• Member Since 1st Aug, 2019
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago


I think it'd be better if I just shut my mouth, cuz I hate how I look, how I sound.


Sometimes, watching those we care about suffer can hurt more than anything.

Iron Will doesn't sit down and take pain in stride, though. He's gotta fight back. Like an angry bull. So when the ignorant jerks up at the state capitol decide to be idiots, he has to figure out a way to make things right again.

Only sometimes, there's no perfect catchphrase for the job.

First place entry in the Quills and Sofas Transgender contest.

My entry for the Pride and Positivity event. Please consider donating to one of the following charitable causes:

Cover art was a gift from a friend, applejackofalltrades! Thank you so much!

Much gratitude for my fellow Q&S members for their support/suggestions/prereading: applejackofalltrades, themoontonite, Undome Tinwe, The Red Parade, Silvermint, Bicyclette, wishcometrue, The Hat Man, Vis-A-Viscera, and Atom Smash.

Additional editing/prereading provided by ninjadeadbeard, Jarvy Jared, and Arkane12

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 53 )

This was probably the strongest entry we got in every single pride contest combined. You nailed Iron Will's voice here and tackled such a heavy issue with amazing tact, insight, and grace, coupled with your usual skill and charm. Be proud of this! It's truly something special.

This was a fantastic story, Apple. You've done a great job with this.

Absolutely phenomenal story. It definitely deserved those first place honors.

Loved this.

As I said in our DMs, I haven't read a lot of Iron Will, but this is probably one of my favorite characterizations of him. Great work!

amazing work, apple, hope i can get together the more in-depth comment this deserves at some point

Very, very well done. Though I have to ask: who the heck voted Sombra for governor?

When a story makes you like Iron Will as a good guy you know it's a good one. I can't sing enough praises to this, very well done! ♥

You already know how I feel about this. Extremely well done, fully *sobbing*

This was pure awesome. Tempted to paste in my comment from the contest just to let more people know how much I liked this.

Alright. To start with, I don't have a problem with this story, because it doesn't go out of its way to virtue signal as hard as some other stories have. We get a message of support and friendship, and folks coming to help someone in their time of need. That's what pride and positivity should be about.

That said, I have to get down to the dirty details in the interest of honesty. Starting with a simple question; Am I the only one present with enough cynicism and disgust for the human species, to recognize the existence of TINOs is a problem for everyone?

These are fake-assed transgender in name only shit stains, who wear a title that they have no right to, and do it only to exploit a system that would allow them to get ahead without actually investing any work to earn that advancement on their own merits. The type of losers who are simply too weak and lazy to compete against serious athletes in their gender division, and decide to go dominate the weaker gender category, because there's no process for verifying whether or not someone is a true transgender.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not physically fit like any athlete, but I have enough upper body strength to physically pick up, carry, and throw just about every single female athlete that's out there like it's nothing. I regularly move 150 pounds worth of weight in the course of my employment, and there's really not a lot of birth female athletes who weigh more than that; not that I can find anyway. In competitions of strength against even the strongest of women, I'd still win simply because I'm bigger and physically stronger than them by default of gender and anatomy.

There's a reason most physically intensive sports have a male and female division to begin with, and that's because if there wasn't, women who almost exclusively be dead last when compared to their male counterparts. And these fake-assed TINOs should not be able to benefit from that fact by lying about who/what they are, exploiting a system, and disadvantaging real transgenders in the process simply because they're too weak to invest the work necessary to compete legitimately.

Hey, kindly do me a favor? Don't leave a transphobic comment like this on a trans pride fic. This fic isn't about your opinion, and no one was asking for it. Don't be a freaking moron, and read the room.

It's a fantastic fic, and I love Iron Will in this. We need more people like him irl.

