Clothes Shopping

Going out and buying clothes is something that you always have a hard time with. You always feel weird, like the eyes of the world are all drawn upon you. All you want is to be able to look at dresses and women’s fashions without feeling like you’re being judged for being a freak, a weirdo, or a sexual deviant.

It’s even worse when you’re buying clothes with your mom.

She doesn’t know about your recent “change.” You’re still her little boy. You’ve been doing your best to hide this from her. You can lose friends, you can lose partners, but you just can’t lose your mom. You don’t want to lose your mom. Sure, she always says, “there’s nothing wrong with that,” but there’s a big difference between saying it, and actually meaning it, especially when it’s your kid that’s in question. And that is not a chance that you are willing to take.

So now you’re at a Major American Clothing Retailer. Remember to deepen your voice and act “manly!”

Immediately, your ears are assaulted by the terrible music playing over the PA system. What a load of bullshit.

On instinct, you turn right to head towards the Women’s section. Before you can go too far, though, you stop yourself. “Shit, that’s right, my mom is here!” Begrudgingly, you make your way over to the, ugh, Men’s department.

It’s a parade of intentionally wrecked denim and douchey v-necks and polos. You don’t want to wear this stuff. It’s trash. You look at the price tags, and amend your statement: it’s expensive trash.

“James! What do you think of this?” You hate how she keeps calling you that. You hate that you can’t just sit her down and tell her that you aren’t her son, but her daughter. But you can’t. You’re too afraid. You feel like a coward.

“Yeah mom?”

“Oh, this looks really nice! And these jeans would go really nice with that, too!”

A bundle of shit is heaped upon you. You mutter out what was supposed to be, “fine,” but it instead sounds like, “fffhhhffff.” You don’t feel like speaking. Your throat is drying up. The only thing left now is to go into the fitting room and try them on. Come on, make your mother happy!

The first thing you see is your own reflection in a full length mirror. You just shaved before coming here, but you can still see every individual strand of facial hair on your face. You JUST fucking shaved, and this bullshit is all over your face. They’re taunting you with their very existence. You hate it. You feel gross. You feel humiliated. You feel like you’ve been betrayed by your own body. Fuck this.

You want to cry, but you can’t, because you’re in public.

The clothes your mom suggested all fit. Perfectly, as a matter of fact. But they only fit on the outside. You know this is wrong, and you wish everyone else knew, too.

You exit the fitting room, and hand the clothes back to your mom. “This will do,” you say, thinking of nothing but leaving immediately. A cashier rings up your purchases, and your mom hands you a gift card to cover most of the cost. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the clothes you really want. Cute sweaters, cool dresses. You just want to look, and feel, feminine for once in your life.

A new pair of jeans and a cashmere sweater are now yours. Why aren’t you happy?

The Industry Does Not Condone Harassment

At the 2015 Game Developers Conference, speeches were made, ideas were shared, Tim Schafer played with a puppet. It was all done to let us, the people, know that the game industry was tired of the disgusting black eye that is Gamergate. They let us know that they do not condone the harassment of the women and minorities in the field, and especially not the harassment that has been happening for the last seven months.


“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. Nintendo just gave a featured role in an upcoming game to Adam Baldwin, the man who gave Gamergate its name, and whose actions only served to drastically increase the harassment and stalking of Zoe Quinn and several others.


“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. Mark Kern just accused someone of being “anti-freedom” when they mentioned that Gamergate was targeting their children.

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“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. EA’s Director of Communications threw a temper tantrum over the Gamergate Auto Blocker, comparing it to both The Scarlet Letter and the fight over the Gaza Strip. And I’d like to take a brief aside to talk about those comparisons. First, The Scarlet Letter? That just seems like an odd comparison to make. Can you think of anyone in games, particularly a woman, who has been “marked,” so to speak, due to (false accusations of) infidelity? Can you think of a game designer/programmer/writer who has had her life ruined and her privacy turned into a terrifying sideshow after being labeled a whore? Like, maybe they became known for a game about dealing with a mental disorder? Yeah, I can’t either. Which is good, because if such a person did exist, that “Scarlet Letter” line would be extremely fucking offensive. Second, the Gaza Strip line. Now, I’ve never been to Israel or Palestine, so I could be 100% wrong about this, but something tells me that wall was not built because Israelis were being inundated with gore pics, child pornography, and/or Zoe Quinn’s stolen nudes. Again, though, I could be wrong!


