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Non-Human Non-Binary

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Yeah, you tell her!
Historically, many cultures have described people using a gender binary, in which everyone is strictly categorised as either "male" or "female", even though this over-simplification doesn't fit many people. This is not something that all cultures do, but it has been particularly rigidly enforced in European cultures and by extension those with a history of European colonialism. While this is slowly changing, both in our perceptions of our daily reality as well as in the media we consume, there still remains a great deal of prejudice against the very idea of being anything other than cisgender...

If you're a human, at any rate.

Enter the Non-Human Non-Binary. "Non-Human Non-Binary" refers to any non-human character or group of characters that are not exclusively male or female — they may be both or neither of these, or different genders at different times. They may be aliens who have a completely different (if any) concept of gender as we understand it, or they may be totally absent of biological sex or natural gender tendency, such as robots. Yet despite not being exactly human, they have enough human traits that we can relate to them in some way.

Similar to Discount Lesbians, although applied to the gender binary as opposed to sexuality, this trope falls into two general uses:

This trope is sometimes used as a way of avoiding including genuine non-binary representation, or (worse) as a way to intentionally dehumanise non-binary people. There is a tendency to attribute the existence of this trope purely to transphobia, or at least an inability to see non-binary people as entirely "human" (both of which may be true in some cases - the analysis video Aliens, Monsters and Faceless Demons: The Dehumanisation of Non-Binary People in the Media explores this).

Other times, some uses of the Non-Human Non-Binary are examples of well-intended representation. For example, non-binary creators might want to use this to symbolize the alienation, isolation, and "otherness" that comes with the knowledge that you're in some way different from almost everyone you know. It can also allow creators to explore issues around gender in cases where audiences (or publishers) might be extremely resistant if fully human characters were used.

Alternatively, from the perspective of somebody writing a non-human character, it may just make sense for them to be written as having different concepts of sex and gender from humans (in contrast with Non-Mammal Mammaries and Tertiary Sexual Characteristics). In this vein, when employed to an entire species (or equivalent) rather than an individual non-human, the Non-Human Non-Binary could be used as a way of averting maleness by default.

As such, this should be thought of more as a common and recurring theme, rather than as an assignment of intent to the creator(s) of a particular work.

