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T O P I C    R E V I E W
keftiu Posted - 31 Dec 2019 : 17:58:59
I am so, so hesitant to make this thread. Hope everyone behaves.

What is there in canon about queer culture across the setting? Definitely curious about homosexuality in various nations (and ideally things other than “shameful” or “punished”), but I’m especially wondering if there’s anything either published or easy to extrapolate trans identities from.

I published a book about trans identities in a number of races and societies in Eberron, and would love to know if someone had done similar work!
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
keftiu Posted - 30 Mar 2020 : 10:16:09
Surprisingly relates to the post above: I had no idea there was a drow trans man in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist! And he has a gun, to boot. He doesn’t get a ton of detail, but it certainly seems like his joining the mercenary band was tied to his transition.
keftiu Posted - 24 Mar 2020 : 20:24:13
Dawned on me last night that a drow coming out as non-binary is a pretty revolutionary act, given both the starkly gendered nature of Lolthite culture and the fact that Corellon (her most hated foe) is non-binary themself.
cpthero2 Posted - 24 Mar 2020 : 19:44:13
Learned Scribe Starshade,

quote:
I'm practical and have no issues with any extreme, really.


So, by this, are you meaning that realism and/or "GLBT" are extremes, or are you meaning that you have no issues with any extreme of any kind?

Best regards,


keftiu Posted - 11 Mar 2020 : 07:39:59
quote:
Originally posted by Starshade

I'm practical and have no issues with any extreme, really. Both realism and GLBT friendliness is ok. I just find the 3.5 title listing in the main book a bit hilarious if I try translating it to my native language, as Lady Lord sounds as "Womanman" or Dameherren for german speakers... or a bit like saying Baroness Count, or Princess Duke, in a way…
Outside that, got no issues at all, we got a medieval world, translated to modern times for gaming. That makes a ton of issues. Just look at Warhammer 40k if anyone think D&D got issues!



I'd push back a little on the idea that "realism" and "LGBT friendliness" are in some way opposed. Without an Abrahamic-equivalent with those specific biases, there's no real reason to have queerphobia.
Starshade Posted - 09 Mar 2020 : 23:44:06
I'm practical and have no issues with any extreme, really. Both realism and GLBT friendliness is ok. I just find the 3.5 title listing in the main book a bit hilarious if I try translating it to my native language, as Lady Lord sounds as "Womanman" or Dameherren for german speakers... or a bit like saying Baroness Count, or Princess Duke, in a way…
Outside that, got no issues at all, we got a medieval world, translated to modern times for gaming. That makes a ton of issues. Just look at Warhammer 40k if anyone think D&D got issues!
The Arcanamach Posted - 09 Mar 2020 : 18:10:40
Too long a thread to read everything so I'll just put my two cents out there:

Firstly, Ed has stated in the past that, in the absence of an over-arching monotheistic Church pushing one set of beliefs, for the most part gender-bias hasn't developed in the Realms.

Note that I said for the most part. There are communities that have developed 'problems' with non-cis genders/relations. Also, nobles/royals are expected to marry and have children to carry the family legacy. It's up to the couple to decide how their personal relations will work beyond that.

There are stories (written and in canon) that feature, at least to a small degree, gay/bisexual characters (no trans that I'm currently aware of). One such character was a (I believe) elven diplomat (last name was Summerwind) who kissed king Azoun and then turned and kissed his queen as well. By kissed I mean deeply and passionately.

And Erin Evans had a dragonborn that was gay (can't recall the name off the top of my head) but it really didn't feature in the story.


For my campaigns I largely adhere to Ed's take on the Realms regarding sexual/gender norms. But there are certain regions where it's less acceptable. Typically, areas that are more dangerous, such as the Moonsea North, have less tolerance for it. Not because people particularly care, but because they see a real need to keep the population (re)growing.

Ironically, orcs in the Moonsea region are more tolerant of it because, for my game, Moonsea orcs are very similar to orcs from Elder Scrolls. That is, the chief of a tribe is the only one allowed to mate with the females. This sort of 'forces' other males to relieve their tensions with non-females. It also means there are a lot of half-orcs in the region. And, since no one orc can really 'keep up' with dozens of females, the she-orcs also relieve their tensions together. But that's just for my game and it has never been a focus in any campaign I've run (and I don't think it every should be).

