on violence—just play the Arkham games for more than an hour and you’ll know what I mean. to be a little less vague, even though batman as a franchise valorizes “psychiatric treatment” and “nonviolence,” the entire game seems pretty aware it characterizes treatment as a madhouse and nonviolence as breaking someone’s back or neck magically without killing them because you’re a “good guy.” while it is definitely subversive that the franchise even considers these elements at all, they don’t always do a fantastic job living up to them.
and then when you consider the fetishization of tools of violence both in canon and in the fandom, it gets worse. same with prisons—if anything it dehumanizes people in prisons even more than like, cop shows in general, which is pretty impressive(ly bad). like there’s just no nuance afforded and arkham is generally glamorized. the fact that one of the inmates is a crocodile assassin, I will admit, does not help. im not really sure how to mitigate that when, again, one of the inmates is a crocodile assassin, but I think my point still stands. fuck you, killer croc. (im just kidding unfuck him or whatever)
not to take this on a Jason Todd tangent but I was thinking about it this afternoon and again when thinking about that cop scene again and in many ways he does serve as a challenge to both batman’s ideology as well as the ideology of the franchise in general. his depiction is always a bit of a sticking point and it’s always fascinating to me to see how any given adaptation handles it. like Jason’s “”street”” origin has become inseparable from his characterization as an angry, brash, violent kid, and that in itself reflects a whole host of cultural stereotypes that I might argue occasionally/often dip into racialized tropes (like just imagine if he wasn’t white, ok). red hood (a play on robin hood and the outlaws, as I just is in my exposure/experience mostly depicted as a villain, but he challenges batman’s no-kill philosophy both on an ethical and practical level. every time the joker escapes he kills a whole score more of innocent people, let alone the other rogues—is it truly ethical to let him live or avoid killing him for the cost of one life and let others die?
moreover, batman’s ““blind”” faith in the justice system (prisons, publicly-funded asylum prisons, courts) is conveniently elided—the story usually ends when he drops bad guy of the day off at arkham or ties up the bad guys and lets the police come etc etc. part of this is obviously bc car chases are more cinematic than dry court procedurals, but there is an alternate universe where bruce wayne never becomes batman and instead advocates for the arkham warden to be replaced with someone competent and the system overhauled, or in programs encouraging a more diverse and educated police force, or even into social welfare programs. (I am vaguely aware this is sometimes/often part of canon, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s the main focus. and again, I get it’s not nearly as cinematic).
overall, I think the most frustrating thing about the batman franchise or at least what I’ve seen or read of it is that while it does attempt to deal with corruption and injustice at all levels of the criminal justice system/government, it does so either by treating it as “just how life is” or having Dick or Jim Gordon or whoever the fuckjust wipe it out by “eliminating the dirty cops,” completely ignoring the non-fantasy ways these problems are dealt with in real life. it just isn’t realistic. instead of putting restrictions on police violence or educating cops on how to use their weapons or putting work into eradicating the culture of racism and prejudice or god basically anything it’s just all cinematized into the “good few” triumphing over the bad...somehow. its always unsatisfying and ultimately feels like lip service to me, personally.
this also dovetails with the very frustrating way mental health/”insanity” or “madness” is dealt with in canon, very typical of mainstream fiction. like for example:“madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push.” yikes, if by ‘push’ you mean significant life stressors, genetic load, and environemntal influences,  then sure. challenge any dudebro joker fanboy to explain exactly what combination of DSM disorders the joker has to explain his “””insanity””” and see what happens. (these are, in fact, my plans for this Friday evening. im a hit at parties).
anyway I do really want to wax poetic about that cop scene in 1x06 so im gonna do just that! honestly when I first saw that I immediately sat up like I’d sat on a fucking tack, my cultural studies senses were tingling. the whole “fuck batman” ethos of the show had already been interesting to me, esp in s1, when bruce was basically standing in for the baby boomers and dick being our millennial/GenX hero. I do think dick was explicitly intended to appeal to a millennial audience and embody the millennial ethos. By that logic, the tension between dick and Jason immediately struck me as allegorical (Jason constantly commenting on dick being old, outdated, using slang dick doesn’t understand and generally being full of youthful obnoxious fistbumping energy).
