Thaumaturgy Special Feature: Gender Identity In Demons

Gender Identity In Demons of the Thaumaturgy Book Series

So tonight we’re discussing gender identity amongst demons in my Thaumaturgy series. Demons are unique throughout the series in the sense that they are the only species that has no set gender. Even amongst the incorporeal species like the Egregore and the Coronets, male and female are distinct. This creates an interesting duality for any demon since they can chose whether to be male or female. As Paimon states in Thaumaturgy, many demons tend to have a preference one way or the other. The lack of preference on Paimon’s part marks the emissary as a singular individual even amongst his/her own kind. Eliann Graison, the technomancer, briefly struggles with which pronoun to use to refer to the politician (and Paimon’s unhealthy interest in his necromancer colleague). He settles on calling Paimon a she when the demon is a she and a he for when Paimon chooses his male form, a pattern that is used throughout the series.

There are demons who do have a preference for male or female, though they can choose to be either. Elder Vasendre, for example, chooses a male form most exclusively and even fathered a child with his close ally, Paimon, many centuries previous. This is Alejandre who, like his father, prefers a male form most of the time, a fact that his sister Yaiyai, who laments her singular form as she is only half-demon and thus cannot choose her gender like the rest of her family, appreciates. As Paimon explains during their visit to the Triune in Thaumaturgy, his reproductive systems in both male and female forms are perfectly functioning. He has fathered and mothered several children over his long life, including fathering a child named Ashai with the semi-incorporeal Eliah from the Aidoma Plane. Ashai, however, along with all of Paimon’s children save for Alejandre who escaped with gruesome scarring and Yaiyai who her mother was pregnant with at the time, were murdered when their home was burned to the ground during the Albigensian Crusade.

So when a person can chose which gender they want to be at any given point how do they decide which to be? When whether to be male or female is based solely on whim, it’s no different than deciding to chose a burger or chicken nuggets from your favorite fast food store. Much to Eliann Graison’s dismay, as he expresses on several occasions throughout the Thaumaturgy and Antumbra (work in progress) books. Demons feature heavily throughout the series, especially our favorite UnderEarth Representative, Paimon, who plays a large part in every book of the series except for the short story The Void.

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