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Guy 1: All X-Men are totally queer!
Guy 2: Huh..?
Guy 1: When they're teens they start realising they're "different". You can't tell who's a mutant and who isn't. And there's douches who wanna take away their rights and shit!

This character is different. There's something about them, something that has a huge impact on their life and shapes who they are, but they have to keep it a secret. If anyone finds out they could be rejected by their loved ones, socially ostracized, or worse. They might hate this part of themselves and just want it to go away or they might embrace it and lament the fact that no one can ever know.


No, they are not gay. Why would you even ask that?

They have superpowers. They have magical powers. They can talk to animals or ghosts. They're not queer but something sets them apart from everyone else in their life in exactly the same way that being queer would. It feels like someone wanted to talk about it without actually talking about it.

The result is a story that looks suspiciously like a Coming-Out Story or a story about being outed or dealing with homophobia or accepting yourself even though it's ostensibly about something else. The character may be Ambiguously Gay or Ambiguously Bi, but you can bet they have a huge LGBT Fanbase. The trait that mimics sexual orientation will usually be magical or supernatural in nature and will often be something that those around them have a legitimate reason to fear, leading to Unfortunate Implications.


These stories will always involve a secret about the character that, if it's revealed, could have serious consequences. Other indications that this is happening often include:

  • The thing that the character must keep secret isn't something they have in common with family members
  • When the character talks about telling people, it's referred to in-universe as "coming out"
  • Others suggest that the character could be "cured"
  • The character telling their family about themselves or their family finding out is given special importance
  • Others finding out about the character's secret could cause them to be socially ostracized, rejected by family members, and/or lose their job or housing.
  • Others finding out about the character's secret could put the character in danger of physical harm or arrest
  • The work has an over-arching theme of acceptance
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  • The work has an overarching theme of self-acceptance where the character starts out hating or fearing that part of themselves
  • The work has an over-arching theme of community where a character spends a large portion of their time with others like them, often having to hide it from their family
  • The media does not have any canonically queer characters while this story line is taking place

In self-contained media, such as a movie, that uses this trope, the story often begins with the character being "outed," leading to ridicule that sees the character at their lowest point. The character must then learn to accept themselves and use their power or ability to save the day, and the movie ends with their loved ones accepting them too. In longer-running media like TV shows, the character is more likely to completely accept themselves from the beginning and have some other reason to want to keep everything secret, inevitably leading to drama when other characters come close to finding out.

When done intentionally, this can allow a creator to explore queer themes in situations where queer characters aren't allowed or without alienating a conservative audience. When done unintentionally, it can make for some entertaining cell phone footage of flustered creators trying to answer unexpected questions about sexuality at cons.

Note that while superpowers and magical abilities are the common traits that are used for this type of metaphor, this trope is not limited to superpowers and magical abilities.

Compared to Fantastic Racism, where a fictional species is used as a stand-in to talk about problems faced by people of color, and Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?, where any group of fantasy creatures or people with powers are used as a stand-in to talk about any marginalized real-life group, while this more specific trope is usually used on a more individual level. The character may be the only person with their power or ability that they know of, and if they are part of a larger community, the work will often focus more on their personal journey towards acceptance rather than the overarching societal repercussions.

Also similar to Gay Aesop and But Not Too Gay. Subtrope of Applicability. Compare Trans Audience Interpretation, which is when fans interpret a character as actually trans, not as a metaphor.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon: Go West, Young Meowth can be interpreted as a transgender allegory. Meowth defies the expectations of his species by learning how to walk and talk like a human being, only to be shunned as a freak by the one he was trying to impress. In the end, one of the reasons he sticks with Team Rocket even though they're not only criminals, but loser criminals, is because they actually accept him for who he is. Notably, this episode was reportedly the reason why Meowth's voice actor, the late Maddie Blaustein, came out as transgender.
    • Pokémon Adventures: Ruby is an effeminate Camp Straight boy who runs away from home because his father Norman supposedly doesn't like him being a Pokémon Coordinator (which is a feminine thing) and would prefer if he battled instead. To make matters worse, when Norman finds Ruby he physically assaults him, though it also turns out that Norman was fine with Ruby being a Coordinator. To explain, Ruby enjoyed battling and was more rough as a youth, but after an incident involving Sapphire, he believed he truamatized her and he turned to Coordinating. In a twist, Sapphire also believed her tender nature got Ruby hurt and became much more tomboyish as a result.
  • Many fans interpret Nano Shinonome in Nichijou as a trans allegory, based on her insecurity over her physical differences, fear of being exposed as a robot, and wish to be accepted as a normal girl.

