News
New Tags
Any feedback on the new categories would be appreciated.
--Joe on 07/04/20 01:07 am 66 Comments
Comments
I've transferred over the relevant posts from the previous news item to this one. I can keep track of it better this way.
- TG Storytime on 07/03/20 01:09 am
I've been a member here for a decade, Joe, could you at the very least add a transgender tag? That'd let us separate certain things from it. Like, all your tags are fine and valid, but a transgender tag would let us market to our desired audience. That way you can filter audiences easily. You can make sure you know what you are getting into or at least an idea.

You've not shown you care about your transgender writers and readers, so at the very least you could do this

You'll have to be a little more specific on this. The tags only work when it's clear what they mean. A reader on the site would see a "Transgender" tag and wonder what it meant, since it was from a site that served up nothing but transgender fiction. So I need you to flesh that idea out a little more.

-TG Storytime
- Cabbitgurl on 07/03/20 02:52 am
Dude, it means you have a story about transgender people. You know where you have the Sissy, Shemale, ect. Tag location? Put it there, let people know this isn't sissy or shemale, it's about transgender people
- Cabbitgurl on 07/03/20 02:58 am
The idea is, it's about transgender people. Not about the other stuff. Some dude turning his best cis guy best friend into his cis girl girlfriend, is not transgender. Sissy and Shemale are fetish terms. Transgender is NOT a fetish term.

When you have the transgender tag you know it features a transgender character, not a sissy not a shemale, not anyone else. It lets readers know, hey, this is a trans girl, trans boy, enby main character in the story and while your cis readers may not get it. They can always google it, half the tags in here most people wouldn't get unless they've been around to places like fictionmania like I have. Yet you're fine with those.

So why would having a transgender tag be so hard?

It's not hard. I just have to think of how it would work best within the way the site works. Gender change is the primary reason folks come here. So anything that doesn't incorporate gender change is something I'd have to think over a bit.

-TG Storytime
- Cabbitgurl on 07/03/20 03:09 am
You could call it "Transgender character" would that suffice?
- Cabbitgurl on 07/03/20 03:12 am
Why can't the way the site is operated change? Why can't you make this place more welcoming for trans people? Why do you have to prioritize fetish content over the content produced by trans people?
- buggirlexpres on 07/03/20 03:28 am
I don't disagree buggirlexpres. I think it should be on equal footing. Fetish stuff can exist, it's valid. Just... why can't we exist too?

Well, to be fair, this is primarily a fetish site with a fetish readership. I know the readership is broader than that, and there are lots of authentically transgender people who come here, and that number is growing. I'm not rejecting this proposal at all. I just have to think about how it would work.

-TG Storytime
- Cabbitgurl on 07/03/20 03:32 am
"So why would having a transgender tag be so hard?"

"It's not hard. I just have to think of how it would work best within the way the site works. Gender change is the primary reason folks come here. So anything that doesn't incorporate gender change is something I'd have to think over a bit."

I'm sorry, how doesn't transgender incorporate a gender change? It's people transitioning between one gender to the other (which there are tags for for realistic gender changes) or people dealing with living in the wrong body.

There are plenty of transgender people on this site or are gender fluid, so even if there's no change in the story itself. The website itself says TG Storytime: Transgender fiction.

To clarify, the reason most come here is to read about a the process of a gender change. A story revolving around characters who are pre-op/post-op/misassigned/intersex is a different type of story entirely, and we'd have to be clear to the reader what they were getting. I'd just have to think about how it was going to be presented on the site, and how it would be easily identifiable. It takes a little bit of planning.

-TG Storytime
- MrMarvel on 07/03/20 03:38 am
Is the possibility of changing the tags and categories on the table? Because a while ago there was a whole thread in the forum which proposed a number of ways the tags on this site could be improved in ways that would make it more welcoming to trans people and make it easier to navigate even for those who just come her for fetish content. Perhaps Joe didn't notice that thread, but I thought it offered a number of good solutions to that problem.
- Ms Black-and-blue on 07/03/20 04:16 am
Also, you know a lot of the trans readers DO come for the type of content you're describing, right? For one thing, stories of characters changing sex through some magical or sci-fi means tends to be wish fulfillment for us. And a lot of us are into fetishy stuff. That's not just a cis people thing. Like, we ARE part of the audience you're trying to appeal to. We're just trying to show you how you could do it better.

Trans readers have been with the site since it began, of course. We do get feedback along those lines, and I'm always glad to hear it. At first, I was a little embarrassed for the things I write whenever someone mentioned that they began reading my fetish material before they realized that they were transgender. But as time has gone on, it's become clear that it plays some kind of role for people who are looking for answers. Which is cool. :)

The relevant question here, though, is just how to fit it into the site without messing up the experience for everyone.

-TG Storytime
- Ms Black-and-blue on 07/03/20 04:20 am
I know when I came here, it was because of a fetish / interest, I wasn't really familiar what it meant to be trans. I didn't know who I was or anything like that. It was sort of self discovery.

Now I know who I am. I don't see myself as trans but I am not cis. So I'm sure other people also come here as self discovery and so stories that incorporate transgender themes without a physical change, would be helpful to people.

