Rewriting the RulesRewriting the Rules is the final novelette of Revin’s Heart, my steampunky fantasy adventure with pirates and airships and a trans protagonist, available on June 23 from Water Dragon Publishing.

People often ask me why I wrote Revin’s Heart. To be honest, I mostly wrote it to have fun. I like friendly adventure stories. I loved those kinds of stories when I was a kid and I don’t seem to see them as much as I used to. But I also wanted to tell a story about a trans character that I thought might appeal to both queer and straight audiences.

I came to understand that I was bisexual when I was still in puberty, in the 1970s. But I grew up in an extremely oppressive environment where admitting something like that would have resulted in constant bullying and threats of physical violence. I concealed my bisexuality and it’s only been in the last couple of years that I came out of the closet. I did so, in part, after reading an article that called on queer elders to help young people understand how oppressive conditions were back then. And also in response to the growing oppression happening now. I was too fearful to come out of the closet then. But I know where I want to stand today.

In Revin’s Heart, we learn within the first couple of pages that Revin is trans.

Before they headed to dinner, Revin made his excuses to stop in the lavatory. After using the facilities, he checked his chest bindings to make sure they were tight and didn’t show through the shirt. And the pad, which was still spotting, but thankfully the worst of the flow was done. Thankfully, the Professor wasn’t very observant. Revin didn’t like to imagine the consequences if his secret was discovered. (from The Third Time’s the Charm, part one of Revin’s Heart).

One of my goals was that the reader might forget for long stretches that Revin is trans at all. But only to have the fact brought home when circumstances or language draws a contrast that has special significance to Revin (and the reader).

“You told me he was a man, Griphon!” he said. Revin quailed inside, but stood firm and the Baron continued, laughing. “But this is a youth. A boy! And yet you tell me he saved your life?”
“Without doubt, sir,” Grip said to his father. “I would not be here today were it not for the quick thinking and bold action of this young man. And I took him for my squire with no further recommendation.”
“Darling,” the older woman said. “Don’t keep the boy from his breakfast.”
“That’s right,” the Baron said. “A boy like you is always hungry, like as not. Eat your fill!” (from For the Favor of Lady, part two of Revin’s Heart)

Revin’s world is divided among the common people, the nobles, and the pirates. The common people largely reject queer people. The nobles tend to privately tolerate queerness. But it’s only among the pirates that queerness is accepted and celebrated.

Revin grew up as a commoner and discovered early on the danger of being different. We see, through the books, as he learns the shape of the world and the communities it is divided into. Rewriting the Rules is about his realization for how he can undermine the divisions that separate commoner from noble and begin to create a more equitable world.

But, as I said up front, this is mostly just a fun adventure story. It has a trans protagonist who is trying to find his way in the world, but finding support, acceptance, and allies along the way who care about him and accept him. I hope you too will care about him and accept him. And join him for his on-going adventures!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>