Even if subconsciously on the part of the writers, jason’s over-aggressive energy can be read as a commentary on genZ—seen by mainstream millennial/GenX audiences as taking things too far. Like, the cops in 1x06 could have been Nick Zucco’s hired men or idk pretty much anyone, yet they explicitly chose cops and even had Jason explain why he deliberately went after them for being cops so dick (cop) could judge him for it. his rationale? he was beaten up by cops on the street, so he’s returning the favor. he doesn’t have the focused “righteous” rage of batman or dick/nightwing towards valid targets, he just has rage at the world and specifically the system—framed here as unacceptable or fanatical. as if like, dressing up like a bat and punching people at night is, um, totally normal and uncontroversial.
on a slightly wider scope, the show seems to internally struggle with its own progressive ethos—on the one hand, they hire the wildly talented chellah man, but on the other hand they will likely kill him off soon. or they cast anna diop, drawing wrath from the loudly racist underbelly of fandom, but sideline her. perhaps it’s a genuine struggle, perhaps they simply don’t want to alienate the bigots in the fanbase, but the issue of cops stuck out to me when I was watching as an social issue where they explicitly came down on one side over the other. jason’s characterization is, I admit and appreciate, still nuanced, but I’d argue that’s literally just bc he’s a white guy and a fan favorite. cast an actor of color as Jason and see how fast fandom and the writer’s room turns on him.
anyway i don’t really have the place to speak about what an explicitly nonwhite!cop!dick grayson would look like, but I do think it would be a fascinating and exciting place to start in exploring and correcting the kind of vague and nebulous complaints i raise above. (edit: i should have made more clear, i mean in the show, which hasn’t dealt with dick’s heritage afaik). also, there’s something to be said about the cop vs detective thing but I don’t really have the brain juice or expertise to say it? anyway if you got this far i hope it was at least interesting and again pls jump in id love to hear other people’s takes!!
tldr i took two (2) cultural studies classes and have Opinions
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goingknowherewastaken · 2 years ago
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Divine Me A Masterpiece Challenge
♦ About
Welcome to my 1000 follower challenge!!! With there being a lot of seasonal challenges right now I thought I’d do something a little different. I thought that maybe we should get in touch with magic that’s in the air right now ;)
So for this challenge we are looking at tarot! First I’ll go over the rules and expectations, then gloss over tarot, and finally round out this post with the characters and prompts. So let’s get started :D
♦ Rules
To Enter
You must apply through my ask box so no anons. If you are using a side blog and don’t want your main shown to the world tell me so in the ask and I will not post it publicly. 
Every entry needs to be inspired by a Major Arcana card and must be focused on a character or ship I listed.
Each card is limited to one person!
Entries must be sent by ask and will be posted publicly!
I have bonus prompts listed at the bottom of this post; you need to use at least one (1) and you are limited to three (3) total! Sentence prompts are all first come, first serve! The majority of the AU prompts have a two person limit.
What your ask should include - the tarot card you wish to claim, the character or ship you wish to write for, and 1-3 of the prompts/AUs I have listed (You need to use at least one from the list).
All angst must have a happy ending and no cis-swapping.
I am accepting - fics, fan art, moodboards, edits, and playlists (you need to make a cover for it).
Note: I work second shift so please don’t panic if I don’t respond in the afternoon/evening hours.
November 24th, 2018 - I currently am just shy of 1000 followers and will not be posting a due date for these until I get 1000 followers. I will tag all who entered when that happens.
When Posting Your Work
All entries are due on February 22nd, 2019. Please do not post before then.
Make sure to list - the character/ship you wrote for, any warnings, and if it is nsfw.
Tell me how you interpreted the card for your work.
Make sure to tag me @goingknowherewastaken and @jiminthestreets-bonesinthesheets (Ashley is my assistant during this challenge)
Please use this tag within the first 5 tags - #DivineMeAMasterpieceChallenge
If your work contains nsfw content please make sure to tag it accordingly.
Please send me the link to your work through my ask box!
