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Gender appear breaks when naked
Gender is codedly sex unless hidden

Gender appearances and presentations are codedly reliant on the character's groin @naked being covered.

A character whose groin is uncovered cannot appear as androgynous, or as any other gender presentation than their biological sex.

A character appearing as some gender presentation other than their biological sex will stop appearing as that gender when their groin @naked is exposed, and begin to use other coded pronouns.

I don't see this as serving any obvious gameplay purpose, and it's negative messaging in regards to gender identity (ie. they are only 'real' insofar as a person hides their genitals, gender is codedly equal to anatomy).

It's also internally inconsistent since a femme-presenting biologically male character who has completely biomodded female anatomy will still lose their femme presentation when naked.

I don't see there being any gameplay downsides to appear not being tied to groin @nakeds, and I think it would be significantly improved gender inclusive messaging.

Yes, the @gender is based on the apparent anatomy. We have distinct values to report on biological sex via blood work admin can set. Someone getting body mod work done should be able to get their @gender changed (and their biological sex value set in rp info if its not already set to the original gender) to reflect the mod so their naked pronouns and even their @shortdesc change options are right for how they appear.

If that didn't start being possible when we rolled out the 'appear' feature, we apologize for not conveying that intention to the team.

I suppose my question is then: Why is gender being strictly determined by genitals?

Gender being necessarily fixed to anatomy would be considered negative messaging towards trans and minority gender identities today much less eighty-five years in the future where transhumanism and biomanipulation is the norm.

There are a lot of LGBTQ+ Sindome players, I think this mechanism could stand to be more inclusive about non-cisgender gender identities without harming gameplay.

Slither previously wrote:

"This was about six months ago (Spring 2019). I didn't mean offense. I just wasn't aware that the term 'preferred pronouns' had been called out as something allies do not say because it makes assumptions that are unfair and negative (that someone doesn't really have right to the pronouns they are adopting). Our language around gender has been changing pretty quickly. That is a good thing in this day and age.

That does mean folks won't always be on the same page. Sometimes someone may say something that you find offensive. Sometimes they mean it to be offensive, and sometimes, like what happened with me, they just need someone to explain the situation to them that they might not make the same mistake in the future.

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/how-to-bgbb-1090/

So I'll take the cue from him and explain what I think is problematic, and why I think it's problematic.

It erases transgender, non-binary, genderqueer and genderfluid identities IC.

Under the appear system, characters can only present as genders different from their sex or genitals, but their 'true' identity cannot change and will revert when they're 'exposed'. They cannot have an identity, they can only dress up in a certain way.

It projects an exclusionary view of players' own gender identities OOC.

The idea that transgender identity is something that is disguising a 'true' identity, which can be 'exposed' is exclusionary to transgender players. Foremost the 'sex = gender' rubric invalidates transgender identity, and the concept of 'exposure' is at the root of trans panic defenses that have been used to justify violence against, and murder of, transgender people, as well being tied into the 'trap' fetishizing of transgender identity.

Roleplaying games like Sindome often appeal to LGBTQ+ players as they may allow them to explore their personal identity, whether that is gender or sexuality, where they may otherwise not be able to do so. In some cases players may face stigmatization or even violence for expressing their identities OOC.

I think Sindome has made some great strides towards inclusivity towards LGBTQ+ players and characters in the past two years. I applaud what has been done and I hope we can continue more in the same inclusive direction.

In that regard, simply allowing characters to have the gender identity they want, without making determinations of which identities are valid or not based on their sex or genitals or wearing the correct clothing, would be a further step forward that would cost nothing in gameplay terms and disadvantage no one -- and would be a strong positive change for players and characters whom may be effected.

I would say... As a transgender player, with a character who is not trans...

From a design perspective... You are incorrect. If you are playing a transcharacter, you should expect to be PLAYING a transcharacter. If that transition is in the present. Embrace it... There -should- be a degree of discomfort when it comes to stripping down, because yes, your sex(Biological) -is- being revealed. There should be a degree of hesitancy, and dysphoria too it Because that's how it is for transindividuals in a realistic setting.

And earnestly. I appreciate the attempt at allyship, but there should be a struggle to transition, if you want there to be that struggle. And if you do not want to struggle with the dichotomy of gender identity in game, you should invest in the biomods and treatments to complete your transition. It's a narrative. And that short desc is a component in that internal narrative.

Transgender characters are free to struggle with their dysphoria if their players choose to, but I see no reason why characters must necessarily be forced to conform to a cisgender or transmedicalist rubric or struggle for their identities to be valid.

Gender dysphoric people who pursue gender-affirming therapies of various kinds are completely valid, but their experiences are not representative of all non-cisgender people.

These mechanisms were added. Non-binary options were previously removed from the game, and gender restrictions were added to appear so that agender, genderfluid, genderqueer and transgender could only pass superficially and that their genitals strictly would dictate their identity.

In a previous post about non-binary options being removed from the game, Johnny said: "We give no fucks how your character self identifies." I think that's a good stance and there's no need to police characters or players about their sexual or gender identity.

Sure but where's the narrative? Where's the challenge, where's the potential plot development?
No one is asking but where's the challenge? when a character is cisgender.

