Created By: bluepenguin on December 11, 2010 Last Edited By: bluepenguin on December 14, 2010

Raised As The Opposite Gender

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Replies to the Raised as a Boy YKTTW suggest that we need this, so...

A couple has a baby that's the opposite gender from the one they wanted or needed. For whatever reason, they decide that rather than keep trying, they're going to raise the existing child as if they were the desired gender.

Once the kid is a little older, this usually leads to conflict between the child and the parents and/or inner conflict for the child, who has to weigh the desire to be thmselves against their desire to please their parents (or keep their inheritance or what have you). In a few cases, though, the child turns out to identify just fine with the gender they were raised as.

The following examples are mostly taken from the Raised As A Boy YKTTW. Beware of inherent spoilers.


Girls (/Female-Bodied People) Raised as Boys

Boys (/Male-Bodied People) Raised as Girls
  • Daisy in the Christopher Durang play Baby with the Bathwater.
  • The singer in The Who's song "I'm A Boy":
    I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my ma won't admit it; I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but if I say I am, I get it.
  • Angela in Sleepaway Camp
  • Lord Fanny in The Invisibles: s/he is born as a boy into a family of powerful female witches, and s/he is raised as a girl so that s/he can continue the family tradition (which is forbidden to men). Her/his grandmother even chastises her/his father for producing a male child instead of the preferred female one. Fanny quite easily accepts the gender she is given and grows up to be a transgendered woman with magical powers.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • December 11, 2010
    There have been a few Real Life examples of boys who were raised as girls after botched circumcisions (because Boy - Penis = Girl).
  • December 11, 2010
    The twins in Black Lagoon were rised to role-play whatever sick scenarios their owner created for them and as the result learned to "switch" gender at will, becoming a dual Villainous Crossdresser
  • December 11, 2010
    • Princess Ozma, as she was magically disguised as a boy for most of her childhood. Even she didn't know the truth. She seemed to adjust to being a girl very easily, however.

    • One of the stories from Arabian Nights had a groom reveal to the bride on their wedding night that he was actually a woman raised as a man due to her father putting pressure on her mother for a son.
  • December 11, 2010
    There is an elaborate conspiracy theory that posits that Hamlet is woman (because Hamlet acts passive and hysterical, as we all know females do). The idea is that she was raised as a male to ensure a line of succession to the throne.
  • December 11, 2010
    Similar to the Real Life example:
    • An episode of Law And Order SVU featured a pair of fraternal twins. However, you find out later that they were born identical, and the sister was actually a boy who was given a sex change after a botched circumcision.
  • December 11, 2010

    I'm a boy, I'm a boy/ But my mom won't admit it/ I'm a boy, I'm a boy/ But if I say I am, I get it/
  • December 11, 2010
    There should be an "inherent spoilers ahoy" warning, of course.
  • December 11, 2010
    • CSI - The Freudian Excuse of a serial killer is revealed to be a gender identity issue: his father raised him as a boy, his mother as a girl.
  • December 12, 2010
    Lord Fanny was raised as a girl, not a boy ;)
  • December 12, 2010
    I know, s/he's in the "raised as a girl" section, unless I'm missing something...?
  • December 12, 2010
    On 30 Rock, it's mentioned as a Noodle Incident that Josh was raised as a girl for ten years.
  • December 12, 2010
    Wasn't Ellie May from Beverly Hillbillies a mild example? Especially in The Movie
  • December 12, 2010
    Urusei Yatsura has Ryuunosuke, a girl raised as a boy, and Nagisa, a boy raised as a girl.
  • December 12, 2010
    Bridget from Guilty Gear. Raised as a girl because of a superstition in his village about having same gender twins.
  • December 12, 2010
    @bluepenguin: There's (presumably) a typo in the Lord Fanny example. "s/he is born as a boy into a family of powerful female witches, and s/he is raised as a boy so that s/he can continue the family tradition..." If that's not a typo then I think it warrents more explanation.
  • December 13, 2010
    Oh, oops, I didn't catch that. Thank you!
  • December 13, 2010
    Gintama's Kyuubei was raised as a boy so that she could succeed her family's clan.
  • December 13, 2010
    a popular plot device for slash fanfiction
  • December 14, 2010
    Type Moon seems to like this-- Saber from Fate/Stay Night for sure, and possibly Shiki from Kara no Kyokai, though it's honestly a lot more complicated than that.