They/Them – It Is Important

[Bare with me, it has to do with anime/manga in the end.]

When I was little people often asked me “and what is this little boy called” while they ruffled my light brown hair and smiled. I always hissed at them and answered “I’m not a boy, I’m a girl.” But, everytime I got the question I always wondered if it really was true, was I really a girl? I knew I wasn’t a boy, it was very clear to me but, was I a girl? I didn’t really feel that girly like my friends. I didn’t think like them. I didn’t play like them. I didn’t feel at home in their company. I didn’t understand them. I didn’t belong with the boys either though, and I didn’t really talk to them and play with them either. I felt like the odd one out always.

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Back then no one knew anything about non-binary genders or transgender or lgbt. All we knew was that fags got aids when they fucked each other and if they looked at you, you would most likely would die on the spot from aids too. Lesbians didn’t exist, only men could be homosexuals. It was filthy and if you were gay you should probably end up in hell. Not that any of the kids in my school were especially christian or anything but still. I can’t remember thinking anything about people having any sexual preferences really. I think my mindset has always been; love whoever you want to love, fuck who ever you want to fuck in whatever way you want to fuck them (yeah, that last part maybe not when I was a kid but once I got aware of the upsides of being an adult).

I have got an awful lot of time to think about things in my lifetime. For good and bad. Also, the discussions have gone high here and I live in a very liberal country and I dare say we are one of the most lgbt friendly countries in the world. That’s good and all but still, shit is happening here too. That’s not where I am going with this. They/them; here we have a pronoun for the singular they/them. It’s fairly new though but still, it exists and is acknowledged and used. I like that. Why? Because I think that I have finally figured out why I never belonged when I was little. I am a singular they/them. (Also, kids like me have something to identify as. I didn’t have that and it only made me confused.)

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I ordered Land of the Lustrous vol. 1 the other day (it’s on it’s way as we speak. Yay!) and the characters in that manga/anime are non-binary. That is very important. Very, very important. Because there are kids out there that are like me. Kids who doesn’t know. Who doesn’t feel like they belong anywhere and they can’t understand why. And anime/manga that notices that are much needed. Not everyone identifies as a boy or a girl. And it is important that those who translate manga/anime understands this and stops making their own assumptions and decisions on what gender a character has if it isn’t specified.

Here’s an interesting and important blog post about the subject. Read it, it is very enlightening.

[Feature] Land of the Lustrous, singular “they,” and the politics of subtitles

[…] Scanlan’s commentary includes a crucial fact about translation that fans often forget: context is key. A fan who can pick out the odd use of kare (a masculine third-person pronoun) in dialogue, thus declaring that clearly these characters must be male, lacks the grasp of a translator who’s devoted themselves to understanding not just the words of a language but the nuances of speech, implication, and situational meaning. This is not to say that professional translators are flawless, untouchable beings—far from it, as we’ll discuss later—but that there’s complex reasoning behind why certain translations are chosen. […]

39 thoughts on “They/Them – It Is Important

  1. Advance warning: This is going to be a serious comment from me: it’s still me, it’s not my mutated clone form or evil brother, but I think a post like this requires a serious comment from me (for a change…and yes I know I am still being funny here, but hey…turning funny mode of right now 😀)
    The problem in this entire world is that so many people seem to have these rituals where they need to see everything in black and white. Or in this case he/she. If anyone is different…well than they are not normal right? I mean it’s the logical conclusion right? Well…I say: F-that (yes I am swearing here). So what if you are different? It makes you unique you know? It means you are you! And I don’t care either way: I still like you, an awful lot! Gender or no gender, it doesn’t change for a single second who you are: Lina: a truly wonderful, kind, and obviously very funny person (who at night changes into her alter ego super villain mode). I do have to say one thing though: you say you feel like you don’t really belong anywhere. Well let me put it to you this way: I think pretty much everyone that follows you as of this moment will say this: you definitely belong in this beautiful community. And you are becoming an ever more important part of it.
    So no matter what…never ever forget that. I may be this crazy Dutch guy at times…but I do know stuff.
    And I am proud of you for writing a post like this. Every day…you are impressing me more, just wanted to say that. (And no this isn’t payback for making me blush in the weekend, it’s the total truth lol 😂😂) Well…this was a pretty long comment from me…can’t even see the beginning anymore, so sorry about that 🙈🙈
    But hey, what can I say: I just had to write a comment of this size to accompany this terrific post of yours. And I do hope you are going to totally write a review for that Land of the Lustrous Volume 1. Really looking forward to it already! 😊

