The question of Natani

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The question of Natani

#1 Post by stlsf4003 » Mon May 13, 2019 11:42 pm

(Mods, Feel free to wipe this from the record if you think this will cause an issue. This is just something I need to ask.)

As we all know, the subject of Natani's gender and how they view themselves has been a bit issue for quite some time now. There are those who view them as a male and those that view them as a female and there are those that see them as somewhere in the middle.

So it was with the coming of Natani's reference sheet that i thought it would put the issue to bed and for the most part it did. The body of a Woman and the mind of a man sounded good enough to me and quite a few others.

Thing is though is that now there are people coming out of the wood work saying that not only is Natani a trans but has ALWAYS been a trans even though i have found very little evidence to back that up in the comic.

Now let it be known that you'er free to refer to Nat any way you want, I don't have an issue with that. It's when you try and force you'er idea's into the canon and on to the fans is when i start to take issue with it!

I'm sorry but almost every recent pic or sketch that that has or features natani has had the comment section brake out into a gender fueled flame war that just distracts from from the picture.

So in conclusion, I just want y'all opinion on the issue.
All i ask in return is to keep it civil.

Edit: I changed the title to something a little less....troll baity
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Re: The issue of Natani

#2 Post by steelabjur » Mon May 13, 2019 11:58 pm

He didn't mind being a girl but liked being seen as a boy from a young age, it was only due to Zen's feelings for him as a protective brother filling in the blanks that made him think that the masculine self imagine was a creation of the link rather than actually originally being part of Natani from the beginning.

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Re: The issue of Natani

#3 Post by TheMouse » Tue May 14, 2019 12:50 am

Given that the term "trans" is pretty fuzzy and subjectively defined, trying to apply the term to Natani is going to also be subjective.

I do know a trans guy whose experience is very close to Natani's. In that respect, yes, Natani could be called trans. Natani experiences gender-based dysphoria, is physically female but presents both publicly and casually as male, and prefers Male pronouns and forms of address. These are all common trans things.

But trans is a self-inclusive thing. The only one who can say "yes, Natani is trans" is Tom. We can say "yes, Natani's experience is similar to trans experience" but that's not quite the same thing.
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Re: The issue of Natani

#4 Post by stlsf4003 » Tue May 14, 2019 1:03 am

TheMouse wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:50 am
Given that the term "trans" is pretty fuzzy and subjectively defined, trying to apply the term to Natani is going to also be subjective.

I do know a trans guy whose experience is very close to Natani's. In that respect, yes, Natani could be called trans. Natani experiences gender-based dysphoria, is physically female but presents both publicly and casually as male, and prefers Male pronouns and forms of address. These are all common trans things.

But trans is a self-inclusive thing. The only one who can say "yes, Natani is trans" is Tom. We can say "yes, Natani's experience is similar to trans experience" but that's not quite the same thing.
When you word it like that, i can get behind that.

The thing is that there seems to be a small minority of people out side of this forum who would say otherwise and would even go as far as trying to more or less put words in Tom's mouth about it.

On the subject as to how i see them. I more or less in the same boat as Steelabjur. They were born a woman who secretly liked to be seen as a man.
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Re: The issue of Natani

#5 Post by MuonNeutrino » Tue May 14, 2019 3:23 am

In my personal opinion, I don't read Youngtani's statement as saying that they were trans even before the link. To me, the key phrase is "I didn't mind being a girl". The statement definitely does suggest some sort of gender-ambiguous feelings, but I don't think they'd have said they were ok with being a girl if they had already been full-on trans at that point. Not that it's clear, of course - I can definitely see how you could interpret that as everything from being trans, to being genderfluid, to simply liking the idea of crossdressing and the freedoms it would bring. If you made me commit, I'd say that my guess would be that Natani originally was some form of genderfluid, became rather neurotically trans after the link, and is now working back towards a bit more well adjusted sort of trans. But I wouldn't assign a very high confidence to it; Natani is just confusing.
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Re: The issue of Natani

#6 Post by aitaituo » Tue May 14, 2019 4:27 am

I've always been deeply uncomfortable with attempts to relate Natani's situation to real life transgender people. Real life transgender do not become that way by means of black magic. It's a scientifically and psychologically explainable phenomenon. If people take any kind of comfort by identifying with a fictional character, that's just the power of fiction. And such a character does not need to more than vaguely resemble the reader for that to happen. She should not be taken as a role model.
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Re: The issue of Natani

#7 Post by Warrl » Wed May 15, 2019 9:03 pm

Part of the issue is that certain activists want to expand "transgender" to include everyone who isn't solidly cisgender - and then continue to use people like what Natani was before the Na'rella burned, as a typical example, and cite statistics based on that relatively small group of people as if they applied to the many more people included in the broader definition.

Makes as much sense as defining "high altitude" as 500 feet above sea level or higher, and then using Quito, Ecuador (elevation 9,350 feet) as a typical example.