Sub-Trope of Speculative Fiction LGBT. See also Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous. Adopting the Gender Binary is what happens when a member of a non-binary race transitions to a binary gender.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary: The demon Belial is a non-binary trickster and the Satan of Pride.
  • The main antagonist of Devilman doesn't identify as exclusively male or female. He's Satan and intersex.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Envy is a shapeshifting homunculus who appears as an androgynous teenager. However, after their true form is revealed, Ling lampshades that 'human' is really pushing it, considering they are actually a gargantuan, eight-legged, lizard-monster with pulsing human bodies fused to them and a case of No Biological Sex.
    • Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) is as androgynous-looking as his manga counterpart. However his "true" form is revealed to be a cisgender male (and the half-brother of the Elric brothers).
  • Foo Fighters of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean is generally non-gendered because they're a sentient colony of plankton possessing the body of a dead (female) inmate.
  • Land of the Lustrous:
    • The Gems don't consider themselves male or female due to being born with No Biological Sex, and choose individually how masculine or feminine they want to present. This is in contrast with the other nonhuman races they encounter, like the Admirabilis and Lunarians, who clearly gender themselves and others.
    • Much later in the series, a race of sentient pebble-sized rocks is shown on Earth. Due to surviving long after the human-derived races died off and communicating at a frequency most living beings won't understand, they have even less of a concept of gender than the Gems, and indentify themselves as how they are in the present.
  • Itsuki of Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary is a Plant Person who is the product of a bio-engineering experiment. They have bright green hair, can photosynthesize, and their gender is ambiguous. They experiment with gender presentation by varying the length of their hair.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: While he's typically referred to with he/his pronouns and uses "boku"(commonly used by boys), Kyubey is confirmed to be genderless and has No Biological Sex. As he is a Starfish Alien with tenuous understanding of human emotions, he likely does not identify with the concept at all, and just presents as masculine to an extent to communicate with humans.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: A telepath mentions that he isn't sure which pronouns he should be using when referring to the Doctor, which confuses Charley a great deal. She had some idea about the shapeshifting, but apparently the possibility of gender-bending hadn't occurred to her, and it's a bit more than she wants to consider.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, the only non-binary character who's appeared in the entire run is Glamorax, who is the living embodiment of glam rock.
  • DC Comics:
    • Doom Patrol: Rebis, the Fusion Dance of Negative Man (Larry Trainor), Dr. Eleanor Poole, and the genderless Negative Spirit, who refers to themselves in the plural.
    • In Red Hood and the Outlaws, the character DNA is a sentient DNA strand who prefers gender-neutral pronouns. They are a member of Generation Outlaw; a group of aspiring super-villains that Lex Luthor assigned to Red Hood as his pupils.
    • The Sandman (1989): Desire of the Endless changes pronouns and appearances to suit whatever whim they have at the moment.
    • Teen Titans Academy has Stitch, a nonbinary living ragdoll who jokes about being a "genderqueer quilted-American" (before pointing out that they're not actually American).
  • One arc in Doctor Who (Titan): Tenth Doctor involves the Shan'tee, who are sentient sounds. They have no actual gender, but humans tend to experience them as either male or female based on preconceptions and gender stereotypes. The Shan'tee known as "Smokey" is perceived by Gabby as male and Allegra as female.
  • Fine Print: Most of the Cubi and Cupids don't seem to have a set gender, moving between male or female forms as they like with no signs it discomforts them.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Loki is based on the Norse god of trickery, who is said to have change gender several times in the original myths. The comic book version is canonically genderfluid, being referred to by Odin as "My Child who is nether my Son nor my Daughter" during the Loki: Agent of Asgard run.
    • In Runaways, Xavin is one of the few explicitly non-binary characters in the entire Marvel Comics universe, and they also happen to be a Skrull.
    • The inhabitants of the Ninth Cosmos in Immortal Hulk are referred to by the narration with gender-neutral pronouns, used to emphasise how different they are from humans, and show how incomprehensible the Breaker of Worlds would be to them.
  • In The Pride, the series chose to explore non-binary experiences through the Venusian, who, as the name implies, is an alien.
  • The Wicked + The Divine: Inanna is the current incarnation of a Sumerian goddess, who is non-binary and uses he/him pronouns.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Butcher Bird, Gem/GEMINI is a Hive Mind of two, one biologically male, one biologically female, and thus collectively doesn't identify as either gender, and is referred to as 'they'. Though, given the nature of ghouls in-universe, the non-human part is arguable.
  • In Dæmorphing, some Yeerks, Taxxons (who have entirely different conceptions of gender) and at least one Chee are non-binary. For extra complexity value Yeerks don’t have a native concept of gender because of their bizarre reproductive cycle and all Yeerks with a gender identity picked it up from another species and not all of them picked up human or human-analogous identities. Also, some Andalites are "split-hearted" and referred to as "they" and "daughter-son"s.
  • Guys Being Dudes: Ambiguously Human Ultra Space traveler Rhi identifies themself as nonbinary because they don't understand the humans of Pokémon GO's world's concept of gender.
  • In Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily, Easter (short for "Earth-as-Specter") possesses and later gains a human form based off of their host Specter. However, their original form is that of a lightning bolt that accidentally struck Specter down and fused with him so they wouldn't have any understanding or need of a gender. They even confess that they would like to be addressed with "they/them" pronouns.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Kaworu, aka Tabris, who inverted their primary sexual characteristics because it made certain things easier and doesn't quite get what a big deal this is, because not only did the First Ancestral Race have Bizarre Alien Sexes by human standards but Tabris didn't really fit into any of those on account of beginning life as an AI with no physical body let alone biological sex. In their own words...
    "My relationship with human genders is a lot like my relationship with the British class system: I know it exists, and I know that a lot of people feel very strongly about it and consider it a fundamental part of their identity, but I don't really fit in anywhere on its spectrum and most of the nuances are lost on me."
  • In the works of Seekingjets, Soundwave is portrayed as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. According to the author, they first wrote Soundwave as non-binary due to writing a human-formers fic and feeling the character suited the idea, then decided that it felt wrong to change it when writing Soundwave as Cybertronian.
  • In Kaedehara Kazuha's Foolproof Guide to Accidental Kidnapping, the divine puppet Kunikuzushi was created in the shape of a young man, but sounds like a young man and Kazuha muses there's something inherently genderless about them. After being introduced to the concept of transgender, Kunikuzushi asks for people to use male pronouns for him.

  • Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill: Sui, being a slime, has no gender, and is referred to as 'it' in the official translation. When asked whether it was a boy or a girl in the spin-off "Sui's Great Adventure", its response was "Sui is a Sui".
  • Some of the titular robot-race in The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids use they/them pronouns, most notably Arganthone, although the majority default to male pronouns.
  • Good Omens: Angels and demons, including main characters Aziraphale and Crowley, are described as "sexless unless they really want to make an effort". Co-writer Neil Gaiman considers them all to be nonbinary.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: The Hutts (huge, slug-like sentients) are gender-fluid, and their gender identities fluctuate depending on whether they're reproducing or not. Most of the time, Hutts are called by male pronouns. When either pregnant or afterward though, they're called by female ones. It seems this shifts back at some point, as Hutts like Aruk who have reproduced in the past use male pronouns currently. This isn't explored much, with Han just being baffled when a Hutt client's gender changes (he shifts pronouns/honorifics in tandem), though clearly presented as part of their alien nature since he thinks about how weird the entire thing is to him.
  • Inkmistress: The gods of water and spirit are genderfluid.
  • When the Krakau came to post-civilization Earth in Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse and started uplifting the Technically Living Zombies they found there, they had to reconstruct a human language for them to speak and it included gendered pronouns. With so many species being Starfish Aliens, that meant asking representatives and making some choices. Male and female pronouns are appropriate for several species but Krakau and Rokkau elected to be referred to as an all-female One-Gender Race, Glacidae opted for the singular 'they', there are male and female Nusurans but also other genders needing other pronouns, and the Tjikko found the whole idea hilarious and insisted on alternating pronouns, as in "I saw her today and he looked great".
    • In the second book, the main character meets a human who's nonbinary partially because of spiritual reasons and partially because "gender is dumb". Mops initially misgenders them but when she's corrected is able to draw on her experience with nonhumans to easily accept this.
  • Laszlo Hadron and the Wargod's Tomb:
    • Commnader Leurak of the Durendal and Ankerak of the Corsair are both insectoid aliens called Ylerakk, and are referred to with xe/xir pronouns.
    • Mat is a star-sized megastructure, and is referred to as "they".
  • Leia, Princess of Alderaan: Chalhuddans have five genders and change them according to an elaborate set of customs and individual preference, with 3PO saying their native pronouns involve two or three past genders and possibly their future gender as well as the gender they currently are. For the sake of convenience with "drylanders", they all go by the gender-neutral "they".
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Alex Fierro is a genderfluid shapeshifter whose body tends to change based on his or her gender identity at the moment.
  • Monsters Of Verity: Soro Flynn is a Sunai, a human-looking species of monster that feed on the souls of sinners. Soro uses they/them pronouns.
  • All bots, bot constructs, and AI in The Murderbot Diaries are "it", Murderbot included. Even when it's trying to pass for human it doesn't want to be gendered. Unusually for the trope, there are also plenty of nonbinary humans in the setting but they're they/them, and there are some third-gender humans with neopronouns.
  • The drow in A Practical Guide to Evil play with the trope a bit—specifically, the strength of their gender identity seems to change in response to power:
    • During the days of the Empire Ever Dark, the drow civilization averted the trope, similar to most other species in the series. Sages who consumed enough memories of other dead drow, however, eventually saw themselves subsume gender and take on it/its pronouns.
    • When the drow gained access to Night as a result of Komena and Andronike taking the Intercessor and Below's deal to keep their people technically extant as a living altar to Below, the drow in general started to lose their concept of gender—as Night is essentially a way to harvest the skills of the dead any drow can access, it's implied that the same process of subsuming gender applied to the drow as a whole. One extra chapter told from Rumena Tomb-Maker's perspective implies said process was gradual—before the introduction of Night Rumena is referred to he/him pronouns, then switches to they/them pronouns after a timeskip early into the introduction of Night, then continues further timeskips with it/its pronouns. Interestingly, both Komena and Andronike maintain their gender after their ascension to godhood.
    • At present, all drow except Sve Noc use it/its pronouns, showing cultural disdain for strong markers of sexed traits. Any drow with enough Night to reach a higher rank than nisi loses any kind of reproductive urge. One drow attempts to compliment Catherine about her own lack in regards to sexed traits, much to her chagrin.
    • When Mighty Kurosiv approaches godhood, its pronouns change to them/theirs.
  • In The Resurrected Man by Sean Williams, one of the supporting characters is an AI, who doesn't have a gender and is referred to using a distinct set of pronouns.
  • Rod Allbright Alien Adventures: Unlike most other aliens in the series, Tar Gibbons has a gender with no earthly translation and uses it/its pronouns in English (and in Translation Convention). It also dismisses the "It" Is Dehumanizing trope and explains that "him" or "her" pronouns would be insulting to it.
    Gibbons: I am neither male nor female. I'm a farfel.
    Rod: Is that more like a boy or more like a girl?
    Gibbons: Actually, it's more like a pippik than anything.
  • In the far-future and highly multi-species setting of the Sector General series, this is a matter of social convention to avoid cultural misunderstandings between species that have very different methods of reproduction and not-easily-translatable concepts of gender. All beings are politely referred to in dialogue as "it" unless it is absolutely necessary in discussions of sex and reproduction, and within the narration gendered pronouns are only used for beings of the same species as the current point-of-view character.
  • The Ship Avenged uses a species called the Sondee, which do come in male and female but the difference is completely invisible to human eyes, and Sondee consider being asked if they're either to be the same thing as being asked "What is the exact shape, color, and texture of your genitals?". Many Sondee quickly announce a preference in conversation, but otherwise humans refer to them with the pronoun "et", as "It" Is Dehumanizing.
  • An integral part of the setting of The Stormlight Archive are the spren. Spren are expressions of a concept and vary from simple, insect-like creatures that express basic concepts (for example: wind, anger, and death) all the way up to demigods. Most intelligent spren use gendered pronouns, but The Sibling uses they/them.
  • Touch (2015): Technically all of the ghosts tend to identify as the gender of their current host, but some have a stronger identification with one gender or another. Kepler seems to be entirely unconcerned with their gender and doesn't even remember what gender their original human body was.
  • Tower and the Hive: The Mrdini have no gender or biological sex (there is one mention of Mrdini females very early on, but this was due to a mistake on the author's part), with reproduction occurring via a process described as "budding" which any two individuals can contribute to. All characters refer to them as "it" due to this, since neither male or female pronouns would be appropriate.
  • Translation State: Taken up a notch with the Artificial Human Translators created by the mysterious Presger as emissaries. Nonbinary people are common and accepted in galactic society, but the Translators insist that all Translators are genderless — a point of dispute when one Translator claims asylum as a human and asserts a different gender identity.
  • In When the Angels Left the Old Country (which was written by a nonbinary person), angels have No Biological Sex, and Uriel is always called "it", though it looks male to most people.
  • In the Alliance/Union verse, the stsho are trigendered hermaphrodites, who utilize the pronouns gtst, gtste, and gtsto, mate in threesomes, and periodically undergo "phasing", which changes their personality as well as their gender.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Time Monster", Kronos has different appearances, including a giant woman. Speaking about their gender, Kronos says, "shapes mean nothing".
    • In "The Hand of Fear", Eldrad has woman- and man-like forms.
    • While implied to be relatively uncommon, Time Lords can change their gender during a regeneration, and accordingly seem to take little notice when it happens, at least to their fellows.note  According to the Twelfth Doctor, Gallifreyan society is indifferent to the concept of gender because of this.
  • Doom Patrol (2019): Danny the Street is a sentient, teleporting section of urban geography who uses the pronouns they/them who is on a team of cisgender humans.
  • Good Omens (2019): In addition to the non-binary angels described in the books, the TV series also portrays Pollution as non-binary and using they/them pronouns.
  • The Good Place: Janet is a genderless artificial intelligence who begins to gain sentience. While she is often read as feminine-presenting, she is polite but firm in insisting that she's "not a girl".
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One: Naki, one of the artificially intelligent HumaGears, is genderless (which is what their actor, Satsuki Nakayama, identified as during production).
  • Red Dwarf: According to "Camille", Pleasure GELFs are androgynous in nature, although Camille identifies as female in nature and Hector (her husband) identifies as male.
  • Star Trek:
    • The J'naii from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outcast" are rigidly androgynous, reconditioning anyone who dares to be male or female.
    • The Vissians from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Cogenitor" are trinary, with the third gender (called a "cogenitor") making up a small percentage of the population and being treated as little more than breeding slaves.
    • Trills have evolved to coexist with an ageless alien slug (known as a symbiont) in their abdomen. A "joined" Trill has the knowledge and experience of the symbiont's previous hosts. Trills' mixed identity makes them (at least, some of them) much less preoccupied about gender roles than some other humanoid species.
      Jadzia (sparring with Worf): I hope you're not holding back because I'm a woman. If it makes things easier, think of me as a man. I've been one several times!
      • Even though the franchise's first recurring non-binary character, Adira Tal, is joined to a Trill symbiont, they avert this trope; 1) they are actually a human, not a Trill host, and 2) they were non-binary before they were joined.
    • Averted (the other way) with the Founders from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Despite having no apparent reproductive biology and a social structure completely different from humanoids, when the Founders take humanoid form, they choose to appear as one gender or the other, consistently for each individual—an odd choice for a species so disdainful of the "solids'" idiosyncrasies. It's to the point where the series' Big Bad is exclusively known as the Female Changeling.
  • The Solomon family in 3rd Rock from the Sun, in their human forms Dick, Harry and Tommy identify as male and Sally female. But it's mentioned over and over again that this is just a method of fitting in with human society, Sally was forced to be the woman against her will and it takes time for her to adjust to it. In general members of their species prefer to be male while on earth.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Jewish Tradition: God is viewed as transcending physical form, and therefore has no gender, but due to the structure of the Hebrew language, is often addressed in the male (or occasionally the female) second person during prayer (depending on the liturgy).

