beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Nonbinary F&SF

Today’s frustration: trying to find clothes or pictures for my nonbinary fantasy characters.

It’s really difficult to persuade viewers a character is nonbinary. They gender robots. Robots with no humanoid features. They gender disembodied AI. I have seen a character represented as a floating bald blue neutral head with a male name and a female voice actor, and they get gendered female, somehow. I’m beginning to think it is impossible to have a visual actually read as gender neutral.

So if I want to have am entire society read as actually nonbinary? What to do?

I’m thinking tunics over leggings for everyone, in varying thicknesses for weather. Or to just call everything robes. Or kilts, whoever is wearing it, you get all sorts wearing kilts. Maybe vary hem length with age? Maybe have trousers but for cavalry?

But then there’s colors and patterns. Avoid pink altogether? Put flowers on someone with a beard and leave the reader to draw conclusions? I miss all the clothing possibilities masculinity gave up, the lace and brocade and embroidery. T shirt patterns just aren’t the same. Ornamentation coding for class not gender.

The trouble with gender neutral sf is despite next gen truing with the background characters it always ends up with everybody in trousers instead of men in skirts. It’s so boring. And ridiculous, you couldn’t go three centuries together and keep the gender coding that close to same.

So I go looking for something nonbinary to dress my characters in and get really frustrated when he options aren’t optional.

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