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways:
    • In the original series, Karolina's grappling with the discovery that she is an alien was a not-at-all subtle metaphor for her growing realization that she's a lesbian. The second series decided to stop beating around the bush and had her come out to her friends.
    • Klara's Green Thumb abilities are weak because of her crap upbringing. Furthermore, she is believed to be a mutant and is pretty homophobic to boot. However, her powers get exponentially stronger as she learns to value herself and as her Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Molly develops, with some of her more impressive displays of power occurring when she wants to protect Molly from danger. It's also worth noting that her power usually manifests itself in the form of red roses, which are traditionally a symbol of intense romantic love. Furthermore, given how mutants tended to be evocative of LGTBQ+ folk in modern times, it further makes sense (even if Klara's mutant status is only assumed and never explicitly made clear.)
    • In Rainbow Rowell's Runaways, Molly's emotional turmoil just happens to revolve around her very close friendships with Abigail and Klara, which she feels unable to discuss with Gert or Nico because they just happen to disapprove of those friendships. Though with Abigail, it turns out they were right to disapprove as Abigail is actually over fifty years old who kept herself alive through a youth serum and wanted Molly to remain young forever alongside her. As for Klara, given how she is Happily Adopted and Has Two Daddies, one may get the feeling the Runaways feel stung by her refusal to return to them.
  • She-Hulk was often written, intentionally or not, as similar to a transgender person, particularly during the John Byrne and Dan Slott runs. To recap: Jennifer Walters is a shy, insecure attorney who transforms into She-Hulk, confident and sassy Green Glamazon. She-Hulk spent a good 20 years or so never once changing back into Jennifer, saying she is just happier as She-Hulk. There was a comic where her father was unable to deal with how drastically different her She-Hulk persona was from the daughter he raised, and admitted (while she was eavesdropping) that he just wants his daughter back. Later on she got a job at a law firm where her boss forced her to be Jennifer again, and she was very much not okay with it, but grinned and beared it anyway. Her boyfriend, John Jameson, also has trouble dealing with her as She-Hulk, since he fell in love with Jennifer, not She-Hulk. It's not difficult to see the parallels to someone who was born a specific gender but found they were much happier as the opposite, and then had to deal with the fallout of that decision in their personal life.
  • Supergirl has occasionally been written as paralleling a closeted gay person (as in her TV show). This one goes all the way back to her earliest appearances, where Superman forced her to hide her powers until he decided she was ready to reveal them to the world. In Supergirl: Being Super, her Gay Best Friend tells her this as they're saying goodbye to each other:
    Never pretend to be normal ever again, okay?
  • After the cooldown of the massive race civil rights movement in the 60s and 70s, the entire X-Men franchise is seen as one huge metaphor for gay people (as opposed to the original more racism-focused premise). Mutant powers are expressed during one's teenage years, sometimes mutants are obvious at first glance while other times they're not, and it can happen to literally anyone, regardless of race or social status. This leads to the point of extreme Lampshade Hanging, as Mutants who can pass for human are sometimes referred to be "in the closet", their greatest opposition are conservative Christians who think their mere existence is sin, and there's an ever-present movement to cure them of their condition.
