• Member Since 15th May, 2018
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mushroompone


Enjoying a coffee in every South Jersey diner simultaneously

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Twilight has a beard. It's, like, a really big deal for some reason.


Written for June's Pride and Positivity campaign.

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Chapters (3)
Comments ( 18 )

Who should Twilight speak to next?

Now, depending on where in the time line of the show this is, I would suggest Lil' Cheese as a possibility in some cases.

But otherwise, probably Rainbow, Pinkie Pie, or her Parents.

10305105
Ooh lil cheese is an excellent idea!!

Was about to say, "This doesn't seem like an LGBT+ story in particular, but I'm fine with a destroying gender roles story," but then I reached the segments indicating Twilight and Shining are both nonbinary, so no edge case here. I always loved the idea of exploring unicorn beards, and Twilight and Shining's banter was nice, so this was a good story. Or start to a story, rather.

So, uh. I may have done this story first.

Except, y'know, your version is actually thoughtful and stuff, whereas mine is really, deliberately dumb.

Regardless, song time.

Oh, and obviously Twilight needs to talk to Rarity, just for more unicorny beardy bidness.

There are more songs where this came from. The Beards are pretty great.

I tend not to think to hard about gender roles.... but i could realy get behind a girl with a beard.
Well maybe not Twilight, but put a beard on Celestia and I'd hit that like a hammer baby.

Had to look it up, but that's the agender flag there.

That was another nice conversation. Looks like every pony will be a GSM? Neat. Also canon.

Love it, anticipating more of it. I think Spike would be interesting to talk to, next.

Great chapter! And yeah, that feels like a pretty Pinkie way to view things.

Shining Armor heaved a sigh at having been caught. "Cadance doesn't grow hers. She's a royal."

Do you use the soft/expanded canon backstory Cadance has where she was born a pegasus? Here, you establish that anypony with unicorn ancestry can grow a beard. Would this mean Cadance can't?

This is a really neat start so far. Enby ponies aren't common on this site. I see a lot of headcanons of enby Twilight a ton, and this incorporates some very natural elements of Twilight's characterization with job insecurities into gender dysphoria. Also, the way you use classical unicorn lore of unicorns having beards and unique gender roles for alien pastel ponies is just fuckin' awesome! I wish more people would flex blends of incorporating myth and alien societal standards like that.

The pride event had a ton of good stories, and this is certainly coming across as one of them. I do have a couple of little quibbles though. The first is that the nickname for Cadance should be spelled 'Cady' since a 'Caddy' is actually a thing. (Usually a storage bin of sorts.) When I'm reading about love horse, I don't want to think about the little plastic bins I get for my desk at Target. The other is a matter of how the characters are portrayed so far. For Twilight, this is a strong start of piecing together their non-binary journey. I want to see how their coming out puzzle comes together with each conversation, and the details of who they are and who they want to be.

It was the author's note that threw me for a loop: Shining is also supposed to be non-binary? Assuming this is the only chapter with Shiny, I don't think this is the strongest way to show it. That's understandable, I personally find non-binary characters can be harder to convey in some respects because I want/need them to be a clear case of non-binary rep and not just coming across as GNC, since it's a) an easy mistake to make for a reader and b) non-binary expression and dysphoria is way more wack to me, there are just so many ways for someone to be non-binary, if that makes sense? Here, it comes across as (again, assuming there is no further development to Shiny's situation) that Shiny just doesn't like growing a beard. Not that they're questioning their gender. As a guy who doesn't really like having a beard and can only grow shitty facial hair (so far), it was actually really relatable. There was actually another story with an enby character that fell into the same thing for me, and I made a comment here. To avoid repeating myself too much — for the case of Shiny, it comes across as way too subtle that you wanted me to read this character as non-binary. It's to the point where I would say that it even comes across as non-existent just because of how general/rooted in non-dysphoria-related guy self-image senses that Shiny's main struggle is.

tl;dr more trans horses please and thank you

So... Twi specifically is aiming for agender as an identity here? I'm starting to wonder if I'm reading a very slow-burn gender reveal fic (that's not bad! I'm just used to really short, punchier trans fics on here) for Twilight here or if this is like... solve-the-gender problem? Something like that? One thing I picked up on is Twilight avoids any gendered terms for referring to them — 'I just want to be a pony' instead of 'I don't want to feel like a princess over just a mare' kinda thing. Way to go, Twi! You're on the way to figuring things out.

You have a really good sense of character voice, too. Rainbow just wanting to be bold and low-effort and stand-outish all at once — it's so in character for her. There's a neat touch of unicorn (beard?) envy too.

Your a/n is broken, so you might want to fix that one there. I expected a conversation with Pinkie to be more out there, but here I feel like Twilight was set back. The dialogue was very Pinkie on, well, Pinkie's side. For Twilight, they just came across as... put off? Confused? I mean this in the sense that they don't have the language to describe what they wanted to ask. If Twilight was asking about sexual orientation or gender, it became very wishy-washy. There are clear time gaps happening here (measured in beard-growth no less! Clever!) but the progress to confidence in Twilight learning about being non-binary and finding the means to describe themselves is... slow and meandering. While this is realistic, as a reader I'm left on the fence. For example, you avoid binary pronouns for Twilight, suggesting that there is some they/them awaiting Twi. But each conversation ends with the same shade of uncertainty that puts everything but Twilight's beard back into square one.

I'm sure you have something planned, and I think I'd like to see more on this until I decide to shelve/vote on it.