♦ About Tarot
We’ve all seen the decks of cards with beautiful designs used for helping find possible answers to questions we may have, but not everyone knows what’s going on with them. I will gloss over the bare minimum of info here, but I encourage you all to read up on tarot if you are unfamiliar with it.
Tarot cards are used for uncovering possible answers to questions we have about our lives - from love to career. Cards can be drawn and placed in a certain layout (spread) and are then read in a specific order. They are meant for enlightenment and what they tell in the spread is not set in stone - they are cards and you can ignore their take if you wish.
There are two ways to read the cards depending on how they appear in a spread - upright and reversed (upside down). If the card is revealed to be right-side up you are to read the card as is and if it is reversed then it’s meaning is reversed.
Depending on the deck, the description of the card can vary slightly, but overall they are similar. Also, the meaning behind the card is affected by the other cards in the spread. For this challenge you will only have to worry about the card you selected.
Because there are in total 78 cards in a standard deck (divided between the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana), we will only be using the Major Arcana which totals 22 cards.
Please read up more on the card you select!!!!!
The Tarot Cards (the words listed are just brief overviews of the cards that I gathered from Biddy Tarot)
Fool - @haveyouseenmymind 
Upright - beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, a free spirit
Reversed - naivety, foolishness, recklessness, risk-taking
The Magician
Upright - power, skill, concentration, action, resourcefulness
Reversed - manipulation, poor planning, latent talents
High Priestess - @frostingsfics 
Upright - intuition, higher powers, mystery, subconscious mind
Reversed - hidden agendas, need to listen to inner voice
The Empress
Upright - fertility, femininity, beauty, nature, abundance
Reversed - creative block, dependence on others
The Emperor
Upright - authority, father-figure, structure, solid foundation
Reversed - domination, excessive control, rigidity, inflexibility
Hierophant - @bsotstory 
Upright - religion, group identification, conformity, tradition, beliefs
Reversed - restriction, challenging the status quo
Lovers - @the-goddamn-queen 
Upright - love, union, relationships, values alignment, choices
Reversed - disharmony, imbalance, misalignment of values
Upright - control, will power, victory, assertion, determination
Reversed - lack of control and direction, aggression
Upright - strength, courage, patience, control, compassion
Reversed - weakness, self-doubt, lack of self-discipline
Hermit - @auduna-druitt 
Upright - soul-searching, introspection, being alone, inner guidance
Reversed - isolation, loneliness, withdrawal
Wheel of Fortune - @kjs-s
Upright - good luck, karma, life cycles, destiny, a turning point
Reversed - bad luck, negative external forces, out of control
Upright - justice, fairness, truth, cause and effect, law
Reversed - unfairness, lack of accountability, dishonesty
Hanged Man
Upright - suspension, restriction, letting go, sacrifice
Reversed - martyrdom, indecision, delay
Death - @captainsbabysitter-blog 
Upright - endings, beginnings, change, transformation, transition
Reversed - resistance to change, unable to move on
Upright - balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning
Reversed - imbalance, excess, lack of long-term vision
Devil - @bookcaseninja
Upright - bondage, addiction, sexuality, materialism
Reversed - detachment, breaking free, power reclaimed
Tower - @haveyouseenmymind 
Upright - disaster, upheaval, sudden change, revelation
Reversed - avoidance of disaster, fear of change
Star - @filatarcangelus
Upright - hope, spirituality, renewal, inspiration, serenity
Reversed - lack of faith, despair, discouragement
Moon - @resistance-is-futile81
Upright - illusion, fear, anxiety, insecurity, subconscious
Reversed - release of fear, unhappiness, confusion
Sun - @and-i-cant-resurrect-you 
Upright - fun, warmth, success, positivity, vitality
Reversed - temporary depression, lack of success
Upright - judgement, rebirth, inner calling, absolution
Reversed - self-doubt, refusal of self examination
Upright - completion, integration, accomplishment, travel
Reversed - lack of completion, lack of closure
♦ Characters And Ships
Characters (for reader inserts)
Jim Kirk (AOS)
Leonard McCoy (AOS)
Spock (AOS)
Scotty (AOS or TOS)
Steve Trevor
Steve Rogers
Bucky Barnes
Clint Barton
Bruce Banner
Peter Quill
Owen Grady (Jurassic World)
Nicholas Devereaux (The Princess Diaries 2)
Cinderella’s Prince (Into The Woods)
Bernie Webber (The Finest Hours)
Jack Ryan (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit)
Toby Howard (Hell Or High Water)
FDR Foster (This Means War)
Dr. Alex Murray (A Wrinkle In Time)
Robert the Bruce (Outlaw King)(I can’t help it he’s too precious with Elizabeth!!)