    • To stay relevant with the times, in the '90s during the gay AIDS epidemic, mutants were given a disease called the Legacy Virus that was essentially mutant AIDS, which the writers refused to find a cure for "until AIDS is cured". Apparently, nobody at Marvel actually expected a cure for AIDS to elude humanity for over two decades, so it became a Plot Tumor of asking the greatest scientists in the universe who can create dimensional portals and cybernetics "When is that cure coming again?", every month. So the cure was eventually found.
    • Parodied in ItsJustSomeRandomGuy's Youtube series ''I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC'::
      Superman: But I've got friends who are mutants! Like... uh, Spider-Man?
      Spider-Man: Hey, I'm not a mutant! ...Not That There's Anything Wrong with That.
    • Taken to its logical extreme in Dark Avengers-X-Men: The Beginning, where it's revealed that the San Francisco neighborhood known as the Castro is a mutant neighborhood instead of a gay community like in real life. Vote no on Prop X and all that.
    • A special issue that deals with a teenage boy being "outed" as a mutant. After training to control his powers, he goes home to find that his parents, originally rejecting him, have finally accepted him; that the girl he had a secret crush on is now interested in him; and that his oldest friend since they were babies has shut him out completely. Hmmm...
    • Many real-life minority-rights groups are beginning to find the association a bit condescending, considering comics' ongoing problem with diversity, seeing it as the co-opting of a struggle for characters that are overwhelmingly straight and white.
    • The metaphor is also strained by the fact that there are reasons other than irrational bigotry to be leery of superpowered mutants — some of them are genuinely dangerous because they cannot fully control their abilities or because they turn them to crime and terrorism. Not to mention there are plenty of mutants who want to have their mutations/powers removed or at the very least be made undetectable.
  • In Young Avengers, Wiccan (who is gay) attempts to tell his parents that he has superpowers. They misunderstand and assume he's trying to come out to them, and tell him that they knew and that they accept him.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Mega Crossover fanfiction, Child of the Storm, upon finding out that Bobby Drake has mutant powers, his mom is in total denial, his brother thinks he's a monster, and his father tells him "okay, but you better hide it" (though he's more positive about it once Professor X turns up with the demonstrable ability to help Bobby get a handle on his powers).
  • In the Fan Film TRULY OUTRAGEOUS: A Jem Fan Film!, Kimber being a robot is intentionally a queer allegory. She's different from others but doesn't realize it at first. After recognizing it, she becomes more curious about it and wants to explore it more. Kimber is also bisexual in the film.
  • In The Serpent’s Vow, Seto is rather afraid of coming out as an alien to his friends, and violently reacts to a former acquaintance of his trying to force him back into being his subordinate, explicitly because of his ability to produce youngs. Even if his friends fully accept him, Stargate Command is awkward around him for being "unusual" — and this is in the Don't Ask Don't Tell era. Also, the fact that he's sexually female yet is extremely defensive of his male body has been noticed: the author staunchly maintains the Goa'uld are genderless and Seto merely wants to keep the only body he has ever owned, but it didn't stop the readers to see the character as a trans man.