10597570
Thanks so much for these comments!! It means so much to me that people are reading so closely and carefully

In all honesty, this is projection central. I am still exploring my own gender identity, and I'm using Twilight to do that in this fic. Each chapter is actually based on a person I know irl, with whom I've had lengthy discussions about gender and sexuality. Shining Armor is my closest friend from college, Rainbow Dash is an old bandmate, and Pinkie is my own younger sister! I'm slow with updating this because I write them in conjunction with people I know. In reality, these people also aren't totally sure of their identities-- I put flags in when they request them, and leave it open-ended otherwise.

While it's intended to be chronological, I genuinely don't know where it's headed! It's so intwined with my personal journey and identity, and I unfortunately have no idea who or what will affect that in the future. I am working on a chapter about Fluttershy with a friend of mine, but I'm not sure how long it will be before it's complete!

Thanks for taking an interest. This is one of those things that is so rooted in personal catharsis that I really didn't expect anyone to connect with it at the level you have. I really appreciate the time you took to write these replies; it means the world.

(Also, I will be fixing the Caddy/Cady slip up. I'm guessing autocorrect is to blame... :trixieshiftright:)

10597971 The part in the third author's note is still broken, by the way.

Thanks so much for these comments!! It means so much to me that people are reading so closely and carefully

I've had a bunch of your stories on my RiL and multi-chapter trans fics are rare. I don't usually see a lot that has non-binary of FtM characters, so I try and pay attention just because of how rare they are.

In all honesty, this is projection central. I am still exploring my own gender identity, and I'm using Twilight to do that in this fic.

Your profile says that you're non-binary, so I wasn't sure if this was a) just a headcanon you had b) based on your experiences or c) an exploration. Now that you have clarified which it is, I do think a lot of the choices are explained. You're a very good writer, though as a reader these kinds of immensely personal stories can come across as unfocused without something more to ground them. You definitely have the personal side down, but I'd try to keep in mind the variety of different experiences you can create for the reader too. It really helps me bridge the gap between what I want my audience to glean about a character (especially for mature topics like gender) and how to give the character an authentic journey.

Each chapter is actually based on a person I know irl, with whom I've had lengthy discussions about gender and sexuality. Shining Armor is my closest friend from college, Rainbow Dash is an old bandmate, and Pinkie is my own younger sister! I'm slow with updating this because I write them in conjunction with people I know. In reality, these people also aren't totally sure of their identities-- I put flags in when they request them, and leave it open-ended otherwise.

I thought the flags were updates on how Twilight viewed themselves, admittedly, as well as exploring the possibility that their friends might also be queer. The open-endedness makes these interesting as a snippet collection because you're especially good at capturing that. For readers who weren't expecting an anthology-like story, this might feel like it veers more towards affirming fluff over an aspiration. (Not that there is anything bad with either of those genres!)

While it's intended to be chronological, I genuinely don't know where it's headed! It's so intwined with my personal journey and identity, and I unfortunately have no idea who or what will affect that in the future. I am working on a chapter about Fluttershy with a friend of mine, but I'm not sure how long it will be before it's complete!

This sounds super interesting! Oh, and one thing: I find that writing about a character I simply headcanon as trans first instead of being projection/comfort chracters/too close to home is a huge help. It gives me lots of room for practice and doesn't tie my first (as far as I know) foray into trans horses with something I feel like I would be tangled in. This can also help me write familiar subjects that I love (LGBT ponies) without triggering dysphoria from writing a situation that is messy to painfully close to home in some way.

Thanks for taking an interest. This is one of those things that is so rooted in personal catharsis that I really didn't expect anyone to connect with it at the level you have. I really appreciate the time you took to write these replies; it means the world.

No problem! I really like trans fics and you have a lot of interesting stuff that I've been meaning to get to. Seeing more stories like yours would be great! You have a lot of neat ideas going on here, and not just in the Pride and Positivity story. (It's also super cool that you entered the contest with a character who had a specifically personal trans headcanon to you! I'm glad I wasn't the only one!)

yes enby sibs are the best <3

I just wanted to say that I really like this piece and i think about the Pinkie chapter a lot

I'm still figuring out my gender stuff in a way and I think about how you've written Pinkie's thoughts on stuff and im just like "oh wow yea that makes a lotta sense." So i guess im just saying thanks for writing something really cool and have a good day!!

not gonna lie, I know you were going for a non binary angle from that but I got more of a Demigirl or Genderfae type of vibe off of pinkie this chapter. It's mostly stemming from the whole not feeling like a mare until she gets hit with gosh mares are pretty.

For those not in the know, and from my own limited understanding Genderfae is a type of gender fluidity where the person shifts from demi-girl, agender, or non-binary into woman or femme and back.

While a Demigirl identifies with the feminine but does not identify as a woman.

10907341
You're right! I agree, I think Pinkie's experience probably lands her in something like demigirl, genderfluid, or genderfae. There's a lot of details in this chapter to tease apart, and I'm glad you were analytical and picked up on some of the more subtle ones ^^ that's always a good feeling!

It's important to remember, though, that "nonbinary" is an umbrella. I think, especially lately, the phrase "nonbinary" equates to "completely androgynous third gender". All of the things you've mentioned, though, are under the nonbinary umbrella! A nonbinary lesbian may identify as a demigirl, genderfluid, or genderfae... But also as bigender, trigender, pangender, agender, any number of xenogenders, or as purely "nonbinary" without any specificity.

My favorite part about writing this story is that I get to really express the lawlessness of gender identity. It's such a personal thing and, even under the same label, people's experiences differ so much. If labels expressed everything perfectly, there would be no need to write a story like this ^^ perhaps Pinkie has more to her story, and she'll focus in on a smaller label-- but I have a feeling that Pinkie would be content knowing herself, without needing to find a label that explains it perfectly to others.

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