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Plural Question Of The Week Responses

These are responses to the Plural Question of the Week tumblr prompts [LINK] up to #50. Some were posted on tumblr while back, but have been cleaned up for posting here.

Not every prompt is answered with detail, or at all. WIP WIP WIPWIP This is gonna get cannabalized instead of posted properly

Its like a handful of people stuck in a room together sharing a phone/computer to communicate with the outside world. We all have to use the same interface (the body), but we are all separate. Others who arent using it can be hovering over the other persons shoulder(cofronting), or see the internet history on the device (memories), and we can talk to each other because we are there.

We would probably not use analogies though and instead talk about the direct experiences of what things feel like. We feel sometimes singlets can get bogged down in the analogy and not quite get it.

It looks like systemic acceptance. It looks like not fearing you will lose your job for being out about being plural. It looks like not fearing how your family or friends will react to your plurality. It looks like doctors taking you seriously and not trying to force integration. It looks like not fearing being visibly plural will cause you severe problems.

It looks like people in your life acknowledging that you are many when talking to you or asking for opinions. It looks like them not getting awkward when you bring it up or don't mask.

It looks like not gatekeeping or fakeclaiming any kind of system. It looks like recognizing and spreading signs of plurality and dissociative disorders.

It looks like not being nosy about trauma and origins and every facet of your system. It looks like treating fictionfolk with respect and being normal about them. It looks like not generalizing and accepting how individual systems identify and what their accommodations and presentation are.

It looks like all of this being commonplace and normal.

Xenoblade 2!

Our Favorite Game has a wonderfully done plural character and gets the closest to how we exist that we have seen in any media. Its not an accident either because the creator also did Xenogears (which had a Passable For Its Time portrayal of specifically DID- less so now) so the creator CLEARLY knows what he was portraying and this time around did incredibly well with it in our opinion.

Pyra and Mythra have the sort of banter and care for each other and ‘I don't want to do this you do it’ relationship that is quite close to how we exist. They have good control of who controls the body when, good memory sharing, and a good relationship like we have going on too. The experience of cohabitating the same form is so vividly similar to ours.

Its to the point we feel like the writers did actual research- and not the ‘just googled MPD’ thing most of hollywood does or ‘just talked to a few shrinks’. But ‘did actual research for Xenogears and actually kept up to date with it over time’ at least. And not to tinfoil hat but we wouldn't be surprised if someone on the production team knows someone who is plural or is plural themselves because of the level of Getting The Intricacies going on.

The way Pyra and Mythra are awkward and try to minimize everything when people ask about it is also relatable. Like its so *awkward* talking to singlets about our plurality because it feels like a severe imposition to ask for accommodations and you have to say with your mouth that yes you are very insane and detail such a personal thing and its easier to just say ‘it doesn't matter’ even when it really does to you, even when they assure you its fine, because making that imposition about something that is objectively really weird and really personal is. Oof. They got that vibe NAILED here.

We are just PAINFULLY reminded of high school- in like a good way, with how they act and their INCREDIBLE character writing you can see so much into every time you replay and all the other fun and zesty spoiler details on why they act the way they act. This game makes us so insane lol.

Also god validates their personhood and chosen names. You don't get much better than that in terms of a series saying you get to be a person while being plural.

One could even make an argument that the game has a major theme of radical assertion of personhood- and is arguing for headmates who want to claim that to be considered their own people if they want.

Theres some less good aspects- its not perfect by any means in execution, but its about as close as most media gets to Getting It and seemingly Getting It on purpose rather than on accident(as many fantasy series do) for us really.

We feel seen the way no other piece of media has ever made us feel seen. This game was literally lifechanging and thats not remotely an exaggeration.

Even beyond plurality it resonates basically on every level with us. The themes, the way the gameplay works, the character arcs, the plot and story, the world. Nothing tops this game for us, and its likely that nothing ever will.

We have quite a lot but much of it revolves around ignoring community drama and trends and focusing on what you are experiencing over identity politics.

Stop submersing up to your eyeballs in microlabel jargon and community drama and just exist with yourselves. Figuring out yourselves can be easier if you don't dive into the deep end and feel obligated to 'label correctly' the second you crack your plural egg. You don't need to use any framework you don't want to. Material experiences are more important than labels, and you should use whatever resources will help you, even if they aren't for your 'type of system'.

The community is a cesspool and people treat it like a safe space when it really REALLY isn't. There are abusers here and there are exclusionists, and they will happily lie to you and hurt you. Exercise caution.

There is also an absurd amount of misinformation. No one is perfectly reliable but ESPECAILLY stop using tiktok, youtube, and twitter as a source. These places may lie or dramatize for clout and views or may 'no true scottsman' to kiss up to singlets. Again, exercise caution in what people are telling you, especially if they claim science fully agrees on any one specific thing about plurality.

In terms of what we would ask; horrifyingly, compared to many of the people in the community right now WE count as an older system! Really we want less advice and more history lessons from older plurals.

Material experiences rather than frameworks.

The problem with focusing on frameworks over material experiences is that a lot of people dont realise what they are experiencing actually counts as the experience if they don't use the frameworks everyone else uses. This prevents people from seeking help or realizing a given thing applies to them.

Talking about how things like switching and amnesia feel exactly, what internal communication is like, how you came to the conclusion of the ages of your headmates, what splitting a new headmate feels like, etc does far more good in helping people realize they may be plural or have a dissociative disorder than explaining the ToSD for the nth time or talking about your origin theory microlabel collection.

Also it would be nice if people talked more about ‘taboo’ subjects like headmate relationships, integration, or headmate death.

Saneism. The way people get real upset and uncomfortable when people are different from them is pretty well the root of anti-plural sentiment.

Acceptance of plural folks also relies on people believing others about their internal experiences, and that is also a major blocker on plural acceptance, we feel.

On what can be done; no idea really. It would require getting people to understand that us crazies aren't to be feared or disbelieved, that we are allowed to exist as we are. And that... That is going to take awhile.