Otherworldly And Sexually Ambiguous
Whenever you see a demon, god, or someone or something else otherworldly you'd expect it to be easy to tell if it is a man or a woman. But when he/she/they has qualities of both
? Or lacks qualities of either
? Or can change from one to another
with neither being the confirmed default
? They are Otherworldly And Sexually Ambiguous.
There might be reasons why or how the demon, spirit, etc., is a hermaphrodite, can change sex, etc., be it either magical corruption, or the creators didn't want to give the character a definitive sex, so they made them ambiguous. Sometimes it's just a striking detail that reminds the audience that this individual isn't a mundane creature, and that the shape they're in now might just be A Form You Are Comfortable With
See also No Biological Sex
, Voluntary Shapeshifting
and Ambiguous Gender
. May cross over with Shapeshifters Do It for a Change
Anime and Manga
- In Devilman, Satan is shown to be a hermaphrodite.
- Ashura, the god of war from RG Veda, justified as it's the result of a curse that will keep the Ashura clan from continuing, and he's actually treated as both male and female in the series.
- Apos from Mnemosyne. It is unclear what the hell s/he is, but s/he apparently has two sets of genitalia.
- The goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu from Saiyuki is a female-presenting hermaphrodite, as noted by the author in a between-chapters illustration.
- Aleister Crowley of A Certain Magical Index is a Historical-Domain Character who in real life looked like this◊, but in the series looks like this◊, complete with a visible bustline. The novels describe him as androgynous, so much so that he cannot be described as conclusively male or female, at least based on his looks.
- No Game No Life has Tet, the god of games (and, being the only surviving god, the de facto ruler of Disboard), who appears in the form of a pink-haired, pink-clothed, ambiguously-gendered child.
- Envy the shapeshifting homunculus from Fullmetal Alchemist. Androgynous to the point where they are always posed in ways that make it essentially impossible to tell if they have breasts. Their true form is a tiny slug thing, so they appear to be truly genderless.
- Similarly applies for Truth, who is often humanoid but completely featureless, so its gender is impossible to discern.
- Desire from The Sandman. Because they are the personification of lust, Desire can be a man, woman, or both, depending on whom the viewer finds the most attractive.
- In Miracle Man, the alien Warpsmiths are multi-dimensional, and ultimately genderless beings, who have sex in ways that defy anything resembling biology on Earth.
- Satan in The Passion of the Christ is portrayed by a woman with a shaved head and a voice altered to sound more masculine in post-production.
- Tilda Swinton played the Archangel Gabriel in Constantine.
- Gozer the Gozerian, the Sumerian god from Ghostbusters, in the final confrontation. The boys are surprised that s/he's a "girl", but clearly s/he is both.
Ray: It's a girl.
Egon: It's Gozer.
Winston: I thought Gozer was a man.
Egon: It's whatever it wants to be.
Peter: Well, whatever it is, it's gotta get by us.
- The Prince of Egypt portrays God as the burning bush with a primarily male voice (who's played by Val Kilmer, the same actor as Moses, possibly symbolizing how God is speaking through him rather than to him) with a whispery female voice layered into it to invoke this. The creators also intended to have a child's voice in there as well until it got nixed in production.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, one of the faces of the Faith of the Seven, called The Stranger, is neither male nor female and signifies death.
- Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away. Roze-Kattee, the God of Love and Madness, is a hemaphrodite with a hideous appearance: a humanoid covered with shaggy, coarse hair, blazing yellow-white eyes brighter than daylight and pointed ears.
- In The Dark Tower, the demon who had sex with Roland in the first book and raped Susannah in the third book could change sexes.
- In Good Omens, it is stated that angels and demons are normally sexless, unless they really want not to be. Both otherworldly protagonists take the form of human males, though.
- In Operation Chaos, succubi (female demons that seduce men) and incubi (male demons that seduce women) are actually a single kind of demon that changes its form according to whom it is attempting to seduce.
Mythology and Religion
- The Metrons in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Arena" were like this; they had an androgynous appearance and wore a shimmering dress-like garment.
- The angels in Supernatural are genderless, and while they take human vessels, the gender of the vessel seems unimportant to most angels.
- Some of the demons in the Buffyverse are of ambiguous gender, though most of them are not. One episode of Angel has the gang meet Lorne's family and mistakenly assume his mother is a male, as she has a deep voice and full beard.
- Satan in Tarot Motifs is depicted as being a hermaphrodite.
- Although the Judeo-Christian God is usually referred to by male personal pronouns, this is more convention than canon. Several Biblical verses show God identifying with roles which western culture would generally consider feminine. Most languages (English included) do not have any gender-neutral personal pronouns and God was referred to as "He" because most societies in which the Bible was written were patriarchal.
- Inari Okami, the Shinto God of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry and worldly success, is generally considered to be neither male nor female, though like YHWH, masculine or feminine aspects are often emphasized depending on the context and the region. This is true for many other Kami as well.
- Not surprisingly, Dungeons & Dragons has a few, notably:
- Demogorgon, AKA the Prince of Demons, is a hermaphrodite. He also looks like a two - headed monkey with tentacles for arms.
- Malcanthet, AKA the Succubus Queen. Malcanthet uses illusion, pheremones, etc., to make herself attractive to beings of all species and sexes, but some know her true nature and seek her out for that.
- Elven deities
- Corellon Larethian is the leader of the elvish pantheon. He is known to appear in both male and female forms.
- Hanali Celanil normally appears as a female, but has appeared as a male on rare occasions.
- Labelas Enoreth can appear as male, female, both or neither.
- The gnome deity Urdlen appears as a huge mole that is neuter and sexless.
- The Book of Erotic Fantasy, a much-maligned Open Game License splat adding rules for sex to Dungeons & Dragons, has the deity of passion and lust as a hermaphrodite.
- Dragon magazine #34 "Choir Practice at the First Church of Lawful Evil (Orthodox): The ramifications of alignment". Several deities fit this trope: Cyrullia, who appears as a beautiful hemaphrodite, Slarsken Obel who appears as a man most of the time but as a women in matriarchal societies, and Demyuritas, who appears as a stunningly beautiful youth who can be either male or female.
- 1st Edition Dragon Lance Adventures supplement. The section "Gender and the Gods" says that it's not entirely clear which gender each of the deities is because legends speak of them appearing as either gender at different times. For example, Takhisis is said to appear as the female Dark Temptress or the male Dark Warrior.
- Role Aids supplement Witches. The Powers worshipped by Faerie witches can appear as either male or female. In their true form they are neither.
- In Eberron, The Traveler is said to be a shapeshifting god with no specific default gender.
- Warhammer 40,000. The Chaos God Slaneesh has a nasty habit of sending haemaphroditic deamons at people. Not to mention being one itself. By default, Humans speak of it as a god, Eldars speak of it as a goddess ("She who thirsts").
- Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, from Magic: The Gathering, a Planeswalker and Humanoid Abomination who specializes in bringing people's worst nightmares to life. Ashiok is confirmed by Word of God to be of Ambiguous Gender.
- Luna, the main moon-deity of Exalted. Female pronouns are used to refer to her, but given that she is the patron of Voluntary Shapeshifting and of Trickster Archetypes, she appears as male and female equally often (sometimes with aspects of both- she has appeared before as a heavily pregnant young man).
- Unknown Armies. The Mystic Hemaphrodite archetype is the embodiment of magick. It represents not just men and women, but other dualities as well: love and hate, war and peace, and killing and mercy.