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I helped with the relief effort after Scarlet's attack. My name is Sya, but you might remember me as "Symon".

Whether it be due to gender bending or crossdressing, a character will tend to keep their name intact. Seriously, if you suddenly became the opposite gender, you probably wouldn't want to have to remember an entirely different name on top of everything else that you'd be dealing with.

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There will often be more than one way to genderbend a character's name. For instance, let's say we have this excellent character named "Jack", and one day he gets zapped with a lovely genderbend raygun. His feminized name could be "Jackie" or "Jacqueline", either one would be fine. When fans genderbend a character, it can often be the cause of a fandom war over what the appropriate name would be. In the case where the character in question already has a gender-neutral name, such as "Cameron" or "Jamie", the name is rarely modified.

Truth in Television as a lot of transgender people and crossdressers tend to keep their name mostly the same. However, it's also common to want to distinguish yourself though.

Contrast to Gender-Blender Name.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Black Jack: The woman Black Jack once loved, Megumi Kisaragi, got a cancer that required having her uterus removed to save her. After that, she lives like a man, begins to refer to himself with he/him pronouns, and uses the name "Kei", an alternate kanji reading of his former name "Megumi".
  • In Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Arisuin Nagi is a trans woman. The female name which she asks to be called is "Alice", which is actually a play on her surname "Arisuin", which contains "Arisu", the Japanese pronunciation for "Alice".
  • The intersex but genetically female protagonist of The Day of Revolution combines this with Alternate Character Reading when she decides to identify as a girl, as her girl name "Megumi" can be written with the same Kanji as her former boy name "Kei".
  • An episode of Doraemon has Nobita wish himself into a reality where he was a girl and everyone calls him "Nobiko".
  • Masahiko from Family Compo has used "Masami" while crossdressing.
  • Trans girl Seiko's legal name in Lovely Complex is "Seishiro".
  • Trans girl Alice from Maria-sama ga Miteru is odd in that she switched her surname, Arisugawa. Her first name is "Kintaro".
  • Makoto from Minami-ke goes by "Mako-chan" when Disguised in Drag.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, whenever Umetaro Nozaki pretends to be a girl for one reason or another, he uses the name "Umeko".
  • My Monster Secret has Shishido Shiho, a perverted human girl. She also has a Split Personality, a male werewolf named Shirou.
  • Nozomu Nozomi has the protagonist Recursive Crossdressing as a girl, as he's been transformed into a girl but hasn't told anyone yet. His sister, who knows about the crossdressing but not the underlying gender bender introduces him as her cousin "Nozomi".
  • Pokémon:
    • It's a Running Gag for Ash to crossdress each series. At least twice he has used "Ashley" but in Japan, where his name is "Satoshi", he used "Satoko" in Kanto and "Satomi" in Unova.
    • Cilan dressed up as "Cilanor" in the same Unova episode.
  • Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish is a fashionable Wholesome Crossdresser. He befriends a woman named Tsukimi but her and her friends, "the Nuns", are NEETs who absolutely fear men. Kuranosuke goes by "Kurako" around Tsukimi's friends.
  • While most translations of Re:Zero romanize resident crossdressing catboy Felix's pseudonym as "Ferris," it could also be transliterated as Felice.
  • Nadeshiko from Shugo Chara! is really a boy named "Nagihiko" who was Raised as the Opposite Gender.
  • To Love-Ru:
    • Subverted by Ren (male) and Run (female): they're an alien whose species changes sex when they sneeze, but each is mentally distinct from the other and they eventually physically split during puberty. The similarity in names is thus more accurately described as Theme Twin Naming.
    • The main character, Rito Yuuki, has been turned female several times. The first time, he ends up the house-guest of a classmate who dislikes his regular identity, so he makes up the name "Riko" on the spot. The next time, Lala makes Rito-as-a-girl go on a date with his friend that fell in love with "her", and Rito extends the name to "Riko Yuusaki". Basically everyone else who's seen Rito as a girl knows his real identity, so they've only called him "Riko" a few times to tease him.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re: When Disguised in Drag for an undercover mission, Sasaki's undercover name is "Sasako".
  • Wandering Son:
    • Transgender Cool Big Sis Yuki's birth name is "Hiroyuki".
    • Makoto requests for Nitori to refer to her as "Mako-chan" not soon after they begin being friends.
    • Nitori herself may subvert this. Her given name is "Shuuichi" and in middle school she wanted to swap names with Takatsuki, who is "Yoshino", but that never happened. When she begins working at a gay bar the owner gives her the name "Lilly" but we don't know if this is her chosen name or not. Mako refers to Nitori by the feminine nickname "Nitorin".
  • Yuureitou:
    • When Disguised in Drag Taichi goes by "Taiko".
    • Tetsuo's birth name is "Reiko". An Alternate Character Reading of the kanji is "Akira". In the end of the manga he changes his name from "Tetsuo" to "Akira" once Taichi makes him realize this.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics:
    • In a 1960s issue we are shown what it could be like if Archie and the others switched genders. Archie is called "Archigail", Reggie is "Regina", "Betty" is "Buddy", and "Veronica" is "Roddy".
    • "The Great Switcheroo" issue involved Salem making everyone change sexes. This trope is epidemic. We get "Archie" to "Archina", "Reggie" to "Regina", "Betty" as "Billy", and "Veronica" as "Ron". Several minor characters also get the same treatment. Jughead is the only real exception as his female counterpart goes by "J.J".
  • The Spanish comic magazine El Jueves had a story, Emilio, where a girl named "Emilia" pretended to a boy to do the mandatory conscription in the Army and be with her boyfriend.
  • A 1960s Superman story was named "Claire Kent: Super-Sister" and involved Clark getting genderbent.
  • Referenced in Witch when Irma and Vicky pretend to be boys to play on a boy's soccer team.
    Cornelia: What should we call you? Irmo?
  • Defied in Astro City when supervillain Simon Says comes out as transgender and takes up the heroic mantle of Starbright. She goes by "S" because she hasn't decided on a new name yet, but outright refuses Simone because she doesn't perceive herself as just "Simon but a woman".