Vaako (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Gavin (Pete’s Dragon)
William Cooper (RED)
John Kennex (Almost Human)
Vincent Stevens (The Loft)
Kirill (The Bourne movies)
Jim Kirk x Eomer
Jim Kirk x Vaako
Jim Kirk x Scotty (Scirk)
Owen Grady x Charlie Weasley (from Harry Potter)(I know no one will use this ship but I have to have hope ya know?)
Napollya (Napoleon Solo x Illya Kuryakin from (T.M.F.U.)
I have expressed interest in other crossfandom ships in the past that involve one (or some) of the characters listed above so if you have an ship in mind ask me about it and I may grant an exception to it (no sp*rk though so don’t even try that)
♦ Other Prompts
Sentence Prompts (gathered from around tumblr)
“I…think I’m in love?” - @the-goddamn-queen 
“Are you scared? Don’t be. ‘ll protect you from today onwards.” @haveyouseenmymind
“It’s crazy, isn’t it? Two complete strangers who know nothing about each other being brought together like this.”
your car slid into a snowbank and i’m the mechanic that comes to tow you
i hate the holidays more than anything in the world and you drive me nuts because you love the holidays more than anything in the world and this is why we aren’t friends (enemies to friends to lovers hello)
i’m constantly dragging all my friends to your hockey games because i think you’re so much fun to watch and i don’t think you’ll ever notice me
you knit me a sweater for christmas and i realize i am in love with you @bsotstory 
your birthday lands on christmas so no one ever remembers except this year i’ve asked everyone to delay their holidays to throw you a proper birthday bash
I build a fort in the college courtyard and have been throwing snowballs at people passing by and you are not impressed
our first date is spent walking around our small town holding hands and talking as soft snow falls around us @resistance-is-futile81 
I mean life is full of surprises. You could find the love of your life tomorrow, but you could also wake up bald. @the-goddamn-queen 
Will you press pause on your SHIT for 5 minutes? @the-goddamn-queen 
“Let’s not confuse healthy eating with a hot dog.”
“I’m gonna lay down and die for like a half hour okay?”  @auduna-druitt
“So MacGyvering this out of my tuckus right now.” @captainsbabysitter-blog 
“I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit.” @frostingsfics 
“You screw with me, I’ll screw with you.”
“i’m pretty good at providing distractions.”
“Why is there a picture of Steve Buscemi in your bathroom?!”
“These stars are nothing compared to the ones I’ve seen in your eyes.”
