We've hit a point in culture at large--virtual in specific, but any culture--where we're overlabeling, I think. And as it's long since invaded several of my online communities, it's starting to seriously irritate me. Like people who hold these values are walking around me in circles, spitting porcupine quills dipped in habanero pepper oil.
Far be it from me to single out anyone in specific...save for, I'm gonna.
First, feel free to completely ignore GeoPunk's FAQ page; what you're looking for is on the right-hand side. The wide widget bar that starts out Hello I Am. And what GeoPunk defines as, among other things?
* android - just online, or do they actually have non-organic parts?
* avian - Really?
* gender pirate - Okay, I kind of like this one...but I don't understand it. What do you do, ride around in an eyepatch and a feather boa, stealing the gender of passersby and screaming "ARRRRR" as you charge off into the crowd?
* goblinkin - PLEASE tell me you're kidding.
* homoflexible - Wouldn't that be bisexual for the rest of the world?
* otherkin - So in addition to being android, avian and goblinkin, GeoPunk is also otherkin?? And people wonder why I get cranky when I meet otherkins in world.
* puppy - You can be a bird and a dog? Does that mean you try to catch yourself when you're not looking?
* saurian - So wait, now you're a feathered puppy-eared dinosaur?? Oh, come ON, now!
* shapeshifter - That's the first thing I've read that makes absolute sense.
Now, apparently, that widget is part of a much longer list that's even scarier. The Yay Genderform! lists way way way more terms:
* pseudohermaphrodite - Um...so you're not really a hermaphrodite, you just look like one??
* merm - Short for mermaid? Please short for mermaid?
* gender refusnik - What, no gender beatnik?
* other-gendered - What, if every other term on their list just don't quite apply?
* pregender - So...you're still in the womb?
* spivak - Spivak, splat and stone are three terms that I can't even begin to parse.
* effanineffable - Got me.
* clockable - To me, clockable translates to can take a punch really well. Same with unclockable--which would be something akin to nigh invulnerable, right? What the hell do these words mean?
Is it just me? I mean, there's description, identification, labeling--it's always helpful to tell your fellow whatever on the grid what you like, even what you are if the other party's confused--but there comes a point. Doesn't there?
We have a world that has humans, demons, clockwork constructs, faerie realms full of just about everything, men, women, hermaphrodites, and fur versions of all the above, nagas, mermaids, mermen, centaurs, feral animals, trees, and that's not counting a lot of what moves around in and out of Grendel's...or Necronom...
...and trust me, I'm not objecting to this, but seriously--when you're walking up to people and you're telling them you're an android avian puppy saurian, who's a shy, gender-fluid sadomasochist, and you're also a treehugging gender-neutral transhumanist hippie?
Trust me. Most people wouldn't admire your honesty, or personal understanding; they'd be busy nodding slowly and backing away.
Far far away.
...well. Unless they were an introverted macho fey gender-neutral boyychick into fabulous kinky alien masochist switches, or something...
Then both of you can live in deep confusion for the rest of your lives, I guess.
Man. Shapeshifting isn't as hard as these people are making things.