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Trans Audience Interpretation

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Transgender characters are a rare topic in media, be it due to creators' personal biases, fear of misrepresenting an oppressed group, or the standards of the region (or a foreign market) not allowing open trans characters in mainstream media. Due to this lack of representation, many transgender audiences instead choose to read characters as trans. While this desire for representation applies to all members of the LGBT community and their allies, trans interpretations tend to be rarer and more personal than gay or bi interpretations and rely on a more detailed reading of the character's relationship with gender.

There are generally two ways a trans headcanon manifests for a character: they either transitioned to their canon gender prior to the events of the story, or they're closeted during the events of canon and transition to another gender in post-canon fanworks and alternate universe stories. For example: if Bob grew up wearing dresses for an unknown reason, often gets mistaken as a girl due to his high-pitched voice, and has the Embarrassing First Name of "Barbara," fans might read him as a trans boy. On the contrary, if Bob is a frequent Wholesome Crossdresser who spends more time with girls than boys and expresses disdain for his body, there's bound to be some fanworks where Bob has transitioned into "Barbara".

Other traits that are usually pointed out as evidence for Fanon or AU of a character being trans include:

  • Pictures, flashbacks, or mentions of them wearing clothes commonly associated with another gender, or the character outright being Raised as the Opposite Gender.
  • Antagonists referring to them with a different gender's pronouns, titles, or twisting their name to mock gender non-conforming behavior or traits.
  • A strong desire to "prove" their gender identity being seen as a transitioned character's attempt to meet their high standards, or a closeted character's attempt to overcompensate and repress dysphoria.
  • A strong negative opinion of the character's canon gender, or a desire to be seen as "not like the other boys/girls"
  • Being unusually good or bad at stereotypically gendered tasks, such as a boy being an expert at sewing, or a girl being comically bad at applying cosmetics.
  • Being exceptionally close to a sibling or friend of a different gender.
  • A significant height difference from their peers, eg. a short boy, or tall girl.
  • Being Shower Shy or overly concerned with their torso being exposed.
  • Biological clones being of a different gender.
  • Some characters might even openly state that they would prefer being born a different gender, although this generally only extends to certain situations where they believe (rightfully or otherwise) that another gender has it better.
  • A character undergoing Gender Bending or Crossdressing and enjoying their alternate-gender form.
  • If they're a Funny Animal, they may have traits that exclusively belong to the other sex of their real-life species.
  • Being associated with or having colors matching that of the transgender pride flag.
  • Characters with an Ambiguous Gender are often interpreted as nonbinary.
  • A pair of Half-Identical Twins will often be interpreted as a transgender/cisgender pair to better reflect real-life genetics.
  • If the character is a Wholesome Crossdresser, and he crossdress enough to the point that it becomes a part of his entire character, then some may see it as a sign of him being non-binary or a closeted trans woman.
  • Simply because there is an LGBT Fanbase for a certain character, and said fandom likes to interpret their favorite characters in certain ways.

It could also be something as simple as an actor being transgender and the fanbase deciding to apply it to the characters they play, in a fandom version of Queer Character, Queer Actor.

Fans often create these headcanons for characters from cartoons and animated works that are geared towards children and teens, despite (or due to) these works typically having little to no discussion of gender identity in them.

Since some of these traits are just as possible with cisgender characters, some fans prefer to see a character as just gender-nonconforming, so these interpretations are prone to cause a Broken Base if they become widespread enough in the fandom.

Subtrope of Alternative Character Interpretation. Compare Rainbow Lens, where a character's situation is read as a metaphor for being LGBT, as opposed to the character being read as trans in the text proper. For instance, Bob was raised to be a paladin but later decides to become a wizard. Despite this, characters who knew him before keep referring to him as a paladin. However, if Bob wants to join an order of specifically female wizards, and laments that he was born as a man, it is instead this trope.

