Painted like a brand new Christmas toy
He's trying to figure out if he's a girl or he's a boy"
Due to the blurred stereotypes and myths between transgender people and crossdressers, there are often mixed signals about characters. Transgender people don't identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. A crossdresser may be okay with — or even encourage — being referred to as the opposite sex, but they still see themselves as the gender corresponding to their biological sex.
This trope can apply for a variety of reasons: sometimes, being transgender is implied but never outright said, such as a character who's implied to have transitioned but it's never actually stated in-series or a character who displays signs of gender dysphoria without it being mentioned as such. Alternatively, a Sex Shifter, Hermaphrodite, or someone with No Biological Sex might be ambiguous if it's not clear what they identify as.
By far the most common variant is ambiguity as to whether a character is meant to be viewed as a (usually gay) man in drag or a trans woman, probably because the author doesn't realize that they aren't the same thing. This last problem is becoming a lot less common. Nowadays it's more likely because of cultural differences between the viewer and the author concerning where drag is appropriate. In Western contexts, drag is generally only worn on stage or sometimes as a disguise in comedy works. But in some cultures, it's considered perfectly acceptable for a server to wear clothing usually associated with another gender as part of a workplace uniform. While this would indeed be drag, it might confuse some viewers into thinking that the character is trans since it's not a context where they expect drag to appear. This happens for much the same reason that movies from the 30s got away with homosexuality: people don't even consider the possibility that a person could actually prefer the clothes of another gender/identify as a gender other than the one that corresponds with their sex. The other reason that there can be confusion is that many characters (and some people in real life) use drag as a way to indulge when they feel it is too dangerous to come out of the closet.
If the character's gender is not ambiguous in the story itself, but a significant portion of the fandom prefers to headcanon them as transgender, you may be looking for Trans Audience Interpretation.
See also Ambiguously Gay and Ambiguously Bi for sexual orientation variants. Compare Ambiguous Gender and Viewer Gender Confusion, where a character's physical sex is something that the audience simply doesn't know.
- 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.", and the anime adaption decided to have Hange as physically female, complete with noticeable breasts.
- 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 Redin fact, one of the reasons why Grell was drawn to her was because Madam Red also couldn't give birth due to having gone through a hysterectomy after a 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 masculine pronouns when speaking of Grell in the 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. When asked about the matter in a 2022 online Q&A, Kubo revealed that Giselle is biologically male.
- 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.
- In Cardcaptor 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."
- Renamon from Digimon Tamers uses female pronouns, and her Mega/Ultimate form, Sakuyamon, is visibly a woman, but at one point states that Digimon don't have genders.
- Yggdrasil is referred to by male pronouns but is voiced by a woman and its Core form looks feminine in Digimon Data Squad; it also took the form of a human girl in Digimon Next.
- 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 as a Camp Straight Yaoi Fanboy who crossdresses. There is some ambiguity as to whether he's cisgender or not.
- 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:
- Neferpitou, one of the Chimera Ants, has a gender identity that 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, but 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.
- Alluka is referred to as male by most of her(?) family, but female by Killua, the only sibling who isn't freaking terrified of Alluka's Superpowered Evil Side. Alluka also generally dresses and acts feminine. This would theoretically point to a trans girl unaccepted by most of their family, but Killua never calls anyone out for referring to Alluka as male, despite calling them out for all of their other ill-treatment.
- Hazumu from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl was assigned male at birth, permanently transformed female, and lived as a girl thereafter, but is implied to have been a transgender girl from the beginning and not known it. As a young child Hazumu said she wanted to be her best friend's bride, and after said sex-change, Hazumu readily identifies as female with zero signs of gender dysphoria.
- Kimo-Ota, Idol Yarutteyo:
- The title character was originally a boy named Yousuke, but only they remember this after reality changed so everyone remembers them as a girl named Yoko. Yousuke/Yoko pretty immediately accepts living as a girl, and decides to try becoming an Idol Singer, but it's not clear if they actually identify as one. Their personality remains generally masculine, they only adopt feminine behavior as a means to further their idol career, and occasionally treat (other) girls as if they were not one of them (for instance, thinking it would be inappropriate to join them in a sleepover). Internal monologues never have Yousuke/Yoko refer to themselves by either name, though they do use the pronoun ore, contrast with more feminine speech in dialogue.
- Liz Melodine, the idol group's vocal instructor, has a very burly, masculine body, but wears high heels, nail polish, and heavy facial makeup. Nothing specifies if Liz (whom Yoko guesses is using an assumed name) is a Macho Camp man or a mannish transgender woman.
- Love Gene XX: Aoi and Sakura both have XX chromosomes and agree with the idea that the Adam/Eve system should be abolished; Aoi 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 male 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 gay men in a world which forces them to be straight.
- Shao Tzu from Mononoke Soushi started off 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.
- Yuu Kashima in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is a Bifauxnen who lots of characters forget is a girl, or don't realize at first (Hori didn't realize until months after they met when he saw her go into a women's restroom). She wears a skirt and has a feminine voice, but also loves playing a "Prince"-like role and flirting with all the girls. She's generally agreed to be the hottest guy in her year.
- Kei's gender identity is not actively discussed in Moyashimon. She is introduced as a male Childhood Friend of Sawaki's before disappearing from the story for several chapters/episodes. The next time she appears, she's working at a local liquor store dressed as an Elegant Gothic Lolita. Sawaki didn't even recognize Kei at first. When Sawaki questions Kei later, she just says that she wants to try various things before going back home and that it just feels right to dress up the way she does. Despite signs pointing towards Kei being a trans woman, she also gets angry when Sawaki confesses to her and combats it by stating that she isn't gay (despite kissing Sawaki and showing signs of liking him in the past).
- No Bra is about a teenage boy named Masato who falls for an effeminate, feminine dressing person named Yuki. The narrative mostly treats Yuki like a boy, but there are odd signs that imply she's actually transgender. The most notable is when she's forced to wear the boy's uniform to school and the others complain, saying she has the "heart of a girl".
- The protagonist of Nozomu Nozomi is an androgynous, feminine boy who gets transformed into a female, keeps this a secret, and spends some time under a female alter ego. Even prior to the transformation, there are some signs of him being uncomfortable with being a boy, and afterward he gradually comes to prefer living as a girl.
