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Created on 2014-02-15 17:56:07 (#2164783), last updated 2014-03-11 (184 weeks ago)

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Name:Tigh (Tigana)
Location:(states/regions/territories)
Character Info
Name: Tigh (Tigana), will want to be T'gan
Age: 20
Gender: female*

Tigh is biologically female but is what you and I would call FTM. He's lived in the Weyr his entire life and everyone remembers him as a little girl. He's been presenting himself with varying degrees of assertiveness as a boy since he was six turns old, though, and by now he's pretty good at it; he'll introduce himself to newcomers as a man, much to the bemusement of the Weyr and the potential confusion of outsiders. He binds his breasts, wears masculine clothing and hairstyles, and speaks in a low voice, but there ain't no hormone therapy on Pern. Other characters may think of him as female, male, or 'other'.

Birthplace: Dorado Weyr

Personality:

Tenacious, judgmental, hard-working.

Tigh's not as strong or as fast as other men -- that was a rude awakening once adolescence really hit -- so he compensates with being willing to take pain and too damned stubborn to quit. That pig headedness is a survival skill but also a liability. He'll not only miss the forest for the trees, but get so focused on the tree that he forgets he has an axe and tries to chop it down bare-handed. It makes him a good person to have at your side, but maybe not the man you want out front. He expects the same toughness out of other people. If they're other people he doesn't like much? He won't bother hiding that he's delighted to see them fail.

He's not a bad person, but he's no saint, and he'll carry a grudge until it dies of old age, and then he'll carry its casket. And frankly, he's got a well-earned grudge against the world for putting him in the wrong body to begin with. That it's no one's fault just makes it worse, because there's no one he can get back at for it. It's not his parents' fault. It's not the Weyr's fault. The Weyr is -- well, it's home, and it's safety. He knows, he knows it would have been worse, if he'd been born in Hold or Hall. There he wouldn't be an eccentric, gossipped about but allowed to get on with things. That in and of itself is hard, because how can he justify resenting the people who keep him safe, his big extended family that he's known all his life? If it hurts him when he gets funny looks or gets called by the wrong name or gets subtly nudged toward the womens' side of life, so what? Sometimes he feels like the worst kind of ingrate for not appreciating what he's got. If he'd been born outside the Weyr, he'd be ... he doesn't know, exactly, but he's heard stories and he's seen how the Candidates brought in from outside act when they realize what's different about him. Hell, look at the way some of them act around the men with green dragons, as soon as they figure out what a mating flight entails. As if there's something wrong with men who have sex with each other, even when it's the dragons' decision. The Holdfolk, he figures, are crazy, and he doesn't like them at all, and he doesn't like what they'd've done to him if he'd had the misfortune to be born among them.

Making friends with Holdborn Candidates is not one of his priorities in life.

Actually, let's not understate it. He can be a real asshole to Holdborn Candidates. Even the ones from the big Holds are backwards, dangerous, and dull, and it's a knife twisting in his gut every time he watches one of them walk away with a newborn dragon that might have been his. He'll suck it up and give them the respect due their new rank, but it's bitter. There are a few who've managed to make it past his barriers in the past, generally ones who were outsiders in their own homes; some of those even call him friend. For the others, he knows better than to be the kind of obvious bully who gets banned from the Hatching Sands on account of instability, but in general Tigh is suspicious of foreigners and harsh when given the chance. And if one or two particularly noxious Candidates have gone back to where they came from before ever seeing Hatching day, well, they weren't worth a dragon anyhow, and Headwoman Lexa's always happy to have a Candidate taken off her hands. This is a trait that's getting worse as he's getting older and failing time and again to Impress. What was a teenager's sense of caution and superiority is fast blossoming into a man's full-blown xenophobia. What he hasn't really thought about is how many enemies he's made this way, and how many of those enemies now ride dragons and will be senior to him in the wings, if and when he gets there.

In the Weyr, he does have friends, but he's officially the weird friend. There's the gender thing, but more than that he can be quiet and moody, and there are times he'll just disappear alone for hours, or not voluntarily speak to anyone for days on end, even in his work shifts. It's easier to let him go when he's like that. He'll come out of it soon. Sometimes he's found holed up in the Records Room, reading through old hides, looking for hints that there have been people like him before. That there have been dragonriders like him before. It took him years to earn the privilege of handling those Records on his own. They're the property of the Weyr and under the protection of the Weyrwoman, and irreplaceable even if half of them are just accountings of bushels of grain and barrels of fish sent as tithe. Regardless of what Behra might think of him personally, he's proved himself responsible and willing to fetch and carry and clean in the Records and can be trusted to handle them gently and put them back where he found them. Restricting him from the Records would hurt almost as much as restricting him from the Sands. A couple of times he's managed to get a ride to Harper Hall on some errand or another and has looked through what Records the public can access there, but those haven't been useful and the anxiety of being among Crafters and Holders made the reading difficult.

Call it situational depression, not clinical. There's nothing wrong with his brain, just the situation he's in and the body he's stuck with.

So back home, he gets along however he can. He does his work diligently and well, if not brilliantly. There's not a whole lot of brilliance needed in butchery, nor in being a dogsbody for the Record Room. He's a joiner, easy to recruit for a project or a hunt or a game. He likes the physicality of work and is generous With friends when he's not being "weird" he's well-liked enough. He likes games and sports has a competitive streak a mile wide. He can't compete against the other men in foot races or raw strength, but he can climb rocks like a goat and slither through spaces a bigger man can't, and if he can't throw as far as he likes, still he's accurate and quick. If nature won't gift it to him he'll work for it and no one would call his gloating ladylike when he wins.