I don't think anyone needs to struggle or be subject to challenges so as to be validated by anyone else when it comes to determining their own identity, and I think any standard for an inclusionary environment would be one where LGBTQ+ characters and players are not discriminated against through coded systems or OOC policies.

Transmen are men, transwomen are women, and Sindome already tacitly acknowledges the existence of gender spectrum identities through appear, as Slither stated:

"Another change to this is that gender can be more fluid and up to the person roleplaying. This does NOT mean that presenting yourself as female means you do not have male genitalia or vice versa. It means you are presenting yourself as feminine or masculine. Cyberpunk future. Gender fluid."

We're almost there! Doing away with the 'you can look like X, but you're not X, not really' element of locking gender to genitals/sex and relaxing binary gender expression is an LGBTQ+ friendly and inclusive step that really has no drawbacks, and doesn't effect other players any more than using a person's correct pronouns or having legal same-sex unions effects other people.

Rhea, don't assume every trans person has the same outlook on their body as you. And this game isn't about transgender struggles, it's about class struggles. There's a reason discrimination against race, gender, etc isn't themely.

Anyway- I do agree with 0x1mm on this point. In a game where cosmetic genetic modification is pretty commonplace, I feel like current gender norms re: genitalia is a weird one. Especially given you can get a cybernetic dick bolted on.

I, the game designer, have decided that at this time in history, we are providing an environment for transfolks to RP fighting back. It's also important to respect that interpretation of what gender someone is based on the viewer, not the person being viewed - we're representing a society that is still largely wrapped up in the trappings of male or female. If we didn't at least have this sore spot, we would be utopic in regard to trans folks.

With more and more folks transforming themselves with modifications, there's a lot of discomfort around what humans are doing to themselves and trans-sexuality is part of that.

This place is first and foremost a dystopia. Lets not be too progressive. :)

I recognize you made these choices deliberately Johnny. I'm asking that you re-examine the reasons for that choice, and consider whether Sindome is meant to be a game inclusive towards LGBTQ+ players. Does Sindome need to include real discriminatory elements to be genuinely cyberpunk? Is importing actual, present day racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia necessary to have a dystopian theme? I would argue it isn't.

It's also important to respect that interpretation of what gender someone is based on the viewer, not the person being viewed.

Deliberately misgendering a person, or dead-naming them, after they specify otherwise, is transphobia. Everyone can make mistakes, but persistently identifying a person in a way they see as derogatory is discrimination. It should be corrected rather than respected.

If we didn't at least have this sore spot, we would be utopic in regard to trans folks.

Sindome's in-game policies regarding gender and sex are actually less progressive than the policies of the state and city in which the Sindome Corporation is situated. Legal gender identity has no requirement of surgical procedures, and non-binary identities are available on state IDs. In my jurisdiction, gender identity and expression is a fundamental right protected by law -- laws which are necessary because the reality is far from Utopian.

Correctly gendering someone isn't Utopia, it's the base level of acceptance of their identity.

Transphobia was rife when I started playing Sindome, and has gradually improved since. IC parroting of present day alt-right (or even neo-nazi) talking points against LGBTQ+ people, through the veil of 'anti-splicer' rhetorical was common.

A quick trip through the forums of a decade or more past shows how much things have changed in terms of LGBTQ+ acceptance and moving towards incorporating fictional bigotry into the setting in place of real bigotry. I think it's an important step in the right direction that we've divested the community of those elements. I don't think Sindome has become any less dystopian IC for that, and I'd argue the community has benefited enormously OOC.

I think we can create a dystopian setting without bringing real, present-day prejudices and discrimination, faced by the players themselves, into it. Cyberpunk media is rich with gender and identity exploration of all types, and I think that's a significant draw of Sindome to many players, and should be embraced.

As I understand it, you can currently opt-in out of character generation to be a transitioned person. In my mind, this makes it up to the player to choose whether gender identity is something they RP as an ongoing challenge potentially visible to all or simply a part of the character's private history.

In the spectrum of transhumanism and cyberpunk - I think choosing what kind of RP you embrace in that regard is a wholly personal choice as the player and one which has been executed well.

As for Transphobia IC and OOC along with any manner of refuge for the ignorant - it has no place here. As a community, we have grown over the years. Some of us have just gotten older. Others have been categorically banned for being unapologetic douche bags. Few things are perfect in Sindome but I think in this instance game design and social issues are well balanced. As for the community, I have seen a lot of opportunities to misgender or dead-name people and it simply hasn't been happening lately from my point of view.

I think we've reached a place to approach this ICly and OOCly responsibly as a community. That said, this is an important topic to a lot of people and I would urge those of you partake in it to do so with the sensitivity and respect it deserves. <3

I hope everyone will agree with you Reefer, that transphobia is unwelcome. I think transphobia and homophobia, and all other forms of bigotry should be unwelcome in the Sindome community. It is on the understanding that transphobia is in fact not welcome in Sindome, and that the staff believe it should be unwelcome, that I'm asking that these systems be reviewed.

Whatever the intention of the policies of apparent anatomy determining gender, and the enforcement of a gender binary, I think the result is exclusionary and discriminatory.

