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|Written By: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Writer)|
|Irlaitiki was a Science Master who studied gender issues, and who was born no gender. He was influential in the movement supporting the gender reforms, both in his work and writing under an assumed name for the gray rags.|
Irlaitiki grew up in Affabreidalam. Although the official autobiographies all refer to Irlaitiki as “he”, Irlaitiki was born no-gender and grew up being referred to as “she”. At adolescence, ambiguous genitalia developed, and Irlaitiki remained no-gender in adulthood.
Irlaitiki had a very standard childhood for a no-gender child in that region, going to school and studying hard. Perhaps due to his own circumstances, unusual even in Affabreidalam, at puberty Irlaitiki became fascinated with the topic of gender. He earned highest honors in his classes, rising to become a Science Master at an early age, studying history, medicine, biology, cultures, and pretty much anything else related to gender in humans.
He traveled to all corners of the Empire, documenting the varying legal, regional and tribal gender roles, rules, restrictions, and injustices he found, and wrote scholarly books as well as articles for both scholarly and popular periodic publications. He carefully documented injustices to men, women, and no-gender people. He also documented injustices related to gender, for instance injustices related to sexual and marital preferences.
Although it is not widely known, he also wrote under assumed names (usually Tikijlaa) for the grey presses. He had a knack for making his stories entertaining, when he was writing for a venue that valued that trait; even his carefully scientific observations in the journals were riveting.
Many people eagerly read his fictionalizations and stories in the grey presses long before they found the same material under his true name in scientific journals. His daughter Oqierla said he was fond of the grey presses because there he could do more than describe reality—he could imagine a better world, whether his heroes fought against the injustice in their own culture or moved to live in a culture that did not devalue them. Some of his most popular fiction stories showed people going from a place where their gender was despised to a place where their gender was privileged, or vice-versa.
It was not until after his death—and after the gender reforms became law—that his pseudonymous work came to the attention of modern practitioners of propaganda, and he was recognized as a skilled propagandist. His works have become a regular part of the specialized propaganda curriculum.
In his middle years, Irlaitiki formulated a system of legal reforms designed to eliminate gender injustices in the Empire. Many of the provisions were very popular, since both men and women suffered injustices in various parts of the Empire. Still, it took time to convince politicians that the gender reforms would strengthen the Empire.
Although other people took the point as activists, he came to be so much in demand as public speaker that his studies suffered. He never completed his study of the purists in the northern reaches of the Empire, and died before the Gender Reforms became law.
Irlaitiki was average height (a little tall for a woman and a little short for a man). He had long, dark brown hair which started graying early, though it never became totally gray. His eyes were an intense, dark brown. He did not develop facial hair, but his voice was within the usual male register.
Despite his success as an orator and propagandist, Irlaitiki never really learned the knack of personal relations, remaining awkward with people of any gender in purely social situations. He never married, but did adopt a number of children (of all genders) that he found in terrible circumstances in different parts of the Empire, generally due to being mistreated because of their gender.
Unsurprisingly, the children grew up to be firm believers in the gender reform laws. One of his adopted daughters, Oqierla, took care of him in his latter years, traveling with him to each speaking engagement. She stepped to the podium to speak on his behalf when he suffered a stroke in 1462, and had difficulty speaking. She continued to speak for him, making a number of appearances after he died, however, she retired from that profession when the gender reforms finally passed.
He died at the age of 63, only five years before the gender reforms were made law in 1471.
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