October 26, 2014 by bck1402
Came across a new word a few days back and there was a thought of putting some article up in relation to it. It raised some thoughts in relation to The Journal and there was also this feeling that many I was harping on it too much. In any case, here we are a few days later with those thoughts, IF i can still get them somewhat organised in my head.
As you can see from the picture to the right, the word of that day was “Intersexual.” Click on the picture to link through to the Facebook gallery and find more similar images – and thoughts – on the subject. Well, not specifically on the subject of interest (it’s apparently been removed – I had the link prepared, but when I tested it, the image was gone), but on acceptance of personal choices and body issues, lifestyle and more. I feel it’s very important work there and it deserves some sharing around.
It also took a while to really comprehend what exactly is an intersex person, because I thought that such people were called transsexuals. Apparently, I was wrong, and it is the wrong definition for such people. I do remember an episode of House that dealt with this issue too, but I don’t remember the term coming up. Additionally, I posed the question to differentiate the two on the Facebook page as well, and got some insightful answers (and all gone now… maybe it’ll be back later). Alternatively, go here and browse the gallery.
I also did a web search and found a Yahoo answers page. It provided quite a long answer dealing with the various mixed-gender/gender identity issues, but the points I picked up were, “Transsexuals were born into one gender but identify psychologically and emotionally as the other.” And, “Intersexed people were born exhibiting some combination of both male and female genitalia.”
And how did all this relate to The Syndi-Jean Journal?
One character – Helen.
There wasn’t really any intention to deal with gender issues with this character and it wasn’t aimed to be a gimmick character either. It was just another person for Jeannie to interact with on a regular basis, and to present the idea that The Facility would take anyone who is promising enough to create a future world or environment for humankind. I didn’t want something that came across as a token character that fit into a gay/lesbian mould either. Sincerest apologies if anyone is being offended here.
I would put Jeannie as straight, while her mother might be considered bi-sexual. There was a conscious decision while writing the Journal that Jeannie didn’t intend to get into any kind of relationship while at The Facility (spoilers?), her recent past being a major factor in that decision. It’s also mentioned quite a bit that she’s a “Jeans and T” girl, who’s not one for dresses; she dresses for comfort especially given her activities.
In contrast to that was Helen, an attractive and elegant lady who occasionally harps on Jeannie for not being more lady-like when such situations demand it, like going on a date. The oddity of the matter is Helen actually is a guy called Hank, and this person is equally comfortable as either despite preferring being Helen on a daily basis. Following the definitions on that Yahoo Answer page, that would make Hank a Cross-dresser or perhaps transsexual. The how and why Hank became Helen is never addressed, although Helen is often accepted and welcomed as part of the group that Jeannie hangs out with. The argument of how girls are often accepted in clothes contrary to their gender and guys are not is brought up only once, with no debate to resolve the issue.
The first time that Jeannie actually meets Hank is when she takes Helen into the dreamworld. Instead of taking the opportunity of being an actual woman within a fantasy world of the mind, Hank appears in the more masculine form of a cowboy! Helen/Hank’s gender preferential or sexual orientation is also never addressed, because for Jeannie, it’s never an issue. It’s not a body swap, or gender confusion, or anything. I never even thought of it as being a cross-dressing issue.
I will point out that one of the influences / inspiration for Helen, as a character, is that of Aoi Futaba in the You’re Under Arrest anime and manga series, depicted as an elegant lady police officer who is actually a man, but commonly accepted as one of the girls and far more feminine than co-lead character Natsumi. You can check out the first episode here or Aoi’s entrance into the series here.
I have heard of some cosplayers who live and breathe their lifestyle, being in costume day in and day out. Don’t know if its actually true tho. It’s not like I’m putting Helen into that category either, because Helen is Helen. The acceptance of it is the key to it all, even when Hank puts in an appearance. The same applies to the messages Carol Rossetti is putting out there. We simply have to accept people for who they are, and that includes ourselves.
Warts and all.