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The Old Hack

Story Monday February 4, 2019

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I have seen way too many real life examples of people assuming "if you aren't sufficiently homophobic, then you must yourself be homosexual" (or similar for whatever the people making the statement want you to hate).

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Just now, ijuin said:

I have seen way too many real life examples of people assuming "if you aren't sufficiently homophobic, then you must yourself be homosexual" (or similar for whatever the people making the statement want you to hate).

I'm wondering if this "friend" Dan's talking about was the inspiration for Tony, especially after the whole Ronin bit.

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Even though Sam now has some real magic, he is still nurturing a fantasy.

As soon as I can (finish high school / get my degree / save enough money / et cetera), I'm going to leave this town and go someplace where no one knows me.  Then I can be what ever I want to be and no one will suspect anything different.

It is a common fantasy among young people.  And more than a few older people also seem to cling to the dream.

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2 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

As soon as I can (finish high school / get my degree / save enough money / et cetera), I'm going to leave this town and go someplace where no one knows me.  Then I can be what ever I want to be and no one will suspect anything different.

 

It is a common fantasy among young people.  And more than a few older people also seem to cling to the dream.

For much of human history (and pre-history), it was possible to move somewhere far away and start over in a new place where nobody knew you. Prior to reliable delivery of mail you could even drop out of contact with those you left behind without it seeming strange. However, starting over was always a lot of work (and it didn't always work out), and many who did it to run away from their problems found they brought their problems with them.

In this day and age, you can move away from a physical location, but the internet will still be there wherever you go; to make a proper break you'd need to change your online habits/identity as well. More importantly, a lot of things these days require ID (including most legal jobs, getting a loan, driving a car, etc.) so if an official ID is going to reveal your secret there's really no way you can live an approximation of an "ordinary" middle class life while maintaining that secret. This is particularly relevant for Sam, as any government-issued IDs for him are likely to list him as "female".

(This got me wondering if the government in the EGS world would have rules for changing the documentation/IDs for people who are permanently transformed. However, the magic rules prior to Sister III didn't really have many options for permanent transformations, so it might not have came up enough to have any rules set up.)

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Just now, ChronosCat said:

(This got me wondering if the government in the EGS world would have rules for changing the documentation/IDs for people who are permanently transformed. However, the magic rules prior to Sister III didn't really have many options for permanent transformations, so it might not have came up enough to have any rules set up.)

In terms of magic making Sam permanently male there are 2 options, using a spell to permanently change him back to a female body again  (Tedd claimed he could make a wand that permanently changed default forms, it might already be possible a wand like that exists) or, someone with enough pull is able to get the proper documents changed for Sam. At this moment Grace knows someone that has that kind of influence, Edward, but the problem is he's also the one that would decide which option to take and one of the options would clear up the question of if he's transphobic or not.

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On 04/02/2019 at 6:13 PM, Scotty said:

In terms of magic making Sam permanently male there are 2 options, using a spell to permanently change him back to a female body again

That one strikes me as less than optimal for making him permanently present as male.

Also he is permanently male. His problem isn't his actual gender but the one society saddled him with at birth.

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

That one strikes me as less than optimal for making him permanently present as male.

Also he is permanently male. His problem isn't his actual gender but the one society saddled him with at birth.

I meant in terms of Sam keeping the male form long enough to be permanent could cause problems if his birth certificate insists he's female. So he'd either have to find a way to change his body back to female and continue doing what he had been doing with the disguises and such, or be able to get his birth certificate changed so that he can keep his body the way he wants.

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1 minute ago, Scotty said:

So he'd either have to find a way to change his body back to female and continue doing what he had been doing with the disguises and such

Like using the magic mark Box gave him, which he HAS been using uninterruptedly until now?

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

Like using the magic mark Box gave him, which he HAS been using uninterruptedly until now?

I'm not entirely sure if that particular spell would be reversible like Tedd's is, the note described it as a spell that lets him transform into his true self and back at will, but if his true self became permanent, would the spell become unusable? I find it difficult to think that trying to convince himself that his true self is female to reverse the change is something easily done. Tedd's spell works because being genderfluid means it's easier to change to a particular default form the more he wants to be in that form, but Sam wants nothing more than to be male.

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

EXCEPT THAT SAM SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT IT WAS. Good Lord. And you even refer to that page. Don't you think Sam would have noticed if it had stopped working and he suddenly had to use disguises to present as female now?

...I must not be thinking straight or something, I had it in my head that default form and true self were separate things and was treating Sam's spell like any other enchantment.  If it's not an enchantment, then Sam current form is already his default form until he uses the spell again. Maybe it was the part about it possibly becoming harder to use if the dam was removed that made me think that it was more limited than Tedd's spell. I'm sorry.