I realize this may be wholly new information for many players, but I'll try to explain why being allowed to pick your character's gender as long as it conforms to their genitals, is not representative or inclusive of transgender identity.

Transitioning, which is to say undergoing any number of processes to treat gender dysphoria, is just that: Treatment of dysphoria. A person who transitions does not become a transman or transwoman, they were always their true gender and they chose (or were able) to mitigate their dysphoria through that process.

Which is to say, a transwoman is still a woman regardless of her anatomy. She didn't stop becoming a man and become a woman when she got bottom surgery. She was always a woman insofar as that was her personal gender identity.

Not all transgender people undergo gender-affirming treatments or surgeries. Some consider it unnecessary and that their anatomy does not dictate their gender, and many are simply unable to for lack of access or lack of means. Some transgender people 'pass' by the standards of cisgender society, some do not, neither is more validly transgender than the other.

The view that dysphoria is necessary and that hormonal and surgical transition is a requirement of transgender identity is called transmedicalism and it's an extremely controversial stance in the transgender community.

And because they so often get sidelined in these discussions, I would like to just highlight that an enforced binary completely excludes non-binary identifying characters. This is not an androgynous aesthetic they adopt superficially. It's a fundamental part of their identity, and as of now it can only exist IC so long as they hide their mechanically-defined gender by covering their genitals.

If I am in an intimate relationship with a transgender or non-binary identifying person, I wouldn't stop using correct pronouns and start misgendering them when they were naked, but that is the current system in place.

The appear system is so, so close. Simply divesting enforcement of anatomy dictating gender means players can present however they feel best represents their identity. I don't think this would harm the dystopian theme IC, I don't think there would be any negative gameplay effects at all, and I think it would be an improvement across the board in acceptance of non-cisgender and non-binary identities.

My understanding was that the noun reverting on naked exposure was for 3rd parties visually acknowledging said character to have a baseline expectation of gender. Not the player or character themself.
The issue is Quotient is that the system enforces a trans-exclusionary 3rd party viewpoint, which runs rather contrary to not accepting transphobia as a community.

For instance, if I see a character IC who identifies as a woman and who is naked, and who has male genitalia, the system will 'correct' my perception and her own identification, for the benefit of a theoretical trans-exclusionary 3rd party who would believe her genitals dictated her gender and that her own identification was irrelevant.

If this theoretical 3rd party deliberately misgendered someone IC or OOC, they would be engaging in transphobic behavior and would likely be called out on the community for it -- but despite this, that trans-exclusionary view is enforced at the coded level.

Being accepting and inclusive of gender identities as a community does mean sometimes adjusting certain things, but the burden is very, very small and amounts to just using correct pronouns. If we as a community can use pronouns appropriately IC and OOC on the boards, I don't think it's too much to ask that the coded system not itself misgender players.

Excuse me. That the coded system not itself misgender characters.
I guess how I see it, is you are the one who picked your character's gender. If you go about it the right way, you can have whatever pronouns you like when you are naked, as long as you pick the one you wanted to use...

Biomods, baby!

As Johnny wrote earlier:

@gender is based on the apparent anatomy

The 'right way' in the coded rubric is that if your character is a man, they have male genitalia, and if your character is a woman, they have female genitalia. There are different ways of changing a character's anatomy or genetics to enable this, but their pronouns are dictated by their genitals.

If this is the guiding staff policy towards transgender and non-binary characters, then I don't feel this is an inclusive or LGBTQ+ friendly policy, and is exclusionary towards transgender and non-binary players.

Anatomy is not gender. Gender a social construction separate from biology, and in LGBTQ+ accepting societies, one based on personal rather than assigned identity.

I don't see any reason or benefit to policing character's genitalia to the extent that happens now, or enforcing misgendering pronouns when they identify otherwise. Some character identities can 'fit' into the current system, or are tolerated by it, but not all will and it is not inclusive as currently implemented.

I have a few thoughts on this subject.

First and foremost, do not let perfection become the enemy of progress.

Secondly, I have been playing online games like Sindome since 1993. Sindome is absolutely the most progressive game I have come across when it comes to gender identity and the way that imperfect code has been painstakingly modified and altered to support a rainbow of gender presentations.

To 0x1mm, I encourage you to look at how much has been done here instead of focusing on where you still want things to be better. Specifically I encourage you to consider the CODE, the actual programmatic underpinnings of the "pose" code.

The pose code is complex code. It is some of the best code I have seen in close to 30 years of playing M* type games. The way that one pose can be presented and perceived differently by a whole group of characters is damn cool stuff. By that I mean, the character is addressed to sees "you" others see "he" or "her" or "zir" or, or, or...

At a certain point I sincerely hope that you will realize the time staff has put into getting the game to where it is. When I read @Johnny and @Slither's comments, I do not get the sense that they necessarily think things are perfect. I see people who are saying that they have done the best with the tools they have.

Personally, if staff spends any more time tweaking gender presentation and appear, I am going to be a bit irked. There are so many other systems in the game that still need attention. I'm not sure if you were in the last Town Hall, but what really struck me was how few staff there are here. You can count the coders and builders on one hand. It's not realistic to expect perfection, and it's not fair to everyone else to keep harping on your pet issue to the detriment of everyone else.

