Posair Culture – Sexuality and Gender
How my stories represent the LGBQT+ community
Recently, a reader asked me if there were transgender people in my world of Lairheim. The simple answer is no. The more complicated answer must examine the Posair culture. For them, sexuality and gender equality aren’t an issue. They don’t have words for heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bi. Because none of those are outside the norm, and therefore, they don’t need to classify their sexuality. They don’t label someone as “queer” due to their sexuality—but they may because they are a bit odd or weird.
Posairans are pansexual—they love who they love, and gender doesn’t play a role. Their society doesn’t judge, positively or negatively, the gender one chooses to love or engage with sexually. Sex isn’t a taboo or seen as anything other than healthy. In Posair society, polyamory, multiple lovers and loves, is more the norm than a pairing. For those who become bond mates, which is a committed pairing, gender doesn’t determine the bond. Love does. Bond mates can be male-female, male-male, female-female, or include any combination of multiple partners. (For example, one of the main secondary characters, Dehali, falls in love with the twins, Kami and Tami, and they form a bond mate.)
Going deeper into Posair culture and why there aren’t transgender people, for the most part, there is gender equality.
If anything, political power tends to skew toward the feminine because this is a theocratic society. The ultimate leader of the Posairs is The Supreme. She is the avatar of the Goddess. Their spirituality follows the four-fold Goddess and Her Consort. They believe both the divine feminine and divine masculine are important and must be in balance. This belief flows into their political and societal structure.
The leaders, the Keep or Clan Alphas, must be a duo of a male and female. They make decisions about the good of their people together. My book, Redemption, explores what happens when this balance is shattered in one of the Clans.
There is a division of roles in Posair society due to the way their magic works and because of the damned Malvers’ monsters. A thousand years ago, before the appearance of the Malvers’ monsters, both genders equally possessed and used elemental magic. However, in order to fight the fearsome beasts, the men made the choice to exchange their elemental magic for the gift of shapeshifting. Their magic now allows them to shift into a powerful warrior, a perfect meld of human and wolf, to effectively battle the janacks and brechas.
Although all men can shapeshift into a warrior form, not everyone chooses to join a fighting-pack. Men have the option to be herders, or farmers, or teachers, or stone masons; whatever their Talent expresses. There is no shame or guilt assigned to those who choose not to fight.
All roles in the society are important. Women work in the fields, wield a blacksmith hammer, teach or care for the children, alongside their male counterparts. The only place is society where women are limited is in fighting the Malvers’ monsters.
At the beginning of the series, only Reds, women with fire magic, are allowed to be in the fighting packs. Because of Rizelya—and the need to fight the new control-janack—this changes. At the end of the series, women who want and choose to fight, no matter their Talent, can join the fighting-packs.
Side note: At the beginning of the series, the Posarian society is homogeneous. They are the same “race.” When the aliens invade in book 3, Scourge Incursion, a band of slaves escape and join the Posair people in defeating the Scourge. This introduces an element of conflicting belief systems, looks, practices, and culture at the end of the series. The possibilities this opens for another series on this world, exploring how the people integrate, clashes that may arise, and so much more is so exciting. This is a rich world and culture where I can explore many ideas.
When a society accepts you for who you are, and you aren’t marginalized because of your gender, you can more easily accept yourself and not feel the need to change. If the societies on Earth would follow the example of the Posair culture, it wouldn’t matter what body you were born in or how you looked. You could do and express yourself in whatever way was right for you. Do you have a penis and want to wear makeup or a dress or be a caregiver? Go ahead! If you have a vagina and want to wear short cropped hair or suits or be a soldier or firefighter—go for it. Do you love the same gender, a different one, or someone racially different? So what! Love knows no boundaries. It is only human tradition that places judgment and restrictions on love.
My belief is gender (or race!) shouldn’t matter or determine what you wear, who you love, the occupation you choose, your role in society, or your opportunities. Gender or race shouldn’t define your pay. People doing the same job and have the same experience should be paid the same—period, full stop.
This belief is reflected in the stories I write and the cultures I create.
Legends of Lairheim is a completed epic science-fantasy series.
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