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Half Of What You See 1/26

Half Of What You See 1/26 published on 16 Comments on Half Of What You See 1/26

Sigvard: “Hey, for the first time Erin has planned ahead and knows this will be the start of a new print volume, so can we take a minute to re-orient the readers? Great.”

Embassy of Sønheim, in Central Ceannis.

Sigvard: Look, let’s just start over.

I’m the head of all the intelligence-gathering operations at this place. I don’t keep up with every little detail!

How about you give me a recap of the relevant information, so we can all start on the same page.

Sigrún: I’m Sigrún, captain of the Embassy Guard. He’s Ludolf, manager of all the servants the Embassy owns.

Sigvard: . . . Yes, I knew that part.

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Hey, new character with no time for BS! What are Sigvard’s pronouns?

True story, I have not settled on one, between he or ze. (Sigvard appeared briefly a while back, but no pronouns mentioned then either.)

I want to portray that it’s normalized and unremarkable for men in Sønheim to wear pretty makeup…but I also want to portray more kinds of nonbinary Sønska people…decisions, decisions.

How common is it in Sonheim for a person to publicly have multiple genders?

In the sense of being genderfluid, or the sense of being indecisive?

I can say it’s not a thing, culturally, to use multiple sets of pronouns at once.

I’d like to point out that apperance is no guide to ‘gender’. You shouldn’t make any assumptions at all. Making someone a ze just because they’re a man who wears makeup is kinda sexist, from an athorial perspective.

If you want more ‘non binary’ representation than slap some theys and xi’s onto people who don’t have anything visually signifying them as too different.

Though I’d prefer everyone just being they.

Keep in mind, this strip already has multiple characters who are men that dress in a femme way and still go by “he”. (Also, multiple characters who are women that dress in a butch way and go by “she.”)

There are also already nonbinary characters who go by “they” or “ze” without any special visual signifiers of nonbinary-ness…but apparently that makes it really easy for readers to forget that they’re nonbinary in the first place.

Just to clarify, that’s supposed to happen right? Because I didn’t know the nonbinary characters were such until it was pointed out.

Yeah, that’s normal. You can’t be sure about a character’s gender unless it explicitly comes up. (And even when it does, it’s a big cast and a long strip, I know readers are gonna forget things.)

All the genders/pronouns stated on the wiki are correct, in case you ever want to double-check.

Hey, y’know what’s really kinda sexist? Insisting that nonbinary people in fiction mustn’t actually subvert the gender binary in any visible way other than their choice of pronouns, merely because that might make it seem like the author thought all gender-nonconforming characters had to be nonbinary.

Y’know what’s not really sexist? Having all kinds of nonbinary characters in a story, thereby demonstrating that there’s no wrong way to be nonbinary (and that the author is perfectly well aware of this fact).

To be fair, they’re not wrong about the idea that gender-nonconforming men and women often have their genders mocked or erased for sexist reasons. Usually compounded with homophobic and/or transphobic reasons.

They just didn’t take into account that the strip already has (and respects) a variety of GNC and/or NB characters. So putting Sigvard in any one group isn’t going to leave another group totally un-represented.

I mean like Timothy/Camellia in BICP

Someone like Timothy/Camellia would still dress in different ways at different times depending on what their dysphoria was doing that day, and would be able to do so in public without any stigma or confusion. And they’d go by one set of pronouns throughout. (In Sønska, “ze” would be natural-sounding and non-dysphoria-inducing for Timothy.)

I just wanted to say, as part of a diverse community I really appreciate you creating a comic universe in which wearing pretty makeup is not something the characters feel must be a flamboyant thing done for attention. And being nonbinary is also a normal thing. So it will be cool to see whichever way you go.

It’s awesome to be able to hear the author’s thoughts on the intent and backstory behind the worldbuilding, one of the things I really love about this comic and how real it feels.

Aw, thanks =)

Most of the characters don’t wear makeup most of the time, because it’s annoying when I have to remember to draw it in every panel! But Sigvard’s appearance here is brief enough that it made a convenient spot for some lipstick.

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