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I’m not more unique than any one else on this planet. 😉 To belong is a very fleeting feeling. I don’t need to belong all the time but it is a nice feeling I enjoy for as long as it lasts. Because it always ends. It sounds sad perhaps but I am used to it. As for now I am happy here in everybodies livingrooms.

      If someone has a problem with what I have just written in this post then I will probably be sad and then angry for a short while and then shrug. I know the world is full of bigots and idiots and people who doesn’t understand. I know who I am and I understand myself (most of the times). I just wish people could perhaps just let people be people. I don’t see the problem in that. How is it anyone elses problem who I am? It’s not as if my gay friend tries to force anyone to become gay with him. Ugh, stupid is what it is.

      And stop being proud of me, I am not brave at all. It has nothing to do with being brave. This is how I am. One day I might write a suicidal post here. that’s not brave at all either and it won’t be a cry for help or anything, it’s just another post about something I have been pondering about (or just an impulse. This came up in my mind when I read the blog post I linked to and I felt the need to get it out there. There is no thinking process behind it at all. Just me sharing my thoughts.) I am not brave, I am , in fact, a coward. Well, I could probably say this to just about anyone though. 🤔

      Anyway, I am not blushing. You can fool me you octopus. 🐙

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Well…as someone who hasn’t really belonged anywhere either, I can only say that I understand what you mean. In my life at school I was bullied. I was always the outsider. Except for pretty much the very last two or three classes I was in at my school, I was finally accepted a bit. And it was a good feeling….but then that ended. Now at work, I finally feel like I belong. It may have taken a while, and it might even have taken me a lot of energy, but now, I finally feel as if I belong to something. And then there is this blogging community that I have grown fond of…a lot. I keep meeting the most interesting people that have turned into true friends. And I really enjoy that. I don’t think I ever want to lose this. And sure..it might end, eventually…nothing lasts forever..I know that…but still, it’s a nice feeling to have.

    That’s exactly what I meant…people are far too judgemental. Way too judgemental even. If people would at some point start to look more towards themselves, instead of constantly observing others, it might all become better some day. I like to think that it will, But I do know one thing: there are people that are accepting, and being supportive. And no matter what, accept someone because of who they are. Whenever that finally happens, I will be cheering. In the meantime I just try to avoid people that I don’t want in my life, that are a total waste of time. Lord knows I have had too many of those in my lifetime.

    And lastly: I am sorry…my apologies. In no way did I want you to feel uncomfortable in any way 😢 I said this not because I want to make you feel better, or am feeling sorry for you in some way. Because I don’t. I consider you someone who has truly become important, who has become a very dear (and somewhat crazy to accompany my own crazyness) friend, who I happen to really like. I wrote it..because I really mean it: I am proud of you. And I am not writing it as some kind of thank you for yesterday or the other days. I hope you believe that. It’s who I am..I can go a little bit overboard with compliments at times..but I only do this when I consider someone to be either a real good friend, or someone that I really admire. You just happen to be both 😊😊 So really..my apologies, I can be a very insecure guy at times 😢 But as I said, I did not any way wanted to make you feel bad.