It'd also allow for people to tell fictional stories of characters that went through similar experiences as themselves.

Again, no objections. Just let me think about it. It would also take quite a bit of site work to get it done, so I need to work that all out.

-TG Storytime
- MrMarvel on 07/03/20 04:34 am
I'm pretty frustrated with Joe's failure to ban the troll, but pausing to think for a few hours about the best way to implement a "Transgender" or "Trans character" or "Trans perspective" tag is perfectly reasonable. Part of the reason that's a hard choice is because of the tag system on the site, which wasn't thought out with non-fetish stories in mind.

So it's not clear if the new tag should be a top-level genre, like "Magical Gender Change" or "Realistic Crossdressing" etc., or the Characters tag type ("Male to Female (misc age groups)" etc), or the "Turned Into:" character archetype list, or the "Motivation for Change:" list, or maybe the "Story Theme:" list.

Ideally, it would be nice to be able to tell at a glance the difference between stories about cis men who get forcefemmed by mundane means, trans characters who go through a realistic transition, cis men who get magically transformed into cis women, and trans characters who get a magical gender confirmation. So that's an argument against making it a top-level genre. But I'm not sure what's the best other slot for it. Really, the site's tagging system (especially the Sexual Orientation tags) needs an overhaul for many reasons we've discussed both on Discord and in the defunct forums, but it sounds like just adding a single tag is an enormous amount of work for Joe, so I suspect an overhaul of the tag system is off the table for now.

I'm holding off on leaving here until I see how Joe handles the new tag suggestions.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/03/20 10:24 am
I remember that discussion in the forums. The orientation tags tell you next to nothing really. "Becomes Bisexual,Becomes Only Attracted to Men, Becomes Only Attracted to Women, Does Not Change" In my time here I have seen no consistency in how they are used, they seem to be only there to tell where changes of orientation occur but even then it leaves out so much, where did they begin etc.

I have no concrete suggestion about how to fix this especially in a way that retrofits to old stories.

Ideally we have a box with Orientation: "Hetrosexual attracted to woman, "Heterosexual attracted to men, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Other."

Then we have a box: "Orientation does Not Change" and "Orientation Changes".

Then have a box: "Becomes Bisexual,Becomes Only Attracted to Men, Becomes Only Attracted to Women."

I would add a transgender tag to the Story theme section, it is a single theme it adds to the rest. You can have transgender people undergoing magical changes, you can have stories where they undergo scifi changes, you an have realistic changes. You already have other tags like Hormonal in Types of Changes.
- Wispy on 07/03/20 11:19 am
Yes, a lot of authors are kludging the orientation tag system by having, e.g., "Becomes Only Attracted to Women" and "Does not Change" on the same story. One can't tell from the tags whether the main character is attracted to women throughout the story, or whether multiple characters transform in different ways, some changing orientation and others not. (Usually when I see contradictory or discordant tags I assume they apply to different characters, but in this case that's usually not the case, I think?)

Possibly the simplest system would be two sets of tags, "Orientation before change" and "Orientation after change", each with straight, gay, bi, ace, etc.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/03/20 11:37 am
The main problem is the tags that give some indication of orientation imply a change has happened, which means there is no way to show a static orientation. So I can totally understand authors using "Does not Change" to cancel out the "Becomes Only" in "Becomes Only Attracted to Women" to show they are attracted to women with no changes in orientation or the a similar thing with the attracted to men and becomes Bisexual tags.
- Wispy on 07/03/20 11:42 am
I think content warnings work best when the author can describe them with their own words. I was imagining an optional textbox, like the story notes, but just for content warnings. There could be a helpful prompt that explains common warnings and how to phrase them.

Then if an authors puts something there it would appear with story description, near where the tags are listed. There would also be an option to mark the whole story as 'no warning applies'.

Stories without neither a warning or checkbox could simply appear as they do now. The lack of a warning or 'no warnings apply' blurb would communicate that it was left unspecified.
- redactedthegreat on 07/03/20 12:20 pm
As far as orientation, why not just "Pre hetero post hetero" or "pre hetero post lesbian" etc. like TGComics does? I've never been confused when trying to find stories with a certain orientation theme on that site.
- YuunaMatsubara on 07/04/20 03:09 am
Yeah I found out about the situation from an author posting about it on Scribblehub and yes it would be nice to have some of these changes made as it’s very hard for me to find a story I can read as for the site being about fetish themes it does not say that anywhere and I would like to know why. I noticed the website was about transgender stories based on the title and I was glad I had finally found a website with these kinds of stories all in one place but when I look for something all I find are some very messed up forced changes that typically involve brainwashing I know that not every story has this but I personally don’t enjoy reading these types of stories.
- Aralunai on 07/04/20 05:25 am
I mentioned it before and I repeat it. The "Completed Only" feature in the Advanced Search page is broken. It does not filter out incomplete stories. I deally there also should be an Incomple Only checkbox, that way you could also search for incomplete stories, something which can also be useful.

This is a long-time bug on the site that has flummoxed even professional programmers. I take at a hack at it every so often to try and figure it out, but so far it's a puzzle no one's been able to solve. We'll keep trying!

