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Anime and Manga
- In Attack on Titan, Hange Zoe's gender is never explicitly identified in the text, leading to many fans wondering if they are nonbinary. Word of God is that "either [pronoun] is fine."
- In Black Butler, Grell Sutcliff's character interview in the Kuroshitsuji Character Guide says she wishes she was born female, wishes she could get a sex change, and laments her inability to have a child. She is also bisexual. While she makes frequent advances on male characters, she also declared once that she was in love with Madam Red - in fact, one of the reasons why Grell was drawn to her was how Madame Red also couldn't give birth due to having been gone through an hysterectomy after an horrible accident. While this mostly points towards her being transgender author Yana Toboso may intend to have Grell viewed as an okama or drag queen, since she consistently uses male pronouns when speaking of Grell in third person, and she and Grell both directly use the word "okama" in her art and blog posts, suggesting that Grell's feminine speech and pronoun use may be an example of onee-kotoba, the effeminate dialect used by gay men and male crossdressers. It's a contentious issue in the fandom, to say the least, with the murky Word of God and language barrier issues muddling it further.
- Giselle from Bleach was called a crossdresser once (though it may have been an insult). She uses "boku" as a pronoun, but her female friends treat her as one of them anyway.
- Yukimura from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. She's a classic example of Raised as the Opposite Gender but keeps on insisting she's a male even after the reveal.
- Akane from Bokura no Hentai hated dresses as a toddler (though as a middle schooler shows no issue with them), had a negative reaction to starting her period, and mentioned she doesn't like being a girl once. Her disliking being female probably was her complaining about her period though, as when her trans girl friend becomes offended she regrets what she said.
- Yuri from Brave10 identifies as a man, and hates being mistaken for a lady, but has some implications of being biologically female.
- In Card Captor Sakura, Ruby Moon is assumed to be female, but it's revealed that she is technically genderless. She only chooses to present herself as female because she prefers women's clothing. She gets mad when Spinel calls her a "cross-dresser."
- Shion from Family Compo is ambiguously genderqueer, possibly trans male. As a child she was allowed to present as either a boy or girl whenever she pleased but seems to mainly live as a woman, though she wishes to go to college as a man. It's left ambiguous what her sex is but she's shown buying tampons at one point, which strongly suggests that she's biologically female.
- Fushigi Yuugi gives us Nuriko. Nuriko could be interpreted as a bisexual crossdressing man, or as a trans woman, or (as Miaka puts it) as simply Nuriko. It's...best not to bring this up with fans.
- Gatchaman Crowds:
- Rui Ninomiya was assigned male at birth and generally presents as a boy, but is frequently seen in female clothing and a long blonde wig in his "LOAD" persona so he's not identified as the creator of the CROWDS system. He seems to use this outfit too often to simply be using it as a disguise, and Hajime and the G-Crew alternate between using neutral and masculine pronouns for him, so it's not clear what Rui considers himself.
- Most of the alien characters are gender-ambiguous: Paiman is a panda-like creature with no visible sexual characteristics who speaks in a masculine manner but is voiced by a woman, OD resembles an effeminate gay man but never explicitly states a gender identity either way, Berg-Katze is androgynous in appearance, manner and style of dress.
- Hato from Genshiken is introduced a Camp Straight Yaoi Fanboy who crossdresses. There is some ambiguity to whether he's cisgender or not.
- Kyubei from Gintama is biologically female, but was Raised as the Opposite Gender. They claim they don't consider themself either male or female after fighting with the expectations they had for themselves and others had for the different genders, indicating they are non-binary.
- Kaito from Himegoto - Juukyuusai No Seifuku is introduced as a Creepy Crossdresser; however, as the manga continues a number of implications crop up that he might actually be transgender, since he has liked wearing women's clothing from a young age and, despite presenting as a male at school, tries to distance himself from his masculinity. Most telling is how he shows disdain for his genitals and freaks out when someone notices him growing stubble. It's somewhat complicated for him because he's attracted to girls and very popular, but most girls are only attracted to him as a guy. By the end despite a few characters briefly asking him about it, Kaito never outwardly defines how he identifies, but he does fully embrace his desire to dress as a girl.
