Level Two and New Goals.

One of the items that I need to work on now that I made Level 2 is the area of mentoring. I’ve always had a hard time finding Judge candidates, for which I mostly blame my own awkwardness and difficulty in talking one-on-one with new people, but I really shouldn’t allow that to be a crutch.
My L2 mentor gave me an idea that I thought was rather compelling: Rather then limiting myself to my regional community, which is already full of L2s who are very active in the scene and doing a fantastic job certifying L1s, I should focus on the fact that there are other kinds of communities as well. Ones bound less by geography, and more by common ties that are much more central to a person’s being.
For me, a big part of my recent life has been related to visibility and understanding of gender issues, and of LGBTIQ issues in general. I’m sure I’m not the first trans* magic judge, probably not even the first in my region. But my own personal journey is something I feel I can contribute to the judge program as a whole.
After all, there are probably a lot of folks out there who would love to become a Magic judge, but who fear that the extra visibility would make them an open target. Or maybe they just lack someone to talk to in the program that could understand some of the challenges they face.
So that’s what I want to do. I want to be someone Magic players can come to for help and advice, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation or whatever sets them apart from what they see as the norm. After all, Magic is a game that transcends all such differences, embracing them. And Magic judges are among the most understanding and accepting people I know.
Wherever you live, whatever your skill level, if you have even the slightest interest in strengthening the game of Magic in your community, or even if you just need someone to talk to to help you sort out whatever is on your mind, my inbox is always open!
(P.S. Feel free to share this wherever you like. Get the message out!)

Advertisements

The Colors of Magic

Hi, my name is Violet Blaze. I am a gender-fluid, pansexual, polyamorous Level 1 judge from Germany. As someone from a number of a number of minorities, as you can see from that brief label list above, I have a vested interest in seeing more diversity in Magic as a whole. As a judge, increasing the amount of diversity also means increasing the strength of the Magic tournament scene, so I intend to serve a dual purpose with this blog. I hope to post interesting thoughts and observations, practical tips, questions and answers, and anything else I come across here. To start, I thought I’d post a brief primer I wrote a while back on the different forms of gender identity and gender expression, as illustrated with the help of some familiar Magic cards. Here is that article.

A (cis-)white card
A (cis-)white card

This is Nightguard Patrol. Nightguard Patrol is a white card. He has a white mana cost, helps your team with typically white abilities, and is a creature type most commonly seen on white cards. Basically, he does what white does, and he does it well. Nightguard Patrol is an example of a (cis-)white card. He was designed as a white card, printed as a white card, and is a white creature when he’s on the battlefield. He couldn’t get much whiter, much in the same way that Conundrum Sphinx, a (cis-)blue card, couldn’t get much bluer. She flies, gives you card advantage, and is a classic blue creature type.

A blue card
A (cis-)blue card

While we’re on the subject of Sphinxes, there’s also Serra Sphinx. She may not appear terribly blue at first, since she has all the attributes of a white card. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t consider herself blue. Flying and vigilance are certainly things that blue creatures can do, so it would be a mistake to call Serra Sphinx white, no matter how well she would fit into that color.

An inter-color card
An inter-color card

This is different from, say, Medomai the Ageless. Medomai is both a blue AND a white card. Ze exists as both colors at all times, whether in the hand, on the Battlefield, or anywhere else. In fact, though Medomai may be both blue and white, it would be a mistake to cal Zir a blue card, or a white card, since you need both blue and white mana to cast Zir. Medomai is inter-color, having attributes of both colors and not uniquely belonging to either.

A color-fluid card
A color-fluid card

Azorius Guildmage Is a creature who feels just as at home in a mono-white or a mono-blue deck. He has aspects of both colors. While it would still be a mistake to call Azorius Guildmage a blue card or a white card, she fits equally well into either role, depending on the situation. He is color-fluid, shifting between blue and white as she sees fit.

A color-queer card
A color-queer card

Then there’s Reaper King. Thon has aspects of all the colors, but properly belongs to none of them. Thon can be cast with any or even none of the colors, and thon considers thonself color-queer.

An a-colored card
An a-colored card

Karn, Silver Golem, can sympathize with Reaper King in one regard: On occasion, neither of them feel like they belong to any color. Though, in Karn’s case, hu never felt like hu belonged to any color to begin with. Karn is a-colored, and hu isn’t bothered by that.

A trans-black card
A trans-black card

Unhallowed Cathar is black. He appears to all the world as black, and, in a sense, always was black. He just had the misfortune of having been cast as a white card. However, at some point in his life, he was able to undergo a transformation that allowed him to finally appear outwardly as the black card he always was on the inside. Unhallowed Cathar is trans-black (a kind of trans-colored), and it’s important to remember that he’s not a Loyal Cathar who thinks he is, or wants to be, black, he’s a black creature who happened to be cast as the wrong color.

A cross-coloring card
A cross-coloring card

Rainbow Crow is a blue creature who enjoys appearing other colors on occasion. She still considers herself a blue creature, and isn’t necessarily trying to pass as any other color, but she will take on the appearance of other colors for practical, theatrical, or personal reasons. She’s cross-coloring.

a non-pentary card
a non-pentary card

Transguild Courier has aspects of all colors and also aspects of none. Frankly, they don’t believe that color roles are all that relevant, preferring to think of themselves as just being, rather than trying to fit into some sort of label. They consider themselves non-pentary. Overall, color in Magic is a spectrum, and just because we may have been introduced to the game through the five colors, doesn’t mean that those five colors are the only possibilities. The reality is much more diverse, interesting, and wonderful than our pentary preconceptions, and embracing that reality can make the game so much more enjoyable for all who play it.