“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. PAX East hired a Gamergate supporter to work security at their event. The “Enforcer,” as he was called, proceeded to stalk and take photos of Brianna Wu, a Gamergate target.

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“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. Game developers and publishers are still willing to do business with TotalBiscuit after siccing his thousands of followers on people who criticize him, referring to Leigh Alexander as an alcoholic, and contacting the employers of people who hurt his feelings.


“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us. They still blame Kotaku and Polygon for that Law and Order episode, and not themselves or the audience they have cultivated lo these many years.


“The Industry does not condone harassment” they told us.

The Industry is full of shit.

It’s A Party!

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I put together a level for Mega Man Powered Up. You can grab it here. It is compatible with both original hardware and emulators, so long as you are playing the US version of the game.

It’s mostly a challenging, but not a “fuck this,” obstacle course.

I’ll put up a version for the MMPU servers at a later time.

Creation suites, and how I do gender expression in games

I’m sitting down in front of my tv, fiddling around with a complicated series of sliders and RGB color palettes. Every brush my thumb makes causes a woman’s facial features to bend and warp in unnatural ways. I’ve been doing this for nearly twenty minutes now. Every now and again, I stop to see how things are looking. “Still not right,” I say, and go right back to work. She has to look just right.

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This happens in every game. At least, every game that lets me create my own protagonist. Most folks are content to either:

  1. Make small alterations, and just go with the default look the game in question may give you.
  2. Make some fucked up, blue skinned monstrosity with a goofy name that kills all of the NPCs and picks all of the evil dialogue options.
  3. The same as number 2, only it’s some type of anime character, celebrity, or other public figure.

I fit into number 4: I’m trying to make my ideal “look.” A woman that has bears some resemblance to what I would like to become one day, as opposed to the gungy dude I look like now. Like a digital funhouse mirror giving me a look into a hopeful future.

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It’s been long enough, I think this is as good as it will get. Now she just needs a name. What will I go with this time? I used to just sit there and think of a name. Sometimes, it would take longer to type out a name than to make the actual character. It’s much easier now; all I have to do is put in my own name. This character isn’t just want I to be, it is me now. This story, which will probably be really hokey and badly written, is mine now as well.

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This is not a new development. I’ve been making female characters in games forever. The only exceptions being if it was a game I was playing for the internet, because, lol, my self-insert getting into wacky adventures wasn’t something I felt I could pass up.

And when I made my character a woman, there was always some terrible excuse I would give myself. “The best armor in Demon’s Souls is female only!” “Fallout 3 is much easier if you make a woman with the Black Widow perk!” “The creepy perverts who designed these graphics obviously spent more time making the women parts look better than the boring man parts!” “Skate 2 gives you an achievement for having a character change gender!” “Female Shepard has a better actor than Male Shepard!” I just refused to accept the fact that the woman I was putting together was my subconscious telling me, “this should be you!”

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I type in my name, and hover the cursor over the “CONFIRM” option for a bit, taking a quick once over of my character. My weapons and skill classes are already decided. Men get knives, for backstabbing, and magic, which they use from a distance. Women are brave and courageous, in your face with big swords and hammers for smacking down monsters with. I had no idea why I had such strict differences in the genders for so long. It makes sense now. I want to be a badass woman in the real world, but for the time being, I have to settle for video games.

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Girl Power

I’ve been out as a woman for almost two months, so I thought I would put together another music compilation of all female vocalists. And it’s all moody as hell, too. That part of me didn’t change.

Lack of Inspiration

It’s been really difficult to sit down and make things lately. Making something really good, I mean. There’s that WWE dating sim I’ve been doing as a joke, but I’ve been wanting to sit down and create something of worth for a little while. But it’s been hard, and it’s honestly been bad enough to start making me rethink a lot about my creative abilities and how I process them.