- Hunter × Hunter:
- Alluka is referred to as a girl by Killua and dresses like a shrine maiden. The rest of her family (who, tellingly, don't treat her as a full person the way Killua does) refers to her as male and in a flashback it's shown she wore more androgynous clothes as a little kid, but she also uses the feminine personal pronoun "atashi" suggesting she identifies as female.
- Then there's Neferpitou, one of the Chimera Ants, whose gender identity is never defined either way. They use "boku" and in the animated versions they have a distinctly curvy body with a hint of a bust line. Given that they're an ant it's entirely possible they don't even have a gender or physical sex in the conventional sense, and most translations, including the unofficial wiki, settle on "they" as a pronoun.
- Hazumu from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl is implied to have been transgender and not known it. As a young child she said she wanted to be her best friends bride and Hazumu doesn't show too much discomfort when she's permanently transformed into a girl.
- Kino from Kino's Journey is biologically female but accepts being referred to as both male and female and looks androgynous.
- Aoi and Sakura from Love Gene XX are like this, due to how their world is set up. They both have XX chromosomes and they both agree with the idea that the world doesn't need such strict gender roles, and that the Adam/Eve system should be abolished; Aoi also thinks that men are strange from what she's seen of archived footage, and Sakura eventually allows herself to become an Eve. However, neither of them object to having to bind their breasts or be referred to with he/him/his pronouns - their only major complaint about their roles are that it makes their relationship an illicit, "homosexual" one in-context. The end result is that it's very difficult for many fans to decide if Aoi and Sakura are a lesbian couple in a world that forces them to act as men, or if they're a couple of transgender gay men in a world which forces them to be straight.
- Shao Tzu from Mononoke Soushi started of in masculine clothing and using boku, but after traveling with Tenome they started acting and dressing more feminine, and thinking that Growing Up Sucks. Tenome didn't really treat Sho Tzu as either a boy or a girl, just treating them as a kid with potential in their Voluntary Shapeshifting. According to Word of God the character was supposed to be a boy but grew to be more and more feminine as the story went on. Thus Shao Tzu can be seen as a trans girl.
- Kei from Moyashimon is largely considered to be a trans woman but has a few scenes suggesting she's a crossdresser. When Sawaki confesses to Kei she gets mad and says she's not gay (despite having kissed Sawaki before).
- Inukashi from No. 6. They use the masculine Japanese Pronouns "ore" to refer to themselves, their gender is ambiguous, and there are implications that they are biologically female.
- Yuki from No Bra may be a crossdresser but could also be transgender. One of their schoolmates even says Yuki has the heart of a girl.
- The protagonist of Nozomu Nozomi is an androgynous, feminine boy who gets transformed into a female. Even prior to the transformation there are some signs of him being uncomfortable with being a boy.
- Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club is an androgynous girl who's living as a male student at her school due to specific circumstances. She says she doesn't think gender is important, which is just vague enough to have multiple interpretations including that Haruhi might be non-binary.
- Kako from Past Future is a Wholesome Crossdresser but seems more comfortable living as a girl. Eventually subverted when his sister actually asks him if he wants to be a girl and he says no, he just likes being cute and girly.
- Real Account has Kirika Sakuragawa, a moe Sensei-chan who's actually a G.I.R.L.. When asked about their gender identity they weren't sure anymore themself as they had acted feminine online for so long.
- Ryuugajou Nanana No Maizoukin has Wholesome Crossdresser Daruku Hoshino whose sexuality and gender identity isn't discussed but is always shown wearing the female uniform and female clothes and acts very feminine. He is hinted to like a female character, but since sexuality and gender identity don't always go together it doesn't mean much. It's basically the definition of ambiguous.
- Ren from Sazanami Cherry dresses mainly as a girl, is compared to his transgender older sister, and shows discomfort over the idea of puberty but it's left vague whether he's a Wholesome Crossdresser or is transgender.
- The florist Kaoru from Tamako Market is voiced by Daisuke Ono but is referred to with female pronouns by others.