  • The Adventure Zone:
    • Roswell is a fusion of an earth elemental and a small bird, given sentience by a magic spell. They are agender, and use they/them pronouns (although they were initially referred to using he/him pronouns, but this was corrected by the cast the following episode).
    • Festo (they/them) is a fairy and a magic professor at Hieronymous Wiggenstaff's School for Heroism and Villainy.
  • Brimstone Valley Mall:
    • Misroch is a demon who uses they/them pronouns and doesn't consider themselves male or female. This line suggests that they're agender:
      Gender is a silly human construct and it is beneath me.
    • Mammon, another demon (one of the seven princes of Hell, in fact), is referred to by she/her and he/him pronouns interchangeably by the other characters, suggesting he might be genderfluid.
  • Campaign: Sky Jacks: Gable is a 7-foot-tall otherworldly, genderfluid being who uses they/them pronouns. This is because they're an angel who predates the concept of gender entirely.
  • Jar of Rebuke: this podcast is full of inhuman characters as well as nonbinary characters, the primary example of the overlap of this is Dr. Jared Hel, who over the course of the series is revealed to be inhuman and also nonbinary.
  • Riley and Shaz from Less is Morgue are both Ghouls. Shaz is trans-masc, and Riley is Agender. Both go by They/Them pronouns.
  • The Strange Case of Starship Iris Dwarnian Crewperson Krejjh finds the concept of binary gender endlessly hilarious.
  • Residents of Proserpina Park: JD, the Jersey Devil themself, uses they/them pronouns. Terry, being a demigod, arguably counts as well