The problem is that I’ve been very, very angry lately. It’s been some time since I could really think of a day where I was not reminded of how much I hate people and hate things. Family problems. Gender problems. Societal problems. At least one trans person has been killed every week since 2015 began, and there’s always a chance I could be next. Gamergate is still happening, and I know all I have to do is say the wrong thing or get on the wrong person’s bad side and suddenly my address is posted on a child pornography website, all while the producers of Bioshock and World of Warcraft play cheerleader. TERFs on Twitter are prowling profiles looking to dox another woman, hoping that “he” gets “his.”

I really just want to haul off and get physical with these people. Throw some fists, lock in some holds, do something painful to those who want to kill me. But it’s been really hard to try and put those feelings into words. Sure, I’ve been saying “I’m mad,” but I can’t just leave it at that. What the hell kind of story would that be?

And how can I go out expressing these feelings without coming across as sick? Or as trying too hard, like I’m Jigsaw Jr. or some shit? I get so frustrated that it becomes hard to write. Like, how can I tell a story about slamming someone’s face in the pavement without looking like an asshole, is what I’m trying to figure out. And in trying to sort this out, it’s really put a stop to any creative ideas that aren’t, “who will confess their love to John Cena at Wrestlemania?”

My Body

It will be a long time before I can get around to taking HRT and transitioning, since I ain’t got no money. But I’ve begun wearing more women’s clothes and underwear; mostly just some bras and Sailor Moon t-shirts. And it’s been great. It all came to me naturally, none of that “dude has a hard time wearing heels” bullshit you see in the movies.

However, I’ve just been wearing generic underwear for practicality, and not just to look good. Nothing sexy. So I thought I would try on some new things. Also take pictures of said new things. I shaved my legs today too and I wanted to show them off.

You can see them under a very NSFW jump cut:

Continue reading

Old Pictures

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Here’s what’s fucked up about looking at old pictures of myself: I know that it’s supposed to me in these photos. But it doesn’t feel like it’s me. I’ve been looking at all these old shots, and it feels like an out of body experience. I hear the sound of my old voice ringing in my head (even though it’s the same voice I have to use in public, lest I get The Looks), and I look at all the details of my face and my hair, and it just doesn’t seem real. Like, who the hell is this guy? Then I remember that’s the body I’m stuck in, and it sucks.

The whole reason I took all these pictures was because I hated how I looked. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin. I always felt ugly, even when I was told on more than one occasion that that wasn’t that the case. I thought that by posting pictures of myself online, I could work on improving my opinion of myself. The whole time, I thought it was just depression making me feel this way. Of course, we all know better now.

It’s been over a month since I came out as trans. A very short time, but it’s felt like a million years. And I haven’t been able to look at old pictures in that time. I’ve just refused to acknowledge them. This post is probably why; it’s fucking weird and terrifying. Before all of this, I would hear trans people talk about not wanting to see their old photos, and how mad they would get when transphobic assholes would post them or make reference to them, and I thought that I understood them perfectly. I had no idea until it was turn. The only reason I posted one here was for reference purposes; I haven’t scrolled up once since I began typing (so I can’t be too sure of any typos I’ve made or anything). It’s just here to make a point, no matter how upsetting it may be for me.

Maybe there will come a day, when I finally look the way I was meant to look, and I can see this and realize how far I’ve come. Probably not.

Addendum

And while I write about games press failing us all, don’t think I don’t see regular press failing PoCs on an ever grander, shittier scale. I wouldn’t be shocked to find that journalism school and Krusty’s Klown Kollege are one and the same. I just didn’t cover that in my last post, since it was beyond the scope of my subject.

Games Are Dead. All Hail Games.

Last night, a new episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit aired. It was “that” episode; the one focused around Gamergate, and the harassment that women in the tech industry have been dealing with for half a year now. I watched it. It was bullshit. It was an hour-long sideshow of victim blaming trash. The Quinn/Sarkeesian/Wu stand-in brought all the trouble on herself for wanting to make games (this made sense to the SVU writers somehow), then left the games industry after being kidnapped and raped by the not-Gamergaters (and whose fake messageboard domain was legitimately purchased IRL by the not-about-harassing-women members of Gamergate). The lesson for all of us to take away was to just quit. If you’re a woman, get the hell out of games, or else you’ll be violently gang-raped for the internet to see, and it’ll all be your own fault too.

To say that I, and many others, were upset about that was an understatement. I had a Goddamned meltdown over it. The women this show was based on got inundated with even more harassment. The nightmare that minorities have been living was nothing more than a quick ratings grab for NBC.