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast adds symbolism that isn't in the traditional fairytale. The Beast and Belle are both isolated and ostracized by others. "The Mob Song" has similarities to fear-mongering towards LGBTQ people, especially during the AIDS crisis, and Belle's oddness is referred to as "a pity and a sin" by the townspeople in her introductory song. Said lyrics were written by Howard Ashman, a gay man who died of HIV/AIDS-related complications shortly before Beauty and the Beast was released; it's theorized this perspective influenced his work, though his loved ones insist he wasn't deliberately aiming for any allegories.
  • Frozen
    • Elsa has magical powers that she was born with. Her parents hide her away and pressure her to try to control them and she ends up afraid of them and of herself. This leads to her being outed in front of a crowd of people and then fleeing as those around her suddenly turn on her. She only gains some control over her powers once she's alone in the wilderness and is finally able to be herself (after singing a song with lyrics like "Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I've tried," "I don't care what they're going to say," and "that perfect girl is gone"). She later learns that the key to controlling them is love, but not before they cause her to be sentenced with a crime and nearly killed.
      Elsa: Don't let them in. Don't let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel, put on a show. Make one wrong move and everyone will know.
    • Frozen II extends this metaphor to finding the community. While Elsa is now accepted in Arendelle, she still feels out of place. She is prompted to go off on a journey of self-discovery by a female voice she refers to as a "siren." When she finally reaches Ahtohallan, she is overjoyed to learn that it's frozen like she is. The song she sings there is about finding answers about herself and finally feeling like she belongs.
      Elsa: I can sense you there, like a friend I've always known. I'm arriving, and it feels like I am home [...] Here I am, I've come so far. You are the answer I've waited for all of my life. Show yourself, let me see who you are.
  • The plot of Incredibles 2 revolves around legalizing superheroes, making it rife for all kinds of civil rights-related metaphors. In particular, Voyd explicitly equates being allowed to be a superhero with being able to be herself and is overjoyed to join a group where everyone is like her.
  • The Little Mermaid:
    • The story is about a teenager who is in love with someone her society, and especially her family, rejects. She loses her voice and literally cannot speak to Eric ("the love that dares not speak its name") until the end of the film. On top of Ariel's love for Eric, there's coding in her isolation towards others. Her "I Want" Song "Part Of Your World", highlights her feelings of isolation and her desires to be accepted by others. She eventually deviates from the norm in order to achieve her desires, similarly to a queer character in a Coming-Out Story.
    • Many have also interpreted Ariel's desire to live with humans, and to become human herself, as an allegory for being transgender.
  • Shortly after the first trailer for Luca dropped, the premise has already come to be seen as a metaphor for two boys in love (given how close the two protagonists are) but having to hide it (their merfolk forms) for fear of being shunned or worse by the town they live in. This interpretation is given even further credence in the context of the whole movie. Luca's parents plan to send him away to keep him from his friend's "bad influence", Alberto shows visible jealousy when Luca starts spending more time with Giulia, Alberto was abandoned by his father much like a lot of queer youth are disowned by their parents, Luca's parents wonder what they did wrong and say that they never thought he'd "do something like this", and at the end, when Luca's parents have accepted him, they are worried for his safety since they know there will always be people who don't accept him for who he is. There's also the pair of old ladies who are always seen together and who are revealed to be sea creatures as well. The similarities were even noted by the New York Times' review of it, with the review being subtitled "Calamari By Your Name".
  • In ParaNorman, Norman can speak to the dead. His power has isolated him from his family and caused him to be ridiculed by his peers. When Norman's powers are exposed during a school play, his father, who wants him to be more "normal," grounds him. Norman is told by the ghost of his grandmother that it's okay to be scared as long as he doesn't let it change who he is. Norman is able to save his town after he is able to bond with the wrathful spirit over their shared status as outcasts, and in the end, Norman's family accepts him along with his power.
  • Shark Tale features a shark named Lenny who wants to be vegetarian, a decision that his dad doesn't seem to appreciate. Lenny wanting to make this known to everyone after telling Oscar is played out in such a way that it can easily be interpreted as a metaphor for coming out as gay. Lenny later dresses up as a dolphin named Sebastian (even though dolphins are actually carnivores in real life), which can be seen as similar to crossdressing associated with drag queens or to being transgender.
  • While many have always read the basic storyline of Spider-Man as queer regarding the hiding a part of your identity from those around you, others find that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse especially resonates, with the spider-people sensing others like them being reminiscent of 'gaydar,' and Miles asking his father if he really hates Spider-Man, just like queer people often ask their families how they really feel about LGBTQ+ people and issues before coming out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Man of Steel has been interpreted as such.
  • In the Disney Channel Original Movie, Now You See It..., Danny is a social outcast because he is hiding magical powers he can't control. This leads him to push away people who are trying to get to know him for fear of what will happen if he accidentally uses his powers on them. Danny then meets a man who claims to also have real magical powers and gives Danny a ring that will take his powers away until he's ready to deal with them. It's only with the ring on that Danny feels comfortable enough to socialize with other teenagers. Even after being told that the ring is a trick by his only friend, Danny refuses to take it off.
  • X-Men:
    • In X2: X-Men United, after Iceman, surrounded by his mutant friends, tells his parents he's a mutant, his mother asks him when he first knew, blames herself, and asks him if he's tried not being a mutant while his brother storms out of the room and calls the police.
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Angel's status as a mutant is a clear sexual orientation metaphor. The film begins with his anti-mutant father walking in on him trying to cut off his wings as a child to hide his mutation. His father throws himself into developing a "cure," which his son is supposed to be the first to test. At the last minute, he decides he doesn't want to be cured and flees, seeking refuge at Xavier's school, where he is surrounded by other mutants for the first time and learns to be proud of his status as a mutant.
    • The author of the article Ellen Page has super-powers, but why is this newsworthy? milks this for all it's worth where he writes an article discussing X-Men actor Elliot Page coming out by replacing every mention of homosexuality with "mutant with super-power" and ran with it.

