What if Magnolia tried to seek comfort from Applejack, and was met with alarm and dismissal? AJ is the most conservative, stubborn, and rigid-thinking member of the Mane Six, having exhibited open xenophobic hostility (Bridal Gossip, Over A Barrel). Perhaps she's not ashamed or disgusted, but she is very insistent that Magnolia hide these feelings, brush them away. You're an Apple, shug! A stallion, and it's yer job someday to watch over the hearth, marry a good pony, and have lots of foals! That's how it's been done for generations! And ya can't upset years of tradition all 'cause you wanna wear a dress.
Rarity would be more supportive, encouraging Magnolia to express herself when AJ isn't around. But if Applejack were to remain staunch in stifling Magnolia, then I see her marriage with Rarity imploding. Divorce.
Magnolia is devastated by this and believes it to be entirely her fault. She finally stuffs down those feelings- Uncle Mac was right, they bring nothing but trouble. And she moves through life trying her best to be a stallion, everything her Ma wanted her to be- strong, stern, rugged. She tries not to think about the wildflowers she'd rather be growing....or how everything about her feels horribly, horribly wrong. She's a stranger in her own body. Her voice is alien to her ears, too low and rough and wrong. She stops speaking unless absolutely necessary, preferring to stick to one-word answers. Her dysphoria is so strong she can't bring herself to look in a mirror most days. She's not the Magnolia we know- sassy, confident, outspoken. Instead she's quiet and withdrawn, often sullen.
I like to think in this reality she'd still end up befriending Bruce, Rosemary, etc, and eventually be given a safe space to begin exploring her gender identity (and finding acceptance), but it would be a very long and difficult journey for Magnolia May.
(ps. pls don't ask me for Magnolia May's birthname/deadname, I do not deadname my trans characters.)
3.) Since I drew the mom bods, I've been playing around more with body types/shape language, but I think I goofed and made Magnolia a bit too thin here, whoops. Anyway, Magnolia cuts a very dapper, debonair figure, and her tendency toward sharp plunging necklines radiates powerful lesbian energy.
Magnolia took puberty blockers in early adolescence and began her physical transition (surgeries and spellwork) in her late late teens. Due to her dysphoria there were parts of her body she wanted to change, and she often felt guilty over this because the fashion world she loved so often emphasized that feminine beauty should be natural and effortless. There's never any mention of the hours spent on model's hair and make-up, the cellulite is artfully hidden, the lighting tricks and clever angles all masked, tucked away, and the doe-eyed mares on the magazine cover are presented as ideal, their beauty unattainable to the average mare. You're either born with it, or you're not. Magnolia wanted to be confident in her body, but felt like she was betraying this idea by having parts of herself modified or magicked away. It was all a great source of shame and imposter syndrome, but her mothers assured her that while she was perfectly beautiful the way she was, there was nothing wrong with shaping her body to better match the vision she held of herself in her head. All in all it takes a while for Magnolia to truly feel at home in her own skin, but she does get there eventually.....and how.
And now, as a beauty artist, she works to help other ponies feel at home in their own skin, and bring out their inner beauty. At least that's what she says when she charges at Bruce's eyebrows with a weed-whacker
4.) Flashback to Maggie's past. Here's Magnolia and her dear beloved mentor, Missus Spoiled Rich. Maggie has idolized Missus Rich since childhood, and hoped to learn Spoiled's immense knowledge of high society. Teatime at Missus and Mister Rich's lavish mansion always felt so grand and sophisticated to young Magnolia, so very different from drinking cider out of chipped mugs back on the farm. Magnolia wanted it for herself, the high life, complete with fancy dinner parties and clothes closets big enough to get lost in. Spoiled Rich (having been estranged from her daughter Diamond Tiara for at least a decade now), is all too eager to mold young Magnolia into her own image.
But.....the older Maggie gets, the less luxurious this all seems. As a young adult she notices the dust clinging to Spoiled's immense jewelry collection, the thousands of gorgeous designer ballroom gowns in Spoiled's closet, all worn perhaps once, or never at all. How the mansion feels emptier with every visit. How the dinner parties feel more and more like expensive excuses for the elites to gossip about who's husband is having an affair with who, about which mare's outfit is laughably out of season. And more and more Magnolia is noticing how restrictive Missus Rich is. None of Magnolia's friends and family meet Spoiled's strict standards, and Magnolia is urged to drop them, especially that tubby "Glitzi Glamour" girlfriend of hers. Missus Rich says affiliating with undesirables only tarnishes one's own image. Magnolia is wondering more and more if Spoiled Rich is trying to lure her in to have all to herself, a perfect doll to dress up and parade around Canterlot, a pretty and polite little wine-fetcher.