I’ve been working on games for the last few months. I have wanted to quit every single day. Every day, another reminder that anyone dumb enough to racially identify with a marketing demographic label (gamers) will go out of their way to make your life hell because they can’t get over their high school years.

No, really:

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No, really.

And really, it gets really fucking tiring. All anyone of us wanted was just to play games, discuss them, make them, and just get on with our lives without having to deal with an abusive-ex’s petty revenge fantasy. Yes, Eron Gjoni, my heart goes out to you that you can no longer treat Zoe Quinn like a punching bag. Actually, wait, replace “my heart goes out to you” with, “you’re a worthless scumbag piece of shit and I hate your sorry abusive ass that ruined several peoples lives and set back the concept of video games being taken seriously about ten years because you can no longer treat Zoe Quinn like a punching bag.” That’s a bit more accurate. We (minorities) now have to think super duper extra hard on what we say publically, lest some frustrated Incel take offense and dedicate his life to plotting your murder. And we have to do all this by ourselves.

The mainstream games press. The mainstream games industry. They have not done a single fucking thing in six months. Oh sorry, I forgot: some of them wrote toothless “hey guys harassment is really bad now really c’mon now guys I mean it” articles that didn’t even mention Gamergate by name (that were only written after Anita Sarkeesian appeared on The Colbert Report and the front page of The New York Times, and they couldn’t ignore it anymore), patted themselves on the back, and then went back to caring more about LittleBigPlanet DLC than women’s lives. A woman will probably be murdered over video games before 2015 is out, but hey, wouldn’t you rather hear that you can dress your Sackboy up like Deadpool?

Fuck you.

I was content on just labeling these people cowards. Dickless jabronis who care more about money that comes from a theoretical audience than on being decent people. But between Owen Good’s “you deserve it” comments, The Escapist giving preferential coverage to a Gamergate developer so extreme he was banned from a chatroom dedicated to driving Zoe Quinn to suicide, former Gamefan editors making their own Gamergate t-shirts, and Totalbiscuit…well, being Totalbiscuit, in addition to everyone else’s dead silence, it’s become very clear to me where they really stand. Now call me a conspiracy theorist if you must, but I can only see one thing:

That they’re all a part of Gamergate.

Gamergate is always asking for proof that they’re assholes, even when said evidence is produced and is staring them right in their idiot faces. Where is your proof that you’re not secretly rallying behind it? Was the reason you were all “unsure of what to say” all this time due to you wanting to say that you think women being driven from their homes and minorities being harassed on a daily basis is actually really good, but not wanting to deal with the negative consequences?

This isn’t me talking out of my ass here. Every time some dumbshit says, “oh, I’m neutral. You know, both sides and stuff,” ten times out of ten that person somehow, through some coincidence, ends up supporting every single long-since disproven “Quinn is a whore who slept around for good reviews” and “Sarkeesian is a con artist” accusation and ends up following all of the totally-not leaders of Gamergate and promoting their shitty ideas and bigoted words. There is a precedent here.

People who can make change won’t. They’ve failed us, time and time again. As far as I’m concerned, this is the last time. There is nothing that the mainstream game industry can do to make up for this. I look at a mainstream game press outlet, and I see Gamergate. I look at a AAA studio, and I see Gamergate. The lone exception being, strangely enough, Square-Enix. Mostly because they are the only company that doesn’t give a shit about braying jackasses who think the world owes them sex. The made Lightning Returns (Vid Con of the year 2014). They’re making a new Final Fantasy with a half-naked man as its protagonist. They are literally the only company willing to publish Life is Strange (Vid Con of the year 2015), and not demand that the main character be changed to a man. Every one else can go fuck themselves.

Most importantly, no matter how bad things may get, no matter how badly I want to quit, no matter how fucked up I get over my gender or my depression, I’m not going to give up. I’m not making games to please shitheads. I’m making games because I want to. Playing Final Fantasy VII as a kid and thinking, man, I would really like to make one of these someday, is what made me want to get into design and development in the first place. Telling The Man to suck my fucking dick, make all these strong women getting put through this nightmare feel like they’re not fighting for nothing, and do my part to bring about change in a septic tank of an artform is what’s getting me to stay.