    Now…I am going to slowly 🐌 away from here and talk to Asta….I will let him scream at me for over two hours to do some penance 🙈🙈

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Wait, what, stop!! STOP! You didn’t make me feel bad. Don’t go and draw your own conclusions mister. All I said was you shouldn’t call me brave. You really shouldn’t. Please, give me other compliments *give it to me…(even though it is hard to believe in I promise I will do my best. i am not used to people actually compliment me without ulterior motives)*. Being brave has more to do with passing a dog on the street (I used to be ridiculously afraid of dogs. Or climbing up a high ladder (being afraid of heights that is insanely hard to do). That’s stuff that makes me brave. Sharing stuff about myself isn’t brave. If I have decided to tell people something I do it. I don’t think twice about it and I rarely regret it (if I do I just delete the post). Maybe I think differently than other people. Maybe it has to do with all my three million years in therapy, the fact that I talk bout myself so openly without hesitation and shame. Idk, it is just like talking about juice. Or chocolate cake. So no, you didn’t make me feel bad. Stupid octopus!

      I get so sad everytime I hear about you being bullied in school. You are the last person to deserve that treatment. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Crap…you had to go and write a comment that almost makes me cry huh? (I’m talking about this one lol 😂😂). Well..I guess now you know what I meant about feeling insecure. I always think I might have said something wrong, and that’s when I jump to conclusions. I really hate that particular trait of me. It’s truly annoying and I wish I could switch it off somehow.
        But I don’t know how. So yeah..you have discovered my Kryptonite here 😊😊
        Seriously though: I will not say that anymore. I will however keep handing out other compliments: You are fun to be around with, you are a great writer, you are a truly terrific friend (that last one especially), but above all: I think you are just incredibly awesome. And no: I have no ulterior motive whatsoever (except for world domination..but hey you already knew that anyway 😀).
        But maybe I think you are brave because I am not used to talking about myself so very open (except for people that I somehow really seem to trust, like you..hey another compliment..what that makes five now??) So..in my eyes…that’s what I really admire. But okay…miss penguin..I am very glad I didn’t make you feel bad…because really I would rather feel bad myself, than make you feel bad 😊
        Thanks..that’s very sweet of you to say. It luckily is a thing of the past, but it will never go away completely I guess. It just passes away with time…which is okay. 😊
        Anyway..thank you…a lot ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I know what it’s like, I used to be afraid of saying the wrong things myself but now I just don’t give two fucks. I’m too old and to tired I think to care. I say what I think and feel. I do overstep my boundaries sometimes and I get to personal but that’s who I am, I can’t help it. I do make a lot of people uncomfortable. I bet I did with this post. But why should I have to adjust to others? Why can’t others adjust to me sometimes?

        Thank you for all compliments; past, present and future. 😎 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’m constantly at fear about saying things in the wrong way…but…I only get that way with people I like and don’t want to lose. So…yes this is another compliment you just got from me 😊
        But I haven’t yet had a single moment where you made me feel uncomfortable at all. And I don’t think you will ever do that either. I know that is a bold statement to make, but trust me when I say: that I really respect you 😊 (And I keep thinking that you are seriously awesome, and you have yet to prove otherwise lol). Seriously though: never change, and never adapt: be yourself. That’s what I always say as well. I am done adjusting, just because other people might like me more if I do. I am who I am, and if you don’t accept me the way I am…it’s your loss 😊 (I’m saying this in general of course).
        Haha..your welcome: and expect a lot of future compliments to be heading your way soon 😊😊

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Woop woop, someone respects me!! Well, I hope more than you do, it would be horrible otherwise but it is nice to know. I actually have a little respect for you to. A tiny bit. A millimeter or so. 😎 For a snail that is a huge amount, just for comparison. 🐌 Yeah, adjusting to be liked is never a good thing. I tried and in the end you are just gonna get even more disliked than you were before you started. So yeah, let’s keep doing what we do and be awesome at it.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Haha: duh…I respect the hell out of you. Never think otherwise. And yay (making a tiny snail jump here), I am respected a bit as well…whooooopppppeeeeeeee.🐌🎉🐌🎉
        I honestly did do that in the past. Change myself just so people might like me. At one point I stopped doing that by saying to myself…why on Earth am I doing this? It makes no sense whatsoever. And since then I have never looked back.
        Haha: well I already know that you are awesome so there is that: but that is a deal: for sure! 😀😀

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I wonder how high an octopus can jump?