    Fan Works 
  • In the Daria fandom genderbent fics are unusually common. The most famous stories, "John Lane" and "Finn Morgendorffer" play this straight. "Not So Different" Averts this, however, by having male!Daria named "Jacob Morgendorffer Jr.," nicknamed "Sonny."
  • In Rule 63 fanart and fanfiction of the main character of The Legend of Korra she/he usually has her name reversed to Arrok. Technically it fits the Water Tribe theme naming of canon (double lettering, soft "ahs" and hard "kuh" sounds, ex. Sokka, Arnook), making it a plausible name for a male version of Korra.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is heavy on the Theme Naming and thus the fanon names for the Mane Six are mostly masculined versions of their names. Some people do use other names, but usually fan-artists and fanfic writers keep to certain names: Applejack keeps her name because it's unisex enough. Rainbow Dash becomes Rainbow Blitz, Twilight Sparkle becomes Dusk Shine, Rarity becomes Elusive, Fluttershy becomes Butterscotch, and Pinkie Pie becomes Bubble Berry (or occasionally Berry Bubble). Other common names include Spike becoming either Barbara or Spine(s), Celestia becoming Solaris, Luna becoming Artemis, Cadance becoming Bolero, and Shining Armor becoming Gleaming Shield. The fanfic On a Cross and Arrow is the reason most of the names are popular.
  • So the Trauma: After Kim hits her gaydar, Shego tweaks Drakken's plans so that his synthodrone "Eric" is now a girl named "Erica".
  • A Fairytale is a Metaphor is a non-fantasy AU of Ever After High where Raven is trans girl. Her dead name is "Ryland".
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • Jaune is transgender and his dead name is Joan.
    • It's revealed in a flashback chapter that Ruby's dead name is "Crimson". "Ruby" was her parents choice for a girl's name.
  • How Do I Admit I'm Falling Apart: Wave the Swallow used to be called "Wade the Swallow" prior to her transition.
  • A Song of Grumbling & Cotton Candy:
    • Deconstructed. Pizzazz hates being called her legal name "Phyllis" because it's too close to her deadname. She went by "Ellen" during high school before going with her current name.
    • Pizzazz's first girlfriend Alicia was originally her best friend Aaron before she transitioned.
  • The Life Is Strange fanfic Bloom Depicts Max Caulfield as a trans girl. She was originally named "Maxwell" but changed to Maxine after coming out. She says that for a few years she insisted that people only call her "Maxine", but by the time of the fic she's comfortable enough to go by "Max", as she had before coming out.
  • Bowsette was named for being a feminine variant of "Bowser", unlike her inspiration Peachette (whose name is a Portmanteau of Peach and Toadette).
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    Film - Live Action 
  • Played with in Some Like It Hot. When musicians Joe and Jerry have to hide from the mob by dressing in drag, Joe goes by Josephine and suggests Geraldine for Jerry. Jerry, however, doesn't like his new name and changes it to Daphne at the last minute, thus defying the trope.
  • Victor/Victoria is a film about a woman named "Victoria" pretending to be a female impersonator named "Victor".
  • Normal (2003) is about a trans woman named Ruth Applewood. She was previously known as "Roy".