- Yamato in One Piece isn't the least bit androgynous physically, appearing to be a beautiful well-endowed woman. However, he's referred to as both the son and the daughter of Arc Villain Kaido and claims that he's a man. Yamato refers to himself as male because he identifies as being Kozuki Oden [a man], and wants to take up his name and legacy. But Yamato does acknowledge that Kozuki Oden is a different person than himself, bringing into question whether he considers himself a man as "Yamato" or not. Most characters call him Kaido's son, but his official introduction narration calls him Kaido's daughter, and a flashback the members of the Spades pirates refer to Yamato as such. Another flashback to Yamato's childhood consistently used female pronounces and the description "princess", though this could be before he "came out" as male. To add to the ambiguity, Yamato gets mad at Luffy when the latter refers to him as "Yama-O". Since the "O" suffix refers to a male, it's hard to tell if Yamato's mad at Luffy for referring to him as male or if Yamato just hates nicknames, since he also gets mad when Luffy calls Ulti by a nickname. Luffy also uses male pronouns when referring to Yamato in the English translation, but the pronouns are neutral in the original Japanese. Other characters in the present also refer to Yamato with male pronouns, even those who are antagonistic to him. All of this adds up to Yamato's gender identity being questionable. (For the sake of simplicity, this wiki refers to Yamato with male pronouns, as Yamato's gender identity has been the subject of Edit Wars, and we're not looking for any more fights on the subject.)
- 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.
- Our Dreams at Dusk focuses on an LGBTQ-friendly drop-in center, and one of the patrons is Misora Shuuji, a sixth grader who dresses up as a girl at the center. Tasuku suggests Misora might be a transgender girl, while Misora himself currently identifies as male but is heavily hinted to have body dysphoria. Haruko points out to Tasuku that what's most important for Misora right now isn't a definite label but a space where he can feel free and safe to explore his identity.
- Kako from Past Future is a Wholesome Crossdresser but seems more comfortable living as a girl. Eventually, 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.
- 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.
- Kaoru, florist and owner of the flower shop Flower Princess, from Tamako Market is voiced by Daisuke Ono but is addressed to as female by others. Despite this, she's also been referred to as an androgynous male in official sources. Many Japanese viewers see her as an "okama" but many English speakers pin her as trans.
- In Sailor Moon Crystal it's left unclear where Haruka's stands on their gender identity. Unlike the 90s anime, where in Haruka was a pure bifauxnen, in Crystal Haruka tends to mix and match outfits, going from wearing slacks and suits, to mini-skirts to skirts. Usagi asks Haruka in one episode whether they are a man or a woman and Haruka simply replies "does it matter?" Making things even murkier later on in the season Michiru states that "Uranus in both a man and a woman who is a guardian with both sex and strength", suggesting she may be bigender.
- Tokyo Ghoul:
- 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. A large part of the problem is that Mutsuki isn't the most stable of individuals. He identified as male at the beginning of re, while his Mask of Sanity was holding up. But it gradually fell apart as the series wore on, and with it, Mutsuki started losing her sense of self; hence the inconsistencies.
- Big Madam was (at least) designated male at birth, but it isn't elaborated on whether she's merely a Creepy Crossdresser or a trans woman.
- UQ Holder!: poor Kuroumaru gets this bad. He's first introduced as a girly-looking boy who strenuously insists he's male despite Touta's disbelief, but his refusal to ever be seen naked makes it clear he's hiding something. However, the situation ends up being more complicated than it seemed - Kuroumaru belongs to a species that grows up intersex and only chooses their gender (and sex) at sixteen. Kuroumaru has always wanted to be a cool, strong man, and so that's how he presents, but as his feelings for Touta grow and his power level fails to keep up with his partner, he becomes increasingly uncertain. Is he even able to be the man he wants to be? Is it worth pushing down all of these 'feminine' feelings? After the timeskip, it seems Kuroumaru has taken a female body they're comfortable with, while still managing to be as strong and capable at protecting the people they care about as they always hoped. However, they also make a reference to their body changing when they feel 'fully female', implying they aren't always a woman and may have come to see themselves as nonbinary.
- 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 girl's uniform.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Yubel is an Intersex draconic monster, and it's not very clear what they even identify as. Their obsessive love for Judai made the 4Kids English dub edit them into a binary woman, but in the original show, they use the pronoun "boku" and call Judai "kimi", a combination commonly used by men.
- 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 Ystin was unambiguously depicted as a Sweet Polly Oliver.
- DIE: On Earth, Ash (real name Dominic) is a man and in an apparently happy marriage to a woman. In the Magical Land, Ash is a female Emotion Controller who has been in relationships with men. In neither reality do they seem conflicted about their gender identity or indicate they are non-binary, though they later admits that they were in love with their (male) best friend Sol in the real world, so they're at the very least bi. Issue #19 finally has the group confront this matter when they're attacked by a manifestation of Ash's self-loathing dark side, and come to the conclusion that Ash is gender-fluid but repressing it in the real world due to the cultural pressures present from having grown up in the 90s, when such a concept wasn't really acknowledged.
- 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.
- Marvel's Loki is an interesting case... the original identified as a man without ambiguity, to the point of 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 spite of his mannerisms.
- In Runaways, Xavin is another 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. Xavin also revealed that their race, the shapeshifting Skrulls, in general consider changing gender to be no bigger a deal than changing any other aspect of their bodies. It just so happened that every previous Skrull to have a significant recurring role in a Marvel comic (admittedly, there hadn't been all that many; most Skrulls were Mooks) strongly identified as one gender, even though that's relatively unusual in their species.
- While some of it is probably due to there being little mainstream understanding of LGBT issues at the time it was written, it's unclear if Joey the cab driver from Watchmen is a Butch Lesbian or a trans-man. Her(?) girlfriend apparently considers herself a lesbian, but Joey dresses and acts more like an ordinary man rather than a typical butch (apart from her feminine hairstyle), reading pornography marketed towards men and generally having a stereotypically masculine attitude toward sex and relationships, distaining and feeling unsuited to the wider homosexual community and admitting to suicidal ideation (sadly common among transgender people) and "wanting to be straight", though never specifying what gender of straight person.