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting Eberron gives us the changelings and the warforged. Changelings, being shapeshifters, see gender/sexual identity as just one characteristic to be changed among many. Warforged are Mechanical Lifeforms with No Biological Sex who are generally "unconcerned with matters of gender", though some take on a gender identity as a form of self-expression.
  • Magic: The Gathering has this in two (and a half) separate instances.
    • Ashiok is a nightmare-weaving planeswalker about whom basically everything is unknown; home plane, species, intent, and gender. The issue was initially dodged when the originally small amount of lore about Ashiok didn't use any pronouns whatsoever, but later material adopted they/them pronouns for Ashiok.
    • The plane of Kaladesh features an entire race of genderless beings known as Aetherborn. Born as a byproduct of aether refining, they live extremely short lives, from 5 months to 3 years long. While side material notes that some of them choose to identify by gendered terms, the vast majority identify as non-binary, as they have No Biological Sex.
    • Karn is an odd case. A sentient silver golem, in the original stories Karn was always referred to with male pronouns. But after The Mending, he showed up again, and Word of God has stated that while he accepts male pronouns from the various gendered beings around him, in his mind he thinks of himself as non-binary, because gender is something for biological beings to worry about.
  • In the Mutants & Masterminds sourcebook Worlds of Freedom, Zhanni Windracer from the Freedom's Reach setting is an ifrit "conjured in a form neither man nor woman" (although the only use of a pronoun is a "his" in Warriors & Warlocks). Zhanni's Freedom City counterpart is a cis gay human male.
  • In Starfinder, many Androids, despite their typically human looks, choose not to identify as either gender. Then you have races like the Shirren and Marquoi, who have more than two genders. And races with no gender at all like the Bantrids, which reproduce by budding. They/them pronouns abound.

  • In the Transformers web prose series Beast Wars: Uprising, Screwball — the artificial intelligence of the human Confederated Terran Colonial Fleet ship Spooky Action at a Distance — uses ze/zir pronouns. According to the Transformers Collectors Club's Ask Vector Prime feature, this is fairly common among human-created A.I.s in the Uprising universe.