    Literature 
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novel Hawkmistress!. When Romilly MacAran's father refuses her an education and orders her into an Arranged Marriage with an older man, she takes the name Rumal and runs away from home while dressing as a boy.
  • In Gael Baudino's Dragonsword series, a troop of male warriors is turned into women by magic; their leader, Marrget, eventually starts going by Marrha, the feminine form of the name. (The most prominent other swapped character does not change names, but conveniently already had a name — Wykla — that easily reads as female to an English audience.)
  • In I Am J the protagonists name is just "J". His legal name is "Jenifer".
  • Luna from Luna is a trans girl teenager whose birth name was "Liam". She initially tried out "Lia" but thought it was too similar for her liking.
  • The title character from Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal was originally named Myron.
  • In Ozma of Oz, Dorothy's pet chicken was originally named "Bill" by her original owner because he thought she was male until she laid an egg. Then Dorothy renamed her, "Billina".note  Dorothy even mentions that putting "-ina" at the end makes it a girl's name.
  • In Patience and Sarah, Sarah pretends to be a man named "Sam".
  • In the first book of The Seven Blue Mountains Of Oz trilogy, Princess Amalea wakes up turned into a boy and takes the alias "Amadin" (which most shorten to as "Dinny"). But then it's revealed that Dinny is his true form and Amalea was the transformation.
  • In The Shakespeare Stealer, Widge's friend Julian turns out to be a girl named Julia, who had been pretending to be a boy so she'd be allowed to act onstage.
  • In Strega Nona's Magic Lessons, her housekeeper Big Anthony is jealous when he sees her teaching magic to a visitor but refusing to teach him (because of his spectacular fails with magic in the past). His scheme to learn magic from her? Dressing up as a girl and calling himself "Antonia".
  • Tunnel in the Sky features an example where "Jacqueline Marie Daudet" is mistaken for a young boy (in part due to constantly wearing body armor) by a boy during an advanced survival test on a far away planet. She continues to pretend that she's "Jack Daudet" for weeks, including through some sexist commentary by her survival partner, until the beans are spilled by someone the two of them rescue. For 1955, the premise that girls could do things just as well as men could was pretty advanced.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In A Civil Campaign Lady Donna Vorrutyer goes to Beta Colony and returns as Lord Dono Vorrutyer, for the purpose of petitioning the Council of Counts to confirm him as Count Dono Vorrutyer.
  • There's a children's book called When Katy is Keith about a young trans boy.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Dani's House has Dani dress up as a guy and call herself "Dan".
  • Doctor Who: When the Master regenerated into a woman, she changed her name to "Missy", short for the Mistress. This also proved useful for Rule of Drama, as the audience (and the Doctor) doesn't find out that this "Missy" person is his old archenemy until Missy flat-out tells him for a Cliffhanger Wham Line at the end of "Dark Water".
    The Doctor: Who are you?
    Missy: Oh, you know who I am. I'm Missy.
    The Doctor: Who's Missy?
    Missy: [eye roll] Oh please, try to keep up. Short for Mistress. Well... couldn't very well keep calling myself the Master, now could I?
  • Israeli Telenovela HaAlufa had a mother and her MTF daughter consult a transwoman about her transition to female for support. She mentions her name used to be Alon, so she changed it to Alona.
  • The episode of Malcolm in the Middle "If Boys Were Girls" has Lois imagine what life would be like if her sons were girls. Malcolm is Mallory, Reece is Renee and Dewey is Daisy. Frances is the only one of them to keep the same name (and actor) as her male counterpart.
  • Discussed on That '70s Show: in one episode, Hyde makes fun of Eric by calling him "Erica." (Michael) Kelso laughs, because you can't do that with "Kelso", at which point Hyde sarcastically points out that he'd be "Michelle." Eric and Kelso then struggle for a few seconds to think of a name for mocking name Hyde ("Hyde-o...lina?"), before he exasperatedly snaps "Heidi!"note 
  • In the '90s Fred Savage sitcom Working, Chris Grant (short for "Christina") shows up for an interview to join the office where the show is set. The boss is a known philanderer and "good old boy," so Christina dresses and acts masculine to get on the boss's good side and score the job. Hilarity Ensues when her gender is revealed to the main character (but not the boss), and then they all hang out in a sauna. Even more Hilarity Ensues after Chris is found out, gets fired, and the office rises up against the boss's unfair hiring practices. In the next round of interviews, he's forced to consider females for the job. The woman he chooses to hire is actually the main character in drag.
  • Young Blades features Jacqueline, alias "Jacques", a woman disguised as a man while on the run for murder. Although in her case, it's a Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • In The Young Riders Pony Express rider Lou was really "Louise", and managed to keep her real gender hidden from most of the main characters for nearly the entire first season (and from some of them for even longer.) Potentially Truth in Television as the Pony Express deliberately recruited "short and wiry" boys (orphans preferred) to make it easier on their horses.