“Are you ready to dance with the devil?” @bookcaseninja
hey i just moved into the house next door and i just wanted to let you know that your dog keeps getting into my yard an - wait what? what do you mean that’s a cat????? that’s not a cat it’s fucking huge!!!! (turns out it is a cat, it’s just really big and fat) @haveyouseenmymind 
The postal worker delivered your package to my place accidentally and I was expecting something so I totally didn’t look before I opened it and… wow that is um… quite an interesting thing you bought and I’m here to return it
our dogs are in love with each other and it’s making things awkward at the dog park AU
I injured myself doing something stupid at a holiday party and you’re the doctor at the emergency clinic AU
I just moved into a new apartment and went to buy groceries, but I bought more than I could carry back. I’ve stopped to catch my breath when I hear someone asking if I need help and I look up and the sun is literally making you glow like a damn angel. @and-i-cant-resurrect-you 
where one person is actually famous and sets up a dating account with their real picture and the other sees it and is like, oh dude you are not fooling anyone with that picture and when they actually meet the other is pissed because DUDE YOU’RE THAT FAMOUS PERSON and the other is like, yeah, i mean, i thought you knew…
i have a soft spot for cats so i always feed the fat one that’s always hanging out in the hall with treats and now it started hanging around me fuck i’m so sorry i didn’t mean to accidentally steal your pet @filatarcangelus
“ur just a random stranger and i’ve been ranting to you for like 20 minutes about how much i hate this one band but now several groups of people came up to you asking for pics and autographs, and oh shit it turns out you’re in the band i’ve been going on about” au
You’re a famous viner and I constantly witness you doing the weirdest things AU
“I went to see you live in concert and was front row and you went into the crowd and I grabbed your hand, but started freaking out so much that I was touching you that I couldn’t let go to the point where security had to physically tear me away from you and now you’ve invited me backstage literally what” AU
AU Prompts (each of these (baring the Soulmate AU) has a two person limit)
Soulmate AU (there will be no limitations on this prompt) - @frostingsfics 
Shop AU -
Book shop,
flower shop,
coffee shop/cafe,
ice cream shop,
boutique/antique store
Professors/Teachers AU
Wings AU - @bookcaseninja 
Supernatural Creature(s) AU
Magic/HP AU - @haveyouseenmymind 
Celebrity/Famous Face/Hollywood AU
Fake Relationship AU - @captainsbabysitter-blog 
Youtuber/Viner AU
Circus AU - @kjs-s 
Roommates AU - @auduna-druitt
Historical AU
Fairy Tail/Disney AU
Spy/Secret Agent AU
Royalty AU - @and-i-cant-resurrect-you 
Classic Novel Pride & Prejudice AU
Tagging those interested: @musicmandy1991 (tumblr won’t let me tag you????) @haveyouseenmymind @outside-the-government @tardisoftheshire @bookcaseninja @miraclesoflove @exiledtime @cynically-optomistic @frostedej
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secretgamergirl · 3 years ago
Let’s talk about how Ranma is trans, part 3
Continued from Part 2.
The main thing going on in Volume 21 is Ranma getting drawn into a cheerleading contest. I’m only bringing this up because my gut says there’s going to be a while because I have something to talk about, and it’s a good reminder that stuff like this is absurdly common in this series, and I’m not desperate enough for examples to need to grasp at straws like this:
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Ranma’s compulsive competitive streak rationalizes everything going on this page, and doesn’t particularly provide any evidence of her actually being a girl, beyond her prioritizing this victory over the humiliation and dysphoria a boy would be subjecting himself to in going down this road (which includes spending a week dating Kuno on the next page).
Now, the fact that this arc ends with Akane giving a heavy sigh at how this was Ranma’s plan A, personally going the direct route of just throwing on some kendo gear and participating in the actual martial arts competition Ranma felt compelled to cheerlead for, inspiring Ranma to cheer for her instead, and confess her love for the mysterious stranger she thinks is some mystery guy before she’s unmasked, that’s pretty telling.
Like, I don’t actually see a longterm relationship between the two of them ultimately working out, but it’s not hard to imagine this series ending with them getting married, and I can only picture that wedding ceremony with Akane in a suit and Ranma in a big poofy bridal gown. I mean, I’ve read the actual ending, and that’s still the only way I can picture it, you know?
... oh and Volume 22 picks up from here, with the gasping crowd pondering if Ranma is in girl mode when they have sex. This is relevant here as a reminder that at this point Ranma is totally out of the closet. Everyone knows about the whole curse thing, and it’s been like 18 volumes since she last attempted to pretend she was some mysterious stranger when publicly in girl mode. Also while totally off the mark of how physically intimate these two are, I appreciate that this random guy in the crowd has my back on how obviously Akane would top. That’s generally the rule of thumb when trans women date cis women by the way. There’s obviously exceptions, and I don’t want to get too sidetracked here, but, random crowd guy’s imagination is much closer to reality than most people’s.
