My name is Jade, I go by She/Her Pronouns as a Transwoman Of Color. I am a part of my LGBTQ Metal Band “Fallen Stars“.
Jade, when did you first start playing D&D? What do you enjoy the most about the game?
I only started a few years ago. A friend invited me to a session, and it was a homebrew campaign that has spanned over 4 years and multiple parties. I found it the most boring thing ever. All my friends spoke to old NPC’s who I had no clue who they were, and was very confused as we spent over an hour of playtime in the starting town. I didn’t even roll dice until 3 hours later. But months later there was a dropin DnD at Metrotown, and it was a life-changing experience. It was all oneshots that existed within this small world. The DM was amazing and went with anything, no matter how crazy. We had pie eating contests, talent shows, epic dungeon quests, and so much more. I learned how much fun it was playing with people who just played for fun. I later explored Adventure League and other drop ins, but the Metrotown drop in will always have a special place in my heart.
The game, to me, is pure imagination. I used to read all these build your own adventure books, and I loved novels and films that sucked you into their world. And here you have a chance to create your own.
As a queer person, have roleplaying games helped you explore or express your queer identity?
When playing games in the past, I was always nervous about playing a female character even though that’s what I wanted to be. But upon moving to Vancouver, I was able to just be myself and enjoy it with like minded people. Even in non-queer Roleplaying groups I have been able to express myself and my characters however I wish. My characters are often Bi-sexual, but I just let it happen naturally and want to have depth as a character, just as they would as a real person.
More broadly, how have your nerdy and geeky interests helped you discover and understand yourself in different or deeper ways?
In highschool, the “geeks and nerds” always looked like they were having the most fun. Playing Magic, dressing up as wizards at lunch, or just generally being silly. I quickly was drawn to them and immersed myself in the culture and found things that resonated with me such as anime, sci-fi and so much more. Surprisingly, there was a connection between the metal heads of my school that were just huge nerds so we would often play games and listen to symphonic metal or power metal. Those were the days.
If you had to choose, what would you say are your top three science fiction movies and why?
Aliens, StarShip Troopers, and SpaceBalls. Sigourney Weaver was such a powerful role model to me without me even knowing it. The story telling and message behind StarShip Troopers was always so amazing, and the giant war scenes made my imagination explode. SpaceBalls because it takes everything I love about the genre and has so much fun with it. I would watch it on repeat and always wished I found someone who appreciated it as much as I.
What nerdy hobby are you most into at the moment?
DnD is my main at this moment. I’m tempted to start DMing as I keep having all these fun ideas. I listen to Dungeons and Daddies which I highly recommend to ANYONE, as it combines improv, story telling, DnD and amazing character development all in one podcast. I long for the days where I can have friends over again and turn down the lights, crank up the creepy dungeon music and dive into our imagination.
Jade, you started the LGBTQ metal band “Fallen Stars.” What can you tell readers about it?
I started Fallen Stars by writing a bunch of songs near and dear to me. Originally wanting to collaborate with many accomplished musicians in Vancouver, it didn’t work out that way. Rose (my partner at the time) suggested that I sing overtop of the instrumentals I created. After doing so and putting it online on my Youtube channel, it quickly had over 1,000 views and tons of comments saying that they loved the sound. I wanted to then make this an actual band and there was only one person I trusted to bring the fire and energy to these songs… Rose (my then Ex-Wife). We set upon re-recording the songs with Rose at the helm. Our first single got radio play in the UK, Australia, Austria, Germany, and the USA. We quickly gathered more members and it’s been a journey ever since.
We just celebrated our 4 year anniversary of the formation of the band. We’ve played most venues around town that allow bands, as well as many local festivals and even being the first heavy metal band to perform at East Side Pride.
To me, the band is a place where I can create musical magic with friends who are much better musicians than myself. They take all my ideas, bring them to life and make them 100 times better than my original idea. Ive been able to write about Trans Issues, Love, Loss, Joy, everything that makes me… me.
I could not be prouder of what we do. We are playing the Rio Theatre on Feb 5th with a night of Burlesque, Drag, and Circus Performances.
Do you have any recommendations of queer nerdy content that you would like people to know about?
Please listen to Dungeons and Daddies if you haven’t already. And so many local groups doing all this amazing stuff, such as yourself (Roar Cat Reads), Geekenders, and a huge shoutout to everyone who hosts a game night at their store, so that those kids who were like me, longing to find a group to be accepted, will finally find a home.
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