- Wonder Woman: In Wonder Woman (1942) Hypnota is physically female but they and their sister usually use male pronouns to refer to Hypnota, they spend most of their time disguised as a male, and when they're not fully disguised wearing a mustache and goatee anyway. They were like this long before surviving a gunshot to the head changed their personality and turned them villainous. Post-Crisis Wonder Woman (1987) gets rid of the ambiguity as that version is Hypnotic Woman and is unquestionably female.
- The Butcher Bird: GEMINI identifies as 'they', and is a Hive Mind of two individuals - one biologically male, one biologically female.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Voldemort reveals during the climax that Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel are, in fact, the same person, with 'Nicolas' being an identity Perenelle created only after stealing the Philosopher's Stone from Baba Yaga. Tellingly, while he ascribes selfish materialistic reasons to almost everything else Flamel has done, all Voldemort says about Flamel having created a different-gendered second self is the fact that it happened, leaving the readers nothing but speculation as to their motives for this one.
- The Serpents Vow: As a Goa'uld queen, Seto technically is genderless yet is sexually female and able to produce youngs. However, he lived his whole life in a male host and is utterly horrified at the prospect of losing said body, leading a few readers to consider the possibility of him being a transgender man.
- Villain: Redux has Buttercup as non-binary. When she's with Princess under her secret identity, the heiress asks if she's a boy or girl, since "Joey" is a masculine name, but she's aware from overhearing a conversation that one of Buttercup's nicknames is the feminine "Fea". After some thought, Buttercup decides that she doesn't identify as either, but also doesn't care how others refer to her.
- The director of 3 Generations ended up creating confusion during an interview. The film is about a transgender boy named Ray who has been living as male full-time for a while and wants to begin testosterone. After backlash for using a cisgender actress instead of a trans man actor, the director backpedaled and said the film was about a tomboy going beyond the norm. There's no indication within the film itself of Ray being anything other than transgender, as the idea of him being a lesbian girl is specifically rejected, he identifies as a boy repeatedly, Ray's desire is also to medically transition etc.
- Albert Nobbs: Albert and Hubert may be trans men, or simply women living as men. This is never made clear (both do call themselves women at points, but might lack the vocabulary for anything else). The scene where they try women's clothes for the first time in a long while (where they both at first are highly uncomfortable, before appearing to have fun, only to change back into their men's clothing after Albert stumbles and falls) does not help clear things up.
- At the end of Beauty and the Beast, three men get a makeover by animated beauty accessories while fighting the Wardrobe. Two of them run away, while the other actually quite enjoys it. It's never clarified if they're gay, In Touch with His Feminine Side, or transgender.
- 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 "queer buddy movie" By Hook or By Crook is written and directed by two transmasculine people, who play both of the protagonists, but the film deliberately leaves their exact identity ambiguous. They usually refer to each other as "he/him", "guy", and "man", but when a child asks Shy "are you a boy or a girl?", Shy answers "both". In a later scene, Val explains to Shy, "I'm a two-for-one, a special." These scenes can be interpreted as evidence that these characters have a bigender or genderfluid identity.
- 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 a new interest in him.
- Colette: Missy's gender isn't clear. In fact it's discussed by Colette and Willy, where he calls them a "lady man". She protests this, insisting he use he/him pronouns for Missy, so it seems Colette at least sees Missy as a man. Missy however does not say anything definite. It's debated in regards to the real person as well. All that can be said for certain is Missy was assigned female at birth, but always dressed as a man in adulthood, having a preference for being called Max (or Missy by close friends), with some viewing Missy as both a man and a woman (non-binary perhaps, in today's terms).
- Con Air: It isn't clear Sally Can't Dance is a camp gay man who wears a dress or a trans woman (which at the time might well be due to the filmmakers' ignorance).
- 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).
- Giant Little Ones: The character of Mouse is interpreted by some as simply a butch lesbian but with others as a trans man, although it is never clarified in the movie or supplementary material. Mouse's use of a fake penis and strong interest in what it's like to really have one, along with often apparently having sex using strap-ons, indicates the latter may well be the case. In the film Mouse never says however, and could still be unsure, just like the boys with their orientation.
- Girls Like Magic: Nick, the owner of an LGBT+ bar which Maggie and Brit go to, wearing a nice suit with a mohawk. It's not explicit whether Nick is a Butch Lesbian, trans man or what (Nick's name might indicate the latter, though not necessarily). Though not called by any pronouns, Nick's appearance and voice tone also indicates that they were probably assigned female at birth.
- The Adjudicator in John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum is played by a non-binary actor and isn't referred to using pronouns by the other characters, but their gender or lack thereof is never brought up in-universe.
- La China (Spanish for the feminine form of "The Chinese one") from Cuban film Juan of the Dead wears female attire, and makes it obvious that she finds men attractive. Juan and others refer to La China in masculine terms ("That dude was getting on my nerves!"). Given the setting, La China could be a femme-presenting gay man or a heterosexual transwoman who is misgendered by the others.
- 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.
- Adam from The Miseducation of Cameron Post is two-spirit and was sent to a gay conversion camp by his step-father. "Two-spirit" can refer to someone's gender expression, gender identity, or sexuality. Adam does not clarify what it means in his case.
- Rambo is played by a female actress (who sometimes goes by "Matt"), but her name is a reference to a male character, she wears her hair cropped short and she never engages in any feminine activities like the other female Monos. Wolf says that she's "like a brother" to him, and she seems at ease kissing both him and Lady. The character was originally written as male, and the director has referred to the character as "post-gender."
- Dog wears his hair long and is the only Mono with jewelry: a nose ring and a pierced eyebrow. After Wolf and Lady's wedding, he drunkenly dons fishnet stalkings, shakes his butt suggestively, and gripes that his mother called him a "slut." It's not clear whether he identifies as female or was just messing around.
- Portal2020: Ash (played by Kathy Khanh) is an androgynous teenager who objects to being called a girl, and has (or had) a romantic relationship with Liz, but the film isn't about Ash's gender identity: it's about the mysterious portals that have appeared around the world.
- Princess Cyd: Cyd mentions Katie was mistaken for male, and Miranda suggests maybe she is. Katie doesn't say this, but is fine being mistaken for male, and they're completely comfortable with the idea she's trans. It's possible that, like the actor, she's meant to be nonbinary.
- 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 actually addressed whether they are a crossdresser or trans woman, but either way, given both 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 (at the time, either of these would be deemed a mental illness).