        Right now on the Olympic s; Susanne Schulting from the Netherlands just took gold in that odd sport where you skate around a ring for minutes on end. Congrats! 🎉

        Liked by 2 people

      7. I’m going to do an experiment on that Octopus jumping. When I finalise the results I will forward them to you by post. Sometimes it’s good to know stuff like that. You never know when it might come in handy 😂😂
        Oooohh…that’s nice to know..but…as I said I don’t like sports. So lol….😂😂 But it’s of course cool for our country..guess I should be more of a patriot 🙈🙈🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I thought it was cool. It was your first win since like ever. Also, I just happened to sit by the tv and heard it by mistake while I wrote about the 🐙. It’s not as if I care about OG. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Haha..I guess it is kind of cool. I don’t follow the Olympics like at all. Everyone at work talks excitedly about it ..an I am just like: 🙄🙄
        Even stranger when I want to talk about a cool episode from an anime series, everyone looks at me funny and goes all like: 🙄🙄
        I live in a strange world..that sometimes doesn’t make sense….at all 😊😊
        Oh yeah…did you see the Twitter message for the collab post?? Is Monday all right for you?? (I’m looking forward to it…so I guess that’s why am like all jumping up and down here: which is great for my experiments in Octopus jumping 😊😊)

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I am so uninterested in the olympics as a hedgehog in a pile of ashes. I couldn’t care less. Those few minutes I’ve seen is only because I passed the TV at my parents house when my brother was at home at the same time as I was. I don’t like sports unless it is in 2D and have cute and hot 2D boys in it.

        I wish I had someone to talk to about anime but not even my family will listen, they just stare at me like I was some ufo from some parallell universe. well, I am used to it. An upside though is the fact that I can have all my naught BL in my new bookshelf since no one will ever go and look in them. 😎😂

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Haha, a hedgehog in a pile of ashes huh? lol 😂😂 Well yeah that’s the same with me too…I really don’t care about it either. And I guess for me it might only become interesting when it’s some kind of really exotic sport that doesn’t really exist or like you it is in 2d and features cute and hot girls in it lol 😂😂

        Ughh..that really sucks though you can’t talk to anyone about it. Well…you always have me: I’m always game to talk about anime, and I just have loads of anime I still need to watch. So cool: you know we could always set up an anime evening besides the collab post. That is if there are weeks that are slow, and we both feel like watching something that we both like, we could totally do that: that’s the cool thing with chat/twitter these days. Just a random thought 😊
        Lol…well yeah: I guess every downside has it’s upside to right? Lol. Those shelves looked awesome by the way. 😊
        Ps: cool to see comments from you today: I know that you said over on Twitter that you aren’t really doing that great,and as I said before not going to push, but..still cool that I am seeing you here today 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Sword fights! Now if that was in the olympics I would watch. Like life or death situations. Also, magic.

        Well, a chat now and then would be nice but you have a lot to do so I don’t know when to fit that into your busy schedule. 😎🙈

        I felt like reading a few comments and answer them was the level I could muster and I wanted to say hi. I haven’t really read anyone’s blogs but a few and my own I haven’t even opened. 😔