Also compare Ambiguous Gender Identity, where the gender identity of the character is uncertain. Note that the term transgender includes everyone whose gender is different from the one they were assigned at birth. This trope thus includes characters who are implied to be nonbinary or genderfluid. This trope is also sometimes invoked by the creators through subtext.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Some fans of Blend-S read Hideri as a trans girl, often citing the "picking flowers" scene where Hideri immediately runs towards the women's restroom at a mall, him writing on his resume that he's a girl, the Hot Springs Episode where he's shown covering his chest with a towel (which some read as a form of chest dysphoria), The Stinger of episode 8 showing that Hideri still dresses femininely even when home alone, and Hideri’s playable appearance alongside the rest of Cafe Stile's waitresses in Kirara Fantasia, a mobile game with an all-female roster.
  • Orochimaru, by the time of Boruto is read as trans, nonbinary or intersex by a good chunk of the fandom because of his androgynous looks and Ambiguous Gender Identity. He is usually referred with male pronounces In-Universe, but his gender was a subject of debate in the anime a few times, with several characters being curious if he is a mother or father for Mitsuki, an answer Mitsuki himself doesn't have. When Mitsuki asked once Orochimaru if he is his mother or father regarding the way he was brought into the world, Orochimaru simply stated that there is no definitive answer to his question, because at different times in his life, Orochimaru possessed the body of a man, a woman, or something else entirely (like Zetsu's alien body). One cannot get more trans than this in the Narutoverse.
  • Many LGBTQ+ fans of Cowboy Bebop interpret Radical Edward as trans or nonbinary due to her name, boyish appearance, and flamboyant personality. It helps that many characters in the show including Ed's own father comment on how hard it is to tell if she's male or female, and the live-action adaptation seemingly supports the idea given its casting of a nonbinary actor in the role.
  • Around the 2010s, the title character of Dororo often got pegged as a fledgling trans boy, due to being Raised as the Opposite Gender since birth for protection and even after figuring out her birth sex from Hyakkimaru sees no problem in identifying as she has been, at least in the original manga. She also showed some discomfort in how Hyakkimaru treats her after discovering she's female. Many adaptations make clear that Dororo eventually identifies as her birth sex, however.
  • Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell is often read as trans. She was assigned a sexless yet stereotypically female shell by Section 9. She feels a strong disconnect with her body, with that awareness making her feel isolated. She goes out of her way to go diving even if it is something her body wasn't "designed" for. She merges her consciousness with the Puppet Master, a being created with no gender, has a female body and uses he/him pronouns, and gains a new understanding of herself, in a way that could be read as her transitioning. Depending on whether one reads the manga or watches the movie, she is reborn in either a male or female shell, for which she does not seem to care much, as her new consciousness understands her body does not define her.
  • Handsome Girl and Crossdressing Boy has a large LGBT Fanbase by its nature as a gender-blending romcom, and some readers have interpreted one or both of the titular couple as closeted trans people. Some even go so far as speculating that the author is in denial or doesn't yet know that they're trans.
  • HuGtto! Pretty Cure: Henri Wakamiya, a side character, is a young man who enjoys figure skating and wearing feminine clothing, including dresses. The intention of his character is to challenge gender roles; when Henri gets captured and wryly calls himself a "princess", Pink Heroine Cure Yell replies "boys can be princesses too!" Near the end of the series, he becomes Cure Infini, the first male Magical Girl Warrior in the franchise. Reviewers noted that he can also be interpreted as nonbinary or genderfluid. Describing himself, Henri says "Masculine... feminine... it matters not! This beauty transcends all!" He later expresses discomfort with his increasing height and deepening voice, akin to gender dysphoria.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Alluka is often interpreted as being a trans girl due to how Killua is the only one in her family to use female pronouns for her and flashbacks show her in more androgynous clothes. Where it gets ambiguous is that the rest of the family doesn't view her as even being a person due to the entity possessing her and Killua is never shown correcting his family when they refer to Alluka as a boy despite otherwise taking them to task for their ill treatment of her. Adding to the confusion is how Kalluto, one of the other brothers, dresses in a very feminine kimono but clearly identifies as male.
  • I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into a Girl: Mihate Hiura is canonically a crossdressing boy, with Word of God doubling down on it, but a few fans, citing his claim that wearing feminine clothes allows him to "feel like the real me", preference to go to school in the girls' uniform, and attending gym class with women, read him as a trans girl. Seven Seas Entertainment's initial English translation (before changing it to be more in line with original authorial intent) additionally outright wrote Hiura as transgender.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean has Anasui, who is commonly interpreted as a trans man or genderfluid: in his first appearance, he is drawn with a visibly female body. However, the next time we see him, he's been Retconned into a man and stays that way for the rest of the story. Considering how his Stand has the ability to manipulate peoples' bodies from the inside, it's easy to imagine that he used his powers to transition into a more masculine body in between his first two appearances. Word of God says that Anasui was always envisioned as a character who "went beyond the standard definitions of gender", which helps support (or even confirm, depending on how you look at it) this theory.