This is going to come across as a bit harsh, but this is Sindome. This is not The Sims, Gender Edition. I'm so glad that there are safe places on the internet to come explore gender identity. I'm glad that this is one of them. If you want another one, check out Shangrila. It's an adult themed MUSH where you can play make believe however you want. I am sure that there are other similar communities where you can dive as deeply into gender, identity and presentation as you want to.

Lest I be accused of being bigoted or close minded, I have had close friends of mine who have transitioned. My cousin is currently going through it actually. I spent 15 years living in the Gay Ghetto of Long Beach, CA. I grew up partying with drag queens in Hollywood. I have trained marginalized communities in self defense techniques.

At some point though, you need to pause and say, "Thank you for all you have done." and let go of, "I practically demand that you do more because what you've done so far still isn't good enough for ME."

The trans struggle is cyberpunk in a way that racism and the broader LGBTQ+ struggle is not. While we don't want players using transphobia to attack each other, we're not going to sanitize the game world of every element of it. Transhumanism and the opposition to that is a big part of the Cyberpunk story too.
@0x1mm

So I definitely see your point, and why you're upset, but...

If I see a naked person that I do not know walk past me, and they have male genitalia. How would you prefer identification take place? I do not know them, so I could not possibly know their gender. In the case of the system operating under your suggested change, that IC information would be presented to me OOCly as a game mechanic, and I would be expected to acknowledge that, and act upon it, despite being unfamiliar with that character.

In an ideal scenario for you, how would you expect a situation like this to be handled? Let's assume for the purpose of the exercise that I did not have time to take note of, or fully describe every one of the character's assets if I were trying to describe this character to someone else. As it stands now, I would say "a naked man just walked past me on skywatch!".

@Johnny

I don't disagree in a thematic way, but transphobia existing IC character-to-character or institution-to-character is not the same as the coded system misgendering characters. The system is not IC, it's OOC.

In my experience transphobia is almost always considered archaic and bigoted IC and it's extremely rare for characters to use it as a thematic tool. I've never known NPCs to be transphobic towards PCs. Hence this feels less like transphobia within the context of the IC world, and more like a trans-exclusionist rubric OOC.

Like to be clear, do you think transgender and non-binary identities are valid and should be accepted? If you do, then I think it would be much better to represent that purely through IC means and not through systems that effectively disallow gender expressions.

@Quotient

I'm not upset, but I do think this is an important issue and one that's good to address Sindome is going to present as an inclusive community.

In the situation you describe, if you've seen a character naked, are you really so lost that you need the system to tell you via shortdesc what male genitals are? Naive misgendering is not transphobia when corrected, but if you know a character identifies as a woman do you need the system to correct you as to how to refer to them?

If you say 'that is a naked man' you may be wrong if the character is a woman with male genitals, and if you are aware of that then your character may making transphobic statements, but if your misgendering is innocent and transient, then what point was there in the game system itself instructing you how to interpret a character's genitalia?

Make your character female, get a biomod to get a dick, get a controller to helicopter the fuck outa that dick and walk around with female pronouns.

The option to do what you're wanting to do is there, go do it instead of being roudy because you can't do it the way you want to do it.

There's really no need to continue going on about this over and over and over when multiple people have explained to you. Stop being upset for the sake of being upset.

k thnx bai. /thread

Ducky in your own profile you write:

If we could learn to just love each other or at least tollerate each other for who we are, who we love and what we think then the world would be a better place. Take the time to get to know each other. Take the time to learn new things, expand your mind.

I'm not upset, nor am I being rowdy and going on and on, I'm taking the time to explain a perspective that may be non-obvious to cisgender players. Non-binary perspectives even moreso can often non-obvious to even transgender people, some of whom personally fit into a binary model of gender.

Assuming appear was changed to so that didn't break based on how a character was dressed, then no, that system would not also exist in any current form in-game. As Johnny wrote this is deliberate and meant to enforce a specific rubric of what is and is not valid gender identity. Gender identity is distinct from anatomy. A transman who has not undergone any transitional process is still a man, and may use male pronouns regardless of their anatomy.

These are not new questions or concepts. Statistically all players will meet a transgender or non-binary person in the course of their lives. Questions such as 'how will I know how to address them?' or 'what gender who I use to refer to them?' or 'are they X gender or Y?' are all good and there's many, many resources available online to assist in teaching what transgender and non-binary identities are, and what inclusive language is and how to us it.

A useful primer that may be of help:

https://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender

@Quotient

You asked...

In an ideal scenario for you, how would you expect a situation like this to be handled? Let's assume for the purpose of the exercise that I did not have time to take note of, or fully describe every one of the character's assets if I were trying to describe this character to someone else. As it stands now, I would say "a naked man just walked past me on skywatch!".

In the way I choose to identify people, everyone is a "person" when I meet them. So in your example, it would be... "a naked PERSON just walked past me on Skywatch!"

If a person is going to get upset about being identified as a person, that person is not someone who anyone can have a rational conversation with.