V22C2 however is very, very significant to my whole thesis here, being the introduction of Ranma’s mother, seen here fishing Ranma out of the river after she “accidentall” falls in by walking on a faulty chain link fence:
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I already got into things with Nodoka here in part 1 of this series, but seriously, this whole arc here is hard for me to get through now. A mother who is outwardly incredibly sweet and kind, especially towards total strangers, while quietly deeply conservative about traditional gender roles, and who threatens to kill her own trans daughter if she deviates from the “manly man” role she envisions for her hits entirely too close to home for me today.
Also for some reason, since starting this series, like a dozen people have gotten upset with me for referring to Genma being abusive in the same fashion, but aside from the general abusive nature of that relationship, no, the suicide pact of manliness was totally his idea. People just edit their memories because we’re all conditioned to blame women for everything.
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So now we’ve got this flashback to having an infant Ranma “sign a contract” by pouring ink on her hand and letting her slap a piece of paper as Nodaka reminds everyone how seriously she’s taking this. Ranma blurts out “Ranko” as a cover name to avoid being outed to her. Real trans people almost never go that route, but it took me years to work out what I wanted to change mine name to officially. You take your time and keep thinking about it girl.
Ranma’s reaction to this information is getting, justifiably, quite angry at Genma for making this agreement, as she is now forced to deceive her mother, instead of immediately coming out to her. By the way, here’s Ranma getting mad at Akane for referring to her as manly and handsome in boy mode. Like, yeah, mitigating factor that you’re lying to prevent her from getting murdered, but it is incredibly painful to hear that sort of misgendering crap from people you care about in any circumstances.
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... OK I don’t want to waste my whole scan pasting budget on this book when there’s still so many to go in this batch, but I could paste in every page. Nabiki of all people (Akane’s sister, sells candid nudes of Ranma to dudes who have crushes on her) refuses to go along with the lie here. When asked how Ranma spends all her spare time fighting (which is technically true), she corrects that to spending all her time running around in increasingly feminine costumes. Some “they were saying Boo-urns” later, Ranma asks her what the hell, and turns out she isn’t just trying to be a jerk. Her mom’s long dead, and the thought of Ranma missing out on a serious emotional reconnection to her mother because she’s scared of how she’ll react to her “son” being a girl. On the one hand, that is a surprisingly sincere and real feeling bit of character development for an otherwise largely one-dimensional character who normally comes across as a heartless jerk. On the other hand, SCREW YOU NABIKI! YOU DO NOT OUT TRANS PEOPLE TO THEIR ABUSIVE FAMILY LIKE THAT! IT CAN GET PEOPLE KILLED, AND YOU ACTUALLY KNOW THAT!
Soun encourages her to stay closeted around her, but try and form as much of a positive connection as she can otherwise, which is a much healthier approach. Mostly this means hanging out with her in girl mode hoping she doesn’t catch on. She tries actually approaching him in boy mode, usually thwarted by shenanigans because this is a comedy. The one time she actually reaches her though, just before introducing herself as her “son,” she hears her speculating that maybe Ranma is avoiding her because Ranma really isn’t manly.
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... OK I could stop this whole analysis on that first panel there. This isn’t subtext at this point. That’s not performative dialog. That’s Ranma talking to herself about how she feels better embracing her femininity, as she voluntarily activates her “curse,” having realized that she is so undeniably, fundamentally female that she can no longer convincingly pull off pretending to be a boy.At this point in the series, she’s clearly no longer an egg in heavy denial. She has had that contemplative moment every trans woman goes through eventually where we break through every lie we told ourselves about who we really are growing up, accepted who she really is, and knows you can’t ever go back at that point. Good for you Ranma, I know how hard pushing past that emotional wall can be, especially when it means alienating family like this.
The rest of that volume is light gag stuff, although there is a bit where Ranma ponders if she’s changed in some fundamental way where girls no longer like her. Volume 23 brings Pantyhose Taro back He’s still an openly transphobic creep, I still hate him. Ranma still glares at him over the slurs, but notably never tries to defend herself by claiming to be a guy. Oh and Nodoka shows up again, to teach the girls to cook. Complex feelings from Ranma there, obviously.
