Ok, I was wondering about how trans* characters are treated in the sociocultural sphere of the Knights Errant world. You've mentioned the roles of same-sex lovers, homosexuality, etc. in each of the main cultures, but since there still seems to be a solid patriarchy in place, how do trans* people figure in, if at all? Is that even a thing people recognize? I guess I want to know if Gawin's interest is based in malice or just douchebaggery. If this is to be revealed, then I will wait patiently!
Oh man I had a long essay response to this written but then tumblr ate it. I tried rewriting it but it’s kinda sloppy. Apologies. :(
Trans* people aren’t recognized in most of the cultures that follow the faux-Abrahamic religions I’ve constructed. Much like contemporary Western societies, gender is divided into a strict binary by K-E’s patriarchy and is considered inherent and unchanging. However, patriarchal societies in K-E make one exception to the binary - people with transgressive gender identities are only acknowledged if they are also intersex. However, K-E societies have constructed a third gender for these people (if their bodies come under the scrutiny of a disciplining party) and force them to identify that way regardless of whether they actually do. This third gender is referred to as the ‘angel’ gender by the societies in Aster-Morgaria and the Kingdom of Vetal.
God, Angels and other Heavenly creatures are seen as beings beyond gender. Because of this, intersex people are revered for being closer to God. This reverence is twisted though, because intersex people (if discovered) are forced into cloistered convents and are coerced into pledging an oath of celibacy. This allows the Patriarchy to superficially acknowledge the gospel while also branding intersex people as abnormal others who shouldn’t be allowed into mainstream society.
Because of longstanding patriarchal traditions, God and angels are also heavily masculinized. God is seen as a Lord, a Father. As a result masculinity is constructed as the default state of being, or closer to the image of God. Femininity is thus constructed as the opposite of this, as something that strays from the image of God. This leads to the following assumptions in K-E societies: a) masculinity = no gender, femininity = gender, b) masculinity = heavenly, rational, femininity = demonic, irrational, etc… This all works towards the patriarchy supporting a caste system that privileges cisgender men.
tl;dr - Trans* people whose bodies aren’t considered intersex are written off as confused or possessed by the devil (or both.) K-E’s patriarchy would consider Oswald an “uppity woman.”