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Supernaturally Validated Trans Person

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One of the most basic things to acknowledge about transgender rights is the simple phrase "transgender women are women, transgender men are men, and nonbinary people are the gender they say they are" (or variations thereof). A lot of Trans Tribulations come about from characters (or in the worst cases, the narrative itself) refusing to acknowledge this. While society has largely begun to accept trans people, to the point where a character who deliberately misgenders someone is likely to be unsympathetic, shutting them down with a complicated sociology lecture would rather slow down the plot (unless it is the plot, of course).

Enter this trope; some aspect of the setting confirms that a trans person is as much the gender they present (or even the gender they've yet to present as) as a cisgendernote  person of the same gender. This might be as simple as a Residual Self-Image or mirror showing their true self, something subtler like having access to a Gender-Restricted Ability or Magical Seventh Son/Daughter powers, or as complex as them fulfilling a role in a prophecy. It can also apply to more "meta" validations, such as being treated as the correct gender by game mechanics.


This trope has become increasingly common in the 2010s, especially in stories being written by trans people (or at least with the input thereof).

Often the source of a Prophecy Twist (the child of a trans man can say they're No Man of Woman Born just as easily as someone born via caesarian section). Contrast Unsettling Gender Reveal, which typically carries the implication that a character's presented gender was a deception of some sort and compare Samus Is a Girl (which plays with expectations of a character's gender when it hasn't yet been revealed; typically the assumption that a given character's a man). Not to be confused with Gender Bender, which might be positive for a trans character,note  but doesn't, on its own, confirm or deny their inherent sense of their own gender.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mahou Shoujo Site: Kiyoharu is allowed to be a Magical Girl by the titular website (which targets troubled girls) because kids at school bully her for being transgender. It's later revealed that men using Sticks harms the King, implying that she was given her Stick based on her gender identity.
  • Princess Knight: In the 60's manga, Madame Hell steals Sapphire's female heart, turning her mind into that of a boy. The fortune-tellers summoned by Duke Duralumin all acknowledge that her gender identity has changed.
  • School Mermaid: The spell that summons the titular mermaids can only be cast by women. When Shinobu and Shuutarou cast the spell together, Shinobu is surprised that Shuutarou can see the mermaids, while Shuutarou is elated that the mermaids have acknowledged her 'woman's heart'.
  • My Hero Academia: Magne has the power to "magnetize" people so that they attract and repel people; males become south poles and females become north poles. This power does nothing to Transgender people such as herself, which means trans hero Tiger is something of a Man of Kryptonite against her.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman features a Double Subversion; a trans woman can't perform magic restricted to women... but this turns out to be because the specific deity providing that specific magic is behind the times and refuses to allow it.note  Even after Wanda dies and her parents bury her under her dead name in men's clothes, her spirit appears as a woman and Death (who's been around a smidge longer than life has existed in the universenote ) acknowledges her as such.
  • In Demon Knights, the nigh-omniscient Merlin tells Sir Ystin that he can detect two natures within them, confirming that they are genderfluid. Everyone else in the setting treats Ystin as though they are a Sweet Polly Oliver.

    Fan Works 
  • Magical Metamorphosis [1] opens with the Potter child (who at this point hasn't actually figured out that she's trans) passing unaffected through the no-boys-allowed ward on the Gryffindor girls' dorm, much to the confusion of Ron and Hermione.
  • Themyscira is a Zootopia where men mysteriously disappear. Only a few "men" are left, including Nick. This is because they're closeted trans women, not cis men.
  • Secret Names using True Names magic, Sadie Kane hearing her sibling's name is male lets her understand she has a brother instead of a sister.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Matrix, Switch was originally planned to appear as a man in the real world, but a woman in the Matrix itself (to the point of being portrayed by two different actors in each), implying some sort of gender identity gulf and raising questions on what was their real form. The final film largely cut this subplot out in favor of an androgynous appearance (and there's a Shrug of God on whether it's still canon).
  • The titular character of Shallow Hal is put under hypnosis that allows him to see people's true inner selves. This includes the transgender hostess, whom Hal recognizes as a beautiful woman.

