Trans Nature


(permanent link) added: 2011-01-14 08:34:17 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2011-05-15 11:21:40)

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Biologically, Bob belongs to a certain race, gender, species or similar. However, he really don't feel at home there. Instead, he identify with another group. Thus he wants to change his body or nature or both. Either he want to become a part of the other group, or he already consider it a part of it and merely want to fit in a bit better.

In Real Life, there are at least two versions of this. First, we have Transsexual individuals who have a male brain/personality/identity but a female body - or vice versa. Second, we have the religious version - mostly tied to belief in reincarnation. Since men have higher social status, many Hindu and Buddhist women hope to male in the next life, while still having a female gender identity in this life.

In fiction, however, Trans Nature can take pretty much any form. Especially in fantasy and Science Fiction. Note that trying to regain your true form (after having been cursed) does not count. Starting to identify with your new form does, however.

When a character is a fictional kind of Trans Nature, it is often a big part of this character being a hero or villain: Either he's a member of a oppressive/evil group transitioning to become one of the good and/or oppressed people, or we have a "traitor" (straw or otherwise) who identifies with the wrong group.

It can also work as an inversion of Internalized Categorism: Bob thinks men/humans are bad, but instead of denying himself the good things about being a man/human or doing bad things because he thinks that this is what being a "real" man/human means, he instead stop being a man/human - magically changing into something else.

Expect the character to be in a world of trouble if there is No Transhumanism Allowed.

May be caused by Humanity Is Infectious, or inversions thereof. In some cases, Trans Nature lead to Humanity Ensues. Note however that that trope is normally not combined with Trans Nature - instead, the animal resents having been transformed to a human. One very common form of Trans Nature is Pinocchio Syndrome: A robot, living doll or whatever wanting to become a real human.

Supertrope of Transsexual. Sometimes a Sister Trope of Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.


Examples

Comic Books
  • In Fables, we have the fox Reynard who is attracted to female humans and want to become a human so he can seduce him. This wish is eventually granted by the witches, making him a shapeshifter with a beautiful male human form.
    • We also have some cases of regular Pinocchio Syndrome, with Pinocchio himself and some of the wooden soldiers becoming human.

Film
  • In Avatar, our protagonist take Going Native to the logical conclusion, ending the movie with literally becoming a Na'vi.
  • In Mammoth, our failed Mighty Whitey protagonist falls in love witha thai woman and is quite shocked that she thinks men are better then women and that it's okay because she can be a man in her next life if she is good enough. His wannabe-feminist preaching fails to impress her.

Literature
  • One of Stephanie Plum's nieces wants to be a pony when she grows up.
  • The Merry Gentry series has a number of people who want to be sidhe and often mimic them by dying their hair an unnatural red or getting plastic surgery to get their ears pointed. The later is laughed at by real sidhe because only half breeds have pointed ears.
  • In the Isaac Asimov novella (and later film) The Bicentennial Man the robot "Andrew" desires to be human, so he gets various implants to change his robotic/positronic body & mind into biologic parts. When he finally becomes fully human he gets acknowledged as such by the government, and then dies of old age.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Original Sin - it's very popular amongst trendy young humans in the 40th century to undergo radical cosmetic surgery that makes you look like an alien ("body bepple"). But the Doctor claims that this doesn't mean they actually like aliens; like many empires, the Earth Empire has a fascination with its vassal states' cultures but contempt for the bearers of said culture.

Live-Action TV
  • In both continuities of V, alien lizards are evil. Those lizards who side with humanity stop having a real lizard mind, instead developing human personalities/emotions.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, at least two episode is about regular humanoids wanting to transition to become "Joined Trill". A Joined Trill is a composite species, with one humanoid component (normally from the Trill race, nut a human was briefly joined in one TNG episode) and one symbiont. Becoming a Joined Trill brings on many changes, including a form of reincarnation: You retroactively gain past lives in the form of the symbiont's former hosts, and after your death you will continue to live on as one of these past lives for the next host.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, the AI called "The Doctor" as well as the former Hive Mind drone Seven Of Nine are both transitioning. Unlike their predecessor Data from TNG, however, they do not want to become humans. Instead, they are trying to grow into something new.

Real Life
  • A general real life example: Otherkin. To quote Wiki Fur, "Otherkin are those who believe that their physical forms do not define or fully encompass their mental states, personality, psychology, or spiritual nature." See the full article here.

Tabletop Games
  • In Shadowrun, elves are a subrace of humanity. Some normal humans are "elf wannabees" who want to be elves, and sometimes use plastic surgery to make themselves more elf-like. They're usually looked down upon by real elves.

Web Comics
  • Reynard the Fox also appears in Gunnerkrigg Court, and true to the myth, he fell in love with a human woman. Rather than shapeshifting, however, he convinced Coyote to grant him the power to possess anything with eyes - and he uses it to take the body of a young human male so he can go to the court and woo his beloved...
Unfortunately for him, she'd just been pretending to be interested in him in order to lure him into the Court, where he is imprisoned for the next several decades.

Western Animation
  • In The Boondocks, When Uncle Ruckus die, he will finally become a real white man in the heaven for white racists.
  • King Louis from The Jungle Book, a monkey wanting to become a human.
  • Another Louis, the alligator from The Princess and the Frog, wants to be human so that he can play trumpet in a jazz band. He doesn't become human, but still gets his wish to play in a band.
  • In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, Princess Ariel of the Mer-people have a fixation with humans, eventually falling in love with a human and becoming one herself. In this version of the story, humans and mer-people are portrayed as equal, so Ariel's transformation isn't about becoming better or worse.
    • The original HC Andersen version is not so nice. In this version, it turns out that God love only mankind, so the Mermaid is doomed from the beginning simply for being born as a "lesser" species. Since her quest in this version was limited to trying to reach out to her Love Interest, it's not an example of this trope. Oh, and it fails miserably, too.
  • Teacher's Pet is about a dog who wants to be a boy.

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