- Tokyo Ghoul actually has two:
- The first is Tooru Mutsuki who lives as a man, and only Haise and key personnel in the CCG are aware that he is actually a woman biologically. The ambiguous part comes in because there is some implication that he wanted to live as a man because he finds sexual male attention to be disturbing, which could indicate it's not that he identifies as a man, but that living as a man is just more bearable to the alternative (which would mean cis men would look at him sexually) even if he actually identifies as a woman. Muddling it further is how Mutsuki switches between masculine and feminine pronouns when reuniting with Kaneki in re when upset because Kaneki rejected them and when telling Urie about their feeling for Kaneki they use gender neutral pronouns to refer to themselves and sometimes wear a suit or gender neutral clothes.
- The other is Big Madam. It's been revealed she was (at least) designated male at birth, but it isn't elaborated on whether she's a merely a Creepy Crossdresser or a trans woman.
- Wandering Son:
- Takatsuki. Most of the manga presents her as a counterpart to trans girl Nitori and depicts them as a transgender boy. In high school the line starts to blur and ultimately she comes to the conclusion she would rather live as a girl, though she's still depicted as confused over her gender. Considering the situations surrounding the revelation and the bittersweet way it's presented, fans are stumped. Word of God is that it's up to the reader on whether they see them as trans or not.
- Makoto was this for the longest time. Introduced as a foil to Nitori but never got the same amount of transgender-related focus as Nitori, most fans thought Mako was a Camp Gay Wholesome Crossdresser. In high school it's shown otherwise and she even comes out to her mom. The anime didn't seem to think she was female either as she's dressed as a boy in an Imagine Spot, while the manga parallel has her in a girls uniform.
- Marube from Yuureitou wants to become a woman however it's vague if it's due to being trans or if it is an ill-placed obsession with his lost love mixed with his need to be young and beautiful. The fact Marube is a villainous foil to his actually trans man son, Tetsuo, blurs lines more. The manga leans heavily towards the latter interpretation, especially when comparing Marube to Tetsuo.
- In Demon Knights, Sir Ystin initially insists, despite having feminine features, that they are a man, but later confides that they're actually both male and female after Exoristos professes an attraction to them. During a visit to Hell, their own personal hell was being forced to declare their own gender and sexuality in public, suggesting that they are either genderfluid or nonbinary. This is an apparent change post-Flashpoint, as when they were first introduced in Seven Soldiers of Victory they were unambiguously depicted as a trans man.
- Fey Truscott-Sade from the Eighth Doctor Doctor Who Magazine comics is a physically female character who dresses in a very masculine (but not actually male-appearing) way, gives off a general aura of edgy sexuality, and has been seen flirting and making out with both men and women. They have described themselves as an "androgyne", but since they come from the 1930s it's unclear how serious that was and whether they would actually identify as non-binary.
- Marvel's Loki is an interesting case... the original identified as a man without ambiguity. Up to getting insulted when people assumed otherwise when he inhabited a woman's body. This changed around their third incarnation (the second was a pre-teen with bigger problems) who, while still defaulting to male, would change gender for no other reason than they could and began identifying as a woman when doing so (Queen, Mistress, Goddess, using 'she' etc.) coupled with not minding other characters' judgement of their gender. This made some fans retroactively question the gender identity of the first (how much of it might be a case of an armored closet basically).
- In Runaways, Xavin is an... interesting case. Marvel was wary about having a lesbian relationship portrayed in a series that they were trying to market towards younger teens, so instead of just giving Karolina a girlfriend, they gave her a fiancee who was capable of changing gender at will and thus sometimes became male and sometimes became female, leaving open the possibility that Xavin might eventually become fully female (in-universe, Karolina usually refers to Xavin with feminine pronouns.) But when that actually happened during Joss Whedon's run, a certain segment of the fandom revolted, because they considered Xavin to be genderfluid, and accused Whedon of erasing Xavin's non-binary gender, so Xavin reverted to being sometimes male and sometimes female, before finally just being put on a spaceship.
Film - Animation
Film - Live Action
- But I'm a Cheerleader: Jan, one of the girls at the ex-gay camp, is extremely butch, and has a mohawk and a mustache. In the end she decides that she was never gay in the first place, and leaves. Many viewers interpret her as being FTM trans or genderqueer.
- The protagonists of the "queer buddy movie" By Hook Or By Crook both have ambiguous gender identity: Bifauxnen, trans guys, or somewhere in between?
