Since its original release sixteen years ago, The Sims has been a fairly progressive franchise. But now, in its Sims 4 iteration, the game may be surpassing the real world.
In a free update released yesterday, the Sims 4 now allows for customization of gender. Even though Sims 3 provided a huge improvement in customizable body type, players were still limited to Male and Female for gender. This dictated the types of clothing the character could wear, their ability to produce children biologically, and, obviously, the pronouns that referred to them. That limit continued into Sims 4 – BUT NO LONGER!
When eight-year-old David Piper was asked to write about what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wrote about wanting to be a girl. Jump forward five and half years and David’s nickname with the class bully is still “Freak Show” and only his two closest friends know that his wish from all of those years ago still rings true. David just doesn’t know how to tell his parents.
Enter Leo Denton, a transfer to Eden Park School from the far side of town, with rumors that he was kicked out of his last school for doing something violent. An unlikely friendship develops between Leo and David after Leo stands up for the bullied David. But Leo has his own secrets, and most people don’t know the truth about why he left Cloverdale School. As Leo and David both reckon with their own secrets, they learn more about themselves and what their own definition of “normal” might be.
The Daily Geekette had a huge presence at this year’s Book Expo America and Book Con. When all was said and done, we did end up picking up a few of the same books, but there was one book almost all of us picked up and read, and that’s George.
George, penned by Alex Gino, tells the story of a 4th grade girl “who the world sees as a boy named George.” Her grade is putting on a play of Charlotte’s Web, and Melissa (her preferred name) believes that if she can play Charlotte on the stage, it will help everyone see her as a girl.
I, personally, felt very strongly about George, and would love to share my thoughts with all our wonderful readers.
While there has been an increase in past years of movies and television shows featuring gay teens and adults, there has certainly been a lack of representation regarding transgender people. However, a new trailer featuring a transgender teenager named Ray shows a new perspective on the family of a queer individual. Instead of being judged by a conservative family, the way most media tends to show this type of scenario, he has his mother and therapist on his side. Elle Fanning, who will be playing Ray, shows the ups and downs of what it’s like to be a young trans person in today’s society. Ray’s grandmother plays the part of a kind woman who is just a product of her generation and is having a hard time understanding Ray’s gender identity. She utters the phrase many trans men have heard from their own family and friends: “Why can’t she just be a lesbian?” The mother surprises us by stating, “Because she’s not a lesbian, she’s a boy.” It appears that Ray will be going through the process of attempting to receive hormone treatments against the approval of his absent father. It is nice to see this topic normalized and see a film that focuses more on family in general than the “politics” of being transgender. I look forward to this hopefully eye-opening portrayal of an increasingly important subject.
Note: The word “queer” will be used throughout this article as an all-encompassing term for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Coming out is one of the most difficult things a person can do. It takes immense courage and strength to make yourself vulnerable to all sorts of judgement, especially since it’s hard to know what to expect as a reaction. I am sure when one is in the public eye, it must be even harder to come out since being vulnerable to an audience of millions is probably as nerve-wracking as can be. However, it is essential that celebrities and public figures continue to be themselves and talk openly about their sexualities and genders so that society can continue to progress. If queer people see that their role models are brave enough to come out, it may encourage them to do the same. Also, many people struggle with their sexualities/gender identities and seeing that someone they look up to is just like them may help them to accept themselves. It is crucial that LGBTQ+ people are discussed in the media so that everyone can see that they are no different from anyone else. Seeing famous queer people begins to remove the stigma that LGBTQ+ individuals are “weird,” strange,” or “abnormal” in some way.
Welcome to the world Caitlyn Jenner. After living 65 years known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner was introduced on Vanity Fair’s recently released July cover. She has been very open about her transition, sharing her story with Diane Sawyer and a special two-part episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Now with the preview of Vanity Fair, she has revealed her name and taken a photo for the first time as Caitlyn.
I don’t remember the last time I made an effort to attend a 10:00am panel at Anime Boston. I was probably still in high school and trying to catch the second screening of videos for the AMV contest. This year, however, I was a woman with a mission: to attend my cousin’s panel on Gender Identity in Convention Culture. The panel was a big hit last year. The room filled up about twenty minutes before it started, and I was one of the fifty-plus people who were turned away because the room was at capacity.
This year, however, the GICC panel got upgraded to the Grand Ballroom in the Sheraton, so there was plenty of room for everybody – transgender, cisgender, and non-binary!
In January, an article was posted on the Magic: The Gathering website entitled, “The Truth of Names.” It was a story about a young leader named Alesha, and it was a great example, right off the bat, of Wizards of the Coast including cool, strong, interesting women in M:tG. But then, as I continued reading, I realized this wasn’t just a great story about a leading female character – it was a story about a transgender character:
May 19th, 2009. It was a few months into the first term of President Barack Obama, and just after I had completed my first year of college that I got hooked on a certain musical TV show. Being home from college, I’d divided my attention that evening between the American Idol finale and surfing the web. I don’t remember a single thing about American Idol from that night. All I remember is leaving the TV on and getting sucked into the world of Glee.
Yes, I’m Glee trash. I’ve never been ashamed of that. I’ve been ashamed of fandom behavior and of the writers, but never of myself for loving that show. I’ve been a fangirl all my life, but Glee was a big thing for me. I made online friends because of it, ones I’m still in contact with! It inspired me to flex my ability as a writer when I fell in love with the character Tina Cohen-Chang. It’s the fandom that got me on Tumblr and desensitized me to ship wars. It helped me recognize the importance of representation in the media.
I did walk away from Glee for a while. Mostly it was timing due to my last year in undergrad and writing an honors thesis. Through tumblr I kept abreast of some of the happenings, and honestly, a lot of what I heard made me glad I wasn’t actively watching. But I came back to it, and I’m determined to see it through to the end. When Glee was great, it was GREAT. And when it was bad, it was… *shudder*
So, in honor of the series finale that airs this Friday March 20th, I’d like to shine the spotlight on 6 good times of Glee.
Remember how, in the general scope of cinema, Benedict Cumberbatch was relatively unknown, and then suddenly HE WAS EVERYWHERE? It looks like a similar ascension is on the horizon for Eddie Redmayne. Fresh off his Oscar win for The Theory of Everything, and probably gaining a cult following for his over-the-top villain in Jupiter Ascending, the next role on Redmayne’s list is already generating buzz.
Last week on Twitter we were granted a glamorous glimpse at Eddie as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Originally a book inspired by true events, the film is slated for a November 27th release date. But much of the buzz surrounding the film is the controversy of a cisgender male portraying a transgender woman.