Try it IRL when talking about people around you. For example, "See that person over there in the red sweater?" 9 out of 10 times, the person you are talking to will either clarify on the basis of race, presented gender, or both. "Oh, the black guy in Red?"

It's just the way people have been conditioned to identify and classify others.

To your point, or at least I think what one of your points was, it is very challenging for people with strong gender preferences to get others to react the way that THEY want to be perceived. In a way, that is a major part of what this topic seems to be about. Some players want other players to be FORCED to perceive gender identity in a specific way.

Given that, I think we're getting into a blurry area here and having to straddle a fine line between giving agency to some people without taking agency away from others.

Let's say I wasn't as enlightened as I am, and I see a character in the game with lipstick, eyeliner, a dress, cleavage and cock and balls. No matter what the other player might want me to perceive that character as, it's well within my agency to think, "Oh look, a dude with chick makeup." Instead of ... I dunno, a feminine expressing person, or whatever.

Ultimately, no amount of code or forced pronoun recognition or rules and regulations is going make someone think about someone else in the way that other person wants to be thought of. That's just not human nature. And it's not limited to gender identity. A conservative Christian might see themselves as a "righteous and pious upholder of everything that is right with the world" and I might see them as a "bigoted asshole with delusions about a big white man in the sky who cares about where they stick their dick"

My take away from this whole thing is:

The staff has done a great job of modifying the code as much as possible to enable a wide range of gender expressions.

There are some situations where genitals FORCE an associated "cis" centric pronoun.

Staff has made it abundantly clear that no transphobic or other derogatory remarks related to gender identity will be tolerated.

Right or Wrong, Like it or Not, 99% of the people in the world are going to see a penis and think "man" and see a vagina and think "woman". That's just the reality of things. It would be great if we lived in a more open minded and nuanced world. I know without a doubt that Sindome is more open minded and supportive of non-standard gender identities than society as a whole.

Wow, okay.

Ducky, your post was dismissive, not constructive, and probably not a stretch to call it insulting on kind of a couple levels. If you can't respond to a thread and act within Slither's reasonable guidelines (aka, if you can't resist shitposting) maybe avoid the 'Reply' button to begin with. You're a staff member, set a better example.

Hek,

You're basically saying, 'yeah well, things are never going tom be perfect, it is what it is, we do the best we can'. 0x1mm is making a very specific game mechanic suggestion resulting from a very specific gameplay problem as they see it, which does indeed seem to run aground of game design as expressed in other threads, so that seems fair to continue discussing. You just seem to be saying that this change would take away the 'agency' of someone in-game to presume gender based on what they observe, based on quite a bit of particularly dated presumptions that are your own to bear. The fact you or others carry these presumptions OOC and then also IC where gender SHOULD be treated far more fluidly but isn't shouldn't be something others have to help you deal with, particularly in a (relatively) far-future sci-fi, cyberpunk reality where transhumanism and bio-modification should be be quite commonplace.

Johnny seeming to arbitrarily decide gender instead of race (for instance) is a 'themely' friction point for IC 'dystopian feels' in one post in one thread should not end the discussion on its face for obvious reasons, and 0x1mm's continuation of it has been articulate, calm, and well thought out from what I've read. The only resistance to it I seem to see here is a loose collection, so far, of mostly OOC feelings on the subject bleeding into things, which doesn't really constitute much of a counter-argument.

Thanks for outright ignoring my statements, Jameson! :)
@Jameson

You bring up some interesting points...

0x1mm is making a very specific game mechanic suggestion resulting from a very specific gameplay problem as they see it, which does indeed seem to run aground of game design as expressed in other threads

My understanding of the "issue" is that when the groin @naked is exposed, the code defaults to the @gender set on the character.

What is the "fix" to that? I haven't seen any proposed fixes. All I have seen is a bunch of opinion about why it "shouldn't" be like that.

That's why I brought up Agency. If @Johnny has to force a code fix so that a "male" groin @naked no longer identifies a character as male, wouldn't that be taking agency away from every player who wants to express their cis gendered character? Same for "female" bits and descriptors.

You just seem to be saying that this change would take away the 'agency' of someone in-game to presume gender based on what they observe, based on quite a bit of particularly dated presumptions that are your own to bear. The fact you or others carry these presumptions OOC and then also IC where gender SHOULD be treated far more fluidly but isn't shouldn't be something others have to help you deal with

To be clear, I do not need any help navigating the appropriate way to use people's pronouns. I do just fine with them IRL, ICly and OOCly. When my friend's partner couldn't get their pronouns right, I was the one who got called in to translate.

To get back to the original though, what exactly is the Issue, and what is the proposed Fix?

Appear reverts to whatever pronouns and shortdesc a character had when their player first set their appear, when that character's groin @naked is uncovered.

Gendered appears cannot be set when a character's groin @naked is uncovered.

These limitations include all the non-binary choices.

Allowing gendered appear to be used and maintained, whatever a character's state of dress, I think would accommodate most or all of the issues I've raised in this thread.

Allowing gendered appear to be used and maintained, whatever a character's state of dress, I think would accommodate most or all of the issues I've raised in this thread.

