Follow TV Tropes

Following

Supernaturally Validated Trans Person

Go To

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).

Advertisement:

Enter this trope; some aspect of the setting confirms that a trans person is as much the gender they present as (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 more subtle like having access to a Gender-Restricted Ability, 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.

Advertisement:


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kiyoharu from Mahou Shoujo Site is allowed to be a Magical Girl by the titular website (which targets troubled girls) because kids at school bully her for being transgender.

    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 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.
Advertisement:

    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.

    Literature 
  • 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: Supernatural healing works by altering the patient's physical body to match their spiritual "Identity", which is part of their Anatomy of the Soul. 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.

    Live Action TV 
  • Supergirl (2015) introduces Dreamer (billed as the first trans superhero in a major TV series), played by trans actress Nicole Maines. In her backstory, it's revealed that she felt able to come out and transition after her oneiromantic powers manifested, as they only appear in women of her species.
  • 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.

    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.

    Webcomics 
  • In 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.
  • El Goonish Shive: The genderfluid character Tedd once appears in a female body when astrally projecting, and later has a bout of Power Incontinence when his Sex Shifting magic spontaneously changes his body to match his preferred gender at the moment. Susan is also able to summon a hammer in Tedd's defense, a power that's designed only to work on behalf of women.
  • Space Dredd 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 Dredd 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."

    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.

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback