Disability in Pacific Rim: Let the Outcasts In
Dr. Hermann Gottlieb is disabled. He has a bad leg, and walks with a cane. This isn’t incidental to his character, or what his character means, as he isn’t merely portrayed as disabled but as bodily weak and ill. (There is a huge difference, after all there are amputee bodybuilders and people with cerebral palsy who are graceful as cats.) Burn Gorman must have lost muscle mass for the role, and multiple layers of terribly unflattering clothes make him look even scrawnier. He may still be adorable, but his round glasses and atrocious haircut emphasizing his too-large ears make sure he isn’t conventionally handsome. His hunched back looks less like bad posture and more like painfully untreated scoliosis. He is pale like he hasn’t seen sunlight in a decade, and his white skin pulled too tight on his prominent cheekbones give him an almost skeletal look. His speciality is abstract mathematics, theoretical and dry. He works in numbers and chalk, no kaiju entrails on his side of the room - he has nothing to do with anything organic. He seeks knowledge, and doing so, he is outside of his own body.
Dr. Newton Geiszler is not explicitly stated to be mentally ill. Still, anyone looking at him can tell that either he is on some serious uppers, or he is so high on his own brain chemistry that he needs some serious downers just to keep his feet on the ground. Many fans interpreted him as either bipolar (potentially during a hypomanic episode) or as somewhere along the high-functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum. The narrative goes out of its way to show Newt off balance - he is constantly moving, frantic and desperate, running in fear for his life, running to save the world, stumbling over his words to explain something with breathless urgency. For most of it, he is drenched with rain and shaking with cold, or with the aftereffects of the drift - in fact, he is shaking more than often than he is not. He is the one to come up with unconventional, unhinged idea of drifting with a kaiju - to find knowledge, he literally has to leave his own mind.
The two characters who are presented as the seekers of truth in Pacific Rim are also clearly coded as two different kinds of disabled. The scene where the scientists are introduced, they are late, and Newt is shouting after the others to wait. The scientists duck in from the rain at the very last moment before the thick metal doors to the Shatterdome close. They are late, but you should wait for them. Because the people who have been fucked up by biology are the ones you can count on to fuck it right back.
Thanks, I think? And no, I don’t mind the follow at all. :)
Well, technically my Belial isn’t THE Belial. And he’s not a demon either. He and his brother are hybrids; the offspring of a human and a Shade Wraith (original species) as the result of a failed lab experiment. I don’t have a full summary at hand to explain in depth who and what they are but HERE is a link to his folder on my DA if you’re curious.
For a very basic summary, he and his brother, Asmodeus, picked their names out of a book when they were younger. They didn’t really know what the names meant and as their reading material was carefully monitored, it was likely the bible.
I myself just had a little list of cool names I’d jotted down from Dungeon Keeper 2 (Ooooold PC game). So I picked one that suited him from that list, and forewent the research on it, as you do with first OCs. It’s only later that I found out the real meaning but his name is very much stuck.
He’s getting his own book series at some point… whenever I finish… hence why you’ll find me talking a lot about him and novels in the same breath.
So even if he’s not technically the demon Belial, I’m still pretty flattered. Thanks for the ask :)
On the one hand I could be productive. On the other… I feel like building dream houses in the Sims.
Yeah, I think we all know what I’m doing this afternoon.
Hermann is dealing with new information about his long time science lab partner, Newton Geiszler. As post-Drift dreams of Newton’s past haunt him, he tries to assimilate his feelings and co-dependency on Newton as well as deal with the massive public attention he is being given. And when Newton disappears, it’s like a part of himself is gone too. Using the information he got from the Drift, he goes to find Newton and bring him home. But when he learns about Newton’s past, he has to choose to take on that baggage as well as his own. Something Hermann doesn’t realize is that it actually goes both ways, and Newt might want to help Hermann as well.
I don’t feel comfortable putting this in the fandom tags yet. So…yeah.
30-Question Outside The Binary Challenge
The thirty questions can be answered all at once, one a day, or on any particular schedule. Please tag your answers with #30qoutsidethebinarychallenge.
- What is your gender identity?
- What are your preferred pronouns?
I’m good with anything people want to call me (except stuff like “it”) but I tend to prefer she/her/hers with people inside my circle and they/them/theirs with strangers. I’m less comfortable with masculine terms.
- Do you have a sex identity, and if so, what is it?
Uh… if that’s referring to my downstairs identity then I’m female.