At the same time, Magnolia isn't so sure she can just leave. Deep down, she suspects Missus Rich is much lonelier than she lets on. Maybe Maggie could stick around a little longer. It's like Missus Rich says, you've gotta be willing to sacrifice if you wanna make it to the top.....
(ps.s. "swine" means pig. Spoiled Rich is calling Glitzi a pig. Magnolia privately wonders what's so wrong with pigs?)
5.) tiny horsebands! Legendary fashion designer Hoity Toity and interior designer Dandy Grandeur are one of Canterlot's most well-renown power couples. While perfectly poised and professional for the public, the pair are stupidly lovey-dovey in private.
6.) Ol' Hoit is of course the sperm donor/biological father of Belle Velour:
Despite this, Hoity never positioned himself as a father figure to Belle, and he's not a source of fatherly advice or games of tackle hoofball. He's more like a mentor to Belle, the king of his own vast, decades-spanning fashion empire. Belle, as his heir, is often intimidated by Hoity's fame, and sometimes wonders if their designs are good enough in their own right, or if they've only managed to climb Canterlot's fashion ranks precisely because of their father's influence. Belle naturally tries to smother these doubts with sass. Although Belle and Hoity's busy schedules don't often overlap, when they do see each other, their interactions are full of gossip, expensive shopping trips, and lots of sass. Hoit can and does try to spoil Belle absolutely rotten, and he's not sure why he feels the urge to do this. Something something vague absent parent guilt, something something maybe Belle's face is so endearing he just wants to throw bonbons and diamonds at it.
Hoity does love Belle, quite a lot, though outside of their mentor/student relationship, I imagine he's rather awkward and unnatural at parenting. He's a bit too stiff and self-centered to know what to do if Belle, say, started crying......I imagine his first thought would be to offer Belle a bit more wine, and failing that, foist the sobbing mess onto their mothers before Belle can get snot on his collar, ick.
I really appreciate that “what-if” Magnolia story. I think it’s important to depict different experiences that trans people have, including those who don’t transition until later in life because they werent supported or struggled to come to terms with it themselves. Your stories are always great so if you decide to continue it, I’d love to hear about about how she meets Bruce/Rosemary :)
I hope you dont mind me telling you, but in the first pic, AJ'S right hand isn't the same color as her cream wrist floof (stockings?). I dunno if it was intentional or not, just wanted to tell you :3
I adore this. Your stories and art tell stories I dream of making myself one day. All the trans content you've made has 100% opened me up to making more trans characters amongst my own series. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all young aspiring artists Lop💕
I have this head cannon about magnolia that she gets her cutiemark by helping someone else feel beautiful. After reading the description, I want a story that Maggy finds a person who feels like she does but Maggy sees her as being one of the most beautiful (or handsome) so they talk and have get togethers until Maggy helps bring that beauty out.
I love that you generally like to write your LGBTQ+ characters as normal, supported, and valid. While it may not necessarily reflect the reality many people experience, it also gives people who haven't gotten to experience feeling valid and supported a glorious look at what life should be like. Being surrounded by media where the only LGBTQ+ characters are isolated, closeted, filled with self-hatred or confusion, or are surrounded by people that hate them... it's exhausting. I want to see the sort of life I want to live in in my media, and I want a happier life to be visible to people who are stuck in shitty situations. Having LGBTQ+ media filled only with the worst realities deprives vulnerable people of hope.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is... harsh realities do need to be seen, but we've got an oversaturation of it in our portion of the market. Thank you for bringing a little more joy and light to the world instead. <3
You know, your comment about wanting to write less painful, angst-ridden stuff and more happy gay fluff reminded me of this piece of advice I saw online once.
"Write a story that is what you needed to hear at whatever age your target demographic is".
The person who gave that advice mentioned that no matter what happens in their stories, their characters make it to a happy ending because that's the story they need and I realized you do the same thing. Even when you make characters with upsetting pasts (Bruce, Chakra, Fey) you always write them getting a happy ending because that's clearly the story you need. Even with a minor character like Fey you made sure to give a piece where she recovers and gets her own happiness and I love that about your work.
I really enjoy how much love and care you put into each character and despite the things they go through they always make it through. Sometimes I might get a little frustrated at all the happy endings because I'm jaded and thinking "the real world doesn't work like that" but that piece of advice always reminds me that people like you are writing the story they needed for themselves at the time and it helps me appreciate them more. Because sometimes we need a happy ending even when it seems impossible.
So please keep writing the stories you need Lop, and I'll love every one you write.