It's not being transphobic to recognize and acknowledge that the human species is filled with opportunistic bastards looking to exploit others for their own selfish, personal gain at the expense of others, and who won't give a second thought about who will wind up getting hurt as a result.


the human species is filled with opportunistic bastards looking to exploit others for their own selfish, personal gain at the expense of others

And you're a prime example of that.

Lemme just bite. Just once. (Sorry in advance, applezombi. If you think this is inflammatory in any way, feel free to remove it)

I'm gonna be honest here and admit that I had a similar view about transgender athletes back when I was younger and less informed. I definitely didn't go out of the way to make it known anywhere online, especially not on a website surrounding cartoon horses, though the opinion was present nevertheless. Now, it still rears its head on account of circumstance unfortunately, but otherwise, I'm now well aware that this situation is far, far more complicated than whatever you're outlining here.

If you've actually read the author's notes (and the story that preceded it), this was about a very specific set of bills being passed in state governments across the USA. Now, even if I entertain the fact that these bills were done in good faith to protect young, cis female athletes from being outcompeted, it still is implemented with the impression that the experience of every trans-female athlete in America (and consequently, the world) are one and the same. Such is, in their nature, discriminatory. No matter what your view on this issue is, that much is true.

Adding onto that, these bills cited various studies, some as recent as 2017, but note that those studies that had been cited looked into only of the gender disparity with regards to cis male and female athletes, not trans ones. There had been research done on trans athletes that had not been cited in these very same bills, one of which arrived to the conclusion that the difference in athleticism between girls and boys before puberty is almost inconsequential and doesn't require separate sports teams, much less a ban on transgender athletes. When you take all that into consideration, it just shows how disingenuous these bills really are.

Now, there have have also been other studies that suggest that transgender women, specifically adult ones, can maintain a physical advantage over cisgender women, but the recommendation these studies made to sports organisations was to extend required waiting periods for trans athletes instead of banning them altogether. That's without mentioning that sports is more than just muscle mass. It does help in some sports, but to say that something like weightlifting is the same as horse-racing is just false in every aspect.

And now, to actually address your comment.

You structured your comment to make it seem as though you're an ally of some sort. The whole 'exploiting a system, and disadvantaging real transgenders' section showcases that. However, those sections seem to pale in comparison to the swathes of sentences stating—and I'm quoting you here—they are 'losers who are simply too weak and lazy to compete against serious athletes in their gender division'.

You don't know how that looks, don't you?

That alone makes it seem as though you're saying that's why these athletes transitioned in the first place. Not because they want to be comfortable with their identity, but because they're doing it for some sort of self-gain, and solely for that.

To which I say: just because you would do it doesn't mean everyone else will.

That's not even mentioning what you've trumpeted in the fourth paragraph: that you'd 'still win' because—and I'll take your word for it here—you're 'bigger and physically stronger than them (women) by default of gender and anatomy'.

Because that's what this transphobic cocktail needs: a dash of misogyny.

Frankly, if you really do care about the trans community, as you have so eloquently proclaimed after your transphobic diatribe, you would be well aware about all the stuff I've mentioned in the first place before making this comment. You police the community about redundant issues any chance you get, but when a story comes out that celebrates the trans identity, you seem content to forego those celebrations and chime in with irrelevant opinions that no one had asked you about.

Or, to put it in words you may find familiar: you 'do it only to exploit a system that would allow you to get ahead without actually investing any work to earn that advancement on your own merits.'

Go waste your time elsewhere. Remember to close the door on the way out.

I like the idea of Sombra as being the consummate politician. Not an ideologue, but a true opportunist, latching on to fear and bigotry and using it as a platform to elevate himself to power.

I gave it a drive by upvote because these stories deserve more of them.

Holy shit a new copypasta. Thank you transphobe anon.