Also, I’m not going to throw up a scan for this one, because I’m trying to avoid pages with topless girls, but a good chunk of this volume involves Ryoga accidentally hitting Ranma with this magical Cupid’s Arrow type fishing rod, causing her to fall in love with him, and... yeah it’s made pretty clear that she prefers to be in girl mode if she’s going to sleep with someone.
Volume 24 introduces Herb, the final curse victim in the series, having fallen into the same spring Ranma did. Herb however is clearly a guy. He’s actually doubly cursed, having been hit with a magic ladle that locks people in curse forms unless hit with a matching unlocking artifact (which Ranma is also hit with, and a couple others as this arc goes on), but rather than going “Welp, I guess I’ll start wearing cute dresses and dating guys! every time I can rationalize it even a little!“ he... wears really form-concealing clothes and does his best to not even let his own underlings know he’s cursed.
That arc stretches into Volume 25, followed by a really arbitrary fight against a new teacher, with a goal of sealing away her terrifying fighting technique, just because, which everyone gives up on after a final gag. Writing gets kinda sloppy in some of these later story arcs, motivation wise. I was going to say the Herb arc makes a really strong case for genderfluid vs. female for Ranma (and again, we can totally share representation here), because other than fixing that curse freeeze, there is literally no motive for them to fight, but... that’s pretty common in the back half of the series. Fighting for fighting’s sake is Ranma’s overriding motivation in general, which is why I keep passing on using most fights as evidence.
Volume 26 is about fighting a hydra and centers characters who aren’t characters. Akane looks good in drag. See again my wedding outfit thoughts.
Volume 27 is also a lot of wacky gag stuff not really focused on Ranma. I need to break all this text up though so, Ranma buys a new bathing suit for every beach trip.
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Volume 28 is 100% about some random one off villain showing up in town, pretending to be Ranma, to steal something from Nodoka. You’d think I’d have more to talk about, considering, but it doesn’t really move the plot forward at all.
Volume 29 is all throwing stories to neglected side characters.
Volume 30 starts off by giving Ryoga a new love interest, in the hopes of being able to maybe pair people off in actually healthy ways, but THE HEART WANTS WHAT IT WANTS.
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Yeah that’s just a random gag to hit the reset button (Ranma helped him avoid another girlfriend-doesn’t-know-the-cute-pig-is-you thing, see) but I’m coming in way under budget on images and way too serious on tone so the shipping will continue. But seriously she misconstrues that and leaves and he can’t find her again because of the easily lost thing.
Not a whole lot more to say here. Hinako, the teacher Ranma arbitrarily fights actually comes back a LOT for a character I forgot even existed, introduced this late in the series. Nodoka shows up again towards the end here, and they go all “5 second rule!” with it but she’s kinda putting the pieces together here:
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This look at the original manga run concludes next time. I mean, in the sense that I’m going to run out of manga to reread. In the sense of proving my overall point, that happened the second I hit this panel:
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splatoon-discourse · 4 years ago
@sapphicsage Mouthwash here Sorry people keep on asking if you mod this blog? I mean personally I always thought it was pretty clear who we are but sorry anyways. I can see how that would be a pain in the ass. Personally I never saw your messages so I have 0 on that. Other mods are away for a few days, and I wanted to clear this up now as I can see you’re antsy to get a response. Sensitive content below just a warning.
