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gamesfromthewildwood @wildwoodsgames
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Speaking as a non-binary person, the way D&D touched on it in the Players Handbook was *far* from glorious.

For a single sentence of non-binary representation, it is almost impressive how many different distinct issues I have with how it was handled.


(Relevant sentence begins: “The elf god Corellon Larethian)

1. Let’s be real here: “is often seen as” doesn’t really count as representation. It’s weak worldbuilding, and poor handling. Either you’re committed to representing marginalised people or you aren’t. Pick one.

2. “Androgynous” is an aesthetic and style of presentation, not an identity.

3. “Hermaphroditic” is ...bad, actually. It’s a slur, a medicalising term, and the passage makes a common cis error and conflates being intersex & being non-binary. They’re not the same damn thing.

4. Isn’t it interesting how the sentence is non-intuitively structured to use Corellon’s name in place of a pronoun, the second time. “Made in their image” is just as grammatically correct, and writing the sentence so awkwardly to avoid singular they again feels weak.

5. This entire take is just super medicalising and characterised by an obsession with trans bodies? Emphasis lies on presentation, genitals, and being “made in Corellon’s image” which clearly implies bodily configuration.

6. The next sentence continues this, as does the premise of shapeshifting “genderfluid” elves “blessed by Corellon” that Jeremy refers to in his tweet.

Being non-binary (and/or trans) isn’t defined by our bodies, our presentation, or our genitals. This is Gender 101 stuff.

7. Corellon being non-binary, if y’all were committed to that, shouldn’t have been a footnote in the section on *checks the players handbook* “Sex” (yikes!). It should have been in every fucking Forgotten Realms adventure where they were mentioned from day 1 to Mad Mage.

8. Is it so hard for y’all to just say “non-binary” rather than talking around it and gesturing at it?

9. Assuming Jeremy means “gloriously genderfluid” above, I’ll observe that nothing in the PH passage actually says anything about Corellon’s gender (or identity) at all

10. Read in the context of “binary notions of sex and gender” in the line before, a straight reading of this passage feels like clumsy, tone-deaf intersex representation, not non-binary.

11. Which, again, being non-binary and being intersex aren’t the same thing.

12. So no, Corellon isn’t non-binary, or gloriously genderfluid. Not in the text, anyway.

@Wizards_DnD needed non-binary sensitivity readers, because this passage reflects the ways that even well-meaning cis people medicalise our bodies and reduce us to aesthetics.

Well this has exploded?

To everyone engaging supportively, you’re all lovely.

To everyone suggesting (well-meant I’m sure) that I volunteer to help fix it: pay your sensitivity readers

You can buy my games at & support me at…
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