-TG Storytime
- helzblack on 07/04/20 12:41 pm
One issue with leaving authors only being able to announce it in the shoutbox is that only logged in users who have posted a certain number of reviews can see the shoutbox. From a more casual user's POV, someone who doesn't check the site every day and often isn't logged in, many of their favorite authors just disappeared with no warning.

I understand backdating the newly-updated stories that just added a forwarding address, but without something like that, it's hard to reach more casual readers with information that isn't a new chapter (not just leaving notices like this; e.g., a notice that the next chapter of a given story will be delayed because of ill health or computer problems).

If the Shoutbox were visible (but not writeable) to non-logged-in users and people who haven't posted the requisite number of reviews, this issue would be moot.

I understand authors want to communicate with the readers, but the site can only do so much. Authors have left he site in the past and not felt the need to take this step.

-TG Storytime
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/04/20 02:08 pm
I'm afraid I'm going to have to delete any responses in this thread that aren't on-topic. If you would like to comment regarding site moderation policies, my email is admin@tgstorytime.com or joe@sixpacksite.com .
- TG Storytime on 07/05/20 01:11 am
The problem with saying that a story is “about transgender people” is that it isn’t clear what that means. First off, we created the term “transgender” to be an umbrella term to include transvestites, genderqueer, etc., but it has shrunk to mean the same as the old “transsexual.” Second, a lot of stories are eggy. It isn’t always clear to me who is transgender and who has been made to like changing. Third, it always seemed to me that non consensual transformations where the person hates their new body is transgender stories, in that somebody is made to be transgender, since their bodies and identities are at odds. Basically, these stories are all over the map. Truthfully, my fantasy life has some really icky things in them...if I wrote about them with myself as the protagonist, but has elements that some here call fetishistic, would that be a transgender story?
- HeatherNYon on 07/05/20 02:43 am
Unfortunately, that got posted with typos and some miswording. Sorry about that. I usually write better than that.
- HeatherNYon on 07/05/20 02:45 am
I've added a new "top level" category called "Trans Life." You can see it on the Categories page. We'll flesh it out, tweak it and work with the other tags in the coming days ahead, but we wanted to have something to show folks for the time being. It's a work in progress. (including the name)
- TG Storytime on 07/05/20 04:25 am
That was fast!

I think that's a great category name, but the description is very confusing. A lot of the stories that would fall into that category are about gender change, and gender non-conforming isn't the same as trans.

How about something like: "Stories that cater to the trans perspective." That keeps it simple and informative.
- redactedthegreat on 07/05/20 01:42 pm
Yeah, agreed, while some trans people are gender non-conforming, generally speaking gender non-conforming refers to a separate category of people who *not* trans but who are, well, gender non-conforming.
- Tessarion on 07/05/20 03:02 pm
Thank you for the good-faith effort. This needs more work to fully support the trans community here (the part that hasn't emigrated to Scribblehub), but it's a start.

Ditto on what Tessa and Redacted said about GNC not being the same as trans. A cisgender person, who identifies with their assigned-at-birth gender, can still be gender non-conforming if they present in ways that aren't traditionally matched to their gender, etc.

Also, there's the issue I pointed out earlier in the thread -- making it a top-level category makes it mutually exclusive with "Magical gender change", "Sci-fi gender change", etc., but in reality stories with trans main characters *overlap* with those genre categories. Several people suggested making it a tag in the "Story Theme" section of tags.

Something like "Gender Dysphoria" or "Transgender transitioning" under "Motivation for Change" would also be a decent way to implement this, while the method of change could be marked with the top-level "Realistic/Magical/Sci-fi Gender Change" genres and the "Type of Change" tag list.

Also, a minor nitpick, but the rainbow-colored ice cream cone is pretty generic; the rainbow flag is more associated with LGBT+ people in general (especially gay men) than trans people in particular. Something like the trans flag (or a trans flag-colored ice cream cone or heart or whatever) would be more appropriate if you really want it to be a top-level genre.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/05/20 03:39 pm
I can't believe I am back here trying to help and explain stuff to you Joe, but in addition to what people have said about your weird gender non conforming statement, a trans story doesn't preclude it from having a magical or scifi transformation.

Kammi Kettu, Songbird, Trouble with Horns, Illegal alien in a MMO World, Pellan Rise, Ryn of Avonside etc are all transgender stories about transgender characters and transgender experiences. They are all also Scifi/fantasy and include magical transformations or Scifi transformations.

As several other people have said probably the best place for a transgender tag is in the Story Themes section or the Motivations section.
- Trashlyn on 07/05/20 03:43 pm
The tag system isn't really a "labeling" system. Their function is to help people find a story they're looking for. So while tagging a story with correct gender terms may be labeling the characters correctly, and sorting everything neatly and accurately, think more in terms of what people are searching for. If you were looking for a story along the lines of what we're describing here, it's not just a matter of identifying a profile of a person's gender, it's a matter of what a reader would be looking for when they choose a story to read.

Any ideas?
- TG Storytime on 07/06/20 01:27 pm
The tags and categories are ultimately intended to help readers find the kind of stories they want to read, yes. They serve negative as well as positive purposes, warning off readers from stories they wouldn't enjoy and calling their attention to stories they would enjoy.