  • The Nemesis Series:
    • The first novel, "Dreadnought", opens with a closeted trans girl called Dannie receiving the powers of a dying superhero, which has the side effort of transforming her into her idealized self. Notably, it was written by a trans woman specifically as a Power Fantasy for young transgender adults.
    • The second novel features an inversion, where a transphobe's sense of being "normal" is invalidated instead. Greywych (an Alpha Bitch modeled after "Trans Exclusive Radical Feminists" in the first novel, and an outright antagonist in the second) casts a spell to kill off "men"; by her definition, anyone with a Y chromosome. She almost dies when she casts the spell and Danny theorizes that it's because she's a cis woman with a Y chromosome and androgen insensitivity, though Greywych insists that it's just because of the spell is so powerful she accidentally Cast From Hitpoints. It's left to the reader to determine which explanation they believe, but Greywych was shown to be very, very self-deluded throughout the book.
  • The Cosmere: Word of God says that a transgender person could change their body to match their gender, but this is yet to be seen in the books.
  • This is Older Than Television (at a bare minimum). The Romanian folktale "The Girl Who Pretended to Be a Boy" (adapted by Jules Brun in the French anthology Seven Romanian Tales in 1894, then translated and adapted to English by Leonora Blanche Alleyne and Andrew Lang in their 1901 anthology The Violet Fairy Book) describes how, needing to give his conqueror a "son" to serve as a knight, a conquered king who had only daughters sent them instead, requiring them to dress and act as men. His youngest, Fet-Fruners, took to it with aplomb and went on a series of daring quests. Then one day a quest put her in conflict with a hermit guarding a church from which she stole some holy water, who prayed that she be cursed with a Gender Bender. The prince(ss) is overjoyed and the narrative switches to using masculine pronouns for Fet-Fruners almost immediately, and in short order he overthrows the evil emperor, marries a noblewoman he rescued earlier in the story, and lives Happily Ever After.
  • Inverted with Elise Kavanaugh in The Descent Series. She's externally female and identifies as such. However, she's the only female on record to be a kopis (demon-slayer and exorcist), which appears to be tied to the fact that (as revealed in book two when she visits a gynecologist in a flashback) she's intersex: she has an XY chromosome pair and an androgen insensitivity disorder. It's a touchy subject for her, as her boyfriend Anthony finds out the hard way.
  • Ana Mardoll's Short Story "Tangled Nets" has a dragon declare that "no man or woman can kill me". The protagonist, Wren, is genderqueer, and successfully kills the dragon.
  • Poor Kade in the Wayward Children series gets hit by a negative version of this. He is taken to Fairyland by a group of The Fair Folk who are all about kidnapping little girls. He becomes a hero there, and slays the Goblin King who, with his last breath, recognizes that Kade is really a boy and names him his heir. Unfortunately, this causes the fairies to realize they accidentally kidnapped a boy, and they unceremoniously kick him back to Earth (and back to his transphobic family) never to return.
  • An interesting version comes up in The Wheel of Time with Balthamel/Aran'gar. Balthamel was a male Forsaken (powerful mages in service to the local God of Evil), who was defeated and killed. The Dark One was able to reincarnate him, but as a punishment for his failures elected to reincarnate him in a female body. However, despite her female form, Aran'gar (as she was now known) still drew on the male half of the True Source.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supergirl (2015) introduces Nia Nal/Dreamer (billed as the first trans superhero in a major TV series), played by trans actress Nicole Maines. In her family, one woman in every generation inherits oneiromantic powers. While Nia’s family was always supportive of her and treated her as female, they assumed her sister would inherit the powers. Nia herself doesn’t appear to need convincing that she’s a woman (though she is insecure about the powers at first), but this plotline makes it very clear to everyone that she is truly female in every way.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has a scene where Roz's grandmother, a Blind Seer, greets Susie Putnam as "a handsome fella." Roz is quick to correct her, but Susie seems to take it as a compliment. He later comes out as a trans man, changing his name to Theo and even joins the boys' basketball team.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shardra Geltl, the iconic Shaman from Pathfinder came out as a trans woman after she developed her spiritual powers (which only manifest in dwarven women).
  • In Exalted third edition, one of the benefits of Lunar exaltation is that your default human form shifts to one that reflects your true self. Several trans Lunars are mentioned, including longstanding character Admiral Leviathan.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has a villainous example with Eye, one of the Black Spiral Dancers. Whereas the sect's mystic rituals of glamor will usually just make someone more attractive for a time, henote  magically takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman instead. For an ugly villain who could otherwise never "pass" successfully, to be affirmed like this by the dark gods (not to mention given the chance to prey on unwitting men as a legitimately gorgeous vamp) is a dream come true.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: If one of the titular Hopeful is transgender, their Transformed self (idealized, magical form), will always be the gender they identify as.