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1 minute ago, Scotty said:

...I must not be thinking straight or something, I had it in my head that default form and true self were separate things and was treating Sam's spell like any other enchantment.  If it's not an enchantment, then Sam current form is already his default form until he uses the spell again. Maybe it was the part about it possibly becoming harder to use if the dam was removed that made me think that it was more limited than Tedd's spell. I'm sorry.

Accepted. Thank you.

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If Grace was not gushing earlier, she would blow up the dam in a strip more or two.

Sam is a weird revelation overall.

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9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Also he is permanently male. His problem isn't his actual gender but the one society saddled him with at birth.

No, his problem is that society can't accept a discrepancy between gender-assigned-at-birth and actual gender.

Anyway, now that Magic is publicly acknowledged to exist, Sam MIGHT be able to get away with faking that he was permanently altered, in which case the rest of the world is forced to acknowledge his maleness. Some people still wouldn't like it, but Sam would get more sympathy and less harassment if people thought of him as a victim ("A crazy wizard/immortal changed me") rather than somebody who wanted to be changed. And Magic is still rare/mysterious enough that almost nobody would attempt to find a Magical means of making Sam female.

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Just now, ijuin said:

No, his problem is that society can't accept a discrepancy between gender-assigned-at-birth and actual gender.

That is too fine a distinction for my poor little brain. Still, I bow to your superior wisdom that you so generously hand down from on high.

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*gives Hack a sarcasm award*

But seriously, the problem isn't with Sam, it's with Society not accepting him (assuming that we are looking at the situation from a viewpoint other than "Transgender is objectively a bad thing that nobody should accept").

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:42 PM, ChronosCat said:
On 2/4/2019 at 1:51 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

As soon as I can (finish high school / get my degree / save enough money / et cetera), I'm going to leave this town and go someplace where no one knows me.  Then I can be what ever I want to be and no one will suspect anything different.

 

It is a common fantasy among young people.  And more than a few older people also seem to cling to the dream.

For much of human history (and pre-history), it was possible to move somewhere far away and start over in a new place where nobody knew you. Prior to reliable delivery of mail you could even drop out of contact with those you left behind without it seeming strange. However, starting over was always a lot of work (and it didn't always work out), and many who did it to run away from their problems found they brought their problems with them.

In this day and age, you can move away from a physical location, but the internet will still be there wherever you go; to make a proper break you'd need to change your online habits/identity as well. More importantly, a lot of things these days require ID (including most legal jobs, getting a loan, driving a car, etc.) so if an official ID is going to reveal your secret there's really no way you can live an approximation of an "ordinary" middle class life while maintaining that secret. This is particularly relevant for Sam, as any government-issued IDs for him are likely to list him as "female".

I'm not sure if changing your online habits is easier than changing the official IDs ... you can change your nick, but unless you stop reading comics you like, discussing things you care about and generally being yourself, people will still be able to recognize you by how you comment.

On 2/4/2019 at 5:42 PM, ChronosCat said:

(This got me wondering if the government in the EGS world would have rules for changing the documentation/IDs for people who are permanently transformed. However, the magic rules prior to Sister III didn't really have many options for permanent transformations, so it might not have came up enough to have any rules set up.)

Well, DGB did take care of Ellen's legality. Presumably, they could do something similar with someone permanently changed.

On 2/5/2019 at 9:59 PM, Scotty said:
On 2/5/2019 at 9:51 PM, The Old Hack said:

Like using the magic mark Box gave him, which he HAS been using uninterruptedly until now?

I'm not entirely sure if that particular spell would be reversible like Tedd's is, the note described it as a spell that lets him transform into his true self and back at will, but if his true self became permanent, would the spell become unusable?

I don't think the note was technical description of spell. I think the spell allows him to change sex and "true self" is just Pandora explaining it in way acknowledging his gender.

On 2/6/2019 at 7:09 AM, ijuin said:
On 2/5/2019 at 9:43 PM, The Old Hack said:

Also he is permanently male. His problem isn't his actual gender but the one society saddled him with at birth.

No, his problem is that society can't accept a discrepancy between gender-assigned-at-birth and actual gender.

Or, using language defined here, the discrepancy between biological sex at birth and gender. And changing biological sex with technically temporary transformation is going to make the language even more confusing ...

... however, yes ; the problem is in society, not with any labels.

On 2/6/2019 at 7:09 AM, ijuin said:

Anyway, now that Magic is publicly acknowledged to exist, Sam MIGHT be able to get away with faking that he was permanently altered, in which case the rest of the world is forced to acknowledge his maleness. Some people still wouldn't like it, but Sam would get more sympathy and less harassment if people thought of him as a victim ("A crazy wizard/immortal changed me") rather than somebody who wanted to be changed. And Magic is still rare/mysterious enough that almost nobody would attempt to find a Magical means of making Sam female.