I don't know how the code actually works, but I think why what you want cannot happen is because Disguise / Appear has to be tied to some sort of clothing. Just like characters need certain items to cover up their shortdesc, from a code perspective, the 'appear' has to be linked to SOMETHING. That something is clothing.

Without a piece of clothing, the appear command, the actual code itself, will not work.

I don't think I'm divulging any major IC knowledge here. In order to 'appear' taller or shorter, a character needs to be wearing shoes. When the shoes are taken off, the taller or shorter modifiers disappear. That's just the way the code works.

Does that make sense?

@Johnny

Is any of this close to the mechanics of why 'appear' cannot work on a character with zero items of clothing?

Just thinking outside the box, it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be the genitals. That is just the most logical one. You could make it so that appear variables stick until someone takes off their hat (exposes @head) or takes off their shirt (exposes @torso). Right? It's just that you had to pick SOMETHING and the SOMETHING that you picked was @groin. ???

Each aspect of 'appear' has its own requirements. You have to cover your abdomen to appear thinner or fatter, for example.

Appearing as different genders requires you to cover your groin to conceal the visual cues your anatomy is conveying.

To me, if I see that a man has a vagina, they're still a man. And vice versa. What someone has between their legs is so unimportant to the rest of the body and personality.

Like if a cis person is trying to appear as a man, and suddenly I see that they have a vagina, my reaction is a shrug and "oh, cool," not "omg you're a woman??"

If the game reverts to 'she' pronouns in that case, I think that's an unfair giveaway that something is afoot. I should be thinking, "oh cool, you're trans," but it sounds like I would get an OOC advantage based on their pronouns shifting? That sounds silly.

I'm all for attempting to see through disguises, but this is a freebie that doesn't feel like it should be a freebie.

And to the extreme, "Show us your dick and let's see if your pronouns change" is just hilariously meta.

I'm all for attempting to see through disguises, but this is a freebie that doesn't feel like it should be a freebie.

I don't think this has anything to do with disguise. Let's not muddy the waters.

"To me, if I see that a man has a vagina, they're still a man. And vice versa. What someone has between their legs is so unimportant to the rest of the body and personality."

As far as I understand it, this whole conversation is about outward appearances from a 3rd party in terms of what is seen. Appear can be used to change presentation until genitals are exposed. Biological genitals are a gigantic context clue in a majority of cases for the sexual identity (presented and otherwise) of a large portion of the population.

In ynk's quote, how would someone know that a person with female genitalia "is a man" if they haven't said anything yet? If it was just a person naked, standing in the street, their female genitalia heavily implies female sex (imo) until the speaker says they identify differently.

I don't think anyone is implying that people don't have a right to change their own personal image and say what they want to say about their sexual identity, but they're going to be dealing with the conceptions that other people have about others based on their genitals.

Like Johnny said, in SD everyone has coded genders. People have the option to change that gender icly through mods. They can keep their original gender and rp a personal identification as a woman or zer etc too. They'll still be dealing with the preconceptions of others when it comes to what they've got going on downstairs though in terms of how they perceive that. When their body is exposed they can still tell the people around them how they identify and it'll be up to the people they're with to support that or have their own feelings on it.

"To me, if I see that a man has a vagina, they're still a man. And vice versa. What someone has between their legs is so unimportant to the rest of the body and personality."

As far as I understand it, this whole conversation is about outward appearances from a 3rd party in terms of what is seen. Appear can be used to change presentation until genitals are exposed. Biological genitals are a gigantic context clue in a majority of cases for the sexual identity (presented and otherwise) of a large portion of the population.

In ynk's quote, how would someone know that a person with female genitalia "is a man" if they haven't said anything yet? If it was just a person naked, standing in the street, their female genitalia heavily implies female sex (imo) until the speaker says they identify differently.

I don't think anyone is implying that people don't have a right to change their own personal image and say what they want to say about their sexual identity, but they're going to be dealing with the conceptions that other people have about others based on their genitals.

Like Johnny said, in SD everyone has coded genders. People have the option to change that gender icly through mods. They can keep their original gender and rp a personal identification as a woman or zer etc too. They'll still be dealing with the preconceptions of others when it comes to what they've got going on downstairs though in terms of how they perceive that. When their body is exposed they can still tell the people around them how they identify and it'll be up to the people they're with to support that or have their own feelings on it.

I'm curious why players who, while having a very specific view that a person's genitals determine their binary gender, still require the game code to validate their own conceptions by confirming to them that yes, this character is a man or woman because they have male or female genitals.

Would it be that troubling to see a person with male genitalia identified as a woman, as per her desire to be, or a person with female genitalia identified as a man? Because I can assure you that these people exist, this is not a fictional concept.

If you believe a person is a man when they have male genitals, and a person is a woman if they have female genitals, and you don't believe non-binary or intersex people exist, what purpose does the confirmation of a shortdesc and pronouns serve?

Why does the system default to supporting a transgender and non-binary exclusionary view of gender?

Characters are welcome to misgender other characters and otherwise behave in bigoted ways, the question is whether the game itself is being inclusionary or exclusionary by enforcing a rigid and narrow conception of gender that is at odds with modern discourse, let along a cyberpunk future.