But it has caused some confusion about what the term even means.

I'm not cisgender; I'm mildly genderfluid. I've had gender dysphoria - not frequently, never for long, and always (even the first time) knowing that it wouldn't last. I know what it feels like, and I can imagine (accuracy unspecified) what it must be like to live with it near-constantly. I won't insult and belittle the people who deal with that by trying to include myself among them.

Now, back to the subject: what was Youngtani?

There is no way to provide a definitive answer (unless our artist speaks up of course). We don't even have a way to provide a definitive answer for humans, except in fairly extreme cases. So anything anyone says on the subject is their opinion.

I'd go with fluid, fairly close to balanced. Whether the largest share is male, female, or in-between (and whether the in-between is agender, neutral, bi-gender, or a mix), I can't even guess: insufficient information. We have what she said in one brief conversation, and that with Natani in an attempt to straighten out Natani's psychology not to expose her own.

What I can say with confidence is that Youngtani is not solidly cisgender, transgender, or neutrois.

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Re: The question of Natani

#8 Post by Technic[Bot] » Thu May 16, 2019 1:02 am

Personally I have no idea. I am one of the least qualified persons you can find regarding gender and sexuality. Besides as some mentioned the fact that Natani is a fictional character living in a fictional world obfuscates a lot of the conversation.
But I do want to stress that everyone is free to interpret this character as they please. After all that is how art is supposed to work right?

Anyhow that does not mean I do not have an opinion, but it is less about what Natani is a more a theory about the comic and how it has evolved about the ages.
Personally I think the original Natani was left on the cutting room floor. Just a small disclaimer before: these are at most educated guesses or speculation and definitely only my humble opinion and NOT factual:
I have mentioned before that i believe the comic has "author's drift" meaning that since the comic has been running for so long some of the original ideas the author had do not make it to the "print" as his style, world-views philosophy etc, changes over time. I think that in the first drafts of the comics the Magi brothers were not even supposed to survive the encounter with Trace and company but for whatever reason, maybe Tom felt the party was too small, he decided to let them live.
In any case he needed some sort of "arc" for the character. It is my belief that at this point Nat was supposed to be a mildly misogynistic wolf Keidran that decided to hit on the wrong female sorceress. She then decided to curse him into a female form to teach him a lesson. He would eventually learn that being female did not made him inferior or weak and once he realized that the curse would break and he would be back to a man just more mature and wizened by the experience. At this time all those his awkward "romantic" interactions with Keith were just meant as comic relief,a joke at Keith expense, they would have ended just as close friends. However over the time something happened, Nat became the most popular character on the comic and his relationship with Keith became more and more interesting with each passing strip, personally I do think they make a really good and cute couple, and most of the readers and i think even Tom agreed.
Ok now Tom was left in a very complicated situation: If he decided to make Nat go female, that could be interpreted as that any gender issue is a problem that can and should be fixed specially given Nat backstory with black magic. That is a rather hostile idea towards real life trans people or anyone that can identify with this character so that is not a good idea. However there is also a people who believe that Natani is just a woman that got really broken thanks to black magic and that his story arc should include him becoming a normal female wolf, so turning Nat fully male is a no go too.
As you said this has caused more than one "gender fueled flame war". Both in the patreon pages, deviant art comments and apparently in this forum in the past.
For what I gather I am seeing Tom being more subtle about this. On whatever the comic drip feed us we have seen Nat was never "conventionally feminine" and that the black magic coma/plot-device/thing did not changed what he fundamentally was, just made him really uncomfortable with his body and himself. Thus allowing Nat to stay as he is now but allowing him to grow as a character.
Again this is just speculation but i do think it is an interesting topic.

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Re: The question of Natani

#9 Post by Warrl » Sat May 18, 2019 12:46 am

And I see nothing notably implausible in that speculation.

(No comment on whether it's correct or not.)

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Re: The question of Natani

#10 Post by Neptune » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:11 pm

At least how I infer the "Natani question" is that what her subconscious/younger self/independent part of her brain/whatever, when it said that it "liked being seen as a boy," is not clearly set in stone. It could have multiple meanings, not all of which are "I'm trans" or "I'm a tomboy." For example, maybe she liked reaping the benefits of being an honorary male in a misogynist society, she thought her life improved, or she thought it meant she was seen as a competent individual. The only catalyst for her gender crisis is because of a large section of her mind being a carbon copy from Zen's.
Honestly, if the comic ends up going through the transgay route, then the only thing that's really going to be interesting to me is Clovis, or if the comic improves over time.
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Re: The question of Natani

#11 Post by Bec » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:45 pm

Actual transgender guy here! Natani's identity very much strikes me as trans. (Take a shot every time I say that word, by the way.)