But I don't see how moving the "Trans life" tag from the top-level category section to the Story Theme section would hurt in either way. People who are looking for fetish stories can learn to recognize a "Trans life" story theme as suggesting they probably won't find what they're looking for, just as people looking for less fetishistic transformation stories can see "Becomes dumber" or "Bimbo" and be warned that they aren't going to find what they want there.

And people looking for stories with trans characters can look for the "Trans life" theme, either in general or in combination with the category they like best (e.g. Realistic Gender Change for stories about real-world transition processes or Magical Gender Change for stories about wish-fulfilment instant transition).

For the present, I'm holding off on recategorizing a few of my stories as "Trans life" because I hope it will be moved to a more useful section of tags.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/06/20 03:16 pm
We've added two more top-level categories to create three new categories that more closely match what we have for Gender Change and Crossdressing/TV. So now we have the previously added "Trans Life" for general stories with gender-change content, as well as Sci-Fi Trans and Magical Trans categories. These new Trans categories are meant to be fetish-free, and are indicated as such.

We've also changed the language in Sexual Orientation, to read "Changes to be..." This may not solve the problem, but I don't know that much else can be done without adding too many options. Maybe it will bring some kind of clarity.

Also, we've added to the "Characters" menu four new options, "Male to Non-Binary" "Female to Non-Binary" "Non-Binary to Female" and "Non-Binary to Male" They cover all ages. This should help in these new non-fetish categories.

So let me know what you think. We know some of this may not be as exhaustive as some would like, but we would like to keep things as simple as we possibly can, and make finding stories a clear and straightforward process.

Any and all feedback would be appreciated!
- TG Storytime on 07/09/20 12:34 pm
This is a large step in the right direction. Thank you. I'll go adjust the categories on some of my stories.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/09/20 07:22 pm
Joe, I've been with the site practically from the time it was created. When you talk about the importance of fetish vs identity, that really vibes with me. I am full on the "fetish" side of things.
On paper, and I am an idealist so I like when things work as they would on paper, you take stories from both trans authors and fetish authors (and yes many would describe themselves as both) and you put their stories on a site and just tag them separately, and if people are picky they can do a tag search to get just what they want.
However, what I've seen is that when trans authors publish, there is a "Chilling Effect" on fetish readership and authorship. Readership because there is less authorship, and authorship because if they don't find a story that speaks to them on the site, they won't feel inspired to write their first story (and the pattern of story writers on any site: they tend to write 1-3 stories in quick succession and never write again, so we're talking really high turnover).
I assert that the global trans community is larger than the fetish community. There's some basic Darwinian logic at play where over time the smaller community gets overwhelmed generation after generation until it is snuffed out.
I used to come on this site, say 3 years ago, and find a story every day I really enjoyed. Now I find a couple per month. If I were trans, I know of a good half dozen sites I could go to today to read stuff that is largely realistic, with maybe some cross-dressing sprinkled in. As a fetishist of stories that are specifically either magical or sci-fi, this site is really all I've got.
I'm not writing this because I am making any kind of concrete demand. The specific action that is on the table, creating new categories, I guess it makes sense. But I guess, as I read on this thread all these voices that do not represent my own, that I just want my perspective heard, and I want a place I can keep calling home.
- ubougie on 07/10/20 09:21 pm
Joe,

You don’t want to remove due to content. Ok fine. But Liu is using alternate names to give themselves 5 star ratings to beef up their review score. That’s definitely a rule violation. This is a way to stick to your no censorship standards, and remove this person from the site.
- Terrigen on 07/11/20 05:26 am
Great change. As someone who is here purely for fetish/forced change stories & have no interest at all of the trans stories, I hope all authors who wrote trans stories could fully utilize this new tagging features as it will be easier for me to avoid them. Thanks to the admin.
- KFC on 07/12/20 02:45 am
I posted my Author page on my profile and for some reason when you click on it, it removes the : from the https:// breaking the link.
- MsReclusivity on 07/13/20 10:28 pm
Some further thoughts on the sexual orientation tags:

"Changes to be Attracted Only to Men" etc. are only a cosmetic change from "Becomes Only Attracted to Men" etc, and don't address the underlying problem, which is that there is no way to indicate what someone's attraction was before the change, or what their attraction is if it doesn't change. A lot of authors have kludged it by using both "Becomes Only Attracted to Women" and "Does Not Change", whose contradiction is not improved by Joe changing the first tag to "Changes to be Attracted Only to Women".

The simplest system for authors and readers to use would be a small set of tags for "Orientation before change" -- straight, bi, asexual -- and another set of tags for "Orientation after change". But I understand that might be hard for Joe to implement. The simplest meaningful change for Joe to implement would probably be adding one or two additional tags in the "Sexual Orientation" category while leaving the existing ones alone, or possibly renaming some existing tags.

Here's my proposal:

"Changes to be Attracted Only to Men" is replaced by "Attracted to men", and so on for the next two "Changes" tags. "Does not Change" stays the same (or becomes "Orientation does not change", maybe?). And we add a new tag, something like "Changes" or "Orientation changes after transformation" or something. (While we're at it, could we get an "Asexual" tag, too?)