- Tom from The Cement Garden is a boy who would rather be a girl, although it's unclear if he's actually trans or just thinks he wouldn't get bullied if he were a girl. In any case his sisters eventually give him a makeover, and his best friend William takes on a new interest in him.
- In Dasepo Sonyo, the first time we see Big Razor Sister, they are dressed as a schoolgirl, but Poor Girl initially calls them "Mister". Later, Poor Girl refers to them with feminine pronouns. However, much later in the movie, we see Big Razor Sister dressed as a man. Big Razor Sister's exact gender is never truly specified. (Contrast this to Double Eyes, who is explicitly a trans girl.)
- Near the end of Ma Vie En Rose Ludovic meets a kid who goes by Chris but who is later revealed to be a girl named Christine. When her mom makes her wear a princess dress she is unhappy and switches outfits with Ludovic, who is a trans girl. The movie makes it unclear if Chris is a tomboy or also transgender.
- Stonehearst Asylum features a background character whom the credits identify as 'Elegant Lady' but is played by a male actor and is called William by one of the nurses. It's never addressed whether they are a crossdresser or a trans woman, but either way, given the film's setting (Victorian England) and its themes, wearing dresses and make-up as a person assigned male at birth can be assumed to be the reason they are in the asylum.
- This is a source of debate with Tomboy. It's about a girl who moves to a new town and presents herself as a boy to the other kids. The name of the movie and the ending make it vague whether she's a, well, tomboy or has gender dysphoria.
- George from The Famous Five has traits that go above and beyond what you would normally expect from a tomboy, such as disliking being treated as a girl or often being mistaken for a boy and taking great pleasure in it. She rarely cries, going by the mantra "boys don't cry". She even outright declares that she wishes she wasn't born a girl at one point, although all of this had arguably more to do with the Stay in the Kitchen mentality of the time than anything else.
- Jo from Little Women is a tomboy who has more than a few lines suggesting gender dysphoria - such as lines like "I can't get over my disappointment in not being a boy!" and how she dislikes her more feminine full name - though readers generally think she's being confined by the strict gender roles of the day.
- Sergeant Jackrum from Monstrous Regiment has been in the military as a Sweet Polly Oliver for most of his life, and after leaving the military, apparently continues presenting as a man.. The story continues to refer to him as "he" even after The Reveal, thus this trope.
- In Bangkok 8, Fatima underwent a full (and extremely thorough) gender reassignment surgery and adopted a female name, but says that she only underwent surgery because she thought it would help her hold on to her closeted lover and is not much interested in gender theory.
Live Action TV
- Bones: The Jeffersonian group are confused by a Japanese character who is helping them on a case; they're not sure if the person is male or female. In the end Angela hugs in order to see if there's any response. It moves.
Sweets: Dr. Tanaka identifies with a subset of an urban Japanese aesthetic known as kei. It glorifies androgyny.
Hodgins: Well, mission accomplished there, Dr. Tanaka.
Angela: You know, I think you're probably right. We should just ask him.
Sweets: Tanaka won't answer. That's the whole point. Gender is unimportant. We should be mature enough to accept Dr. Tanaka just the way Dr. Tanaka is.
Hodgins: Yeah, you know what? You're right. Who cares?
Angela: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it doesn't really matter what he is.
Hodgins: She. What she is.
- Doctor Who: The Doctor, specifically the Twelfth Doctor, makes a comment that he's only "fairly certain" that he was male in the past. Gender is remarked to be fluid in Time Lords by the creators and the Thirteenth Doctor has the form of a woman, as is the most recent forms of the Master, making Time Lords an entire race of people with fluid gender identities.
- The most common interpretation of "But Today I Am A Boy" by Antony & The Johnsons is that it's about a transgender child but it has a few others.
- One of the characters in "Bleed Like Me" by Garbage is confused about their gender.
- Angel from RENT is a source of debate amongst fans: Drag Queen or trans woman? The fact that he's dating a gay man strongly implies the former.
- Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch is described by her creator thusly: “She’s more than a woman or a man. She’s a gender of one and that is accidentally so beautiful.”
- Robin from Cute Knight Kingdom does not seem to like living as a girl and was kicked out by her parents for not wearing dresses.
- In Final Fantasy V Faris's gender identity is never confirmed. What we do know is that she has passed as a male since childhood among her pirate band. She continues to do so upon leaving her pirate crew to join the party. She initially refers to herself as a "lad" or "prince" in some dialogues (before adding, "er, lass/princess"). Attire-wise, she wears masculine clothing in all but two jobs (Mystic Knight and Dancer) and seems distinctly uncomfortable at the idea of wearing a dress in the fake ending.
- Word of God is that fans can see Mooselini from Parappa The Rapper as trans if they want to. She has antlers.
- Naoto's gender is a huge, controversial topic in the Persona 4 fandom. She is living as a boy because she doesn't believe women can be accepted as good detectives. It's a fairly common plot in fiction except that her Shadow wants to do sexual reassignment surgery on her, with lethal implications, and it's suggested she has thought about it in the past. That's quite serious so fans often debate whether she's cis, genderqueer, or transgender. The most common consensus is she considers herself female and her storyline is about sexism rather than gender identity.
- Without finding an easily-missable scrap of fluff in South of Real, the player might never find out that Alex's real name is Alexandra. Whether or not Alex is trans, agender, or simply prefers to appear masculine is left vague.
- Leo from Tekken mixes this with an Ambiguous Gender. She's confirmed to be a female named "Eleonore" but goes by a masculine nickname and is a Bifauxnen. Characters refer to her by name or in gender neutral ways, though she's gotten called a boy at least once. She can use certain costumes for both male and female characters and isn't affected by a female-geared move, but is affected by a male one. She is also voiced by a man and a woman.
- Jorogumo (called Arachnia in English dub) from Yo-kai Watch is a Gender Flip of the real-world female youkai tsuchigumo. He is described as "a guy who likes very girly plans, like putting poison in cakes and kissing people while having poison lipstick on". In Yokai Watch Busters he is a part of an all-female yokai association.
- Vivian in the Japanese version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Beldam at one point insults her by calling her a man, and Goombella doesn't seem to know if she's a boy or a girl.
- Jun from Happiness! is commonly seen as a Wholesome Crossdresser but is most likely transgender. Jun goes to school in the girls uniform, seemed happy in the anime OVA where she turned female, and otherwise jokingly refers to herself as a boy.
- The whole story is complicated, but in the end it boils down that Princess Cassidy in The Royal Trap is probably this rather than intersex. She was raised as a girl since she was a toddler and never knowingly wanted to be anything else.
- The Nasuverse has several such characters:
- Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/stay night's spin off, uses "ore" as personal pronoun, doesn't like being called a girl or woman to the point of it being a Berserk Button, yet also doesn't like being treated like a man, and generally hates the topic of gender being broached in any capacity. Despite this Mordred universally gets treated as a girl by the franchise.
- Le Chevalier d'Eon as portrayed in Fate/Grand Order is a thoroughly ambiguous mixture of gender markers. The historical d'Eon was a transwoman, but Grand Order's can change gender as they please. In-game this means that certain mechanics and quests that vary depending on the gender of the Servant in question both can be accessed by d'Eon. They also ask you at one point during an interlude whether you consider them male or female. Either response gets a mild "Ah, so that's how you see me" with no correction.
- Luka from Steins;Gate is so incredibly pretty and feminine that he's frequently mistaken for a girl, and wishes he had been born female, though it's not clear if it's because he's genuinely transgender or because he knows Okabe will never fall in love with another man. Eventually, a D-mail gets sent to his mother in the past that makes it so he was born female (somehow) and Okabe at first doesn't realize since Luka looks exactly the same as a girl, and to save Mayuri, Okabe eventually has to crush Luka's happiness and return her to normal.
- Sayo Yasuda from Umineko: When They Cry. It's implied they are designated male at birth but were Raised as the Opposite Gender. They grew up thinking they were female and they seemed comfortable with it, until they entered their teenage years. Given the lack of signs of development and puberty of their body, Sayo created a male persona to see how it felt to live as a boy and continued to frequently switch between the "Shannon" and "Kanon" personas. After finding out the truth of their body, Sayo began to consider themself "furniture", meaning their mutilated sexual organs keep them from being a proper man or woman and they can't be considered either.
