Genasi gender can be a touchy subject. Little is known by outsiders, but arcane scholars do agree that most Genasi will switch gender at least once in their lifetime. To make matters worse Genasi of different manifestations may undergo this change for different reasons. I myself am most informed about my own manifestation, Fire, and so will use Firesoul in examples throughout this article. Most Genasi have a matriarchal society, or at least appear to as most Genasi spend most of their lives female. A leader that changes gender rarely gives up their role for that reason alone.
For some of the manifestations, a seasonal change can be relied upon with some certainty, at least, on the material plane. If a Firesoul is going to become male, it will mostly likely do so during the summer. Earthsouls switch most often in Fall, Watersouls in Spring and Windsouls in Winter. What causes the permanence of the change is poorly understood, even amongst us. Some will be male for a month or so of summer every year, others might switch during the height of summer and remain their new gender until the next equinox. Some of us only change once in our lives, and there are rumors of some who have never changed at all. Other things can cause it as well, from planer travel to catastrophic weather. Sometimes the cause is not known even to the Genasi undergoing the change.
To further complicate things some Genasi claim to be able to resist the change, while others say they are able to do so whenever they like. However it is commonly known to be a fairly painful process and so even those who claim to be able to force the change upon themselves rarely do so.
GAME EFFECT: Day of transformation Genasi is -1 Con, -1 Dex, -1 Speed. Con and Dex penalty is doubled the first time. The Speed and/or Dex penalty may not affect some Genasi who have undergone the change many times.
The change generally takes less then a day for complete transformation, though a couple days warning is usually evinced by an increased appetite, as well as a desire for weird food, and sometimes even a big change in taste preferences.
While Genasi mating patterns are not wholly dissimilar from those of the other humanoid races, their flexible nature means there are a few customs that may seem abhorrent to the more traditionally minded. For example many life-bonded couples make allowances for side dalliances during times that they are both the same gender. Other couples seem to bear out the supposition of control of the change, with both partners switching nearly simultaneously. Others are known to revel in the times when their genders are the same. This last situation is largely frowned on by Genasi society at large, though it is not met with the same animosity and disgust it once was.
A Genasi’s first change is sometimes called second puberty or full adulthood, and rarely happens earlier then their late 20s. While Genasi are accorded most adult rights and responsibilities in their mid to late teens, life-bondings between unchanged Genasi are rarely given consent, aside from arranged marriages. Even then, the bond isn’t really considered official until both have switched at least once. Additionally while a Genasi is a young adult their relationships tend towards the more ephemeral and experimental. Upon reaching full adult the general expectation is that they will life-bond with a single other Genasi and settle down.