    Video Games 
  • Angry Birds introduced its first non-binary character, the superb bird-of-paradise Jo, in 2023. Jo uses they/them pronouns and represented the set (alongside Red for he/him and Stella for she/her) in a Facebook post for Pride Month 2023.
  • Bloodhound from Apex Legends zig-zags this. While they are human as revealed by one of the lore cinematics (showing them as a younger person and revealing some of their face and body and true voice at least) and use they/them pronouns, they're otherwise covered head to toe in full gear that makes it impossible to discern their true gender. And while voiced by a woman (Allegra Clark), it's altered to sound more androgynous.
  • Borderlands:
  • Catherine: Qatherine/Rin has a feminine appearance and is referred to as "she" by others for most of the story, but he reveals he identifies as a man if you play his route, after an Unsettling Gender-Reveal. That said, whether or not his gender is as simple as that isn't entirely clear. Said route's Good Ending also reveals that Rin belongs to a One-Gender Race of Angelic Aliens, and that Rin's brother is a robot suit piloted by multitudes of tiny pink aliens that resemble Minions from Despicable Me and implies this is the case for Rin's entire species, meaning Rin is possibly a Hive Mind or a literal "they" who instead uses "he".
  • In Dicey Dungeons, the Robot goes by they/their pronouns, and upon entering the dungeon became a, well, robot.
  • Dyztopia: Post-Human RPG: Smogs are gaseous beings who are not born with a biological sex, but they can slowly change their solid form shape to their liking. The protagonist, Akira, is a Smog whose pronouns are they/them, but not all Smogs go by they/them. In fact, most of the ones in the Smog Empire chose genders and adopted a patriarchy, though most of the ones in Bonetown don't significantly change their shape or choose a gender.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the Daedric Princes don't subscribe to just one gender and are typically portrayed consistently (for example, Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal are usually masculine, and Meridia and Azura are usually feminine. In addition, Hermaeus Mora, every bit an Eldritch Abomination, is addressed with masculine pronouns and Mephala, a Hermaphrodite, is addressed with feminine pronouns). Boethiah, on the other hand, has been portrayed as both male and female throughout the franchise, with their myths frequently swapping between genders and their followers referring to them by different pronouns even within the same sentence. Downplayed, ultimately, as Boethiah is never addressed as "they/them", but rather Boethiah swaps between male and female.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Dr. Dala from Old World Blues is a human-turned-Brain in a Jar classified internally as an Abomination, and while she's mostly referred to with she/her pronouns, she has a single line of dialogue describing herself as a "gender-neutral entity".
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Enkidu is a clay creation of the gods, intended to be "gods' weapon" and thus has no gender or sex. They used to be an inhuman monster until the divine harlot Shamhat tended to them, causing them to take on her appearance to honor her. In game, they aren't listed with any gender and gender-related skills don't work on them.
    • Romulus-Quirinus is the result of the Roman deity Quirinus manifesting within the body of Romulus. While appearing masculine, Romulus-Quirinus' identity (including that of gender) transcends human limitations, and they aren't listed with any gender traits.
    • Ashiya Douman has multiple deities of varying gender within himself. He as a Servant is referred to with he/him pronouns, but his gender identity is listed as "Unknown".
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: Limstella is the strongest of Nergal's creations, a Morph imbued with "perfect power and perfect beauty". They are androgynous and genderless, though they use a female sprite in battle and other characters refer to them as such. In Fire Emblem Heroes they are referred to with they/them pronouns and voiced by a non-binary voice actor.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • Downplayed with dragons, which don't identify as male or female (and reproduce asexually), but will refer to themselves and each other as either gender to make it easier for humans to identify them.
    • The faerie folk of the First are exclusively referred to with they/them pronouns.
  • The cast of Garden Story consists largely of anthropomorphic plants, fungi, and frogs. None of the characters have defined genders, and pretty much everyone uses they/them pronouns.
  • Guilty Gear: Testament, a half-human half-Gear, has been fairly androgynous since their first appearance in Missing Link, but with their most recent appearance in Strive they are confirmed to be non-binary.
  • Hades: While most of the cast is not, strictly speaking, human, Chaos is unique in that they exist as an anthropomorphic representation of the primordial void from which all life sprung. They use the singular "they" pronoun, and their daughter Nyx refers to them as her "parent."
  • The Vessels in Hollow Knight are a family of modified bugs created by infusing unborn bug children with Void, and while most bugs possess binary genders, Vessels are always considered genderless. The character Hornet, the one sibling who did not become a Vessel, is known in-universe as "the Gendered Child".
  • Kirby is normally referred to with masculine terms, but is intended to have an Ambiguous Gender in Japanese; according to his creator and voice actress, the official stance is that his gender is simply unknown, with the former once teasing that he might actually be female. Because of this, promotional Japanese artwork and even certain games show that Kirby has no particular preference to masculine or feminine presentation. (For example, the official Twitter account has shown him participating in both Valentine's Day and White Day, and one costume set introduced in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is a Magical Girl getup.)
  • Blitzcrank, the Great Steam Golem of League of Legends was originally added to the game as a male-coded robot that used he/him pronouns, but following the game's Continuity Reboot in 2014, they were retconned to identify as genderless, with all official media referring to them with they/them pronouns.
  • Although Lonely Wolf Treat has a large cast of non-human characters, the representation of nonbinary people is still fairly grounded in reality. Most animal folk in the series possess binary genders, and those who happen to be nonbinary are nonbinary for reasons that have nothing to do with what species they are. One example is Dango, a rabbit who starts questioning their gender due to how anxious they feel about sharing a bath with other male rabbits.
  • Mass Effect: The asari are a single-sex alien species so they don't really have a concept of binary genders. They're usually referred to as female (and happen to resemble attractive human women), but later games and source material has suggested that some do prefer he/him pronouns and have masculine gender identities.
  • Subverted in the interactive romance novel Moonrise. In a game full of vampires and werewolves, the nonbinary Rosario is the Token Human.
  • Sweet Tooth in Moshi Monsters is implied to be non-binary as they are commonly referred to with they/them pronouns and the last person to ask their gender “is still in the moshpital wearing a gobstopper”.
  • In Outer Wilds, the player character is of a seemingly genderless species called the Hearthians, who all use singular they pronouns.
  • Overwatch: Downplayed in that the majority of Omnics (a race of sentient robots who previously turned against humanity when attempts were made to shut down the factories that produced them) do seem to prefer a binary gender (or at least she/her or he/his pronouns), but:
    • Lynx Seventeen is an omnic hacker who teams up with Zarya to track down Sombra in a comic and was referred to with they/them pronouns. It was confirmed by lead writer Michael Chu that they use they/them pronouns by choice.
    • Bastion (also a robot) is referred to by Blizzard with it/its pronouns. Since it was previously built to mercilessly slaughter humans during the Omnic Crisis, it's also an example of It Is Dehumanising.
  • Pokémon: Later games in the series have downplayed the gender of the protagonist somewhat (for example the option in GO just says "choose your look"), but the only entities in the franchise which aren't gendered are certain species of genderless Pokémon (eg. Voltorb, Ditto, and most legendaries).
  • Ecolo from Puyo Puyo, possibly. He's a humanoid blob thing who is referred to with male pronouns most of the time, but in Puyo Puyo Quest he's not assigned to either of the gender-specific combination sets.
  • Read Only Memories: Though the robot Turing is usually referred to with "he/him" pronouns thanks to their namesake and body shape, Turing themself doesn't have a gender preference.
  • Secret of Mana features as its playable characters a human boy, a human girl, and a rather androgynous-seeming sprite whose gender is talked around for most of the original English translation of the SNES game. The single "he" dropped in the ending is not treated as a gender reveal.
  • Skylanders: The Darkness, the Eldritch Abomination behind most of the games' evil, is referred to as an "it" by everyone, both in-game and in the game guide. Even after the fifth game revealed that it is a fully sapient creature with a masculine voice, no gendered language is used.
  • Star Wars: Squadrons has a member of Vanguard Squadron; Keo Venzee a Mirialan, go by gender neutral pronouns.
  • The Undertale series is a rare inversion; every named human character, including the two main protagonists, uses they/them pronouns, while the monsters vary widely in identity and expression. Straight examples include the Monster Kid and Seam.
    • Zig-zagged with ghosts; while they generally have no assigned gender and go by they/them pronouns (as Napstablook does), individual ghosts can choose how they present and may even seek out a physical body for this purpose (as in the cases of Mettaton and Mad Mew Mew).
  • Roc from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a phoenix-designed Blade originally belonging to Vandham, until Rex adopts the Core Crystal following Vandham's death. Roc uses exclusively he/him pronouns, but he is not a valid candidate for Merc Missions that require male Blades. It's unclear whether it's an oversight, but in the system that handles Blades' gender - a value of 1 representing a female Blade, 2 being male, and 3 representing animalesque Blades - Roc has a value of 4.

    Visual Novels 
  • Most of the demons in BAD END THEATER have no defined gender and go by "they" pronouns, the only known exceptions being the Overlord and her father.
  • Hiveswap Friendsim: Cirava Hermod and Charun Krojib are non-binary trolls.
  • Witches X Warlocks: Damion is a Frankensteinian creature that often has to purchase new body parts at Mr. West’s store and sow themself back together. They are also Nonbinary and use they/them pronouns.