- 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 actually has gender dysphoria. Its director and writer Céline Sciamma said this was entirely deliberate, so that butch lesbians, trans men or tomboy straight women could all see themselves in Laure as a child.
- In To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, it's heavily implied that Drag Queen Vida doesn't just perform as a woman but wishes to live her life as one, as her character arc revolves around seeking acceptance as her drag persona. The movie is ultimately vague on this point, but it's not unheard of for a transgender person to use drag performance as a stepping stone towards coming out.
- Haganai: Yukimura is initially thought to be a very girly-looking boy until the protagonist sees Yukimura lacks an important male organ in the bathroom. Turns out Yukimura is a girl in body, but wasn't even aware of it because of an erroneous belief that men grow a penis when they become manly enough. Yukimura keeps on insisting to be a boy even after the reveal because "being a true man transcends the concept of biological sex". It's up to interpretation whether it's a case of a girl who has been conditioned to think of herself as a boy or a trans boy.
- Kino from Kino's Journey is biologically female but accepts being referred to as both male and female and looks androgynous.
- Nanana's Buried Treasure has Wholesome Crossdresser Daruku Hoshino whose sexuality and gender identity aren'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.
- Inukashi from No. 6. They use the masculine Japanese Pronouns "ore" to refer to themselves. Their gender is ambiguous, but there are implications that they are biologically female.
- Ferris from Re:Zero has contradicting lines implying they're either a Wholesome Crossdresser or a trans woman. The anime adaptation made them a cis boy.
- 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.
- Bavadin from The Cosmere apparently has some of this going on, when she was first mentioned her gender was not mentioned and fans assumed she was male until Arcanum Unbounded used female pronouns, but Word of God has said her gender is more complicated than that. Also there are entire pantheons in which every god is actually her.
- Enid Blyton:
- 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 is mostly a reaction to the way her parents are treating her.
- Bill (real name Wilhelmina) from the Malory Towers books. Bill is a tomboy to the core and prefers to be addressed by the masculine form of her name. Her schoolfriends realize what they've got on their hands and are happy to comply, with no fuss being made. Bill's attitude is directly related to her being the only girl among seven brothers and it seems that in direct contrast to only child George, Bill's parents are quite happy for her to be "one of the boys". As a result, she lacks George's bitterness and hostility. The two characters are roughly contemporaneous.
- 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.
- While Monstrous Regiment is full of Sweet Polly Olivers, certain characters' true identities are more ambiguous than others':
- Polly's male disguise is so effective that some aspects of her learnt behaviour and mindset become natural to her, to the point where she feels embarrassed to be caught in a dress or reacting like a woman before remembering that she is a woman. She is unsettled by how easy it becomes for her to go 'from boy to girl just by thinking it' and resolves to find time to consider this properly, leading many readers to see her as some form of non-binary (e.g. genderfluid).
- Sergeant Jackrum has been in the military as a Sweet Polly Oliver for most of his life, and his Happy Ending has him retiring from service and living with his estranged son as the family patriarch. The story continues to refer to him as "he" even after The Reveal, thus this trope.
- Provenance: The Hwaean people refer to youths with the singular "they" until a Rite of Passage where the child chooses an adult name and declares themself male, female, or nemale. Taucris delayed this until her career path required her to choose; it's implied that she would have preferred not to declare a gender.
- Spark/Ash is introduced in Realm of the Elderlings: The Fitz and the Fool trilogy as Chade's latest Apprentice Assassin. Biologically a girl, they grew up believing themselves to be a boy for their own protection. When informed otherwise, Chade helps them establish two personas which they switch between depending on the situation, called Spark when dressed as a girl and Ash when dressed as a boy, thus possibly genderfluid.
- In River of Teeth, Archie is shown to have a fluid gender identity, fluctuating between mostly presenting as a woman and periods of wanting to be seen as a man. She points out how though it may seem weird to them, enough money can convince any tailor to make her a quality suit.
- Shades of Magic: The deuteragonist Delilah "Lila" Bard is a Tomboy who often dresses as a man (sometimes for safety, sometimes out of preference) and never corrects anyone who refers to her as male. Word of Gay is that Lila could be genderfluid or non-binary in the modern day but, as a native of 1819 London, she lacks the cultural context to identify as such in the books.
- Sir Apropos of Nothing: It's unclear whether The Don Verah Wang Ho is a trans woman or a male crossdresser. They live publicly as a woman but are referred to as a man by their embarrassed relatives, and their affair with an unknowing Sir Apropos is portrayed as a deception with an Unsettling Gender Reveal that incites a literal Angst Nuke.
- The titular character in Sirena Selena is a teenage sex worker who is discovered by Martha Divine, the owner of a gay bar and transformed into a glamorous chanteuse once in full drag. Sirena's and Martha Divine's POV chapters use both masculine and feminine pronouns when talking about Sirena, even in the same sentence. Solange, who sees Sirena as a romantic rival, refers to Sirena as "monster" and other dehumanizing terms.
- Stone Butch Blues is a semi-autobiographical book about a person named Jess and their complicated struggle with gender and masculinity. It's debatable whether Jess would be considered a butch lesbian, a trans man, or non-binary in modern terms. They try to transition into living as male, but give up partway and decide to live as "stone butch" (which is traditionally a cis woman identity but can also be applied to trans people).
- Time Scout: Armstrong. He could be a feminine man. She could be a masculine woman. She never identifies as either and he can pass for either. His hair is cut short, she wears wigs, and long-necked clothing eliminates the possibility of seeing an adam's apple.
- Another Life (2019): Zayn has an androgynous gender expression, and in season 1 is never called by any pronouns. While they're likely meant to be nonbinary, this hasn't been said onscreen yet. Zayn is portrayed by Australian nonbinary actor JayR Tinaco. Zayn is referred to by ze/zer pronouns in season 2, implying thus as they're sometimes used by nonbinary people.