Deliberately misgendering someone, regardless of their anatomy, would be considered discrimination under present day Massachusetts law, where the Sindome Corporation 501c tax-exempt social club is located. While many Sindome players are LGBTQ+, Sindome as a game is less inclusive than the legal baseline, not more.

Gender is not anatomy, and I think it's good to introduce and develop that concept and that it is not so difficult to divorce those ideas with a minimum of effort. This is a fundamental part of being an LGBTQ+ inclusive community.

@Johnny

Is it possible to let people set their gender as "Person" in Chargen?

The intended result of enabling that would be:

1. the @shortdesc options would all be gender neutral (person, etc)

2. when the @groin is exposed, the @shortdesc defaults back to the Person shortdesc instead of the appear shortdesc

My apologies for muddying the waters. Perhaps I don't fully understand the argument being presented.

Although I feel like it should be recognized that Sindome is a work of fiction, and if biases existing in fictional stories were to be outlawed, we'd lose a lot of important books out there. (A lot of unimportant ones too.)

"In ynk's quote, how would someone know that a person with female genitalia "is a man" if they haven't said anything yet? If it was just a person naked, standing in the street, their female genitalia heavily implies female sex (imo) until the speaker says they identify differently."

Well, things like a goatee, creased eyelids, sunken cheeks, hairy pecs, wide shoulders, and an overall masculine appearance (masculine hairstyle, lack of breast tissue, heavy eyebrows, wide jawline, happy trail) speaks louder than genitals for me.

When someone shows an active presence to look masculine, feminine, androgynous, or anything in between, that wins out over genitals.

That's just me.

I'm not the most educated in these matters, so again I apologise for anything that's coming off wrong.

I'll bow out of this conversation.

Addendum

On a "male" character I get 26 options for ' @shortdesc change ' I have no frame of reference whether or not I get 26 because of Disguise, or if 26 is the default that every "male" gets.

My assumption is that "female" characters have a similar number of choices.

If such a list does not already exist for neutral persons, then we'd have to come up with one.

My only suggestion in that regard is that we make it extremely limited. For example, I would not allow "Citizen" because Citizen implies a certain social role. Same with Denizen. Same with a bunch of others, like Punk.

Maybe the defaults are as basic as "Person" and "Blank". If a player wants anything more expressive than a blank piece of paper, they can invest UE in Disguise. I think Disguise is a good catch all that reflects the skills that people have to develop in order to present themselves in a manner that others will inherently, subconsciously accept as "true". Just like an actor has to practice to be a ... (insert any role that any actor has ever had to play other than 'actor' ) And I'd even suggest that society has a preconception about how actors 'should' act.

@Hek: A list of shortdescs for they/them characters already exists; it was created with the appear changes. It's pretty good and a fair amount of thought went into it.
@Rhicora

That's great news. I figured as much given all of the Appear options.

Given that, we just need a 3rd gender option in chargen and the "problem" is solved?

Hek,

If you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're engaging in the conversation in something resembling good faith, discontinuing the use of patronizing quotes around the word "problem" and elsewhere might be something to consider.

If you don't think it's a problem, continuing to engage seems like bad faith, that it's really just a "problem" and you're lowering yourself to humor those that actually do see an issue. You can just say "I don't see a problem" and leave it at that.

There's room for "I don't perceive this as a problem, but I acknowledge that others do and it's perhaps reasonable to make a change for that reason", but it'd be nice if you occupy that space without the bits of continued condescension.

I can sense some exasperation from the more... older school members with the increase in representation and modernization of the game. I guess it's reasonable to feel slightly threatened by something new, but I think it'd be healthy to remind yourself that staff can be trusted not to somehow ruin the game just because they added some more customization options.

Also, these sort of things were regarded as horror by older school cyberpunk writers, so you might as well just engage with your horror of modern youth culture and use it to bolster your RP.

So I've been noodling on this for days now.

@gender and the pronouns it defines are a linguistic shortcut, first and foremost. While we can say that this is the 'characters gender', that's glossing over that interpretation of all the context cues (hair length, style, eye shapes, necks, musculature, body frame, etc) that sum out to man, woman, or clearly not fitting into binary majority.

So I think we move @gender fully into the notion of 'apparent gender', where it is letting you define what assumption others will be left with if your character is left completely naked. This means we need to support someone whose determined that when naked, you can tell their character is not just male or female. We don't need to say its about seeing a penis or not seeing a penis - what it is can be left to define via @nakeds or descriptions.

We should add the 'third gender', but I put it in quotes because it represents individuals who, for whatever reason, may not be possible to tell their gender when unclothed. The cues might be conflicting, missing or so minimal that they are hard to judge. Would making the option 'Neither' be offensive?

Apparent Gender (how your naked corpse looks):

(M)ale - obviously masculine in appearance

he, his, his, him, himself

(F)emale - obviously feminine in appearance

she, her, hers, her, herself

(N)either - appears neither masculine or feminine

ze, zir, zirs, zir, zirself

Code-Wise, 3 option Apparent Gender will need to become a thing in char-gen, we'll need to explain a bit what we mean by apparent gender. And everyone should get an option to set their biological sex too.

I think it also means we need to loosen up restrictions around changing @gender due to RP events. Probably a new service request for this or enabling it through styling tools? We probably should discuss this aspect of any changes more.

Help gender needs to be written. And other stuff no doubt I am forgetting this morning.

I apologize for taking so long to get to this point of comprehension.

N for Nonbinary.

From https://nonbinary.wiki/wiki/Main_Page:

Nonbinary is a term that refers to people whose gender is not completely and exclusively male or female. They can identify with not having gender at all, with both binary genders, with a third identity, or an identity which can change over time. Nonbinary people fall under the transgender umbrella term, and nonbinary is an umbrella term itself, although some people use it to describe their specific gender identity too.

That is exclusionary still itself. By making it the negation of the other two categories, I'm trying to make it inclusive of anyone who doesn't appear to fall into either of them.
Nonbinaryism is one of the reasons why I think style tools might be best for allowing @gender changes. Changing that wouldn't feel right being a service request, yeah?
@johnny,

As far as I am aware, 'Non-binary' is the preferred term for an individual who does not wish to identify as male or female. They are 'neither' and 'both' at their preference. Categorizing them as 'neither' explicitly implies a lack of something, while non-binary is inclusive of both a lack of gender and an amalgamation of gender, and I would support the usage of the term 'non-binary' personally.

This isn't about trans or gender identity though, so we can't determine they are non-binary that from the Apparent Gender alone. Remember, this applies to your corpse from a distance.

One such example of someone who isn't non-binary, but might want to come across as neither binary sex might be a man who is castrated by force and doesn't give off particularly masculine cues. They might decide they are non-binary, but they might say they're a man, but they have decided their visual cues don't indicate one way or the other.

Neither encompasses everyone who, for whatever reason, is not seen as male or female. Its more than just non-binary folks.

Appear already acknowledges 'apparent gender' being a player's chosen presentation for their character already though. The system doesn't say, X is wearing makeup and a dress, and these are feminine cues, therefore they are a woman. It allows the player to decide what is correct for their character.

The idea of 'apparent gender' being necessarily a gender critical interpretation of gender seems more ideological than practical. If the entire description of a character is visible, why does the system need to instruct the viewer on how to interpret their appearance at all?

Put another way, the appear system already runs contrary to the idea that gender is merely linguistic shorthand. A character's identity is chosen by them in almost all circumstances.

Whether their character is femme or masc or non-binary presenting, or to whatever degree of any of them, they are the ones who determine their pronouns and gendered shortdescs. Aside from @groin nakeds, the system does not make assumptions about gender cues or how others might interpret them.

If it's an entirely linguistic matter, this is the APA style guide on gender:

https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-free-language/gender

APA style is one of the most broadly used-language style guidelines in all academic publishing, and in many fields is the foremost guideline for formal publishing.

Appear is transitory by design. @gender is the persistent default, the unconscious state, if you want, where appear is more active in nature. @gender is the player saying the character is seen outwardly this way unless something lets the character 'appear' as something they are not.

The very command @gender is probably inappropriate. It's more like @pronouns?

Right, and I do understand that appear is meant to be a matter of presentation.

I'm mostly saying appear is a near complete solution just in a practical sense, in that allows a player to set their character's gender descriptor and their pronouns, right now.

I think it makes a lot of sense in a theoretical way to have a system that distinguishes between self-presentation and self-identity, because those are two different things. I'm just advocating within the context of the tools we already have, in terms of the art of the possible.

But yes, players being able to set their character's @pronouns/@gender would also address transgender-related issues I've raised, and a third option for non-binary characters would address those issues as well.

I really like the idea of @pronouns, because it's most descriptive of what the command really does; it sets the character's apparent pronouns when observed, so long as they aren't making an effort to present otherwise. Nothing more, nothing less. This allows for a lot of flexibility as far as the characters that can be played:

- Cisgender characters can simply leave their pronouns as-is, defaulted to whatever their @born-sex was.

- An entirely-passing trans character can select pronouns which fit their transitioned gender, opposite of their @born-sex.

- A non-passing trans character might leave their apparent pronouns as their @born-sex, but use 'appear' to temporarily modify them. This would allow people to represent a difficult transition, a drag performance that takes skill to work on, etc.

- A nonbinary character who always comes off as female to those around them might set their apparent pronouns to female, and make their preference for "they/them" a matter of roleplay.

- A genderfluid character who moves very easily and successfully between identities might regularly change their @pronouns.

I think the approach Johnny is suggesting here could help cover the most possible gender concepts for characters.

@Johnmy: As someone said prior, Nonbinary isn't a negation, it's a third whole spectrum in of itself.

I linked the wiki because it's what you're looking for, Johnny. 😉

In your example, "gender nonconforming" might be the phrase you're confused with. That's where visual cues do not match perceived gender.

If they decide they don't want to fall under either binary, they are by definition nonbinary. For example...

If they feel like they are any gender (agender), or feel don't feel strongly one way or the other (apogender), or swap how they feel on a whim (bigender), those are all nonbinary genders! 😊