  • In El Goonish Shive as members of a One-Gender Race, Uryuoms start life without an assigned gender (though are initially referred to using he/him pronouns anyway) and depending on the preferences of their parents are either assigned a permanent gender arbitrarily or pick one themselves to start and perhaps decide to change genders as they grow up. Presumably many Uryuoms on their homeworld never settle on a gender given it seems Uryuoms on Earth stick to a gender expression only to fit in better.
  • Flashbacks in Ennui GO! include Angel, a member of Florida Man's gang, who's a gaunt, ghoulish, voiceless Ambiguously Human person with no nose and red eyes. Despite their appearance, they're sweet and timid, getting startled and intimidated by a pre-teen girl saying "hi" to them.
  • Nebula: According to Word of God, planets don't have a concept of gender in the same sense we do, thus making every character nonbinary. However, some characters do gravitate towards presenting a certain way - for example, Earth presents as feminine and uses she/her pronouns - but ultimately, most characters don't have a specific gender.
  • The Order of the Stick: According to Word of God, he specifically sees the elf Vaarsuvius as genderqueer, but notes V would probably not self-identify that way due to elven gender expression being different from human gender expression. Vaarsuvius has a mate and two adoptive children, who do not resemble either parent, who refer to their parents as "Parent"(V's mate) and "Other Parent"(V).
  • Questionable Content: The Artificial Intelligence Yay Newfriend, aka Spookybot, describes themselves as "gender-ambivalent" and uses they/them pronouns, in part because they're a Hive Mind. The comic also has a nonbinary human character, though (Tilly), and at least one binary trans human character (Claire).
  • Pictured above is Khut, a shapeshifter and major character in Star Trip who has no gender and is referred to by they/them pronouns.
  • Stellarscape: All of the main cast are nonbinary, and while they definitely resemble humans, they very likely aren't human considering multiple factors (Rigel and Vega having otherwise unnatural skin tones, being the embodiments of stars, so on). This is most exemplified with Procyon, who has a much more alien appearance than the rest and is confirmed in her profile to be agender.
  • Crow Time: Edwin, a crow-born shapeshifter, uses they/them pronouns.
    Web Original 
  • Aliens, Monsters and Faceless Demons: The Dehumanisation of Non-Binary People in the Media explores and critiques this trope.
  • By contrast, the Tumblr page Fuck Yeah Monster Enbies celebrates this trope.
  • Four and X, the hosts of Battle for BFDI, are extraterrestrials that go by he/him pronouns, but are canonically confirmed to have no gender.
    Leafy: You see, Fourty-Four, Pencil likes to exclude people who aren't part of her... clique.
    Four: Her, "clique"?
    Leafy: Yeah! That could be her... alliance... or in this case, her gender!
    Four: We don't have that where I'm from.
    • Post-split, this also applies to Profile Picture, nicknamed Profily. The difference here is that unlike Four and X, Profily is an actual object, and they also specifically go by they/them pronouns.
    • This also applies to newcomers Winner and Price Tag from Battle for Dream Island: The Power of Two, who are actual objects that go exclusively by they/them.
  • Critical Role: Like many worlds built for Dungeons & Dragons and similar medieval fantasy role-playing games, the realm of Exandria is quite human-centric, although features sizeable populations of elves, half-elves, and dwarves. Outside of these, however:
    • J'mon Sa Ord is the ruler of the city of Ank'Harel, who uses they/them pronouns. Their 'true' form is that of an ancient brass dragon, Devo'ssa, who takes a humanoid form.
    • Mollymauk Tealeaf is a purple-skinned tiefling (part-human, part-demon), who has been described as openly genderfluid by Matt Mercer.
    • Freshly Cut Grass (automaton) and Ashton Greymoore (earth genasi) use he/they pronouns.
  • For the longest time, Paintbrush from Inanimate Insanity had an Ambiguous Gender Identity, with contestants assuming them to be either male or female, and Paintbrush never providing a clear answer. It didn't really help that everybody is an Animate Inanimate Object without any Tertiary Sexual Characteristics due to II being an Object Show. Come Season 2 Episode 12, and Paintbrush was revealed to be nonbinary, which they kept secret with their Vitriolic Best Bud, Lightbulb. As of Season 3 Episode 4, however, Paintbrush is now much more comfortable with admitting that they're nonbinary to their teammates.
  • Looming Gaia:
    • All medusas (gorgons whose eggs were mutated by venom before hatching) are referred to with "they/them" pronouns, both because they're all intersex and because of their conjoined siblings.
    • Some monsters are sexless and have no concept of gender, such as cyclopes, spriggans, and melusine.
    • Jeimos is a nonbinary elf. Downplayed though, as elves have the same concept of gender binary as humans, though they naturally look more androgynous by human standards.
  • The Curious Cat from Volume 9 of RWBY is magical cat that can possess the souls of afterans and humans. Other characters refer to the cat with they/them pronouns, although the cat does not explicitly state that they prefer they/them.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: BMO is a genderfluid robot with an androgynous, young-sounding voice.
  • Roger from American Dad! is treated by the family as male, but he'll dress as and sleep with anything that moves. In later episodes Francine is shown to treat him as female when in female personas. He mentioned in "The One That Got Away" and "Jenny Fromdablock" that he doesn't have genitals and in one episode after having sex with Klaus he asked if it made them gay and Roger replied that it didn't because he's an alien. In "Into the Jingleverse", Stan specifically refers to Roger as "non-gendered".
