• Published 6th Jun 2020
  • 1,541 Views, 117 Comments

Song of Myself - Ice Star

Luna is many things: a goddess, princess, and wife. What happens when she has a secret that threatens to unravel every one of those things?

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Chapter 1: There's a Ghost in My Mouth

I stared at Sound Mind tiredly, awaiting his answer. Doctor Sound Mind quietly adjusted his glasses and patted his salt and pepper mane. To the average mortal, his gesture might be mistaken for one befitting their conception of a pretentious scholar. With his fondness for somber hues and sulking overcoats in equally austere colors, he fit easily into such a foalish presumption. If ponies only knew that he dedicated his talents to the most experimental of deeds: being the first and only mortal to truly attempt to therapize the divine. Would ponies enact such poor judgment upon him if they knew that?

My appointments were draining for both of us. The chance to talk about anything I endured was not novel, but the idea that anypony truly listened to me was. My words were not heeded except by my dear husband, those I ruled, and the friends I had in Shining Armor, Cadance, and Sound Mind himself.

“Your Majesty, when you tell me things like this, what makes you continue to think that my suggestion is incorrect?”

I looked to his wall, wishing the landscape paintings hanging there held more vividness to them. He always called me by my title or my name, though I preferred the latter, even if it had always been slightly off. Never pronouns, thank my stars. Tia told me that she always had the curators of her health address her with the same professionalism she required of all other subjects. Such stiff formality never sat well with me, nor was I a ‘Just Twilight Sparkle, Please’ type like a certain demigod I shan’t name.

“I’m unsure if I understand the full meaning behind what the condition is. Just how certain can you be?”

“Luna, since I have begun to know you, I have been able to match you to every diagnostic criterion for gender dysphoria. Despite your asexuality, you have still admitted that all aspects of female anatomy have repulsed you deeply, creating a fractured perception of yourself.”

“Aye…” I mumble, and the softness in my voice wounds me. “That is so, yet, what possibility is there that I might be troubled by another ailment? How can this be my true disorder when I have spent my eternity being told that all else under the heavens is what plagues me?”

When every mortal has tried to name the beast in my head, and how she gnaws at me, who is that speaks truly?

There is another sigh from Sound Mind, though this is not one of annoyance. I hear no trace of it in his breath. “You have been told for ages that you are nothing more than a defective mare?”

“Aye,” I murmur, “and everything else that comes from this nation so drenched uppitiness over the mere idea a creature is female. How it mourns the mere thought of a tomcolt, or any perceived loss of femininity! I shan’t cease to let everypony know what a busybody Equestrian culture is about gynocentrism until my sister’s sun burns out and we have found other stars to call home.”

I am watched as I wave my hooves for dramatic effect. How else is the maddening impact of this all to be made known? Even the dawn of Equestria, it was breathed down one’s neck if their femininity was decidedly ‘broken’ as mine was. A stallion in touch with the supposedly fairer sex was both brave and normal. Any semblance of masculinizing is nowhere near as condemned, though its disapproval is still as strong as a corset’s obvious awfulness.

“In every instance of you giving wickedness a ponification, I have noticed you describe them as female.” His eyes find my throat, so lacking and slender. “And never have you had a female friend, Princess Cadance excepted. Do you realize how many of our sessions have been devoted to me having to coach you on how to understand female social differences?”

“Are you suggesting that there is anything in nature quite as incomprehensible and fickle as the female?” I make sure he follows my eyes to his desk, where there is a framed photograph. In it, Sound Mind stands by his little daughter. The half where his ex-wife now stands has been calmly trimmed away.

A small cough leaves Sound Mind. “Point taken, Your Highness. But I think the time for foal steps has lessened, don’t you?”

“I… I do not know…” My breathing has grown thinner and smaller, and more than ever I wish my voice would fade. At least the Divine Voice of high gods gave me the power to sound truer to the ghost of me in my head. “What does this ‘gender dysphoria’ even mean?”

Sound Mind watches my hooves fly about again, soaring about his office where diplomas shine with quiet proudness upon the walls. I love my regalia and how it sparkles, not because there is any shred of femininity to it, but because I chose it myself. There is a decisiveness to the clear form and darker colors that warms my heart, for I find that elegance has no gender.

“What do you think it means?”

“‘Tis clearly a modern ailment,” I offer, guessing with a shrug. My ears flick and I draw back into the wideness of the comfortable chair I am perching in. “For I never heard of it in the days before.”

“That is true. Nopony knew what gender dysphoria was before your absence.”

“Is dysphoria not merely another word for discomfort?” I ask, my wings itching for flight, though not out of any impatience. “Surely the discomfort with gender is normal? Who would want to be drowned in the world of mares when the surface lies above?”

I spy a twinkle in Sound Mind’s eyes, just behind his glasses. How curious.

“In a game of ‘hot and cold’ that answer would be a very ‘warm’ one, Luna. Gender dysphoria is a condition with a strong neurological origin. All sapient creatures can be impacted by it. We call ponies with this condition ‘transgender’ because their gender and sex are misaligned, leading to a stressful mental disconnect.”

As soon as those words leave his mouth, I feel something trying to crawl up my tightening throat. My mind is the haze of somepony nearing the earliest stages of crying, and I cannot place exactly why. Falling to the chair’s edge, I let my gaze find where I have folded my forehooves. There is such weight upon my withers, and I cannot tell if it has been here since I walked in, or if it just settled over me.