EDIT: This is actually a nice story, upvoted

Great response. This guy has been going onto every single trans pride fic submitted to spread his "concern" about "fake" transpeople. I have yet to see a single trans pride fic he likes; and he'll always have a fabricated reason why he doesn't like it. He has no intention of listening to transpeople or changing his mind. Just an angry bigot spreading misinformation.

the problem is I enjoy some of this guy's stories so seeing him act like this is just so fucking disappointing


I feel that way about some furry artists who are total raging MAGA chuds. Like, I enjoy their art style, but I just can't support their work when they're being fricking jackwagons. They get the unfollow on that basis.

Totally off topic but I love the way it looks like both of your avatars are giving each other sly side-eye.

Anyways, now to comment on the story proper. This is one of the more powerful trans rights fics on the site at the moment. It does a great job of tying current events to the impact it has on individuals. And it warms my heart to see Iron Will out there fighting for his best athlete. All of the educators, too. That right there is the true power of friendship.

I'm just gonna pop in, say that this is by far one of the best stories I've read in a while, and hope you're day has gone wonderfully, Apple.

Happy Pride!

Yeah I'm sure women transition and go on hormones for years just to win at women's sports. If trans athletes were somehow 'superwomen', then why arent they dominating every sport out there? They've been allowed to compete for quite some time.

Oodles #30 · Jul 3rd, 2021 · · 1 ·

The worst part is how they claim to be interested in solutions to this "problem" but don't actually accept any. The increased muscle mass and bone density that men have is the product of increased androgen sensitivity during male puberty. Thus is you wanted to eliminate that advantage all you would have to do is to push for ease of access of puberty blockers to kids who demonstrate gender dysphoria.

But then they turn around and start saying that it's child abuse. Despite the fact that puberty blockers are totally reversible and have decades of research proving that they have no side effects.

Trans kids can avoid unwanted puberty and go through hormones when they're of age, kids that had gender dysphoria but grew out of it can go through their proper puberty, and trans women don't get any "unfair advantages" that conservatives care so much about all of a sudden. Everybody wins.

The real reason they don't accept this as a solution, is because it was never about protecting kids or the sanctity of women's sports. It's just that they hate trans people and want to hurt them.

Conservatives, in general, don't try to solve problems; they think problems can't be solved, and justice is only about punishing people for being "sinners".

This is a very powerful story. Great characterization of Iron Will, and a hopeful message. Excellent work. :ajsmug:

I cannot understand you. Every time you pop up, you say you support trans folks, and yet in the same comments, the same paragraphs and sentences, you show that you don't support squat.

What you have brought up is an imagined problem, with ill researched, kneejerk solutions that are harming all women, not just trans women (not that the suffering of cis women should be needed to legitimise the suffering of trans women).

Please either just accept you are a transphobe and not an ally, or buck up and actually support us.

Finally got around to this, and wow. This is incredible. Often I feel the same way, I don't know how to show my support for LGBTQ allies. But this feels so purely emotionally driven, and it's by far the best Iron Will story I've seen on the site. This is brilliant, full of passion and I only ask that you keep doing what your doing. Because WOW.


Huh! Would you look at that! I didn't even notice until you pointed it out XD

Excellent work. Splitting athletic teams by gender is a stupid way to create balanced competition anyway. It should all be done by weight class, like in boxing or wrestling, so that you end up with people playing against others with similar physical strengths.

Thanks! Love those reaction gifs, lol.

They do that in some sports. Certain forms of martial arts are mixed-gender, and they work out pretty well. There's certainly some style variation between the genders, just because of build, but there's even non-trans people who are more suited to the other gender's style because again, natural build.

Me, I've always been long and lanky, so the traditional masculine styles don't suit my build at all. But because I'm so tall, the traditional feminine styles don't really suit me either. Probably why I chose Parkour. It's about as gender-neutral as you can get in a sport.

Thank you for writing this! Your support means so much!

Ok, first of all, wow.

Secondly, hmm how do I even begin to describe the sheer awesomeness of this piece... Hmm actually that wasn't a half bad start, so let's move on to the strongest point of this story: Characters.

I'm not only impressed that you managed to make Iron Will cool and relatable, I am deeply impressed that you managed it while keeping him an absolute macho man full of rage, aggression and clichè catchphrases! He's the übermacho man other mere macho men wish they were secure enough in themselves to be, and he does it while wearing his mother's name like a badge of honour.

This guy, right here, is AWESOME! Imma just sum it up like that, mkay.

And he's only one of the three incredibly impactful characters, and Rarity doesn't even show up until the very end, but you painted an awesome picture in one short paragraph, and it just kept piling on top of that. Because of course Rarity has pockets in her cashmere sweater, and she'll face down anyone who threatens to hurt her friends, anyone. Doesn't matter that this version of her hasn't stood up against Nightmare Moon, Discord, Tirek and other endbringers, this Rarity is going to fight like a momma bear against the fucking government. Props to her for joining the ranks of the truly Awesome.

You even managed with a few lines here and a name there to paint a nice worldbuilding picture, and I'm already nodding in respect to characters like Luna and Cranky who aren't even in the story itself, but who are clearly a part of Dash's world even if we don't get to meet them. (Yet?)

Then we have Dash. Her characterization is subtler as she's the center point of the story, even if Iron Will is the narrator. Her characterization takes a bit of time to foreshadow, build up and develop as the story is told. Unlike Rarity who is jammed into our face at the very end. (In a flawlessly fabulous manner I must say) Her struggle is real, and it matters. The story is also about her support network as much as it is about her.

Her character is no less impactful for that.

Where was I? I did the characters, right, and I touched upon the worldbuilding, which was excellent btw, and was planning to move onto the negatives.

Speedwrite will speedwrite, and as impressed as I am that you managed this much words and of such high quality, there are some tiny mistakes, typos, lines that could have been phrased better. I'd say it's probably good enough to publish as is,(and it needs to be. Seriously; please.) It will benefit from another editing read-through.

Actually, I think I'm running out of things to say. This story was... gripping to say the least and I really felt for the characters.

I know the feeling, Apple. I'm not sure what much I can do as an ally either - it's why I've avoided writing a trans story, because I don't know if I can do it justice.

Great story and excellent work.

I preread this story but neglected to upvote and comment. This is a great presentation of EQG Iron Will, and also a great examination of how these laws can affect people like Rainbow.

You said it. The other comment reads like someone saying "I'm not a racist, but...". Are there issues in the trans community? Yes, what community doesn't have issues? Is this story virtue signaling? I don't see it as that. I see this as someone who is an ally that is frustrated with the way things are going and that the road to fixing them and having equality without judgment so that we can just live our lives in peace is going to be such a long one because it is so hard to get the people that are passing these bigoted laws out of power. I do hope that every single on of these laws gets struck down, but it will take time. Myself, I am an adult so these laws do not affect me personally, but I do know that they will affect future generations and I plan to make sure to do my part during the next election cycle to get these bigots out of office.

So first, let's talk trans woman Rainbow Dash. Because trans woman Rainbow Dash has all kinds of awesome feels for me. If there's one thing I've never been that much of as a trans woman, it's femme. I get close to it at times, sure. I'll wear dresses frequently, more because of practicality than anything else. (They're easier for me than more clothing, because low-energy chronic health issues, etc.) I'm also not that butch, but I've played my share of sports when I was a kid, and if I still had that level of energy I'd likely still be doing something similarly athletic.

Point is there's a lot I identify with in Rainbow Dash's personality, and as such to see her as a trans woman is wonderful. It really makes me happy because she's the super tomboy type among the Mane Six in terms of how to be a girl, but she's still a girl. And so to see that one as trans kind of... makes me a lot more happy than say Rarity being trans or Fluttershy. Not that those don't make me happy either, they do, but they're more... expected. Like what you think they have to be. Whereas Rainbow Dash flouts all of that and says "Screw you, I don't have to act high femme to be accepted as the woman I am." And I love that.