  • Battle Kitty: Kitty is a gender-nonconforming cat.
  • Code Lyoko: Xana is a malevolent computer program usually represented by its ever-present eye symbol.
  • Invader Zim: According to Jhonen Vasquez, while Zim and other Irken may present as male or female when disguised as human, outside of that they don't abide by a gender binary, stating on Twitter that "the only IRKEN gender is A55H0LE. all caps."
  • In King Tweety, the first of the Canary island monarchs is a bird consistently referred to with gender-neutral pronouns. When introducing King Tweety, there's also "Ladies, Gentlemen, Non-Birdinaries and all wonderful folk".
  • On Madagascar: A Little Wild, Odee is a non-binary okapi.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): In "Check Yourself", the supercomputer LOS-307 introduces themself as a non-binary operating system, which doubly refers to their gender identity and how they compute information.
  • The Owl House:
    • The witch Raine Whispers is non-binary and goes by they/them pronouns. According to their voice actor (who is also non-binary), Raine is transmasculine. This is somewhat of a downplayed example — witch society has the same male-female gender binary as human society (though they are a lot more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community), and the only non-humanoid feature Raine has are their Pointy Ears.
    • Played a lot more straight with the Collector. While their true form looks like a humanoid, fairly androgynous child, they're a powerful Reality Warper described by Kikimora as "neither witch nor demon, a child from the stars", and are considered unnervingly alien to everyone in the show. According to Word of God, they use both he/him and they/them pronouns.
    • When Luz speaks with the Titan in the finale, they refer to themselves as "King and Queen, best of both things", implying that they're bigender, though they're fine being referred to with masculine terminology for the sake of convenience. It's somewhat up in the air if that's their personal gender identity or if the entire Titan species was a hermaphroditic One-Gender Race, especially given the fact that their son King (the only other Titan we ever see) identifies exclusively as male.
    • Eberwolf uses both he/him and they/them according to Word of God, and looks and acts a lot more animalistic than most witches.
  • The Bortronians in Ready Jet Go! are neither male nor female, so they're all technically non-binary, even though a lot of them present as either masculine or feminine. Jet himself is bi, and him not giving a crap about gender is one major reason why.
  • Ridley Jones: Fred, played by non-binary actor iris menas, is a non-binary bison.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Double Trouble is a non-binary shapeshifter whose "normal" form is distinctly less humanoid than any of the main cast.
  • The alien protagonists of Solar Opposites are from a race with No Biological Sex who instead of having kids have "replicants". Similar to the 3rd Rock from the Sun example above, when they came to earth they assigned themselves genders so as to sell the idea of them being a family. Jessie chose to be female, while Terry, Korvo and Yumulak are male, making Korvo and Terry come off as a gay couple even though they're not an actual couple and are pretty all over the place sexually.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Gems are feminine-looking by human standards and refer to themselves with she/her pronouns, but have No Biological Sex and no gender identities. Rebecca Sugar has described them as "non-binary women" - in this context, non-binary people with the appearance of women (which is also how she describes herself). Their exact gender expressions run the gamut from very feminine like Rose Quartz, to androgynous like Peridot, to butch like Jasper. The only confirmed binary Gem is the Half-Human Hybrid Steven, who is a boy.
    • Steven's Fusions with the Gems tend to use they/them pronouns (notably differing from fusions of two gems, who are generally referred to with she/her pronouns) and they lean more on the androgynous side of things due to Steven being a boy, though it varies (especially with Sunstone, since they're a fusion of Steven and Garnet aka Ruby and Sapphire, who is a top heavy Fusion with a flame-shaped head- although Sunstone was actually confirmed to use both she/her and they/them pronouns in The Steven Universe Podcast.
    • His Fusion with his human best friend Connie, Stevonnie, is outright confirmed in-series to be non-binary and intersex.
    • Subverted with Steven's Fusion with his dad Greg. In The Movie, they fuse to become Steg, a very masculine Fusion with four arms and uses "he/him" pronouns.
    • Rainbow Quartz 2.0, Steven and Pearl's fusion, is confirmed to use both they/them and he/him pronouns.
  • Transformers Earthspark features Nightshade, an Earth-born transformer who uses “they/them” pronouns. Notably, they are the first officially confirmed non-binary character in the franchise.
  • Wander over Yonder: The writers have confirmed that the body-snatching energy being Sourdough the Evil Sandwich is genderfluid, taking on the gender identity of whoever they possess.
  • In season 4 of Young Justice (2010), Violet Haper/Halo comes out as non-binary and starts using They/Them pronouns. However it was revealed in the previous season that Violet Haper is actually dead. The being who's possessing her dead body is the consciousness of a Motherbox. They don't like being called a girl because they're not actually human at all.


Video Example(s):


Double Trouble

Double Trouble can transform into anyone they want, even with perfect voice mimicry.

How well does it match the trope?

4.74 (35 votes)

Example of:

Main / VoluntaryShapeshifting

Media sources: