Anonymous asks:

You mentioned most members of the Marill line technically being transgender. If Pokémon could be transgender, how would this work with your ideas on Pokémon gender?

Disclaimer first of all that my ideas on Pokémon gender are totally bat$#!t and probably bear little resemblance to anything Game Freak’s designers have ever thought in the privacy of their own brains… 

…and secondary disclaimer that since the last time I babbled about Azurill, someone has pointed out to me that Game Freak actually did remove/fix(?) the gender thing in generation VI…

…and tertiary disclaimer that I’m cis and have no close friends who are trans (or… I don’t think I do…), so I kinda don’t really know what I’m talking about here…

…but my understanding is that transgender is basically when your biological sex doesn’t match up with your psychology or the social role you’re comfortable with, and in a world where gender works the way I outlined in that article, this… well, wouldn’t happen.  What little sex differentiation Pokémon exhibit is directly tied to their psychology, so by definition they’re all cisgender.  Which means that if you believe my rambling nonsense, what Azurill is doing is something quite different, where her gender identity actually changes (the point of trans being that your gender identity was the same all along and everything else about you is catching up, so to speak – which is how you’d interpret Azurill if we do think Pokémon have biological sex differentiation), for which I think the term is genderfluid but I’m not really sure?

I’m just confusing myself now so I’ll shut up before I offend anyone I haven’t already.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

Why is azurill so screwed up? In gen 6 they had a chance to fix it, and all they did was make it normal/fairy. umm, what? Most of what’s wrong with azurill is obvious, but one tidbit I think is less than well known is it can’t get aqua jet, making it better to breed marills instead.

For the benefit of other readers: I’m pretty sure what Billy is referring to is Azurill’s gender… issues.  Marill and Azumarill, who were second-generation Pokémon, have a standard gender ratio – half of them are male and half are female.  Someone on the programming team evidently forgot about this when Azurill was added in the third generation, because they gave her a skewed gender ratio – only one quarter of all Azurill are male.  This isn’t, in itself, unusual.  Lots of Pokémon are like this – Clefairy and Vulpix, for example – but the gender ratio normally stays the same across evolutions.  Azurill’s doesn’t.  Because of the way the game’s coding determines an individual Pokémon’s gender, this means that one in every three female Azurill will actually become male upon evolving.  You can go and hatch a few Azurill now if you want to see it happen.  No other Pokémon does this.

So I think what you’re basically asking is “why don’t Game Freak change this?  They’ve had three generations to do it” and, well, obviously the answer is because they either haven’t noticed or don’t care.  The former seems unlikely; they don’t exactly pay a lot of attention to the fan community but it’s not like they live under a rock.  So I guess they probably don’t care.  And I don’t think I do either.  It was almost certainly a mistake initially, but it’s an amusing one that makes Azurill unique, and it doesn’t actually break anything in the game.  And, in a way, it makes Ruby and Sapphire among the first ever video games to have a playable transgender character.  Even if it was… y’know… probably by accident.  Is that… bad?  I certainly don’t think so.

Obligatory link to further ramblings on Pokémon gender from the archive.