He likes cats. He's got an affectionate relationship with several of the moggies who patrol the Weyr for vermin. They're not quite pets in the modern sense, but Tigh likes it when one curls up on his bed and purrs all the same. Really, he likes animals in general, though since his business is killing them he doesn't get too close to the ones destined for dinner. Cat never goes in the stew -- Cook's threats to cheese-stealing tabbies aside -- so giving one a name and dangling toys for it to play with isn't asking for trouuble. Those few firelizard owners in the Weyr, he envies. As best he can tell, they're like cats with some of the virtues of dragons, and they are far, far out of his price range.

He has friends but no lovers. Never. He's an old virgin, by Weyr standards. It's not a secret: there's not a lot of room to not-kiss-and-tell-anyway in the Weyr, where everyone knows everyone else's business. And it's not that he doesn't want sex. It's that he's not comfortable with what sex entails. Being vulnerable to someone. Being touched by someone and judged by someone on body parts that feel wrong. It's something he'll have to deal with when he's a dragonrider, he knows that. That's just -- he'll deal with it when it happens. Dragon first. A dragon will take care of everything. He'll Impress a bronze or a brown and it'll prove he's just what he says he is, and besides that he'll be someone who commands respect. He'll be a dragonrider.

If this sounds unhealthy to you, it should. Tigh's wrapped up not just his self-worth but his entire sense of self in being a dragonrider. He doesn't have a backup plan. He is so, so tired of his life being a fight, even if it's not a fight for survival. Sometimes it seems like it would be better if he were in actual danger at the Weyr, just so he could know who his enemies were, just so he could be honestly angry and not feel guilt for it. Yes, he knows that's a stupid thought, and he kicks himself for that, too. His sex isn't all there is to him and he never wanted it to dominate his life at twenty, but as he sees it, a dragon is his only way out.

History:

Tigh's the son of a Dorado rider and a woman of the Lower Caverns. There're a thousand others just like him in every Weyr. Functionally, he has several dozen mothers and countless aunts and uncles, fostered with the other kids in the caverns below the dragon weyrs.

The problem is that he was born a daughter.

It took a while to be an issue. There's not much difference between a girl-child and a boy-child in the Weyr, not in dress or clothes or games, and certainly not in chores. Tigh took to calling himself a boy as soon as he figured out the distinction. He clearly wasn't a girl. Girls were icky and did girl things, and while he wasn't sure what those girl things were, he knew that girls turned into women and he wasn't going to do that.

As he grew up, he became a kind of fundamentalist about gender differences, not because he wanted to but because he didn't -- and still can't -- see another option. He flatly refused to learn to weave, because that's women's work. No amount of argument that most of the Weavercraft is male will change his mind. Sewing? Sure, he'll do that. Dragonriders sew their gear. Wherever he saw a clear distinction between 'boy things' and 'girl things,' he latched on to the boy side post haste because he quickly learned that there was no other way to be taken seriously. He's never been a girl. He's not confused. He's not just homosexual. (Actually, he thinks he might be, in that he likes men, but that's never what people mean.) If he does anything feminine, no matter how natural it feels, he runs the risk of someone using that as proof that he's really just a girl who wants to be a man.

And so, he doesn't.

Really, aside from that his background's boring. There's no great trauma in it. There's not even any danger -- the worst he's ever faced in the Weyr is a bit of bullying, and he can throw a punch as well as take one and it's never gotten out of hand. He's stood for every hatching since the day he was old enough, raised on stories of blood and glory ad fully convinced that being a dragonrider is the most noble life one can lead. Though, nobody sits idle in the Weyr, and he hasn't filled his days just with waiting on a dragon. Like everyone else, he works, and he's got a job he's good at. He's a skilled butcher with a sideline in animal handling. The Weyr goes through a lot of meat, most of it brought in on the hoof. What the dragons don't eat the weyrfolk do, and someone has to tend it, kill it, and cut it up. If it's got four legs and a tail, or four legs and two wings and doesn't look like a dragon, Tigh's probably gutted at least one of its relatives. And twice a sevenday he works a half shift in the Records Room, cleaning and shelving and fetching, and in exchange he's allowed to read the Records as part of his personal research project. He's quite a good reader, doing it more often than most, though he seldom has cause to write and only learned his figures well enough to get by.

For leisure, he likes team sports and rock-climbing; he's particularly good at the latter, where his narrow build and wirey strength lets him slither up cracks and swing himself from hand-holds bigger men can't manage. Spending time with animals is soothing, too. Sure, the ones that are for eating he can't get too attached to, but still, they're simple and often happy and he likes to make certain their needs are met.

Attitude towards Search/Impression: Desperate. Being a dragonrider is Plan A, B, and C, and there is no D. And things aren't looking good. This isn't his first rodeo, or even his tenth. He's stood for every clutch since he came of age at 14. Six years' candidacy in a Weyr in a Pass that means he's seen a lot of dragon eggs. None of them have hatched his dragon. At 20 pushing 21, he doesn't have that long left before he's too old to be allowed to stand
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