30 October 2019


I've occasionally wondered about transgender and science fiction.

The science fiction world where I do most of musing is Traveller.

Little Black Book Traveller is silent on such matters.

But I don't use LBB Traveller for much more than setting notes any more.

GURPS 4e, on the other hand does have something to say.

Biotechnology in Interstellar Wars is at TL9 from about 2100 AD to the end of the period.

GURPS: Biotech p. 170 lists Complete Sex Change (TL9):

This is a total sex change, with full capacity for reproduction being possible. This requires tissue-engineering organs and transplanting them into the recipient’s body, although at TL11+, proteus nanoviruses can design working reproductive organs and cells within the patient’s own body.

A complete sex change is $30,000 (and three weeks) for a male-to-female change, or $100,000 (and four weeks) for a female-to-male, the latter requiring the creation of an artificial Y chromosome, which is trickier. There is often a requirement for psychological counseling prior to any sex change operation. LC3.

It appears that technology makes the matter moot when you can change the plumbing to match the wiring so completely that even the DNA says so.

But is the matter moot?

That depends a great deal on the social acceptance of such procedures.  I think that the existence of the procedure kind of says that it's socially acceptable, otherwise it wouldn't have been perfected.

Also implied by the technology is the ability to make the wiring match the plumbing.

So if a man wakes up and finds that they are looking at a stranger in the mirror and wonders where the woman they know themselves to be went...  They can go either way.

By way of comparison, today's TL8 gets:

Superficial Sex Change (TL7/8): Masculinization or feminization of facial and body features, but without genital reconstruction. The subject retains his/her own sex, but when fully dressed appears to be a member of the opposite sex.
Gender Reassignment (TL7/8): The subject completely resembles his/her new gender. Only a medical examination would reveal that a sex change had taken place. To all exterior appearances and for all social interactions, the change is total, except that reproduction is impossible.
Genital Reassignment (TL7/8): As above, but without any masculinization or feminization of features (though this may be added later via a superficial change).
A superficial sex change is $2,000 (one week recovery). A gender reassignment is $10,000 (and two weeks). A genital reassignment is $8,000 (and two weeks). 
 The advance of technology inevitably alters society.

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