- Better Things: Frankie is very gender nonconforming, showing no interest in more usual girly things, always wearing masculine clothing and having short hair (until growing it out by Season 4). While that wouldn't by itself mean she's trans as opposed to a tomboy, she also gets punished for going in the boys' bathroom while at school, but says it's just because girls do things which disgust her while in theirs. However, after this her older sister Max expresses incredulity about this, matter of factly saying Frankie is a boy (but later denies having said that). Sam looks shocked after she hears this, but it's then dropped until Season 3, when it turns out Frankie's called Franklin by her friends and her text to Duke self-identifies herself as "your brother" (though in a Blink-and-You-Miss-It moment). Later though she wants a quinceañera (Latina rite of passage at 15, though the family isn't Latino, but Jewish). Frankie has not yet said anything more definite about her gender, though this does seem indicative of her being possibly nonbinary at least. In Season 5, Frankie discusses how a friend uses they/them pronouns, kind of indicating they're Frankie's too, to Sam's confusion. This is supported too by Max referring to Frankie as "they" later. Still though neither says Frankie's nonbinary or something else. Frankie also objects to being called Sam's daughter at one point.
- 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 them 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 Revival established that Time Lords/Ladies can change biological sex when they regenerate. Some of them clearly don't enjoy that, a usually female Time Lady spends one incarnation as a man and when she subsequently regenerates into a female body is relieved to be "back to normal", but others seem perfectly fine with it. Both the Doctor themselves and The Master have had at least one female incarnation and adjusted to it immediately, despite otherwise identifying as male, with the Thirteenth Doctor being happy to discover that she's a woman. The Eleventh Doctor also mentions an old friend called the Corsair, who regularly switched between male and female without breaking stride, suggesting that at least some Time Lords may have a non-binary or flexible gender identity.
- On Friends, it's never made clear whether Chandler's father is a gay male Drag Queen or a trans woman. Through most of the show, he's said to be a gay man who does drag, but when we finally see him in the later seasons, he's played by female actress Kathleen Turner and dressed as a woman.
- Brianne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. She's visibly uncomfortable every time she's required to conform to the gender roles expected of a Westerosi noblewoman and generally presents in a very masculine fashion. It's possible she's a trans male but lacks the vocabulary necessary to understand or express it, due to living in a medieval world.
- The Goodies has an accidental version. The series was made before anyone even knew what "transgender" meant, and what trans people did exist were assumed to be either Camp Gays or Butch Lesbians. The three protagonists would occasionally dress in drag (fairly common in British comedy in The '70s), but Tim would do it far more frequently than the others and seemed to enjoy it whenever he did, and would pretty easily slip into female personas. At the time this was just supposed to make him look a bit weird, but a modern viewer can't help but wonder if he's a closeted transwoman or non-binary.
- On The Good Place, Our Janet has the appearance of a human woman, cheerfully accepts "she" pronouns, and wears a skirt as part of her uniform. But if anyone calls her a woman or girl, she habitually replies, "not a girl." That response is so reliable that it's used to distinguish her from her Evil Twin.
- Kiss Me First: Is Jack a gay boy or a trans girl who likes men? It's not specified.
- In Lovecraft Country, Christina spends much of the time transformed into a male body (William) and seems to enjoy it more than being herself, even having an affair with Ruby in this form. However, it's unclear whether she is transgender or enjoys the power of being male in The '50s.
- Motherland: Fort Salem: M; played by a non-binary performer and only known by a gender-neutral nickname, without pronouns being used. However, thus far their gender hasn't been explicitly stated.
- Orange Is the New Black: Daddy is called both "she" and "he" by different inmates. We never learn if this reflects either a transgender or other identity since Daddy doesn't say anything about it either way.
- Years and Years: Lincoln Lyons, who begins wearing ribbons in his hair and wearing long shirts that resemble dresses, but is consistently referred to as a boy during his youth. However, the script describes a teenage Lincoln in the final scene as a beautiful Chinese girl, implying Lincoln may have eventually come out as a transgender girl.
- The Watch (2021): Lord Vetinari, a male character in the books, is played by Anne Chancellor here but still with the same title. Male pronouns are used for Vetinari usually, with "He is a man of her word" being used, making it very ambiguous if this version is transgender (possibly nonbinary).
- We Are Who We Are: Caitlin, by the end, is exploring her gender, and may be a trans boy but doesn't seem completely sure yet.
- The most common interpretation of "For Today I Am A Boy" by Antony and the Johnsons (whose frontwoman Anohni is trans herself) is that it's about a transgender child but it has a few others.
- As demonstrated in the page quote, one of the characters in "Bleed Like Me" by Garbage is confused about their gender.
- Dar's entire species of Mission To Zyxx is genderfluid (with reconfigurable genitalia, depending on their partners).
- 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, especially since Collins uses "he" pronouns after Angel's funeral. A third option is that she's genderfluid, evidenced with lines like "I'm more of a man than you'll ever be and more of a woman than you'll ever get." This is all muddied by the fact that RENT takes place in the early 1990s when the lines between drag queen and trans woman were more blurred in the public eye. Some later adaptations write Angel as more explicitly trans and/or genderqueer, such as the 2019 FOX production, which consistently uses "she/her" pronouns and adds new lines where Angel suggests that dressing like a woman makes her feel like the "real" her.
- 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.
- It's difficult to pin down the exact gender of Gwyndolin from Dark Souls, though easy to tell their physical sex. It's canon they possess a ring that gives one gender the movements and animations of the other and currently present as female. The lore says they were born male and Raised as the Opposite Gender, but Gwyndolin's dialogue never touches on the subject. The ring description says they dislike wearing it but not only are these descriptions not 100% reliable, it could just as easily indicate that they're agender and find the ring unnecessary.
- Arashi of Ensemble Stars! not only acts very feminine in general, being constantly drawn in feminine poses in card art and with a penchant for feminine hobbies, she also refers to herself as a girl regularly and push the other characters to do so as well, saying things like 'girls like me just can't get enough of cute things!' However, none of the other characters take this particularly seriously, and she's otherwise treated as male by the game (e.g., she has never worn a skirt in a card, even though a couple of other guys have cross-dressed), and since the game is light-hearted and doesn't really go into serious topics (and there's been no official word on the subject at all), the general fanbase tends to chalk it up to her being a very feminine guy. A lot of trans fans really love the idea of her being a trans girl, however. Complicated even further in the Beasts event story, which revolves around Arashi feeling uncomfortable because she was made to do a photoshoot revolving around manliness, only for Tetora to praise it and ask her to teach him how to be manly. In the end, Tetora apologises, acknowledging that she must have hated that, because 'I may not completely get it, but youre a woman inside, right ?' After that, he consistently refers to her as a woman, telling Midori that he had an encounter with an 'awfully charming woman' the previous day; Mama also refers to Arashi as his 'daughter'. The catch? After Tetora's confession, Arashi says 'no matter how much I want it, and no matter how hard I try I could never become the beautiful woman I dream to be' and promises to love herself as she is from here on. Which sounds very much like a trans person who is struggling with dysphoria and worried they will never pass, but is just ambiguous enough it can be interpreted as Arashi deciding to give up on being seen as a woman, despite what the other characters say.