I see Mulhorand as a bit more conservative in this area of thought/belief (again, for MY games). I only see it this way because the pantheon is more organized and focused than the Faerunian pantheon. The entire Mulhorandi pantheon pretty much works closely together to maintain it's base of power in the region and its clergy tend to preach a doctrine that will increase the number of followers for their deities. In other words, they don't want to keep playing second fiddle to the Faerunian gods.

I also see the Dwarven pantheon as being rather conservative in this area while the elven gods are wide open with it. In fact, if there's a pantheon that truly embraces LGBTQ-ness it will be the elves. But even here, the noble/royal houses are expected to bear children to continue family lines.


That's just a quick rundown of my two cents and how things are in my games but the topic really isn't addressed that much in the lore.
keftiu Posted - 09 Mar 2020 : 00:19:52
I have to say, the success of Wrath of the Righteous (currently sitting at a cool 1.7mil and growing on Kickstarter) does make me wish the Realms tried as hard as Pathfinder does to be inclusive; the adventure path prominently features a transgender lesbian and her wife, who will be in the game as your trusted advisors. Pathfinder itself has taken great pains to have a broad, queer cast (special shoutout to the iconic Oracle being a trans woman, and several of the iconics are gay or bi), and the comparative lack in D&Dland stings.

This brought to you by a lovely Reddit argument about Edwina in BG2.
keftiu Posted - 06 Mar 2020 : 02:49:14
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe keftiu,

I love it when Ed goes and does something like that. Gets back to some goodness from 15 years ago and makes it happen. So awesome!

So, do you feel there is more that Ed is going to distribute terminology-wise, or did that sort of hit the gamut on what people have been looking for Realms-wise?

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

Word from Ed! I reached out to him about the queer terminology linked in that thread from 2005, and asked what terms (if any) there were for trans people. Very pleased at his reply: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1235719809054236683?s=20

In brief:

-Those who are in the process of transitioning are known as "poised" across the Sword Coast and Heartlands, through trade routes into Sembia and Chessenta, but the term is regional and largely unknown beyond those areas.
-Those who have settled into an identity sometimes call themselves silder, from Elven, for "at rest after changing," originally used for animals and plants with a transformative life cycle.
-No slurs other than ul-faced, which is more commonly used for those who are erratic, two-faced, or shifting in loyalties, but is sometimes used disparagingly for those whose appearance suddenly and drastically changes - which could be used for someone who transitioned, but usually has other uses (like those who want to look like a famous individual.)

Super neat stuff!





The only real hole I see is for non-binary individuals, though I do think the old "goodfaer" as a formal term of address forms a good starting point - and gives me a handy excuse to treat fae/faer as a common neopronoun set across Faerun.

Now, if only we could actually see canon reflect this "the majority of people are bisexual, polyamory is incredibly common, and everyone knows someone who has transitioned" version of the Realms that Ed presents...
cpthero2 Posted - 06 Mar 2020 : 02:18:45
Learned Scribe keftiu,

I love it when Ed goes and does something like that. Gets back to some goodness from 15 years ago and makes it happen. So awesome!

So, do you feel there is more that Ed is going to distribute terminology-wise, or did that sort of hit the gamut on what people have been looking for Realms-wise?

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

Word from Ed! I reached out to him about the queer terminology linked in that thread from 2005, and asked what terms (if any) there were for trans people. Very pleased at his reply: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1235719809054236683?s=20

In brief:

-Those who are in the process of transitioning are known as "poised" across the Sword Coast and Heartlands, through trade routes into Sembia and Chessenta, but the term is regional and largely unknown beyond those areas.
-Those who have settled into an identity sometimes call themselves silder, from Elven, for "at rest after changing," originally used for animals and plants with a transformative life cycle.
-No slurs other than ul-faced, which is more commonly used for those who are erratic, two-faced, or shifting in loyalties, but is sometimes used disparagingly for those whose appearance suddenly and drastically changes - which could be used for someone who transitioned, but usually has other uses (like those who want to look like a famous individual.)