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Hi (this is me saying hi in my 10 minute break at work lol 😂).
        Really: no worries about opening blog posts or reading posts or even comments. You already know me well enough that I have noticed that you are having a bit of a rough time: all I can say is, take it easy: and don’t worry. I am here for you if you want to talk about it, but at the same time: I’m not going to push either. I will leave that up to you.
        Speaking of time: I always make time for my friends, no matter how busy I am : so that chat option is always there (where we can talk about our plans for total world domination, anime and other stuff that you want 😊).
        So: I am going to write a petition for the Olympics where I would like to see Gladitorial combat back as a main event….combined with Magic, and all kind of other epicness 😂😂
        Psst: hang in there okay? 👊 You know where to reach me 😊❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Why didn’t I know about this earlier? It would me a lot about how to address bloggers that I don’t what gender they identify themselves with!!!! Now I understand why people when talking about my blog use “they”… I really thought people thought that many people ran this blog (or at least they were not certain)… Thank you for educating me and I’mm be starting to use it a lot more from now on! 🙂
    Regarding the question that comes with this and you talked about yourself… I kind of understand (and don’t) what you said. I always identified me as a boy, but the truth is I always prefered to play with girls, I didn’t like to play football, I would rather dance for example… The thing is… Even being like this I ended up be friends of girls and boys at the same time… It’s strange I know, but I don’t know really why I neer felt out of place when I was little, even though I played more with girls at school my best friends were boys and well… I played a lot with boys when it came to video games or anything that didn’t envolve sports lolol
    But I did sometimes feel out of place, because it came to a time where I didn’t have that many close boy friends but I wouldn’t also participate in all my girl friends conversations, because in those times talking about periods and so on was too embarassing to talk about in fron of a guy. However, I ended up always considered myself a popular guy, BUT with a 3 or 4 really close friends, which made me always feel I belonged somewhere…
    I don’t really know what I’m trying to say with this to be honest… I think that it’s that I think I can understand maybe 10% of what you felt, but not interely… And that you are right and it’s important to address this kind of issues, it’s like the parents always buyng dolls for girls and cars for boys… Well I’m proud to say that my mom bought me a barbie when I was a kid because I wanted! As you said, it doesn’t matter how you see yourself, who you fuck or who you love, what matters is who you are as a person and that’s what I always try to live for. Hope this rambling has any kind of logic >.<

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It has and thank you for sharing. I understand what you mean. The toys thing is strangely enough a very sensitive thing among parents (and people over all it seems). Boys can’t play with dolls and girls can’t play with cars. I wonder when people will get that kids can play with whatever they want so long as it isn’t deadly or dangerous in any way. It’s stupid. My kids plays with whatever they want. Mostly video games and computer games right now. My 9 y/o daughter is totally into hacking her sims at the moment. Anyway, let kids be kids, don’t just decide for them what they should and shouldn’t be.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What a lovely post, this just makes me want to watch Land of the Lustrous even more. As you said it’s so very important for people of all ages, but especially youngsters going through difficult life changes to know that there are stories that they can relate to, even if it’s something as simple and obvious but uniquely important as a personal pronoun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! It is more important than people understand I think, what just one little word can do for you. My whole world changed when I understood that there actually was a word for who I was/am. He and she is the natural state and to be none is very confusing. If I am none then am I no one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everybody is no one until they find that special specific thing that makes them someone, for some it is easy for others it takes a lifetime. I am glad that you found something in this life to help properly define yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really liked this post! Society in general is all about being judgmental and classifying people into categories. I can’t stand that as a typical regular person, and I admire you for going through all of this and staying so strong. However, the world is changing for the better and manga/anime is always there to support us and make us feel wanted. It makes us feel respected and accepted for somewhere. Thank god for that.

    I can’t say I can directly relate to what you have undergone, but I know that it isn’t easy. Stay strong, I’ll always be there to hear you out and not judge you one little bit. Thanks for writing this post and (hopefully) reading this comment~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, the world is changing and it is nice to see the changes since I was little. I feel like somehow it is my responsibility to stay strong when I can for those who can’t. There are so many out there who still are lost and alone. I’m an adult who doesn’t really care what others think about me and I can stand firm in my beliefs. I know there are people who would laugh at me and tell me that there are no such things as non-binary but it can’t be helped. But, I know I would have felt like a crushed bug under someone’s shoe if I had been laughed at when I was a teenager and told that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to say that while I had similar feelings when I was younger, I’m still not quite sure about now.
    While that has nothing to do with what I actually DO want to say, I just think that this post was spectacular and I reslly appreciate you writing about this.
    Thanks Lina-san!

    Liked by 2 people

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