- 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.
- Hugh Olineaux from Helix Waltz was assigned female at birth and lives as a man in all aspects of his life, with his sex being a widespread rumour never mentioned in front of his noble family. While a common interpretation is that he's a trans man, the game never confirms it and also suggests that he presents this way because he doesn't want to give up his knighthood upon marriage, which he would be expected to do if he were a woman (as was the case with his mother).
- The Lion's Song: Emma Recniczek, a mathematician, disguises herself as a man, Emil Schell, to present a mathematical theory in 1900s-1910s Austria, where women in math were nearly unheard of. There are dialogue options that a player can choose to give some leanings if Emma is simply crossdressing to get around society's restrictions about gender roles or whether they are on the path to discovering that they are a transgender man or non-binary. However, these dialogue options are subtle, the ending doesn't say anything other than Emma teaching under their assigned gender at birth and so their gender is largely up to player interpretation.
- Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue has the Bonus Boss Serenade.EXE, who's depicted as Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous, but Capcom ended up confusing fans and itself on what pronouns to use for them. In Japan, Serenade is unambiguously mentioned as female, but in the English localization, they were referred to with male pronouns, as well as calling them "The UnderKing", while in the manga adaptation of MegaMan NT Warrior, they use both. In the end, Capcom's official stance was that Serenade is "a perfect being without gender", though given that they're ultimately just an AI with no biology to speak of, that's both technically true and also rather unhelpful.
- Ashuku Nyorai from Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- identifies as female, but it's never stated she's specifically a trans woman. Nevertheless, details point to her being one: she's voiced by a male actor, has no breasts (suggesting male anatomy), is often misgendered by other characters, and her counterpart in actual Buddhist mythology is male. The ambiguity becomes further with one instance of her saying she's not female in her second Mandala Board story.
- 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.
- Lala Escargot, the bartender from Persona 5, acts like a stereotypical old queen, but her voice is very deep and almost masculine. It's not clear if Lala is a transgender woman, a drag queen, or a Gonky Femme. Given that Shinjuku has a drag scene, it's reasonable to assume any one of the three, but the game never elaborates on it. The other characters always refer to her as female, though whether that's because Lala is biologically female, they're using her preferred pronouns, or respecting her being in character as her drag queen persona also goes without elaboration.
- Depending on what language you're playing in, Blanche from Pokémon GO may be referred to with they/their pronouns. Languages that don't have singular neuter pronouns use feminine ones.
- In Project SEKAI, Mizuki Akiyama has an apparently masculine body shape but for all intents and purposes acts feminine and refers to themself with "boku" (commonly a male pronoun but not uncommon among young women). The game makes a point of not revealing their gender, and it's later hinted that their gender identity and discrimination from others has caused them a non-insignificant amount of grief despite their apparent upbeat and level-headed attitude.
- Rise Of The Third Power: Aden states that he's a genderless lichspawn, but allows the party to refer to him with male pronouns.
- From Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, we have Subaru Kujo. In addition to having a Gender-Blender Name and a low-pitched voice, she has an androgynous appearance that makes protagonist Shinjiro ponder whether she is a man or a woman. Subaru is very evasive about what she identifies as, simply stating "Subaru is Subaru" when first asked and never giving a definitive answer at all during the game. This androgynous nature makes her very well suited to playing male roles at the Little Lip Theater and comes in handy when she and Shinjiro contend with an enemy targeting women and turning them into stone.
- 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.
- Street Fighter has the villainous Artificial Human Seth, introduced as a firmly male character in Street Fighter IV, but things became weird when he was killed at the end, then returned in its direct sequel in a new, female body (which retains the same gruff, masculine voice as before). Strictly speaking, Seth is an AI with No Biological Sex to begin with, though other characters both identify the body as having a gender while quietly dodging around actually sticking to one. Referring to Seth with masculine pronouns is the generally accepted default, but some characters (mainly those who never met him before his resurrection) call Seth a neutral "they/them". Capcom's official material referring to Seth notably avoids ever referring to Seth by gendered pronouns.
- 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.
- 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim has Tsukasa Okino, a mysterious young man whose appearance is androgynous: slight build, fair skin, soft facial features, and short silvery hair. He leverages his androgyny when disguising himself as a woman named Kiriko Douji, and when Takatoshi Hijiyama discovers his true identity, he continues to tease and flirt with him, leaving Takatoshi flustered.
"Let's say some binaries work for me, and others don't."
- In Valkyria Chronicles 4, Rosetta is a scout who seems to have been gendered as a man and now "presents as feminine". Notably for a Japanese game, this is not played for laughs or even played for drama - nobody seems to care about this at all. In gameplay, the only notable thing about her is that she is one of the toughest scouts in Squad E.
- Arachnia (called "Jorogumo" in Japan) 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 Yo-kai Watch Blasters he is a part of an all-female yokai association.
- In the 3DS eShop game Kingdoms Item Shop, one questline has you helping a young man who uses the "noblewoman" sprite. When he first approaches you, he says that despite all appearances, he's a boy, and his only explanation is that his parents "really wanted a girl." It's ambiguous if this means that he was Raised as the Opposite Gender, or that he's transgender. He wants to train as a knight, which his parents find inappropriate for a young lady, and asks you to sell him gear in secret. Later in the questline, he asks you specifically for women's armor and it's implied that he still presents as female on occasion in his knightly duties—which brings up the possibility that he may be genderfluid as well.
- In Horizon Zero Dawn Warden Janerva has this trait. Janeva's voice actor is female and Aloy initially believes the Warden to be a woman, but Janeva cuts Aloy off when she asks about it, vehemently saying "No. I'm not one of your sisters. No woman can wear Carja armor". Janeva also mentions becoming a soldier and breaking the arms of soldiers who inquired too closely about their gender. The soldiers around the prison, Janeva included, wear much more concealing armor than most Carja. All of this implies that they're likely either a trans man or nonbinary, if those terms existed within that world.