Super neat stuff!

keftiu Posted - 06 Mar 2020 : 01:05:34
Word from Ed! I reached out to him about the queer terminology linked in that thread from 2005, and asked what terms (if any) there were for trans people. Very pleased at his reply: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1235719809054236683?s=20

In brief:

-Those who are in the process of transitioning are known as "poised" across the Sword Coast and Heartlands, through trade routes into Sembia and Chessenta, but the term is regional and largely unknown beyond those areas.
-Those who have settled into an identity sometimes call themselves silder, from Elven, for "at rest after changing," originally used for animals and plants with a transformative life cycle.
-No slurs other than ul-faced, which is more commonly used for those who are erratic, two-faced, or shifting in loyalties, but is sometimes used disparagingly for those whose appearance suddenly and drastically changes - which could be used for someone who transitioned, but usually has other uses (like those who want to look like a famous individual.)

Super neat stuff!
cpthero2 Posted - 04 Mar 2020 : 05:35:37
Learned Scribe keftiu,

Sounds like you've got it worked out for your campaign then! :)

I appreciate the discourse as always.

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

[quote]Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe keftiu,

Yeah, I agree regarding homophobia for example, in that it isn't really a think I can point too. That is nice.

I play with enormous amounts of divisive intolerance in my campaign, largely because I play the campaign as a somewhat "regular" medieval world with levels of education, and thus, the crap that comes with it. I like that it provides people an opportunity to decide based on their characters personality if they are going to push back, move one, or do something else from an RP perspective on that kind of stuff.

Best regards,


[quote]Originally posted by cpthero2

And as a queer woman who faces plenty of that in the real world (as do the other queer folks I game with), I see no reason to bring that into a fictional setting whose creator has explicitly said there isn't such a thing.

keftiu Posted - 04 Mar 2020 : 05:22:43
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe keftiu,

Yeah, I agree regarding homophobia for example, in that it isn't really a think I can point too. That is nice.

I play with enormous amounts of divisive intolerance in my campaign, largely because I play the campaign as a somewhat "regular" medieval world with levels of education, and thus, the crap that comes with it. I like that it provides people an opportunity to decide based on their characters personality if they are going to push back, move one, or do something else from an RP perspective on that kind of stuff.

Best regards,



Originally posted by cpthero2

And as a queer woman who faces plenty of that in the real world (as do the other queer folks I game with), I see no reason to bring that into a fictional setting whose creator has explicitly said there isn't such a thing.
cpthero2 Posted - 04 Mar 2020 : 05:03:48
Learned Scribe keftiu,

Yeah, I agree regarding homophobia for example, in that it isn't really a think I can point too. That is nice.

I play with enormous amounts of divisive intolerance in my campaign, largely because I play the campaign as a somewhat "regular" medieval world with levels of education, and thus, the crap that comes with it. I like that it provides people an opportunity to decide based on their characters personality if they are going to push back, move one, or do something else from an RP perspective on that kind of stuff.

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe keftiu,

Curious since you made this scroll not too long ago: what, if any, effects do you feel exist with the slang that was provided via that link you shared, for how issues were viewed back in 2005 and now in 2020 for gamers? I mean, things have changed massively in 15 years.

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

Got linked a useful order thread with some terms from Ed's own table: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3684&whichpage=14

Not copying them all here because quite a few are supposed to be slurs (or at the very least impolite), and also I absolutely loath seeing "simpering man-lover" ever again. But it's worth noting that this gives us polite terms for gay men (liyan), lesbians (thruss), bi men (tasmar), and bi women (shaeda). I've reached out to Ed on Twitter to ask about "saece," presented as a non-derogatory term for a crossdresser, as I wonder if he'd stand by that use or have it refer to trans individuals.





Ed has always run his Realms as more progressive (and a lot more sexual) than canon could really allow up until incredibly recently. Give his statement (linked upthread) that the most common orientation in the Realms is bisexual/pansexual, I think it would be interesting to see that explored more, and I think the need for specific, gendered terms for people of that orientation might not be necessary anymore if it truly is the default. I think it’s certainly telling of the time that there’s a term for crossdresser, but not one for a transgender and/or non-binary individual, and likewise telling that so many of those terms are listed as derogatory.

Very little in Realms canon points to any solid source of cultural homophobia in a broad sense, and between that and the aforementioned “default bisexuality” I’m not sure how necessary or plausible those slurs are.

(As an aside, how many of those terms are rooted in kink is hysterical to me. Ed runs different games than most, I assume.)

keftiu Posted - 04 Mar 2020 : 01:56:33
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe keftiu,

Curious since you made this scroll not too long ago: what, if any, effects do you feel exist with the slang that was provided via that link you shared, for how issues were viewed back in 2005 and now in 2020 for gamers? I mean, things have changed massively in 15 years.