This would require a minimal amount of changes to the tagging on existing stories, and a fairly small amount of work for Joe. If a story presently has "Changes to be Attracted Only to Men" and no "Does Not Change" tag, readers can interpret "Attracted to Men" as referring to post-transformation orientation. Authors of those stories can go back and add an "Orientation changes after transformation" (or whatever we call it) tag to make it clearer, but it's not absolutely necessary. Whereas stories contradictorily tagged "Changes to be Attracted Only to Women" and "Does Not Change" are now tagged "Attracted to Women" and "Does Not Change", which makes perfect sense.

I'll keep chewing on the problem, but keep in mind we cannot retroactively change the tags in old stories. We're stuck with that. We can't do something "new" in this category without creating a new expectation for how this category behaves and what it indicates. So it's something I'll have to keep pondering and see if I come up with a nice, elegant solution. I do absolutely agree there's a problem in how it's used, in some cases.

-TG Storytime
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/14/20 05:40 pm
I would love to see a tag for stories which are told in first person.

It would be a nice feature, but I'm not sure all of the writers know what "first-person perspective" or "3rd-person narrative" means, and that's crucial to getting a tag to work correctly.

-TG Storytime
- stger on 07/14/20 06:39 pm
I really like the new categories - Trans/Sci Fi and Trans Fantasy. I think they'll work nicely as a good start. Is there any way to migrate old stories to these categories without deleting and reposting them?

It's up to each author to do it, because we simply can't re-evaluate each story. Any author can edit their story and change the category.

-TG Storytime
- Kathryn Mayhew on 07/16/20 02:08 am
Hi again. I don't doubt this question I am about to ask hasn't been answered before, but I would like to ask it because I don't know what that answer was when it had been told. When do you believe the Discussion Board will be functional? I (and others) have Discord, and it does help get messages across to those members of this or that channel, but not everyone is here or there. I would like to speak to everyone here without butting into a conversation designed for another topic (like this one or the Reviewer's Club). I would use the emailing system we have, but I don't like the fact that most (if not all) members receive that email through their spam filter.

Forgive me if that sounded a lot like a rant. That wasn't my intention to blow steam. I just want to know what answer was given to everyone else about the Discussion Board. If that is not coming up soon, I will return to contacting everyone (one at a time) and hope they check their spam.
- CasLon on 07/16/20 04:04 am
The first and third person tags could work easily if you put an example to them, when the writers add the tags to the stoty 😉
- stger on 07/17/20 07:16 am
@stger, as long as we're tagging POV, marking single POV vs. multiple POVs would be kind of nice too. I want to think Joe is being pessimistic about authors mis-tagging them due to not understanding, but I've had authors I'm beta-reading for occasionally show that they didn't know the difference between tense and person, at least in terms of terminology (though random person changes are a lot less common than random tense changes). Some authors simply choosing to *not* tag their stories by POV would not be an issue as long as they're not tagging them incorrectly.

Using examples might help, but it could also clutter up the story submission page and make it harder to submit things.

@Joe,

> we cannot retroactively change the tags in old stories. We're stuck with that.

You've already shown that you can rename existing tags, and my orientation proposal requires one new tag and the renaming of some existing tags. It doesn't require going back and re-tagging old stories; the tags on old stories would still make sense under the rename.

Here's another idea: change the name of the tag *group*, from "Sexual Orientation" to "Change in Sexual Orientation, if any" or something like that, and rename the "Changes to be attracted..." tags to "Attracted...". No new tags would be strictly needed. The absence of a "Does Not Change" tag would indicate the character is "Attracted to men" only after the change, while its presence would mean she's attracted to men (or whatever genders are mention in the tag) both before and after. Again, old stories wouldn't need to be re-tagged.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 07/17/20 08:01 am
@stger and @Trismegistus Shandy, some authors fail to decide (or realize?) which POV (or tense) they want to stick with and run through all three in one chapter (I've seen examples of that here). I, just sometimes, wonder if a few of these stories are adapted from a role-playing session and is the excuse on why I do run across authors juggling their POVs (tenses excluded from that conspiracy theory).
- CasLon on 07/17/20 09:03 am
I have no idea when to use the new categories. Is there some sort of rule of thumb that can tell when a story is fetish-y, like if it has explicit sex or detailed descriptions of clothing?

I have three stories here. One is magical about a guy who is merged with his female cat and goes into heat; that's probably fetish. One is sci-fi about a girl whose brain is used to make a male Frankenstein, and is sort of a metaphor about dysphoria; that's probably non-fetish. But my third is a realistic romance about a gay male who crossdresses and falls in love, and I don't know if that's fetish or not.

Think about it from the reader's perspective. Is the purpose of the story to be wish fulfillment and/or sexual gratification or is it more of a story to be told to a general audience? How do you want the reader to approach reading it?

-TG Storytime
- Jennifer Brock on 07/18/20 03:00 pm
Joe you are just over complicating it over and over. We should have just kept the original 3 top level categories and just added a single tag to story themes section called something like "trans life" or whatever, instead of just making duplicates of the top 3 categories for some artificial and arbitrary trans people story versus fetish story divide.