... interesting idea. I'm not sure about noone attempting to find a magical means to "fix" that, but hopefully most people who will wouldn't have success in it.

...

... damn. With how magic works in EGS, it's totally possible a homophobe or transphobe will get spell which will "fix" people not conforming to his view of world ...

(It's also totally possible someone crazy will get spell changing people's sex. Like, Ellen was responsible so far and her spell probably only lasts month ... but there are definitely people who would permanently transform others at random.)

Hopefully, DGB handles cases like this.

 

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12 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
41 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Hopefully, DGB handles cases like this.

They need to get hold of that Wotch woman and get her behind bars. What she does is just plain reckless and abusive.

While true, she's also a force of "nature" and I don't think DGB would be powerful enough to hold her (you may be sending DGB after Death next). AND transformations done by her can't be undone by anyone else. Luckily, she's in different universe.

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1 minute ago, hkmaly said:

you may be sending DGB after Death next

Why would I do anything so moronic as that? Death is not being irresponsible. He is performing a necessary and even vital service. Or possibly a post-vital one.

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4 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
7 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

you may be sending DGB after Death next

Why would I do anything so moronic as that? Death is not being irresponsible. He is performing a necessary and even vital service. Or possibly a post-vital one.

Well, he's supposed to, but in some universes ... or there is the one so irresponsible he didn't give his replacement all necessary abilities ... anyway, I'm pretty sure no matter how irresponsible current Wotch is, the universe would be in problems without her.

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On 2/11/2019 at 4:04 PM, hkmaly said:

I'm not sure if changing your online habits is easier than changing the official IDs ... you can change your nick, but unless you stop reading comics you like, discussing things you care about and generally being yourself, people will still be able to recognize you by how you comment.

Yeah, you'd need to abandon any community online connected to your real name or which the people you're trying to distance yourself from are aware of. However, for most people I would expect the hardest part about this to be emotional, and someone who could handle the severing of emotional bonds with the people they know in person could probably also be able to handle this sacrifice. (Incidentally, I don't see why you'd have to stop reading the comics you like, so long as you don't discuss them online.)

On the other hand, changing your (government approved) ID is a practical challenge, and depending on what details you want to change it may not be possible to do it legally.

On 2/11/2019 at 4:04 PM, hkmaly said:

Well, DGB did take care of Ellen's legality. Presumably, they could do something similar with someone permanently changed.

They could, but without a friend in high places (like Mr. Verres), would they? ...I suppose if it was the easiest way to maintain the masquerade they might, but unless they have actual policies in place, I could also see some people falling through the cracks.

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7 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:
On 2/11/2019 at 10:04 PM, hkmaly said:

I'm not sure if changing your online habits is easier than changing the official IDs ... you can change your nick, but unless you stop reading comics you like, discussing things you care about and generally being yourself, people will still be able to recognize you by how you comment.

Yeah, you'd need to abandon any community online connected to your real name or which the people you're trying to distance yourself from are aware of. However, for most people I would expect the hardest part about this to be emotional, and someone who could handle the severing of emotional bonds with the people they know in person could probably also be able to handle this sacrifice.

The "people they know in person" might be the ones they want to distance from.

You need sort of luck to find people you can really bond with physically. It's much easier over internet, as internet is organized by interest. However, the disadvantage is that there may be just single place for given interest ...

15 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

(Incidentally, I don't see why you'd have to stop reading the comics you like, so long as you don't discuss them online.)

Obviously. But the temptation would be big. Especially if you are sort of person who was unable to be themselves in reality and get used to various roleplay online. And it's not like you only need to avoid single forum - the communities of similar comics tend to be connected, you can meet someone you know on different comics ...

16 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

On the other hand, changing your (government approved) ID is a practical challenge, and depending on what details you want to change it may not be possible to do it legally.

Legality may not be requirement.

There are all sort of refugees who have good reasons to not have any approved ID with them. Mixing with them wouldn't be easy, but it would certainly be a way how to get some new official ID without any kind of counterfeiting involved.

23 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:
On 2/11/2019 at 10:04 PM, hkmaly said:

Well, DGB did take care of Ellen's legality. Presumably, they could do something similar with someone permanently changed.

They could, but without a friend in high places (like Mr. Verres), would they? ...I suppose if it was the easiest way to maintain the masquerade they might, but unless they have actual policies in place, I could also see some people falling through the cracks.

Yes, that's definitely the question.

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