    Miscellaneous 
  • The artist PDXJims came up with systems of morphs that allowed users to genderbend DAZ's Victoria 4 and Michael 4 figures. These morph sets were sold as "Vittorio" and "Mina", respectively.

    Mythology & Folklore 
  • Hervor the Elder from The Saga of Hervor and Heidrek dresses as a man and calls herself "Hervard" to join a group of Vikings, later becoming their leader. It's not until after she has led the Vikings, recovered her father's sword and ventured into a land ruled by giants that anyone works out that she is a woman.

    Video Games 
  • Erica Anderson used to be called "Eric" in Catherine.
  • Legend of Mana: A villain named Alexandra has two identities. One is a female gem thief named Sandra, and the other is a male proprietor of a gem shop named Alex. It is eventually revealed that the male personality was only a disguise, and once it is no longer useful, Alexandra abandons it completely.
  • "Birdo" is the species name but also what the 'main' Birdo from Super Mario Bros. goes by. It's said she would rather be called "Birdetta", though no one calls her that. In Japan the species' name is "Catherine", which is feminine, but she likes being called "Cathy".
  • One of the Alternate Universes in Portal 2 is a Lady Land where Cave Johnson is apparently a woman named Cavina Johnson, but his/her voice still sounds the same.
  • In addition to Fate/Grand Order continuing the franchise's long-standing tradition (see the Visual Novels example below) of male historical and/or legendary figures being female in the game, there's also Leonardo da Vinci, who even in the Fate-verse's alternate universe was a man...but chose to be summoned as a woman (resembling his most famous creation, the Mona Lisa) when he became a Heroic Spirit. But as a woman she still goes by "Leonardo".
  • An extra in Guild Wars 2 mentions that her name is Sya, but the player might remember her as "Symon". They worked together on the relief effort after Scarlet's attack.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Saber was born with the name "Artoria" (or "Altria"), but when she pretended to be a male in order to conform with the expectations of the throne she gained, she adopted the far more familiar name "King Arthur".

    Webcomics 
  • In 1977: The Comic, Bud, when provoked by people playing his Berserk Button, literally becomes female, and adopts the name "Budette".
  • Between the Lines:
    • The trans girl main character is named Dani, her male name was "Danny".
    • There's a character called Nikki, who Shay was bullied by years ago when she went by "Nicholas".
    • Shay subverts this trope as her birth name is "Kevin".
  • Dumbing of Age has Joyce's trans sister born (and still known by her fundie family) as Joshua, who posts online as Jocelyn.
  • El Goonish Shive
    • When Elliot gets transformed into a girl by the TF gun, he goes by "Ellen". When the Dewitchery Diamond separates them, the female form continues to use that name.
    • Invoked by a transgender character who casually suggests that Tedd might want to consider the name "Tess". The character introduces himself as "Sam", which he may have shortened from "Samantha".
  • Khaos Komix: Averted. Charlie does not change her name when she starts to present as a girl. As she puts it, she's always been Charlie, but now it's just in a slightly different way.
  • The Princess:
    • Irma is eventually revealed to be non-binary. They sometimes go by "Irving".
    • Sarah is a trans girl who used to go by "Seth".
  • Rain:
    • Rain's name is very similar to her dead name, Ryan.
    • When Rudy crossdresses, he goes by "Ruby".
    • Vincent used to be Vivian.
    • Ana's birthname is Aaron.
    • Averted with Colette, who decides 'Colin' is too similar to be comfortable.
  • Sticky Dilly Buns:
    • Dillon O'Brien (who also appears in Ménage à 3) calls himself "Dinah" or "Dilla" when he cross-dresses (although the former choice is originally triggered by him playing Black Canary on stage).
    • When Ruby Larose disguises herself as a man, she uses the pseudonym "Rudy".