Firstly, adult/current Natani is, in my eyes, 100% a transgender man. While I'm a firm believer in stories being entirely up to the interpretation of the readers (I won't go around arguing with fans who have differing opinions), I feel like this is pretty much canonical. He meets the dictionary definition of transgender, being "denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex." On Natani's ref sheet (https://www.deviantart.com/twokinds/art ... -792169381), gender and sex are listed separately, and do not match. He is also physically male in the mindscape, before and after his re-awakening with Youngtani, and still wants to be seen as male even when others know his secret. Natani expresses discomfort with how the others treated him after they found out, too.
The fact that, after coming to terms with his body and relationship with Keith, Natani still feels like and wants to be seen as male, pretty much cements him as a transgender man, even if the journey there was more fantastical than real life scenarios.
As for Youngtani, there are transgender people who lack dysphoria. For those people, they often "don't mind" being seen as their birth sex while living as it, but are happier living as the gender they choose. That pretty much matches up with what Youngtani says about herself-and I do say "her" since that's how she's described in-comic. Some transgender people do view their past selves as a different gender, while others believe they've always truly been trans. Natani seems to be the former case, acknowledging his past self as a girl who wanted to be seen as a guy.

I don't think that Tom will ever bring a verdict on this. He could lose fans if he actually makes a "word of god" statement. From the text, though, this is what I've parsed.
If anyone has something else to say I'll be happy to read it! I like to hear others' opinions.

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Re: The question of Natani

#12 Post by stlsf4003 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:23 pm

Bec wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:45 pm
Actual transgender guy here! Natani's identity very much strikes me as trans. (Take a shot every time I say that word, by the way.)

Firstly, adult/current Natani is, in my eyes, 100% a transgender man. While I'm a firm believer in stories being entirely up to the interpretation of the readers (I won't go around arguing with fans who have differing opinions), I feel like this is pretty much canonical. He meets the dictionary definition of transgender, being "denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex." On Natani's ref sheet (https://www.deviantart.com/twokinds/art ... -792169381), gender and sex are listed separately, and do not match. He is also physically male in the mindscape, before and after his re-awakening with Youngtani, and still wants to be seen as male even when others know his secret. Natani expresses discomfort with how the others treated him after they found out, too.
The fact that, after coming to terms with his body and relationship with Keith, Natani still feels like and wants to be seen as male, pretty much cements him as a transgender man, even if the journey there was more fantastical than real life scenarios.
As for Youngtani, there are transgender people who lack dysphoria. For those people, they often "don't mind" being seen as their birth sex while living as it, but are happier living as the gender they choose. That pretty much matches up with what Youngtani says about herself-and I do say "her" since that's how she's described in-comic. Some transgender people do view their past selves as a different gender, while others believe they've always truly been trans. Natani seems to be the former case, acknowledging his past self as a girl who wanted to be seen as a guy.

I don't think that Tom will ever bring a verdict on this. He could lose fans if he actually makes a "word of god" statement. From the text, though, this is what I've parsed.
If anyone has something else to say I'll be happy to read it! I like to hear others' opinions.
Like i've said you'er free to view them as you see fit.

Also, i'ed like to mention that we've manged to have gone 10 post's without some one jumping in and derailing the conversation as has happened on Toms DA and Patreon page's. All i can say is that ya'll how to keep this civil on such a hot issue!

Keep it UP :)
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Re: The question of Natani

#13 Post by steelabjur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:03 am

stlsf4003 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:23 pm
Like i've said you'er free to view them as you see fit.

Also, i'ed like to mention that we've manged to have gone 10 post's without some one jumping in and derailing the conversation as has happened on Toms DA and Patreon page's. All i can say is that ya'll how to keep this civil on such a hot issue!

Keep it UP :)
I've seen some objectionable posts here in the past, but unlike DA and Patreon, these forums are more of a closed and controllable community and the mods here are good about nipping trouble in the bud when it pops up.

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Re: The question of Natani

#14 Post by Technic[Bot] » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:19 am

Bec wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:45 pm
-snip-

I don't think that Tom will ever bring a verdict on this. He could lose fans if he actually makes a "word of god" statement. From the text, though, this is what I've parsed.
If anyone has something else to say I'll be happy to read it! I like to hear others' opinions.
Yeah pretty much if he says anything about this he is bound to make a large portion of his fanbase angry, no matter what he actually says. So staying a bit vague is a good idea specially since this type of discussion usually devolve into really uncivil shouting matches about politics.
steelabjur wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:03 am
I've seen some objectionable posts here in the past, but unlike DA and Patreon, these forums are more of a closed and controllable community and the mods here are good about nipping trouble in the bud when it pops up.
Mods here are awesome!
But we are also more or less 20 persons active at best so it is also easier to moderate.
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Re: The question of Natani

#15 Post by Qwe304 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:39 pm

I think that labeling natani as trans is kinda offensive to actual trans people, you have a female fictional character with legitimate brain damage, masquerading as a male, putting natani in the same group as trans people is wrong.
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