  • Tobias from Animorphs is often interpreted as a transgender allegory, transforming from a human body into a hawk's, with which he feels infinitely more free.note  The authors have stated this was unintentional, but have given their blessing to readers who interpret it that way, and are outspoken allies of the trans community.
  • The children's picture book Goblinheart: A Fairy Tale intentionally uses Trans Nature characters as a metaphor for transgender youth. Julep is a fairy who insists they're a goblin. Julep meets a younger goblin named Tuck who insists they're a fairy.
  • In the Harry Potter books, Remus Lupin is specifically coded as a gay man with AIDS. Because of his lycanthropy, he was almost unable to attend school as a child and cannot find a job. When he is exposed as a werewolf at the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he has to leave the school because parents won't want him teaching their children. Then in the last book, he freaks out over the possibility his son might have lycanthropy as well, like a parent afraid their condition might be passed to the child in the womb. Additionally, his story fits stereotypes regarding gay men that were common in the 1990s, when the series was written. He acquired lycanthropy after being preyed on as a child by a revenge-seeking adult male werewolf who habitually targeted children in order to pass the condition to them, and at the time, the idea of gay men intentionally spreading a harmful condition (specifically, AIDS) was a common stereotype. There was also a common belief that gayness itself could be "contagious."
  • The original The Little Mermaid is often interpreted as an allegory for same-gender romance in the 19th century. The mermaid has feelings for someone she's not allowed to, she literally can't speak of her feelings (i.e. "the love that dares not speak its name"), and the prince ultimately rejects her to be with someone more "conventional," his fiancée princess. Hans Christian Andersen himself was bisexual, and is thought to have written The Little Mermaid out of a similar experience in his life: he fell in love with a man he could never have, both because the man was already engaged and because back then, same-sex relationships were a taboo.
  • Tip from The Marvelous Land of Oz is a popular example of this trope, which analyzers and future Land of Oz adaptations have toyed around with. He was born a girl but was magically transformed into a boy and raised as male. Later on, he learns the truth and is turned back into his true form, Ozma (which, depending on his Vague Age, occurred in pre-adolescence or adolescence). All the genderbending makes it popular to reinterpret Ozma through a transgender lens. In Emerald City he specifically identifies as male even on being turned back, so he's more clearly written as a trans boy and relieved after gaining an ability to change his form.
  • In The Tale Of Magic, magic is considered a sin and a choice and is punishable by death in most areas. The main source of this claim is a religion that’s completely coincidently similar to Christianity. There’s also facilities meant to cure people of their magic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Dinosaurs episode "I Never Ate For My Father" treats vegetarianism like a combination of drug use and homosexuality.
  • Michael's relationship with humanity in The Good Place has been called a transgender allegory, with other demons ostracizing him for how he wants to be human, adopting even the corniest aspects of human culture, and his great reluctance to let his friends see his true form as a fire squid can be seen as analogous to dysphoria. The Grand Finale fulfills his one true wish by letting him become a real human on Earth.
  • Once Upon a Time
    • When Emma starts showing signs of having magic in season 4, her magic is treated this way. Season 4A sees Elsa, who has largely accepted her powers at this point, help Emma accept hers as well. In Smash the Mirror, Pt.1:
      Elsa: They accept us for who we are, and that's important, but it's not enough. It's on us too. You have to love yourself, Emma. The good and the bad. The only way to ever be truly in control of your powers is to embrace them. Because this... this is who you are.
    • This trope comes back in season 5A with some Unfortunate Implications. After Emma becomes the Dark One but before the plot gets derailed, much of the storyline consists of her family and friends trying to "fix" her darkness and get her back to the person they knew her as, while Emma insists that this is who she is and they need to accept her. We'd previously found out via Flashback that Snow had a vision that Emma might turn out to be evil before she was born, so she and Charming tried to cast all the darkness out of her as a precaution.
  • Police, Camera, Action! may be an Edutainment series, but the trope still applies in Very Special Episode "Highway of Tomorrow" which aired in 2000 and predicted a future of Automated Automobiles, 14 years before mainstream media discussed them and hyped them, and showed how social attitudes in the future would make car ownership be seen as something shameful and oppressive, much the same way as LGBTQ individuals are. This bordered on a Hard Truth Aesop; self-driving cars are not society's panacea, no matter how much the media would like to proclaim it as they did in The New '10s, and that automobile enthusiasts also have a right to use the roads and should feel no shame in enjoying their passion.
  • In Raven's Home, Raven being excited about being able to tell her kids that she's psychic after being closeted for over a decade is comparable to many things, but most obviously to someone coming out about their sexuality.
  • Supergirl (2015)
    • Kara being an alien is treated this way, to the extent that she and other characters refer to her becoming Supergirl as "coming out" several times. In the pilot, Kara tells Alex that she's always felt the need to help people, and Alex worries about people figuring out "who you are... what you are." In season 2, we also learn about the presence of alien bars that are hidden in remote locations and require a password to get in, reminiscent of forties-era gay bars.
    • In "Livewire", Kara refers to Alex telling her mother that she works for the DEO as "coming out." This turns out to be the first of two Thanksgiving episodes that have Alex coming out to Eliza.
    • Dreamer's status as an alien and transgender woman is baited and switched a few times, and she "comes out" as both at once as a show of solidarity. Plus her powers also tie into her own coming out as a trans girl during her childhood, as they're a Gender-Restricted Ability.