- Knights Errant. Wilifred and Oswald are both revealed to be biological females presenting as male soldiers. Wilifred refers to herself as a woman, and shows interest in both men and women, but Oswald hates being called female and is only interested in women.
- Mentioned by the creator of Rejected Princesses in regards to Catalina de Erauso, since she spent most of her life presenting as a man and her own biography regularly switched from male to female indicators in Spanish. The consensus seems to be that she identified as a woman since she never denied her identity, just hid it, but this is just conjecture.
- Angel, in Sticky Dilly Buns, is specifically gender fluid, and may well be aiming for deliberate ambiguity some of the time — successfully enough to lead to a lot of Viewer Gender Confusion, in fact.
- Paranatural: RJ, one of Johnny's bully friends, was ambiguous for a long time until Ed used male pronouns and Johnny politely corrected him.
Johnny: And it's "their," not "his." RJ's nonbinary, yeah?
Ed: Oh, sorry. Um, what's that mean?
Johnny: For them? It means they decided they're not a boy or a girl.
Ed: What! You can do that? No one told me.
Johnny: Yeah man they don't tend to.
- Alex of the Deviantart Extended Universe carries traits of both masculine and feminine, but shirks traditional gender labels as they want to be the sneakiest, least identifiable rogue imaginable. The story even uses neutral pronouns so as to keep the mystery running
- Contra Points features many characters with both masculine and feminine identities. "Trumpy the Transvestite" and "Fritz the Fascist" are two examples.
- Baby Snap (Princess Cookie) from Adventure Time is a male cookie who wanted to be a princess. Fans are torn whether it was gender-related or whether he just wanted the authority and didn't know any other type of ruler existed.
- Meg from Family Guy is depicted in the future living as a man named Ron in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. While this could explain some things, considering the gag nature of the series and its Negative Continuity this is largely up in the air.
- A throwaway line in "The Princess And The Pea" adaptation of Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child has the Queen mention that one of the princesses is "a man".
- In one episode of King of the Hill, Peggy makes friends with a male transvestite named Caroline. Caroline calls himself a drag queen, works as a drag queen and wears male clothes while he's off the clock...except that he also goes by Caroline at all times.
- Pickles of Metalocalypse was shown with an interesting representation of his genitals in the uncensored version of season 3.
- One scene in Recess has Mikey mentioning his "Great-Uncle Mary". When Vince asks why Mikey's uncle is named "Mary", Gretchen says not to ask, so it's unclear if Mary is a transgender woman or a man with a Gender-Blender Name.
- A few The Simpsons characters have been joked about being transgender but they're most likely just that, jokes. For example, one character said they remembered when Helen Lovejoy was "Harold Schwartzbaum" however we've seen her as a little girl before.
- South Park:
- In the episode "The Cissy", Stan starts questioning his gender identity when Cartman started posing as a "transginger" named Erica and Randy confessed that he's moonlighting as Lorde. He is last seen using one of the school's newly installed "cissy bathrooms" at the end of the episode.
- When the episode came out there was debate about Wendy in the Fandom. She appeared as a boy named "Wendyl" with little note taken, so fans wondered if it was permanent. Future episodes have her back to her normal self, long hair and all.
- Marco Diaz of Star vs. the Forces of Evil identifies as male for the most part, but doesn't seem to mind being adressed with "she" pronouns, states that he'd "love to be Queen", considers being buried in a suit to be nightmarish, and has even referred to himself as "ya girl Marco," Complicating things further is that he seems very comfortable with being a princess in a large pink dress to the point of using their 'Princess Marco' persona for merchandise.
- Gems in Steven Universe. They all look and sound female, all refer to themselves with female pronouns (even the ones who have never visited Earth), and are treated as women. Word of God is "There are no female Gems, There are only Gems" but it's unclear if this means they have No Biological Sex (hinted by them lacking secondary sex characteristics such as breasts) but are female gendered or they don't actually consider themselves female but use "she/her" pronouns for convenience's sake(albeit leaning towards the latter). There are also past photos of the Gems in period-appropriate masculine clothing, suggesting they don't always present to humans the same way. Furthermore, Amethyst has frequently turned into male forms.