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

Got linked a useful order thread with some terms from Ed's own table: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3684&whichpage=14

Not copying them all here because quite a few are supposed to be slurs (or at the very least impolite), and also I absolutely loath seeing "simpering man-lover" ever again. But it's worth noting that this gives us polite terms for gay men (liyan), lesbians (thruss), bi men (tasmar), and bi women (shaeda). I've reached out to Ed on Twitter to ask about "saece," presented as a non-derogatory term for a crossdresser, as I wonder if he'd stand by that use or have it refer to trans individuals.





Ed has always run his Realms as more progressive (and a lot more sexual) than canon could really allow up until incredibly recently. Give his statement (linked upthread) that the most common orientation in the Realms is bisexual/pansexual, I think it would be interesting to see that explored more, and I think the need for specific, gendered terms for people of that orientation might not be necessary anymore if it truly is the default. I think it’s certainly telling of the time that there’s a term for crossdresser, but not one for a transgender and/or non-binary individual, and likewise telling that so many of those terms are listed as derogatory.

Very little in Realms canon points to any solid source of cultural homophobia in a broad sense, and between that and the aforementioned “default bisexuality” I’m not sure how necessary or plausible those slurs are.

(As an aside, how many of those terms are rooted in kink is hysterical to me. Ed runs different games than most, I assume.)
cpthero2 Posted - 04 Mar 2020 : 00:33:01
Learned Scribe keftiu,

Curious since you made this scroll not too long ago: what, if any, effects do you feel exist with the slang that was provided via that link you shared, for how issues were viewed back in 2005 and now in 2020 for gamers? I mean, things have changed massively in 15 years.

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

Got linked a useful order thread with some terms from Ed's own table: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3684&whichpage=14

Not copying them all here because quite a few are supposed to be slurs (or at the very least impolite), and also I absolutely loath seeing "simpering man-lover" ever again. But it's worth noting that this gives us polite terms for gay men (liyan), lesbians (thruss), bi men (tasmar), and bi women (shaeda). I've reached out to Ed on Twitter to ask about "saece," presented as a non-derogatory term for a crossdresser, as I wonder if he'd stand by that use or have it refer to trans individuals.

keftiu Posted - 02 Mar 2020 : 07:47:04
Got linked a useful order thread with some terms from Ed's own table: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3684&whichpage=14

Not copying them all here because quite a few are supposed to be slurs (or at the very least impolite), and also I absolutely loath seeing "simpering man-lover" ever again. But it's worth noting that this gives us polite terms for gay men (liyan), lesbians (thruss), bi men (tasmar), and bi women (shaeda). I've reached out to Ed on Twitter to ask about "saece," presented as a non-derogatory term for a crossdresser, as I wonder if he'd stand by that use or have it refer to trans individuals.
cpthero2 Posted - 21 Feb 2020 : 23:58:47
Master Rupert,

Ahhh...well, that makes a great degree of sense then! Yeah, bigoted nonsense is certainly not ok. Glad you got a handle on that and put it down as it should have been!

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Master Rupert,

I can certainly appreciate that the debate must have become quite robust over such topics when they occurred over inclusion of material into accessories, novels, etc.

Are there topics of discussion that are forbidden on this site so I can know what to steer clear of? After having read the Code of Conduct, it seemed that practically anything was fair game, but I didn't want to assume.

It seems with your decree that debate regarding being "straight and cis, they can be LGBTQ" is not ok, but perhaps other formats of discussing such topics are acceptable?



The debate was people complaining about the inclusion of non-cis and non-binary types in the game. People were throwing out all sorts of bigoted BS, calling it pandering and such nonsense.

That's what we're not debating -- whether or not we should welcome LGBT players into the game and allow LGBT characters.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Feb 2020 : 21:28:06
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Master Rupert,

I can certainly appreciate that the debate must have become quite robust over such topics when they occurred over inclusion of material into accessories, novels, etc.

Are there topics of discussion that are forbidden on this site so I can know what to steer clear of? After having read the Code of Conduct, it seemed that practically anything was fair game, but I didn't want to assume.

It seems with your decree that debate regarding being "straight and cis, they can be LGBTQ" is not ok, but perhaps other formats of discussing such topics are acceptable?



The debate was people complaining about the inclusion of non-cis and non-binary types in the game. People were throwing out all sorts of bigoted BS, calling it pandering and such nonsense.