Okay, while I really can’t talk about anything aside from Minty, due to being a new mod and having nothing to do with that stuff, the other mods can. I knew Minty very personally, that’s true, and I can assure you that they are not one to be defended, and people should be warned. They know what they are doing and continue to do it while digging holes. Most of the stuff we post is in response to questions that people have sent us anyways. Minty was well aware that a playboy bunny style outfit was sexual, and would often point out how asks they would respond to with art of their at the time underaged characters were also sexual. (Not to mention the actual child porn they drew whoops). While coping is defiantly a thing, it shouldn’t be posted online for other people, minors included, to see, that’s appropriation, as I’m sure you know. You’re not the only victim I’ve talked to about Minty with, and it has honestly made one of my friends almost throw up due to the panic. Not disclosing names for privacy, of course. Your thoughts on the matter are important, but don’t speak for everyone. We don’t provide information without something to back it up, and these issues could not have been solved in pms with them, trust me I’ve tried and it backfired like hell. It’s been almost a year since I started this fight and I refuse to go down quietly. Minty has been known to also enjoy a fare bit of r*pe so if that’s your thing you know where to go. On my personal I try not to start shit, no one likes a witch hunt, but on here I feel a little bit more comfortable venting, and others do too. It’s that kind of place. I never said I was a pure little tumblr baby uwu, I’m not, like any person I get pretty pissed off when I see disgusting stuff. About the trans thing, I am a transmale so I feel like I have some say in this. I have, in no way, never called Minty a ‘fake trans’. Minty (the person not the oc here) is not cis, not a transgirl, afab, and their sona is also not cis, but a transgirl. I’m personally a transmale, and I wouldn’t make my sona a transgirl, as our struggles and situations are very different. Having a cis sona is ok though because like you said, it’s a comfort thing. Someone who isn’t a transgirl shouldn’t have a sona who is. Someone who isn’t a transboy shouldn’t have a sona who is. But, I don’t speak for everyone.   And yeah I’m kinda mean, I’m not afraid of that, but I try to be as realistic as possible and don’t spread lies or cause witchhunts. I personally back up my stuff, why start a fight you can’t win. If any of the info I posted above doesn’t seem right I can provide stuff for you, but there isn’t really anything to prove here. All this being said there is no rule saying you have to like us, but a lot of people do, apparently, and we get messages thanking us for coming out and saying what other people can’t. We aren’t a bunch of flower children here, but this isn’t the place for that, this is a place to get it all out in the open. I will never, ever, feel bad for being a bitch to a racist, a pedophile, an anti-sjw, or anyone who is trans/homophobic. Ever. They deserve it. Here’s a message from another person who was involved in the Minty situation who I know off the internet: “Hey so, you mentioned your story about your experience, so I’ll mention mine. When I was in kindergarten, 5 years old by the way, an older kid who was a fifth grader I believe assaulted me. Perhaps you wouldn’t consider that ‘pedophillia’ since you think the age of the person is all that matters. But the fifth grader, his name is Troy, unzipped my jeans on the bus and reached down my pants. When i was nine to eleven years old, a guy seven years older than me, he’s 25 now, asked me to date him and send him nudes.(edited)When I was twelve I dated a guy named Andrew who was a year older than me, who guilt tripped me into dating him, camming and sending him nudes, to which he shared with our adult friends in our group chat because they also wanted to see. Perhaps this wasn’t with adults or anything, but a lot of times, adults were involved in these situations. When I got older and Troy graduated high school, when I was a freshman his friend came up to assault me and insult me. When I entered middle school, the guy seven years older managed to hunt down my skype info and tried to figure out where I lived so he could 'pick me up and take me somewhere fun’ like he promised. When I was a freshman I got into a relationship with a guy named Dominic, who, later I found out, assaulted a friend of one of my future friends and right before I broke up with him, tried to assault me. He continued to give me weird looks and faces at school until he graduated. He was 19. The story here is I too am a survivor of sexual assault, pedophillia, incest as well but we’re not gonna go into that right now. Just because you’re a survivor doesn’t mean you speak for all of us. As a survivor of pedophillia I personally believe mintysquids is a pedophile. Though I suppose I don’t speak for everyone who’s a survivor and neither do you. Do not undermine other survivor’s voices because you believe that minty isn’t a pedo. I believe minty is a pedo, many of us believe minty is a pedo. And you do not have the right to say what we think is wrong, I am a survivor with my own opinion, and you your’s. So get the fuck out of here with this whole pedo defender shit and look at the people you’re addressing.” That’s about it. Another mod has also been prayed on and knows all too well the dangers of aging up a character, and has some stuff to say but is way too busy at the moment. Please use actual information before calling us out, and back up your sources. I know this is a longer post but hey, a lot of ground to cover. Our word is far from final, but there is my take on it all. I’m not going to continue to argue with someone who feels the need to twist words in order to sound right, so please forgive me if I don’t waste more of my time on this publicly. If you would like to talk about this in PM’s, I’ll be more willing. 
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