You seem determined to view this whole thing through that artificial divide and it is making for a worse system. Hell I doubt any of the authors who remain will utilize the new categories because it is badly thought out at best, segregation of stories at worst.

Hell you could also make an explicit rather than implicit "Fetish story" tag in story themes if you want fetish stories to be more easily searchable among the trans content. Then it is a simple include/exclude search.

The reason for making them top-level is to make it very, very clear that these stories are intended to be different from fetish-y content. The reason it isn't a checkbox or a tag is that it's too easy to miss or misinterpret. The new categories may not be used nearly as often as other categories, but we think many authors are more comfortable using those categories than our traditional categories. It won't "break" the site, as we think 90-95% of authors and readers will still be using our traditional categories.

-TG Storytime
- Wispy on 07/19/20 11:48 am
@Joe Hi (again), I thought you might have wanted to be made aware (if you weren't already) that there are 4 instances of "10 Most Tracked Stories" in the "Tops" section of the site.

Thanks. I took care of it.

-TG Storytime
- CasLon on 07/20/20 12:15 am
Maybe I'm in the minority, idk. But I appreciate the category change and I think it helps authors to distinguish what exactly they're writing about. Thank you. I'm confused as to why people don't like the fetish/non-fetish divide, though. Isn't that a good thing? Separating stories about self-exploration and whatnot from those that are just for those with a TG fetish?
- Paper Moon on 07/20/20 08:00 am
it potentially hides stories from eggs and this whole thing could have been done more elegantly with a single tag.
- Wispy on 07/20/20 08:42 am
concerns about proselytizing aside, wouldn't "eggs" *not* go for the fetish stuff though?
- Paper Moon on 07/20/20 08:47 am
To be honest, I don't get the idea of "aren't fetish material" in the context of magical gender change stories. There is the kid friendly rating for a story which doesn't have sexual elements in the story. Can you clearly define what would be an explicit-rated 'Magical Gender Change' story vs. an explicit-rated 'Magical Trans' story? What are the fetish elements which define the story to be in the 'Magical Gender Change' category and not 'Magical Trans'?

Based on your comment "Is the purpose of the story to be wish fulfillment and/or sexual gratification or is it more of a story to be told to a general audience?", do you mean is it smut or does it have a story? If that's the case, maybe 'Short Stories' vs. 'Novel/Novella' might be a better way to describe it.
- Ranmakun on 07/21/20 08:40 am
Ranmakun the purpose of the trans description is to differentiate stories with a transgender protagonist versus a forced protagonist.
- YuunaMatsubara on 07/21/20 10:34 am
Which is totally why having it in the top level categories is weird. It really should be either a story theme tag, or a motivation tag, or a character tag all 3 would server better and yeah as you point out this fetish vs trans story divide is a false dichotomy, they are stories that are neither and stories that are both.

Flowers in the Dungeon is both a trans story with bdsm and fetish themes. "Heroes and Villains" uses bdsm and crossdressing as a fetish to lead into a story about a trans character. There are countless other examples of that stories that are both.

There are also lots of stories that aren't about transgender characters, both sci-fi and fantasy, but also not really fetish stories either the tgtf is more of a premise/trope leading into a much larger story exploring lots of other ideas. These stories are more utilising genre of gender bender than focusing on fetishizing the idea of a tgtf plot.

So yeah restating, we should just keep the 3 original top level story categories and add a bunch of tags to the various other tag groups like "Wholesome", "Smutty", "Fetish-focused", "Real-life Transgender Allegories", Transgender Coming Out story" and any other relevant tags people think should be added.

Honestly feels like a lot of discussion of what is the best way of including trans tags or fixing other tags like orientations ones and you (Joe) are not really taking much of it on board and coming out with solutions largely different from anything being discussed.
- Wispy on 07/21/20 12:07 pm
I think the best solution would be to add a tag for the protagonist and include straight, gay, trans, bi, other (or no tag I guess) and make that tag more prominent in the formatting to make it easier to see. Larger text, bold font, give it it's own line above the other categories or something if you want it to be noticeable. I could see people wanting to search for CD by a straight protagonist, or Magical Gender Change with a trans protagonist, but I don't think each need their own category.

Honestly, both the normal and trans categories are appealing to me, but I know I'm not going to read the trans stuff very much, just because it's separated. I know I'll miss stuff I like, but I won't spend a lot of time looking in a category that even you think won't be used by "90-95% of authors and readers" because I can't search/browse two categories at the same time.

Another idea would be to let users save a search and link that search on the homepage, so if someone only wants to read stories with trans protagonists, they can easily find them. Or just to customize the homepage to your search preferences.
- Ranmakun on 07/21/20 01:34 pm
I am not a fan of the new categories. It was hard enough before to determine the mechanism of change because the categories overlapped, or were not used the same way by everyone. For example, a change mechanism of bodysuits is sometimes classified as 'realistic'. To me that should be sci-fi. I've seen injections cause clothing changes which make no sense at all.