That's what we're not debating -- whether or not we should welcome LGBT players into the game and allow LGBT characters.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Feb 2020 : 21:27:32
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Master Rupert,

I can certainly appreciate that the debate must have become quite robust over such topics when they occurred over inclusion of material into accessories, novels, etc.

Are there topics of discussion that are forbidden on this site so I can know what to steer clear of? After having read the Code of Conduct, it seemed that practically anything was fair game, but I didn't want to assume.

It seems with your decree that debate regarding being "straight and cis, they can be LGBTQ" is not ok, but perhaps other formats of discussing such topics are acceptable?



The debate was people complaining about the inclusion of non-cis and non-binary types in the game. People were throwing out all sorts of bigoted BS, calling it pandering and such nonsense.

That's what we're not debating -- whether or not we should welcome LGBT players into the game and allow LGBT characters.
cpthero2 Posted - 21 Feb 2020 : 20:34:15
Learned Scribe Seravin,

You make an interesting point about the dropping of "many wives" from Turmish culture. TSR/WotC have cleansed, or seemingly chosen to avoid, material of questionable interpretations at different times in their existence. In one way, it makes sense as they are looking at the bottom line and if people are not purchasing their materials because it is offensive, then they won't.

On the other hand, they've produced materials like the Book of Vile Darkness, but then don't develop Loviatar, Shar, Sharress, Garagos, etc. in the way and with the material that you know would be needed. When a subject gets hot due to what is an ethics/values argument in the end, they appear to just try to scrub it all away with their products so as to avoid scandal. Upon scrutiny, it just sort of makes it awkward as hell! I mean, ethics, values, principles, etc., are a difficult subject matter. It is constantly front and center in the Realms, but you never really see take it on directly as there is too much risk likely with having a choice being seen as for one side and against another.

Here is an example:

quote:
Men are forbidden to marry before the age of 20 and cannot live with their wives until age 30. Akanax scorns the arts of Cimbar but admires its fighting spirit. The city is organized like a military camp. Women exist to serve the men, who eat at a common mess and train together constantly."(FR10 Old Empires, pg54)


That was for the city of Akanax in that 1990 accessory. Here is a listing of the same city, in the 3rd FRCS:

quote:
Akanax (Large City, 24,632): This town functions like a military camp. Male citizens are conscripted into the army or slain for desertion. Strangers are only barely tolerated here and viewed with suspicion. No mercenary companies are allowed within its borders. Akanax has been warring with Luthcheq for several years, and has allied with Cimbar against Soorenar. King Hippartes (LN male
human Ftr19) is a tyrant but considered the finest soldier in the nation. Akanax's city population figure doesn't include the army camped outside the city, some fifty thousand soldiers.(Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd Edition, p.184)


In the 2010, Dungeon #178, pp68-77, there is only a passing mention of Akanaxian warriors, but not even a mention of ruins, or that even existed. It is believed that the Akanaxian's built Pandrick and then rebuilt their lives from there. What I find interesting is the quote from that article:

quote:
Pandrick: The fortress city of Pandrick (population 6,500) is the cultural antithesis of Erebos. Like the fabled Akanaxian warriors of old, citizens of Pandrick (both male and female) are bonded into
military service at a young age and trained in martial combat. King Zeareus of Pandrick entered into an
uneasy truce with Luthcheq several years ago, but with the Karanok’s attentions focused on Threskel,
some predict that Pandrick will soon break the agreement and march on the Chessentan capital


Obviously Akanax had something happen to it that leveled it. Something also changed their society such that no longer was the sexist discrimination against women in existence. Akanax was obviously very tyrannical under King Hippartes, as seen in FR10.

I wonder why now men and women appear to be on par with one another, socially, but when Akanax existed it was quite the opposite?

Additionally, if you look at the city of Cimbar in FR10, on p.54, you can see that only land owning males are allowed to vote...

quote:
He rules with absolute authority, though a senate elected from the land-holding males of Cimbar meets frequently to make proposals; the king usually at least listens to their advice.(FR10 Old Empires, p.54)


The reality appears to be that they've removed the sexist elements from that area. Now, on one hand, that's great. Most people these days hate discrimination. However, culturally, what did Chessenta go through with their rather, old fashioned past, to change so drastically? I didn't hear of a Susan B. Anthony like person rolling in with social reform.