- Jun Watarase from Happiness! is commonly seen as a Wholesome Crossdresser but is most likely transgender. Jun goes to school in the girl's 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 Confines of the Crown 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 Fate Series has several such characters:
- Saber from Fate/stay night (aka Artoria Pendragon) is always referred to as "King", never "Queen", is known to have lived as a man for most of her life, and doesn't react to Mordred referring to her as "Father" (after all, she biologically is Mordred's father, she was under a Gender Bender spell from Merlin for a time which allowed Morgan le Fay to steal some of her sperm to create Mordred). However, now that she's not in a situation where she needs to hide her gender, she seems comfortable being addressed as a woman and never makes a deal about it either way.
- Mordred, introduced in Fate/Apocrypha and given more focus in Fate/Grand Order, might be trans. Mordred dresses as a woman (albeit a Tom Boy)note but is very insistent on never being referred to as a woman and nearly kills someone the first time they do so. Grand Order in particular notes that either male or female pronouns are appropriate, and will sometimes switch mid-sentence. The part that causes the most fan arguments, however, is the fact that Mordred's "father", King Arthur, also is very insistent on never being referred to as a woman, but in her case, she is explicitly a woman pretending to be a man rather than trans. Since much of what Mordred does is "what King Arthur did, but more immature," some people argue that she is just taking She Is the King to a crazy extreme, while others argue that he is genuinely trans. It probably didn't help that Grand Order added some swimsuit fanservice.
- Le Chevalier d'Eon as portrayed in Fate/Grand Order is a thoroughly ambiguous mixture of gender markers. The historical d'Eon was a trans woman, 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.
- Fate/Grand Order also has a version of Leonardo da Vinci, who was a man in life but when summoned as a Servant appears as a woman in the image of the Mona Lisa, apparently by choice. She likes being addressed as Da Vinci-chan, but participates in the Valentine's Day Event as both male and female, which involves her mentioning that she's "discarded the concept of gender". During her interlude, she does briefly wonder about what gender to make her Body Backup Drive before deciding on another female body.
- Nezha from Fate/Grand Order was a Prince in life and is known in Taoism as "the God of Young Boys", but was apparently given a woman's body when they were resurrected from the lotus flower by Taiyi Zhenren. Nezha is very proud of their "perfect body granted by the Buddha", but whenever the question of their gender identity comes up they get evasive and embarrassed (though the game's mechanics still treat Nezha as female in this case). In their Interlude, the protagonist can up-front ask what, if anything, they identify as (be it male, female, none, both, non-binary, or even "Beep Boop" to reference their Robo Speak), and the most Nezha gives is an embarrassed assertion that some things don't need to be answered.
- Caenis from Fate/Grand Order was formerly a woman in life before being raped by Poseidon, which traumatized her so much that when he offered her a wish as recompense she used it to become the male Caeneus in the hope she would never again be taken advantage of like that. Judging from certain lines, it's actually possible to summon her as either the female Caenis or the male Caeneus, either of which identify as the gender they're summoned as but don't really care if people refer to them with masculine or feminine pronouns regardless. Due to the still-unresolved trauma involving the rape, however, Caenis admits in private she has more personal hang-ups whenever she's summoned as Caenis rather than Caeneus.
- Luka Urushibara 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.
- Your Turn to Die has Alice, who has a Gender-Blender Name, slips in and out of more feminine speech patterns (with a tendency to fall harder into them while stressing out), and gets extremely upset when one of the Floor Masters questions which of the groups he should bathe with. In the Spin-Off game Your Turn to Shine, he can confide in Mishima that he was raised as a girl until he confronted his mother about it, with it being left unclear whether he is officially transgender or was designated male at birth
- Kizuna AI, a Virtual Celebrity on YouTube, has a feminine avatar and voice. In interviews and official profiles, however, she has been very evasive on her gender identity. On one occasion, she has stated that she has the appearance of a girl with the mind of a man. She has also pointed out that, since she's a computer program, she technically doesn't even have a gender.
- El Goonish Shive:
- Ellen definitely identifies as a woman, but it is unclear whether she identifies as a cisgender woman or a transgender one. Technically, she was created entirely anatomically female and at no point in her life did she have male genitalia. She also has a set of memories starting from the time of birth of another female version of herself up to the age of 18. On the other hand, she also has memories of growing up male as Elliot and very briefly identified as Elliot. There's also a strip in which Ellen and Grace are playing a video game as characters similar to themselves: Grace is a squirrel (due to being part squirrel herself) and Ellen is "Transgender Princess". The only thing that is known for sure is that she does not identify as a trans male.
- Elliot's gender identity is unknown to himself but seems to be genderfluid. He describes himself as "gender casual".
- Grace's gender identity is also unclear but if these three strips are any indication, Grace may be polygender (experiencing multiple gender identities) since she's comfortable transforming into forms that have any biological sex (including intersex) and exhibit any gender expression.
- This can also apply to the strip's author, Dan Shive. In a Q&A in the comic itself, Dan gives his own gender as "Non-Commital Shrug" and states that he uses he/him pronouns largely to avoid answering questions from people he doesn't want asking them. His Author Avatar switches genders on a whim, though almost always is part squirrel.
- Go Get a Roomie!: Ramona starts to question her gender identity, feeling like a boy in drag when she puts on a dress. Time will tell if she comes to identify as trans or as non-binary.
- 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.
- The Order of the Stick: Vaarsuvius the elf's Ambiguous Gender is a long Running Gag, but they are also a bit hazy on the idea of gender traits, "do not normally pay attention to pronouns", and deliberately stymie Belkar's attempts to pry. Word of God is that Vaarsuvius would read as genderqueer in real-world terms but doesn't think about it at all in-universe because "not talking about gender is just culturally part of being an elf".
- 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.
- 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.
- In Sol Invictus Anamelekh is revealed to be a Mind Hive made up of the souls of four children, two girls and two boys, who were sacrificed to the Moon God Anu and later given a second chance at life as his servant. Ana is alternately referred to as "she" "he" and "they" and it's not clear what they identify as gender-wise.
- Angel of Sticky Dilly Buns identifies as "gender fluid" (but has not, so far as is known, had any surgery or hormone treatment), leading to a certain amount of in-setting confusion and keeping things ambiguous for the readership until the big gender reveal.