I think the mechanism of change should be clearly defined with as few variations as possible so that a reader can figure out the type of story without having to read it all first. Beyond the main mechanism if you want to split hairs between fetish/non-fetish; or any other way, good luck.

Magic (spells, curses, potions, medallions, ghosts, rings, witches, SRU, demons, genies...)

Sci-Fi (machines, nanites, MAU, radiation, Great Shift, bodysuits [the physiology-changing kind], brain/head transplants, hypnosis, aliens...)

Realistic (hormones/SRS)

Crossdressing (clothing, accessories, appliances...)
And so on.

Beyond that, if you want to categorize the degree of change, or the protagonist's orientation that matters little to me. Even there, many times 'orientation changes' and 'orientation doesn't change' are used in the same description. I don't even look at those anymore.

I just think that the more main categories you create, the more overlap and confusion you are going to wind up with. Before long, the categories will be meaningless.

And honestly, I think you should hold off on site customization until all of the server issues and features (discussion board?) are fixed. Thank you and good luck.
- Elron on 07/23/20 12:54 am
Thank you Joe.
- Paper Moon on 07/26/20 09:08 pm
Unless the new catagroies can be retroactively put on old stories I think it's just confusing. Perhaps make a way for the Reader to add or permote tags a story should have. Maybe only if they leave a review or a rating. That way old stories can be retagged more correctly and better searched. Add a search option for readers tags even. Many stories have tags "for the finished story" that never gets finished for example. People looking for such things have to filter out stuff they dont want even with extensive searching.

And fwiw there is a HUGE difference between transgender and sissy and crossdressing etc. Someone from the outside might not realise that but most people here can likely give more than 20 labels for different gender identies.

While I agree the old catagories were a bit lacking, and more spacific is almost alwase better...if the old stories can not be converted into the new system I think it will just add less function than more.
- ErinM on 08/01/20 07:38 am
Adding a feature for readers to suggest additional tags or changing the category of a story would be good, but approving those tag changes could be tricky. For stories whose author has been active within the last N days, the author should be allowed to approve or disapprove the proposed tags, and for stories whose author hasn't logged in in more than N days, Joe (or tag wranglers he delegates things to) could approve or disapprove them.

The questions are, what is the optimal value of N, and does Joe have the time/resources/skills to implement such a feature?

A low-tech way to implement it would be for a team of volunteers to come up with a list of older stories, orphaned by authors no longer active here, which should be re-tagged "Magical Trans" or whatever, and let Joe manually recategorize them with a SQL command when he has time. We'd need the discussion board back to coordinate that, though.
- Trismegistus Shandy on 08/02/20 12:05 am
For the record I do not consent to my stories being changed into any of the new categories.

To make things clear: we do not edit categories, unless there is an obvious mix-up of some sort. We do edit tags, but only when there's clear mis-tagging. For instance, if the story should have warnings due to the content. Most of the time, we leave the metadata alone.

Also, we will not be re-categorizing stories. That's against the original intent of how the author chose their category. Modifying some of the tags, though, is under consideration.

-TG Storytime
- Trashlyn on 08/02/20 04:19 am
Honestly, I find the new categories a bit confusing, and I had trouble figuring out where to put my stories.
It feels odd to me to try and separate categories based on whether they contain fetishes or not. For instance, say I write a story that has an entire chapter about a character putting on pantyhose. How am I supposed to categorize that? Am I supposed to judge it based on whether I personally intended that scene for hosiery fetishists?
In addition to writing TG erotica, I also make tabletop games. There's a minor character in a game I wrote who is a warrior lady. I wanted her to have at least one memorable character trait, but I only had one or two sentences to work with, so I wrote that she "is known for her habit of bathing in the blood of her enemies". I actually later received fanmail from a very nice gentlemen who had a long-held passion for women who were hemophilic in the non-medical sense. It was actually the first piece of fanmail I'd ever gotten.
While I never intended for this character to be fetish material, she was created in the context of a larger game that was intended to be erotic. While I didn't know and certainly didn't expect the way in which the players would get off to it, it was my desire that they would. I would think that this is true of any work of erotic fiction. It feels odd to me that an author of erotica would reject the way a member of their audience enjoys their work.
Essentially, I feel that dividing stories up by fetish/non-fetish is redundant to the already existing maturity categories. If an author is tagging their work as explicit, it seems to me that it logically follows that they are encouraging people to be turned on by it in whatever way suits them. That's just my two cents though.

Some authors want to have their stories separated from our usual fare. If they would like their story to not be evaluated and judged as fetish material, these categories are there for that purpose. They might still have stuff that can push your buttons, but it's not the focus of the story. I understand your point, but these new categories simply give the author the option to opt out of being judged as fetish material.