This bill that passed doesn't surprise me, but it does sadden me. Kids today have things so much better than I did in the early 90s. They have a chance to learn who they are before puberty fucks them up. They have a chance to become who they really are inside because they know what being trans is, rather than never ever hearing about it and being full of constant confusion through into their twenties.

Iron Will here meanwhile was wonderful. I was wondering at first if he would be trans too, since that would be kind of rad, but it turned out he wasn't. He's just a good guy looking out for trans folk. And that makes him awesome.

Also gotta say, I do like the Raridash in this. It's a nice little twist from the usual Flutterdash that an EQG fic would go for when it comes to shipping Rainbow, even if I do love me some Flutterdash.

Well done on this Zombie. Well done.

Howdy, hi!

I love this fic. The prose and message are fantastic and I love those fics that are all about just unconditional love and support. I gotta say, this Iron Will might be the best Iron Will I have ever read. Like he's such a goober with all the catchphrases but he's just so absolutely endearing and amazing. I adore this characterization of him.

I dunno what else to say honestly. It's a great fic, great characterization, great message, and a super fun time all around. I lvoe me my soft LGBT stories and especially supportive ones.

Thank you for the read~!

The sayings started with my own mom, the first Iron Will. I don’t mind that I’m named after her; she was a strong woman, and she raised me right!

i can't say enough about how much i adore this! that Iron Will's aggressively masculine-coded version of can-do, upbeat positivity, not to mention his name, are both inherited from his mother is just so very meaningful to me.

That’s one I tell my students. They find it hard sometimes. So do I. But I leave the radio off, for now.

and this line is great, subtle foreshadowing of what is to come

I haven’t driven to work in a decade, and even a bad day like today’s probably going to be no reason to change routine.

i've always loved just how every little line and detail oozes Iron Will's characterization, but this one is a standout for me

Governor Sombra

i'm sure it's been pointed out to you many times before, but this is a great touch

. I feel like an enraged bull, stuck helplessly in a pasture while the rodeo clowns all taunt me. I want to smash my head into something.

Principal Celestia says sometimes I resemble the tattoo I have on my back a little too closely. I think the pair of bull’s horns fits me perfectly, to be honest.

ah, perfect! really nice touch here

I purse my lips with amusement. Vice Principal Luna won’t be happy.

and yes, great callback!

It was all about control. Controlling yourself, and not letting others control you. But there were no catchphrases for this. I know. I spent all yesterday trying to come up with them.

and a great title drop; a powerful end to a powerful scene.

A flurry of teenage energy, cashmere, and mascara catapults herself into the gymnasium, rushing towards Rainbow Dash with so much speed I honestly start considering asking Rarity to try out for the track team this summer.

i absolutely love this description of Rarity

I turn to go, but not before I see the fire blazing in Dash’s eyes. This isn’t over. I push the green ‘accept’ button on my phone, and get ready for the start of the next quarter.

and a great way to end it, at the start of another chapter for the characters of the story.

all three of the characters are absolutely wonderful here, though i am extra impressed with how much you got out of the one-episode wonder Iron Will. you've brought so much to this character (just the depth i feel in how much he cares for his students, agh!) that it makes me want to find other Iron Will fics to read, but i know in advance that i won't find any nearly as good as this. and the slow reveal of the core of the story, helped along by Iron Will's mental techniques for not succumbing to anger or despair, was handled perfectly, as was the emotional buildup and catharsis. i loved the hope in the ending. there is no catchphrase for this, but there is action.

an absolutely beautiful fic, perfectly executed and powerful. thank you for this.

There is now a review for this story!

Very good story. Made me smile. Love this characterization of Iron Will. Probably the best one I've seen of him.

This is a superb expression of all the mingled emotions attendant on such horrific and inhuman bigotry not only on display but seeking to do everything it can to crush and destroy innocent lives.

Login or register to comment