“Trans… gender…” The word comes out low and my tone is confused. “Why are they called such? Do their genders change?”

“Not at all, Your Highness. Altering a sapient creature’s brain over such a peculiarity would be a heinous crime and bring them no peace. Instead, the creatures with this condition modify their sex and presentation.”

I said nothing for some time, letting my mind turn itself in and out of my storm of thoughts. I am not blind that Sound Mind does appear to be framing a conclusion he wants only for me to name. He has told me on previous appointments that what makes me both easier than any mortal client and equally impossible to handle. As I let my tail wind around my hooves I am left with the thoughts of all that has been as good as make-believe to me.

There have always been non-mammalian creatures in this world who have parallel behavior to this puzzling condition. Not once have I heard of any experiencing distress for their biodiversity, and this gender dysphoria still manages to sound so alien from what Sound Mind describes.

“Does this gender dysphoria mean I really am a defective mare?”

“Yes,” he begins, “if you are willing to see stallions as that.”

I can immediately feel my brow furrow. “I beg your pardon? What is the explanation for your confusing answer? Is it not I who am supposed to be the one with words both clever and mysterious?”

Laughter is a rare response from Sound Mind, but I am able to elicit the truest depths of mirth from ponies in ways Tia never has. Not all are giggle-snorting and ever-beaming Pinkie Pies as my sister would think. Sound Mind is very much like that; I get little scoffs from him and another glimpse of shining behind those glasses of his.

“I have long had a hunch that you are a transgender stallion, Your Highness. Thousands of years to let something like that fester… I can only imagine you’re incredibly confused or completely certain that you would desire to begin your transition.” He coughs briefly into his forehoof. “That is something I would like to discuss with you for future appointments.”

“...How does this ‘transition’ you speak of even work?”

The chestnut aura of Sound Mind toys with his cufflinks. “For those who are certain they are transgender, the first steps are always to get confirmation from somepony like myself, and then a referral for medical treatment. The vast majority of transgender ponies—”

I clear my throat briefly, and firmly. Instantly after I do so, Sound Mind looks over all my Alicorn-ness, my visible divinity. His eyes widen with the understanding of his error.

“—transgender creatures seek adjustment counseling alongside hormone replacement therapy. There are some spells and sexual reassignment arcane procedures that are also sought out…”

“So am I to understand that this ‘transgender’ would mean I am a stallion who risks being entombed in the body of a mare? And just what is this arcane reassignment you speak of?”

Sound Mind made a subtle, odd wince right after nodding. “I cannot speak much there, but this is not easy magic like changing mane colors. This is very intensive, piece-by-piece, and not wholly perfect realms of the arcane. But we can talk about the, ahem, lower surgeries if you ever wish for them.”

“Lower?” I echo, cocking my head to the side, utterly confused. My dark mane hangs like a waterfall, flowing just right to match my inquisitiveness.

Sound Mind stares at me, unblinking. His expression is hard to puzzle out.

“Are all that genders a pony not lower?”

“Luna,” Sound Mind says, using the same tone Sombra used when I could not pick up on something. “That may be true, but I speak of a specific lower region I know that you would not find much use in, so to speak.”

“...Tail extensions?” I guess. “I’m quite fond of having longer hair, though I suppose I could always seek to re-style to something more appropriately masculine and less androgynous…”

“Genital-altering surgery, Your Highness. You don’t strike me as somepony who would find much use in phalloplasty based on our conversations.”

“Oh!” I gasp, bringing a forehoof close to my muzzle. “My apologies, I merely forget that is something ponies think about.”

“That is fine, I should know to be more on the muzzle with that by now. Unfortunately, the ability to construct something like phalloplasty with even the best arcane-infused operations is still very primitive…”

“I…” My words start as a faltering whisper. “Sound Mind, how am I to take all this?”

That damned twinkle has returned to his gray eyes, and the mischief there is now so clear to me. “You seemed to take to it very well just now, wouldn’t you say?”

“My stars, it does appear that is so. How pleased you must feel, doctor, having duped a high Alicorn.” I twiddle my forehooves, letting them twirl and fidget around one another as I give a small chuckle.

“Oh, maybe just a bit.” Sound Mind’s tiny smile showed sparkling white teeth. “Though… don’t you think it is worthing discussing? How well you did right there? The last time you took so easily to something was talking through pre-proposal jitters and preparations for your Ponyville Nightmare Night visit.”

My reply was to duck behind my forelock and pull my mane in front of my face, hugging it tightly.

Phppthmpppff,” I protested, my half-raspberry, half-meaningless sound being unleashed into my mane.

Past the thick world of blue and sparkling hair, I had plunged myself into, I could hear Sound Mind chuckling.

Hppphpppfttplp!” I insisted, all the more loudly.

“Is there anything you wanted to close this session with, Your Highness?”

Using my turquoise aura, I pulled my mane away just enough to expose my eyes. “...Just how shall I tell Sombra… that I… I might be transgender?”

Author's Note:

The chapter title is a line from the song I'm Not Calling You a Liar because of course, I would listen to Nightwish and Florence when writing Luna.

Does anyone think that this is enough for there to be a sex tag? The talk of magic SRS and the like?