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Chaka: from Anthony 'Tony', to Antonia 'Toni'.
    • Fey: Nicholas to Nichole.
    • Tennyo: William ‘Bill’ to Billie.
  • My Story Animated: I Realised I Wasn’t Trans After Transitioning is about a genderfluid person. Their parents gave them the name "Oliver" but as a child they transitioned into living as a girl named "Olivia". At age eighteen, they realized they were genderfluid instead of a trans woman. Now they live as "Olive" but use "Olivia" on female days and "Oliver" on male days.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time genderswaps have female Finn as "Fionna" (originally spelled "Fiona"), Marceline as "Marshal Lee", Princess Bubblegum as "Prince Gumball", and in a rare display of an unalliterated genderbent naming, Jake the dog as "Cake" the cat.
  • In the finale to As Told by Ginger the character Nikki is revealed to be a male named Nicholas.
  • A meta example occured in development for Avatar: The Last Airbender. Azula was originally written as Zuko's little brother "Azul" before being changed to a girl. This change in gender ultimately caused her role to be increased (the early series bible only briefly makes reference to Azula's brother, implying he was a bit role) and is related to Mai and Ty Lee being created.
  • In Clone High the Joan of Arc clone disguises herself as "John Dark" ("Jeanne d'Arc") to join the hoops team, to give them a fighting chance against their rivals. The whole thing backfires when Abe hates John, and so in respect of Abe, "he" keeps passing the ball to him, even though "he" could probably score "himself"; so they end up being pummeled again, and don't even score until the last second of the game... which fortunately helps the principal win a bet.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Heinrich von Marzipan is a girl cursed to be a boy. Her real name is Henrietta.
  • When Timmy from The Fairly OddParents! gets turned into a girl in "The Boy Who Would Be Queen" he uses the name "Timantha". He makes Cosmo and Wanda change into "Cosma" and "Wando" when they make fun of him.
  • In Futurama when Leela dresses as a man to join the army Zapp Brannigan asks "him" what his name is and she replies "Leela.. man... Lee Lemon."
  • The Loud House had the episode "One of the Boys", where Lincoln met male versions of his ten sisters. Lucy became "Lars", Luna became "Luke", Leni became "Loni", Lily became "Leon", Lana became "Leif", Lola became "Lexx", Lori became "Loki", Luan became "Lane", and Lisa became "Levi". The only sister whose name remained the same is Lynn, due to her Gender-Blender Name (she's named after her father). Lincoln's female version is "Linka". The script sheet shows that Bobby's female version is named "Bebe".
  • Rugrats:
    • Stu enters Tommy into a beauty pageant as "Tanya" in an early episode.
    • In "Clan of the Duck", when Chuckie and Phil decide to wear dresses for a day after hearing how much fun they are from Lil, Howard takes them to the park. They meet up with two boys named Frankie and Joey, and to prove to them that they're girls, Phil calls himself "Phillian" and Chuckie "Chuckina".
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode Marge mentions that Bart's cousin "Frank" goes by "Francine" nowadays. Well, until she joined a cult and renamed herself "Mother Shabooboo".
    • According to the episode "Holidays of Future Passed", Martin Prince will change their name to "Marsha Princess" as an adult. A future episode retcons that though.
  • South Park:
    • Leopold's nickname is "Butters". So when he gets Disguised in Drag what do they call him? "Marjorine".
    • In "The Cissy" Eric Cartman claims he's a "transginger" named Erica. Wendy also comes to school as a boy named "Wendyl" to show him a lesson.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "She's No Lady...", Patrick needs to go into hiding, and SpongeBob gets the idea of disguising him as a woman named Patricia.
  • Steven Universe: Played With in "Hit the Diamond". When the Crystal Gems are pretending to be humans to trick the Ruby Squad, Pearl claims to be "Earl". Obviously "Pearl" is an acceptable human name, too, but they need something that doesn't sound like a Gem name. She wasn't necessarily pretending to be male, though Rubies are so gullible and ignorant of humans, she could do so easily. (Lapis, meanwhile, calls herself "Bob".)
  • One episode of The Weekenders has Tino, worried that his mother's influence has made him too emotional, imagine himself as a girl named Tina.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: By The Movie, Ralph has transitioned into living as Rachel.


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