- What’s your sexual orientation?
A bit up in the air, but Asexual, possibly demi/gray. I’m starting to get a handle on it but am still a bit uncomfortable talking about it yet. I stick with Asexual as my umbrella term.
- What intersections do you have with being outside the binary?
I’m in a queer relationship with another Ace person outside the binary.
- What does your gender/s mean to you?
I’m proud of it. It makes me comfortable to have a box of sorts or at least to not feel so alone. I feel a lot better in myself now I know who I am and am starting to figure out what I like and don’t like when it comes to my identity. I’m niche, but that’s kind of who I am all over.
- Has your gender/s ever changed?
Obviously I used to just identify as female, before I knew anything beyond boy and girl existed. My teenage years were very uncomfortable because of this and difficult between my own hatred of being female and the bullies calling me queerphobic names (It, he-she, tranny etc). I didn’t realise that my discomfort was a real thing and not just me making things up in my head. I discovered the term gender fluid about two years ago and went with that for a while before settling comfortably as agender.
- How has your understanding of your gender/s changed?
Loads. These past couple of years I finally feel that I’m not somehow broken. Female pronouns don’t make me uncomfortable anymore and I understand that it’s not just boy or girl. I can feel like and be anything or nothing and it’s valid.
- Do you feel you have a full grasp on understanding your gender/s yet?
Moreso now than ever. I may still have the odd revelation or doubt along the way but right now, I’m very secure in who I am.
- How do you come out as your gender/s?
I’ve come out on facebook as part of my new years resolution. Before that I had told my sister and her (then) gf. Before that was a lot of tumblr blogging and talking it out with my fiance.
- Do you have facial dysphoria?
No. I’m fine with looking feminine, at least facially.
- Do you find it worse to have social dysphoria or bodily dysphoria?
Body, I’d say. As I said, I’m not bothered by pronouns and my outwards appearance fits my sex. I don’t have severe dysphoria but I do my best to hide parts of my body or more often, pretend they don’t exist. When I get a bad bout of it I usually decide that I’ll speak with my doctor the next time I see her if it’s still causing me upset.
- Do you consider yourself FtM or MtF? Why or why not?
No. Even as a teen and hating being female, I never thought I wanted to be male either (except maybe to escape dreaded periods). Agender is definitely my perfect place at the moment. Besides, I don’t mind keeping the downstairs junk now I’ve got pills to regulate my cycles and have some certain sexual inclinations.
- Does it bother you more to be misgendered as the sex you were designated or assigned at birth, or to be misgendered as the other binary gender?
As mentioned before, I’m less comfortable with masculine terms.
- Do you have any politicized identities, such as Muslimah or Latino?
Nope. Non-religious mayo here.
- Do you have preferred pronouns in other languages than English? If so, what are they?
- Are your gender/s fluid or static?
Pretty static thankfully. Swinging between two would be very difficult for me. I am a bit of a walking contradiction sometimes but generally I like pinning things down and being definitive.
- What would you want on a government ID card?
I don’t know. Just stick with female I guess as I don’t present any differently.
- Do you consider yourself trans, trans*, transgender, transsexual, or some combination of those terms?
- What symbols for your gender or being outside the binary do you like best?
- Do you like the transgender flag? Why or why not?
Yes, it’s a great colour combo for the message.
- Are you proud of being your gender/s?
Yup. Even if it requires a lot of tedious explanation sometimes.
- Are you proud of not being the sex you were assigned/designated at birth?
- If you could have been called any pronoun as a child, which pronoun would you want?
They/them/theirs. My parents were good at not giving me guides for girls vs boys stuff but that’s the only other change I’d have made.
- If official forms had lines instead of boxes for gender, what would you write?
Agender or Genderqueer. Or prefer not to disclose. That seems to be more common these days.
- What kinds of microaggressions do you receive most often?
None, thankfully, so far, bar maybe a bit of cat calling. Oh and sometimes dismissal of my identity. Not really what I’d deem aggression though.
- Are you stealth off the internet, or out to a few people?
Out to a few people, or whoever might ask, really.
- Do you have any mottos related to your gender/s.
- What’s your favorite 101 for people outside the binary, or even cis people?
Uh… I dunno. Be true to yourself? Be who you are, be proud and be safe. Yeah. Let’s go with that one.
- What are your dreams regarding your gender/s?
Top surgery would be pretty awesome. Then I’d be a total genderfuck. A hysterectomy and no more periods would be cool too.