  • Ever After High:
    • Cerise is half-wolf and hides her ears behind her hood. Fans have taken this as either an allegory for being LGBTQ or an allegory for being chronically ill.
    • Apple White's character arc has been analyzed as being an allegory for heteronormativity and compulsory heterosexuality. Apple has been raised with the goal of being the next Snow White and marrying her chosen Prince Charming. Apple expects to marry Daring Charming, but she isn't romantically interested in him yet; she just says that they don't need to date because "[they've] got forever after to be together". In Dragon Games, Apple struggles with her self-image in relationship with her friend and future villain, Raven. After overcoming her issues with Raven, Apple accidentally eats a poisoned apple and falls onto a magical coma. She's awoken not by Daring, but by his sister Darling Charming giving her CPR, which acts similarly to True Love's Kiss. The next special shows that Daring is not Apple's Prince Charming but the next Beast, suggesting that Apple's romantic fate is elsewhere.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies: In "Turnabout Academy", Robin Newman reveals she is actually a girl raised as a boy, however, the way she reveals this to the court and the subsequent way in which she moves on with her life is extremely reminiscent of a trans girl starting her social transition and coming out. She mentions she wants to feel pretty like her female friend Juniper, talks with a teacher so she can set up with the school administration once she starts living as a girl, her deep rage at something she considers a sign of masculinity (bracers), etc.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has Natsuki's poem "Amy Likes Spiders". The poem is about a girl the narrator can't stand due to her interest in spiders, going so far as to not let her touch her, and thinks anyone who's friends with Amy will become a spider-lover, too. As such, this can be read as a metaphor for a homophobe feeling disgusted by a gay person, thinking that their mere touch and companionship will turn the people around them gay. This is, of course, helped by the fact that the narrator of the poem is intended to look like a bigot who judges people for things that don't hurt anyone.