    Video Games 
  • Deadly Premonition leaves the exact gender identity of Thomas somewhat ambiguous, but they suffer a similar fate to the cisgender women victims, and at the end their spirit joins the rest of the "Forest Goddesses" in whatever afterlife York inhabits.
  • The Missing: J.J Macfield and the Island of Memories uses this as a twist in one of its subplots ...or rather, the main plot. The entire game is a nightmare J.J. is having to help her regain the will to live, having been Driven to Suicide after being outed as a trans girl. Her appearance when she wakes up is very different (despite the fact she was already presenting as a girl at university), implying that her form was a sort of "true self". Maybe. The game was made by the same creator as Deadly Premonition, who made a point of asking several transgender people for their input on their experiences.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Characters with Ambiguous Gender (d'Eon and Enkidu) usually won't be affected with skills that target certain genders. For the Valentine and White Day events, they can both give chocolate (a feature for female Servants) and receive chocolate (a feature for male Servants).
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cole (who is a spirit and capable of reading minds) identifies Krem, a trans man, using masculine pronouns. Even the Iron Bull, who is Krem's military commander and knows his secret, is surprised that Cole is using Krem's correct pronouns in their conversation.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: An in-game book reveals that some Argonian Lizard Folk choose to receive a magical Gender Bender by seeking the aid of the Hist — primordial Wise Trees that are central to Argonian religion and culture. It's described as a profound spiritual union with the Hist that's celebrated by the entire tribe.

    Web Animation 
  • In gen:LOCK, Valentina is a genderfluid person who presents as a woman at the start of the series but mentions early on that the urge to transition is coming on strong. In the Mental World that all of the Holon pilots share, all the other pilots' mental avatars look exactly the way they do in real life, but Val appears as a man.

  • Sleepless Domain: Transgender girls are able to have the Dream and become Magical Girls. In Zoe's case, this happened before she'd even come out. Fans immediately started wondering how this would affect Zoe's physical transition, but the author said very firmly she's not going to get into that.
  • El Goonish Shive: Susan is able to summon a hammer in Tedd's (an AMAB genderfluid character) defence, a power that's designed only to work on behalf of women.
  • Space Dread of Val and Isaac once avoided being hexed because a deadname doesn't count as true name for the purpose of curses (she chose her name after she'd begun using Space Dread as an alias, so only her and her mums know it). As a result, a Warlock who went out of the way to find her birth certificate was wasting his time.
  • In Demon Street, trans characters' chosen names are the names that are used in magic. When Norn is about to trade their name with the archivist in order to unlock their magic, they ask if it matters that it's not their given name. The archivist responds, "your real name is the name that's you. I don't need to know what you were called before."
  • Inverted in Magical Boy, where a transgender boy gains hereditary Magical Girl powers from his mother and hates it. This slowly works its way to being played straight, however, as his outfit gradually changes to reflect Max's own feelings and personality and becomes more masculine with each successive transformation. Over the course of a few pages, his dress has become shorter and less sparkly, he's been getting a Skirt over Slacks, sneakers instead of high-heels, and, in later strips, has become a tunic and pants, along with short, masculine hair. Eventually his magic wand seemingly snaps but still works fine, once Max realizes this means its actual appearance doesn't matter he resummons it as a magical sword instead.

    Web Original 
  • The Salvation War features kitten (spelled with a lower case k), a trans woman medium whose role in allowing the army to send their forces to hell allows her to finally get GCS surgery on military health insurance. Word of God is that on dying and passing on to Heaven or Hell her spiritual form would be that of her post-surgery self.


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