-TG Storytime
- TheLetterA on 08/03/20 02:31 am
Is it possible to redesign the character and age boxes so that you can select male to female, female to male, male to non-binary, female to non-binary, non-binary to male, or non-binary to female, and then in the other box you can say 0-12 yrs, 13-19, 20-62, 63+?
- Ulysses on 08/03/20 09:37 am
Not all "explicit" stories are erotic. Some might not have any sexual elements at all, but derive their ratings from gore or violence or horror or other things. There might be sexual elements in these types of stories, too, but they're for the purpose of moving the plot and character development along and giving another element for the main character to interact with, not for someone to get their rocks off to. It's a meaningful distinction, honestly. Considering the preponderance of fetishistic stories here, it's nice having a specific category for readers to look in if they want stories that are more character-focused than erotic.
- Paper Moon on 08/04/20 08:39 pm
I believe the reason many consider certain stories to be "fetishistic" or at least kinky and others to be more representative of transgender people is that most of the stories some people complain about, i.e. some dude being forced to become a woman, are:
1. Written quickly, no real story other than the necessary shell need to
2. Focus in the transformation
3. End up with the so-called bimbo stereotype (a super sexualized body) and 4. The author may write a line going thus: "And the Johnny the protagonist slowly faded while Jenny the crazy w**** took over. Johnny was gone" or "Johnny's memories faded while 40 GB of hard-core p*** were forcefully donwloaded into his memory".

That is to say, in most of these stories Johnny is completely overwritten. It is less of a transgender story and more of a story about some random dude being overwritten in body, mind and memories into a completely different person. You really wonder what's the point of doing so if the protagonist is completely and utterly gone.

To fix this I suggest a very minor fix. I don't know how diffcult it could be to make and I understand if it doesn't end up implemented. But what if we separate the Loses Identity tag into the two different concepts that it actually is.

In some stories the tag might refer to someone who was trans or that eventually became very comfortable in the female body and accepted their destiny. They could have developed such different personality that they are a different person. Though in the inside they are still the same person maybe the feel so differently about many things that you could argue the original identity was lost.

In others the person is completely overriden.

The key difference is not so much in how much remains, but rather whether or not there is a continuity between the two identity. Is Johnny the same person or has he been displaced. I would argue that any story where we can see the Johnny persona being slowly disolved and their inner voice slowly fading, this is surprinsingly common and is more akin to a possession story, fits the latter category.

So to cover this the tag Loses Identity could be replaced by two tags. Identity Overriden and Identity Changes to a New One.

In one the person is completely paved over in the other the new identity is implied to be an overgrowth or extension, either already present or created that changes how the protagonists thinks.

More than the recent changes in category I think this is what separetes the two styles of stories, and it could greatly help readers find out what type of story it is. One of change and/or self-realization, or one where somebody's life is hijacked and completely overriden.

Not judging anybody, just saying they are completely different type of stories.
- helzblack on 08/04/20 09:50 pm
To clarify I know there already exists a tag called Possession, but the Loses Identity tag sometimes is like possession in the sense that while not posssessed by a ghost the person is displaced by a new personality while the old personality watches helplessly or is deleted, at least in some stories, while in others stories it referes to some protagonist that may either volutarily or not been changed in body, but eventually there is an organic change in mind, perhaps a radical one, perhaps a soft one, but the point is that original person is not death, so to speak, only changed in identity
- helzblack on 08/04/20 09:56 pm
It really feels like you're trying to wall off a corner of an adult book store to put some nude photography art books because the artist creating it doesn't want it to be on the same shelf as Penthouse. In which case, is accommodating that change the right approach? Or would the artist be better served at a Barnes & Nobles?

However I do think that a category for trans stories where the character doesn't change would be a good addition. I don't think however there needs to be a magical or sci-fi crossdressing category, in the same way that a magical trans category causes confusion. For example:
- If the person puts on a bra, that's CD. (Clear I think.)
- If a wizard makes a bra appear, is that CD or magical CD?
- If the person puts on a bra and they grow t***, is that CD, magical CD or magical transformation?
- If the person wants to be a woman so they put on a bra and they grow t***, is that CD, magical CD, magical transformation or magical trans?

Here are the top level categories I would use:
Magic Transformation: Physically changes due to magic, a wish or some unknown force.
Sci-fi: Physically changes due to science or technology, possibly future technology.
Realistic Gender Change: Physically changes due to currently available technology, science and techniques.
She-male: May or may not include changes, but the main character has or ends with a female appearance and male genitalia.
Crossdressing: Physically doesn't change, but wears clothing of the opposite gender.
Trans Life: Physically doesn't change, but features a trans main character.

Then you could have the character's orientation as a sub-category or the first tag. And each category could have relevant sub-categories, for example CD could have Sissy as one of the categories. Realistic could have surgery as one sub-category and hormones as another. I think all the tags need to be looked at again and maybe reorganized. She-males could overlap with magic or sci-fi, but I think should still be its own category since the person never completely changes genders, or was that way to begin with.
- Ranmakun on 08/07/20 08:39 am
Deleted the off-topic posts.
- TG Storytime on 08/07/20 03:00 pm
I don't remember what I wrote (just broke in the home brewed mead). I'm okay with it because I already assume my comments were warrant of deletion anyways.

One big question I have about this big change with our categorized tags: what are the plans (if any) for those authors who no longer appear here? I am not talking about the recently departed, but those authors who had wrote a long list of stories between 2011-2019 and they disappeared (before the dreaded 20s arrived). There are a lot of stories on here that will never be touched again by their creators (especially by the deceased authors). Any thoughts?
- CasLon on 08/08/20 07:57 pm
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