    Web Animation 
  • Penny Polendina of RWBY is a classic case of Become a Real Boy, and the way her storyline pans out earned her a lot of trans fans. When she admits to Ruby that she isn't a "real girl", Ruby defies that and affirms that she's as real as she is, and having different parts doesn't change that. Her second form is more visibly feminine, she receives the Maiden powers which can only go to young women, and when she gets a human body, it's described as "her coming to the surface". Throughout the show, the world, story, and characters repeatedly affirm that Penny's heart and soul is what makes her a real girl, not her body.

    Web Original 
  • In Critical Role, Veth's story is easy to interpret as a transgender allegory, complete with eventually making the transition from her cursed goblin form back to her original halfling self.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: "Princess Cookie" is easily read as an allegory for being transgender. It's about Cookie desperately wanting to be a princess. It culminates in a suicide attempt, but he survives and gets his wish in the end.
  • Danny Fenton from Danny Phantom is scared and confused when the accident turns him half-ghost and spends most of the series trying to keep the truth from getting out. Only his friends know this about him and refuses to tell anyone out of not wanting to be a freak. This is especially the case for his parents, who are ghost hunters and possess a zealot to dissect/hunt them (and granted, most ghosts are troublemakers that Danny has to stop from terrorizing the town.) When his parents do find out, they are more shocked and appalled at themselves that their son had to go such lengths to keep this secret from them. The whole thing reads like a Coming-Out Story for a teenager realizes that they are LGBT+, some reading him as transgender or non-binary due to his conflicting nature as half-human, half-ghost.
  • Subverted in the High School U.S.A. pilot - Marsh and his friends watch a public service film about the dangers of bullying, including talking about how students should tell teachers about bullies so they can "get better". Brad, however, is a Jerk Jock bully, and the episode ends with Marsh ignoring the movie as prejudiced propaganda and accepting Brad for what he is.
  • Jem:
    • In the episode "The Bands Break Up", Kimber and Stormer both quit their bands to become a music duo together. They have a Duet Bonding moment that ends in them forming a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. The episode treats their relationship similarly to a lesbian relationship that neither of their friends like; Pizzazz outright sings that "[Kimber]'ll break [Stormer's] heart in two". In the end the two reunite with their bands, but the two do say that they were her best friends who taught each other about themselves, which rings closely to each other being a Closet Key.
    • "Riot's Hope" is about Riot's relationship with his parents. Since an early age, Riot has shown a knack for music and loves music. His hypermasculine army father thinks that only "women and sissies" play music, so he's gone out of his way to dissuade his son from playing, even going as far as to break his instruments and spank him. As an adult, Riot decides to follow his dad's footsteps and join the army, but, while in Germany, he ends up leaving to join a band. His father gets upset and disowns him. The rest of the episode revolves around Jem trying to ease tensions between father and son. The difference between Riot and his dad is accentuated by his father's clean-cut and short-hair look contrasting with Riot's flamboyant dress and long '80s Hair look.
  • Some have interpreted the Muppet Babies (2018) episode ",A Tale Of Two Twins" as a transgender metaphor. The episode has Scooter and Skeeter trading places with each other to take part in their friends' activities while not disappointing their friends. For Scooter, he wants to hang with Summer and Piggy at the spa, a traditionally girly activity. For Skeeter, she wants to do extreme tricycle racing with Kermit, Animal, Fozzie, and Gonzo, an activity traditionally made for boys. It helps that Scooter tends to be more sensitive and introverted while Skeeter is more outgoing and tomboyish. Likewise, when we see them switching places, a rainbow swirl appears. When everyone eventually finds out, they accept, and all 8 of them hang out at the spa.