- In Total Trauma, Harold is nonbinary in some way (wearing a shirt with a female symbol despite being portrayed as male in canon), but avoids specifying exactly what their gender identity is.
Blainely: Do you still identify as a boy? Or are you now a girl, or nonbinary or something?
- Unsounded: When Duane reveals he knows Jeremy Sarthos is a Third Option Sarthos doesn't correct him using female pronouns for them and gives him their former feminine name when they get intamate, correcting him from using their legal name of Jeremy. They say they chose to become a Third Option out of their love of pymary, as only men are allowed to study it to become certified wrights in Alderode. Still they changed their legal gender and name in a ceremony they aren't allowed to reveal to anyone.
- 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 uses neutral pronouns.
- Loves Lost And Found has Lady Maria Lucita de Moncada, who is biologically female but doesn't identify herself as such and uses the pronouns "they/them."
- Player Two Start has its alternate timeline equivalent of Chris Chandler. Unlike the Chris of our world, who eventually came out as a trans woman, Player Two's Chris still presented as a man until the day he died, causing most in-universe commentators and a Wikipedia article to use masculine pronouns. However, Chris also kept a diary that detailed gender dysphoria and Word of God used feminine pronouns for him when first bringing up the diary. Of course, we'll never find out what Chris truly identified as, as he took it to the grave alongside the motive for committing the Valentine's Day Massacre.
- Agent Diogenes of the SCP Foundation's gender is unknown, even to the Foundation. Diogenes uses they/them pronouns, have looks ambiguous enough that they can pass either as a Bifauxnen or a Dude Looks Like a Lady, and when asked directly what their gender is, their only response is to raise an eyebrow. It's implied that coming into contact with SCP-113 multiple times (which changes the biological sex of whoever touches it but has unpredictable effects on organisms with atypical sex chromosomes such as intersex people) is what led to Diogenes's ambiguous gender.
- ContraPoints features many characters with both masculine and feminine identities. "Trumpy the Transvestite" and "Fritz the Fascist" are two examples.
- Danganronpa Abridged Thing: Chihiro Fujisaki was explicitly male in canon, but the abridged series makes this more ambiguous by placing more emphasis on his gender identity. By the time they are killed, Kirigiri explains that they were designated male at birth, but their ID recognizes them as male. Shortly after, Monokuma declares that they "never talk about this again."note From then on, Fujisaki is only referred to as "they/them."
- 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.
- American Dad!:
- In one episode Steve and his friends join a massive Boy Band called B12, consisting of twelve members. One of them is clearly biologically female yet refers to themselves by male pronouns and in a song where each member gives one line to describe themselves, they announce "I have the penis of a man". It's never stated if they're a trans boy or a cisgender girl who for some reason really wants to be in a boy band.
- In another episode, Haley and Steve both join a women's Roller Derby team, with Steve passing himself off as Haley's sister. He falls in love with a lesbian teammate and she is also interested in him, and they even start dating. Steve eventually reveals to her that he's a guy, but she's unsurprised and reveals the whole team knew he was biologically male but just assumed he was a trans girl. Steve even considers for a while that he might be transgender, and is interested in some aspects of living life as a female, but ultimately realises that while he may be a very effeminate boy, he is nevertheless a boy.
- 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.
- Pleakley in Lilo & Stitch: The Series, far more than in the original movie. He is consistently referred to and identifies as male, but he also constantly dresses as a woman, ostensibly as a disguise but even when he's alone at home.
- 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, suggesting a controversial reason.
- A few The Simpsons characters have featured one-off jokes here and there about transgender people, such as a character referencing a time when Helen Lovejoy was "Harold Schwartzbaum."
- South Park:
- Parodied in "The Cissy", where Cartman starts posing as a "transginger" named Erica to avoid having to use the boy's restrooms. It gets to the point where the school, fearing a media outcry, has to install a restroom specifically for trans students (read: Cartman), which ends up far more luxurious than the normal restrooms and pissing everybody else off. Wendy responds by showing up at school dressed as a guy and calling herself "Wendyl," stealing Cartman's restroom and causing him to come down on Stan for not "controlling [his] dog". The whole ordeal confuses Stan into questioning his own gender, whereupon he attempts to use the trans toilet and Cartman accuses him of being a "cissy," rallying the entire school into bullying him for it. The episode ends in the regular restrooms becoming gender-neutral and the original transgender restroom becoming a cissy restroom whose only user is Stan.
- This episode also features a confirmation that Randy didn't just dress up as Lorde the previous episode for Kyle's birthday, but in fact is Lorde, which is kept uniquely consistent over the rest of the season. His justification for it is even the exact same as Cartman's, though far less out of malice. Unlike the kids, Randy clearly sees Lorde as more an image than an actual alternate identity, but whether he enjoys the crossdressing part or is forced to by his record label to keep his pop starlet job is where the ambiguity comes in.
- Marco Diaz of Star vs. the Forces of Evil identifies as male for the most part, but doesn't mind being addressed 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 the 'Princess Marco' persona in multiple episodes and for merchandise. Creator Daron Nefcy has stated that Marco is the type of guy who can participate in feminine activities without feeling concern over his own masculinity, while the storyboard artists are aware of the trans community that identify with the progressive aspects of his character.
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Omega is ostensibly an Opposite-Sex Clone of the male Jango Fett, as she presents and identifies as female and is initially identified on sight as an enhanced clone, same as the Bad Batch. However, Prime Minister Lama Su later refers to her as an "unaltered clone", bringing up the very real possibility that she was genetically male at her creation like the only other known unaltered clone, Boba Fett, but is transgender or intersex. The ambiguity comes from the context of the conversation, as the alterations under discussion were specifically those related to the viability of Omega as a template for future clones (lacking Rapid Aging as well as the biological and mental conditioning to make the Clone Troopers obedient and docile). However, the lack of clarity of the Prime Minister's meaning behind "unaltered" leaves the door open for either interpretation.
- Steven Universe: Smoky Quartz, Rainbow Quartz 2.0, and Sunstone are fusions of a male character and a Gem (a species that canonically does not have gender). Fans generally consider them non-binary. In Rainbow's case, having an explicitly male voice actor and one of the staff explicitly using "him" to refer to Rainbow just adds to this. While Smoky only ever gets called "they," Rainbow 2.0 gets called "he" and "they" in canon while Sunstone gets called both "she" and "they."