It would be interesting to hear about how these and other related things come about! :)

Best regards,








quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Definitely agree with you Keftiiu; I did mention it was off topic in that I don't equate the two! Just that the many wives thing was something that TSR seemed to have dropped about Turmish culture when they went back to the area later, and it never made sense to me. I do think Ed's version of Polyamory in the Realms seems more like a modern interpretation of it, rather than the harem thing, if thats any comfort.

cpthero2 Posted - 21 Feb 2020 : 19:19:16
Master Rupert,

I can certainly appreciate that the debate must have become quite robust over such topics when they occurred over inclusion of material into accessories, novels, etc.

Are there topics of discussion that are forbidden on this site so I can know what to steer clear of? After having read the Code of Conduct, it seemed that practically anything was fair game, but I didn't want to assume.

It seems with your decree that debate regarding being "straight and cis, they can be LGBTQ" is not ok, but perhaps other formats of discussing such topics are acceptable?

Best regards,



quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

It's not really been addressed that much, save for a passing reference here and there.

TSR was scared of running afoul of the many self-proclaimed moral watchdogs of the age, and went out of their way to avoid anything other than straight, cis characters (actually, TSR barely even touched on anything related to sex).

When WotC came along, there was less concern over the potential blowback on such topics, but they still more or less didn't really go into it. It's only been in the last few years that they've become more inclusive; there was I believe I 5E book where they finally, point blank said "hey, your character doesn't have to be straight and cis, they can be LGBTQ." Oddly, there was a lot of debate over that one (debate that we WILL NOT be having again!).

Ed has more than once addressed the topic; what he has said is that for the most part, as long as everyone involved is of age and consenting, no one really cares.

Telprydain Posted - 20 Feb 2020 : 05:39:20
Not much to contribute here, but it is interesting looking at how attitudes have evolved over time - particularly in terms of what can be formally integrated into the published setting.
For example, in the 5e Dragon Heist module there are a handful of LGBTQ+ characters, including a married gay couple (a fire genasi named Embric and a water genasi named Avi) and a non-binary druid (Fala Lefaliir is an outgoing wood elf, and the module states that "like elven god Corellon Larethian, Fala is neither male nor female", and specifically states that, "if referred to as “he” or “she,” Fala gently requests to be addressed by name or as “they.”")

Obviously there's still a long way to go, but that representation is starting to be seen in an explicit form.

BadCatMan Posted - 18 Feb 2020 : 05:51:48
If we take 'very close friends' to be a stand-in for a gay relationship in the old days, then Raella Hiess and Vhondryl of Skullport are good candidates for a lesbian couple. Described as friends, companions, and partners (in business, at least), they're "quite fond of each other" and live together at the Deepfires inn. What's more, Vhondryl is a follower of Loviatar and they let outsiders believe that Raella works for Vhondryl as a barmaid, when Raella actually owns the inn, so they could well have a consensual, non-villainous bondage relationship too.
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Vhondryl
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Raella_Hiess

The following female-living-as-a-man characters (obviously more common and acceptable in the past) could be read as trans, though other readings are possible:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Talessyr_Tranth (female living as a man)
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Landswith_Meilin (goes out of her way to hide gender)
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Coril (female disguised as a man while in hiding)
There are more of them in the old lore. These two seem to have been made trans due to error (there's probably more out there):
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Raulauvin_Oregh (male sex, feminine pronoun)
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Arash_bint_Sanjar (masculine pronoun, feminine patronymic, but might be a woman ruling as a man)

For polyamory, the romantic relationships between Beliot Sevenecho, innkeeper of the Worried Wyvern, and his four friendly chambermaids could be polyamorous, possibly with a bit of bondage (but defined in terms of an adventuring band rather than their employment at the inn).
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Beliot_Sevenecho
Seravin Posted - 15 Feb 2020 : 10:53:09
Definitely agree with you Keftiiu; I did mention it was off topic in that I don't equate the two! Just that the many wives thing was something that TSR seemed to have dropped about Turmish culture when they went back to the area later, and it never made sense to me. I do think Ed's version of Polyamory in the Realms seems more like a modern interpretation of it, rather than the harem thing, if thats any comfort.
keftiu Posted - 15 Feb 2020 : 00:33:42
I’d also like to caution too much against conflating a historical notion of a harem or a dominant man with many wives with the modern notion of polyamory. They’re pretty different!

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