The Travesties: 04/07/10
Sometimes the randomized approach to reviewing I implemented last summer causes unfortunate gaps in reviews. I'm afraid the last (and my favorite) story in Like Twin Stars, "The Travesties" by Giselle Renarde got lost in the shuffle, only coming up now for review.
Sebastian, an up and coming researcher in the travesity intersex variant dreams of co-authoring a paper with the expert in the field. However when he meets her he is saddened and disgusted at her underlying hatred of the very people she studies. He realizes he must rethink his position.
Travesties (a pun on transvestite) are people who can change their displayed gender at will. To simplify things for normals their names mark their status. Sebastian disheartened by what he learns about the research project, befriends one of the subjects: Cam/ille. The slash in the middle of the name shows how the name is shortened when the subject is displaying a male gender.
This being a story in an explicitly erotic collection does have a sex scene but it comes near the end and is really secondary to the exploration of the bigotry faced by the travesties (and by extension anyone who doesn't conform to traditional gender role binaries). Its emphasis was on social commentary in lieu of setting up sexual situations, is what earns it the place as my favorite of the three stories.
I received the ebook from the publisher for review.