Creator G. Pike takes the hotseat to talk about their queer fantasy/adventure comic Title Unrelated.
What’s your webcomic: Title Unrelated about?
Title Unrelated is about a family of queer characters who travel to a parallel world to search for their missing sister. In this other world, known to locals as Ambaia, they befriend two teens with psychic abilities and small band of political rebels. Along the way they begin to realize that the history of their family is actually linked to the history of Ambaia.
One feature of the story that bears mentioning is that Ambaian culture does not have binary gender roles.
Does Ambaian culture perceive gender differently? What noticeable differences are there in the ways people are treated?
I would say yes, they perceive it differently. If they could be said to have a concept of gender (as opposed to sex) it’s manifested more as an aspect of personality.
It’s considered very impolite to ask about someone’s biological sex. If anything, Ambaians could probably be considered “Cis-Nonbinary”, as what beauty/appearance standards there are tend to favor androgyny. In fact, physical sex is not seen as binary either, but more of a spectrum of individual variation. Since there’s no cultural mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” (birth control methods also exist), there’s less focus on reproductive function of individuals. They really don’t have any specific roles that are based solely on sex (the exception being jobs like pregnancy surrogates, who are, by necessity, biologically female).
Children are raised together without much differentiation. Baths and restrooms are unisex. What we would call “same-sex” relationships (and marriages) are extremely common. Plural and asexual partnerships are also accepted – in fact, it’s considered ideal for young children to have at least three “parents” of any combination of sexes. There are transsexual people in Ambaia, as aligning the body with one’s mental and spiritual needs is seen as a natural part of all-around health.
What psychic abilities do the characters possess? Is it considered commonplace to have them or are they considered special?