  • Jenny's struggle with trying to be like human girls in My Life as a Teenage Robot is often cited as being analogous to Trans Tribulations. For example, the series opens with Jenny reminding her "mom" to call her by her preferred name, she often shows discomfort with her body, and episodes which center around her wearing a suit which makes her look more human come across as an attempt to "pass". Notably, the show's creator acknowledged this on Twitter, saying that while it wasn't his intent, he can definitely see the subtext in hindsight, and is glad the trans community sees themselves in Jenny and can relate to her story.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: There are plenty of actual queer characters in the extremely queer-friendly setting. It is so queer-friendly in fact that a regular Coming-Out Story would have made no sense, which is why in a Very Special Episode, Bow gets to come out to his two dads as fighting in the rebellion rather than training to follow in the family tradition of being a librarian.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016): The episode "Horn Sweet Horn" revolves around a colt who wishes he was a unicorn. This has been officially referred to as a transgender allegory, though people on the staff have clarified that it wasn't intended to be.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Owing to the show's LGBT Fanbase, certain things in the show can be interpreted as metaphors. For example, Shep turning out to be a female rover named Beep in "Solar Power Rover", and the characters accepting her as she is and using her correct name and pronouns without error throughout the rest of the show is interpreted as a metaphor for being transgender. Also, the whole concept of Jet having to hide his alien identity and being in danger if he ever reveals it can easily be seen as a metaphor for being a closeted LGBT person.
  • Recess: One episode introduces Vince's older brother Chad. The younger kids remember him being cool, but Chad is actually a geek. Vince refuses to see what is right in front of him. When he finally realizes that his brother is a geek, Vince fears that it is either hereditary or that he will "catch it".
  • The Rocko's Modern Life episode "Closet Clown", in which Ed Bighead lives a double life as a clown before being "outed" to his family and neighbors while performing at a party; the episode had tons of Does This Remind You of Anything? moments. Word of God confirms that this subtext was entirely intentional.
  • While Steven Universe has a lot of overt LGBT themes, the subtext present in "Diamond Days" arc has led many to interpret Steven's struggle for self-love and acceptance from others as a metaphor for being transgender—indeed, due to the insistence of Steven's out of touch "elder" relatives from his mother's side of treating him like he is his mother, Steven trying to appeal to them by wearing said mother's clothes, being repeatedly "misgendered" and "deadnamed" by them as an extension of this, something he is noticeably uncomfortable with, all culminating in White Diamond (effectively playing the role of a transphobic elderly relative) trying to force Steven to "accept" that he is his mother. The ultimate refute comes when she removes Steven's gem, which reforms into mother's past forms... before going to Pink Steven, i.e. his Gem half. It yells at her that "SHE'S GONE" when asked about Pink Diamond and both halves need the whole (with Steven on death's driveway without his Gem and needs Connie to carry him.) Toward the end of the episode, Steven sings a song about accepting and loving himself and how, while he doesn't need people to love him or respect him, he at least wants people to open their minds to who he truly is.
  • Young Justice
    • Ms. Martian is, well, a martian, meaning she's a Shapeshifter. She modeled her physical appearance after the main character of her favorite TV Show (named Megan), and dislikes her actual appearance, because she's afraid people - even her friends - might hate her or fear her for it. It's very difficult not to read it as an allegory for Gender Dysphoria. She says when she saw Megan in the show, "something just clicked", and adds that it was what allowed her to remain happy during her otherwise sad childhood. There's a few more layers, though, as Megan is not only pretending to be human, but also pretending to be Green. She's actually a White Martian. Veers into Supernaturally Validated Trans Person when Psimon enters her mind and we get to see what M'gann sees herself as.
      Psimon: Must you even lie to yourself within your own mind?
    • Superboy is also an example, in his case for homosexuality. The parallel is that Conner is a genomorph, an artificial human with superpowers created by Cadmus. But he's the only one of them that can pass for a normal human, and for the longest time, Conner takes full advantage of that to blend in. However, when he's brought to a Hidden Elf Village of genomorphs who have to use illusions to appear normal and not frighten normal humans, it's pointed out to him that him doing this hurts them: He's a superhero trusted by many, and if he were to publicly acknowledge what he is, people would pay more attention to the genomorphs' plight. Ultimately, that's exactly what Conner does: He publicly announces his status as a genomorph and brings attention to their cause, in live television. This is not unlike a celebrity coming out as LGBT. The comparison is only helped by the fact that he quite literally Has Two Daddies (Superman and Lex Luthor), and Supes' reaction to him at first was That Thing Is Not My Child!


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