This is super cool. And Alesha isn’t even the first card that deals with gender in a pretty progressive way. Ashiok, a planeswalker from Theros, has transcended gender identity completely. (Doug beyer is a designer for MTG) http://theotterspeaks.tumblr.com/post/61486269497/the-german-card-of-ashiok-uses-the-pronoun-der
Fantasy is an interesting genre to deal with trans issues in. I recall Terry Pratchett doing a pretty good job with this, too. Interestingly, I don’t know of any trans characters who partake of magic or whatnot to actually change their body type into that of another gender, but all IIRC simply present and declare themselves to be a certain gender and are accepted as such. I wonder if that has something to do with the writers (each of whom seems to be your typical fantasy writer combo of cishet white dude) wanting to avoid body identity issues.
I think I would like to see what an actual trans fantasy writer’s take on these characters would be at some point.
SF, not fantasy, but Iain Banks’ Culture series has characters that change gender (esp. in Excession) as does Charlie Stross/Cory’s The Rapture of the Nerds
This, to me, is reminiscent of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, and the transformation scene from the movie (YouTube clip but NSFW).
More the book, though, since after becoming a woman Orlando travels for a short time with gypsies who don’t treat her any differently because of her gender. That changes when she goes back to England.
I’ve read a few of sci-fi settings including the Culture where switching gender is common or even trivial. There are several authors that have posited that once it’s easy, most people will try both, especially if they live long enough, and ocassionally change when it suits them, or occasionally settle into something inbetween.
I’m also thinking of Steel Beach and Triton off the top of my head but I’m sure I’ve read others. In Triton you can also have your orientaion changed.
And The Left Hand of Darkness is one where gender/sex change is an innate part of an alien life cycle. You see that in some species in the Culture as well.
Duh, I probably shouldn’t have forgotten that one. Or, indeed Orlando (as above).
Interesting to contrast Le Guin with Asimov’s attempt to ‘do sex’ in The Gods Themselves.
i like this one better
Which Pratchett are you thinking of? My memory’s not coming back with anything…
Try 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson.
In the Forgotten Realms books, Elminster spends several decades as a woman. Initially it wasn’t by choice, but he doesn’t try too hard to change back.
This is unacceptable. What’s next? A half man half horse? Some kind of woman made out of one of the four elements? Giant spiders? Where will it end? If women are allowed to parade around as male warriors before you know it we wil have the death of the Nazgul witch-king on our conscience.
Cheery Littlebottom’s gender presentation and the dwarfish cultural revolution it kicks off, and pretty much all of Monstrous Regiment, can be read as being about trans people. They can also be read as being about women’s rights in general, though.
And don’t forget Bioware and the most recent Dragon Age game.
Tamora Pierce had a wonderful trans character in the Beka Cooper series.
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