Gender at the Gaming Table (Masterpost)
This is an index of essays about how to handle gender in tabletop roleplaying games, and particularly for game masters who want to run an inclusive, representative game.
My assumption in writing these is that you, a cis reader, want transgender and nonbinary players to be safe and comfortable, but that you may not know very much about them. I’ve tried not to use terminology that you won’t understand, as long as you understand the words “cis/cisgender,” “trans/transgender,” and “dysphoria.” I also use the word “queer” as an inclusive label covering all LGBTQ+ identities.
Now, a disclaimer: I’m not any kind of academic authority on games OR on gender. I’m just a trans/nonbinary GM who’s thought about the subject a lot.
Gender can be an incredibly dense and nuanced subject matter, so it’s possible that other trans/nonbinary people may disagree with my experiences, conclusions and language. Always believe and accept the experiences of real, live trans people over anything you’ve read on the internet!
I write a little bit about the intersections of sexuality, race and ability with gender in these articles, and I inevitably mention intersex conditions over the course of the discussion, but I’m especially not an expert on those subjects. For a starting point on thinking about race and culture in RPGs, I suggest this article by James Mendez Hodes, which helped inspire me to put these trans inclusivity resources together.
All that said, here’s my advice. You can skip around, but I’ve put it all in a roughly instructive order, so if you feel lost try going back to any skipped articles:
Roleplaying from the Closet (A personal essay on why gender representation in games is important, and regarding my background writing these articles.)
Are There Even Enough Women In Your Game Worlds? (A starting point for thinking about gender representation in games. Aimed primarily at GMs.)
Portraying Trans and Nonbinary Characters in an RPG (A why-and-how guide for cis GMs and players.)
Running A Safe Game Table for Trans Players (A guide for GMs on preventing and mediating instances of transphobia during and around RPG play.)
Trans-Inclusive Storytelling in Role Playing Games (For GMs with a trans player or player character in their game, or who want to work with gender as a storytelling theme.)
Other Voices (A moderated page for other trans and nonbinary people to comment and add their voices.)
Like many of transgender people, I exist in a state of unfortunate financial precarity. If you want to put food in my mouth, medicine in my body, clothes on my back, or help keep this blog online, you can donate to my & my partner’s Kofi, or to me through one of my itch.io projects. You can follow my twitter @NightlingBug, but as a warning, do I sometimes tweet 200 times in a row about a hyperspecific obsession, and as a trans person on the internet I don’t hesitate to block people who are mean to me.