  • With him literally having the mind of a man born into the body of a woman, being very adamant about having Kuroitsu give him a male body, and getting uncomfortable whenever referred to as a woman in any way, it's not surprising that many viewers of Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department see Wolf Bete as basically being a trans man in all but terminology.
  • One Piece is ambiguous as to Yamato's gender identity — he looks feminine enough, but refers to himself as the reincarnation of the male Kozuki Oden and consequently uses male pronouns. Official material is inconsistent, sometimes treating him as a man and sometimes as a woman. Many fans interpret him as a trans man or genderfluid because of this. That One Piece already has a canonical transgender character in Kikunojo helps.
    • Rornoa Zoro is subject to this via a somewhat popular headcanon that interperets Zoro's backstory as a trans allegory. As a young kid, Zoro went to go study at a dojo and where he met a young girl named Kuina. Kuina was skilled, but often looked down on because of her gender, and at one point expressed a desire to be a boy instead of a girl. Later, Kuina would die by falling down the stairs and Zoro took up her sword as a way to symbolically carry her with him. The Trans Headcanon is that Zoro was Kuina, and that her death was symbolic of Zoro's decision to transition. Adding onto this, one of Zoro's most recognizeable features is a large scar across his chest that he got via a duel with Mihawk, a scar which he wears with pride, similarly to the way many trans men treat the scars from top surgery,
    • Sanji also gets this, as there is a popular headcanon that he is a closeted Trans Woman. Not only is he extremely skilled at cooking and cleaning (both steryotypically feminine tasks), but during the Punk Hazard Arc, when various members of the Straw Hat Crew are all swapped into each other's bodies, Sanji ends up in Nami's body and, unlike other crew members swapped into opposite-gender bodies, Sanji expresses no feelings of dysphoria. Another thing that ties into this is his rivalry with Zoro, which this headcanon proposes comes from a place of jealousy at seeing another trans person being able to live openly and feely while they remain stuck in the closet due to their own insecurities.
  • Ranma ˝ protagonist, Ranma Saotome, canonically loathes his Sex Shifter curse and very vocally wants to be restored to normal, with a plethora of stories showing that he will risk his life and reputation without hesitation in pursuit of a cure. At the same time, he's also canonically willing to exploit his curse for any perceived "perks", mostly scoring extra servings of free food, willing to exploit his female form as a disguise or to prey upon the lechery of those around him (such as resident Dirty Old Man Happosai), and extremely vain about his looks in either form. There has always been a section of the fanbase that interprets him as nonbinary or even a full-fledged trans woman, often in extremely heavy denial, due primarily to these latter traits.
  • Lady Oscar, the heroine of the classic shojo manga and anime The Rose of Versailles is often interpreted as nonbinary, genderfluid or trans-masculine by newer fans. She was raised as a man and enters a military career in her teens. While she does dress up as a lady once to try to charm a man she had a crush on, she otherwise refuses to revert to female presentation when her father reconsiders his plan and tries to arrange a marriage for her. And in the original, she uses a masculine version of the Japanese "I" ("ore") when she is talking to her lower-ranked friends, and only uses the more feminine "watashi" in more formal situations such as talking to the queen. She has many admirers of both cis genders, because she's presented as so handsome in a uniform that Even the Girls Want Her. (She does have long, pretty '80s Hair and her uniforms are extremely Bling of War, but this story is set in 18th century France, so the same is true for at least some of the cis-male aristocrats.) And she suffers a sexual assault that can easily be interpreted as an attempted 'corrective' rape.note  Basically, the idea is that Riyoko Ikeda would have written her heroine as officially genderqueer if she had known that was a thing, back in the 1970s.
  • In the last season of Sailor Moonnote , the alien Sailor Starlights change their physical bodies to go undercover on Earth as teenage boys, though they revert to their original female shape whenever they get into combat. Ostensibly, they're doing this just because they're looking for their princess and starting a career as male popstars will let them get their message out to as many girls as possible. But at least Seiya Kou / Sailor Star Fighter really seems very comfortable if not outright flourishing in "her" male form and undercover identity (and "she's" clearly relishing the freedom this gives "her" to flirt with the female protagonist), so this character, if not all three Starlights, is frequently interpreted as trans-masculine or genderfluid by queer fans. (In the manga, these characters were always cis-female and didn't shapechange.)
    • Also, the sympathetic and eventually redeemed villain character Fisheye from an earlier season was originally meant to be just a gay Wholesome Crossdresser who nevertheless still uses male pronouns and doesn't identify as female or genderqueer. But the way this villain's seduction of male victims was censored in some countries in the 1990s - i.e. by giving Fisheye a female dubbing voice and refering to him with female pronouns, while also keeping the brief shirtless scene where the character was supposed to reveal that he's male after infiltrating a dance company as a ballerina - led to many European fans going through life convinced that Fisheye was supposed to be a trans woman.
  • Seton Academy: Join the Pack!: Yena Madaraba the spotted hyena is biologically female, but spent most of her life believing she was male due to female hyenas having pseudopenises. She originally reacted with violence to anyone — including her own father — referring to her as a girl, vehemently insisting that she was a man. After Jin Mazama forces her to accept that she is female, Yena very briefly dabbles in being more feminine but decides that being true to herself means going back to wearing men's clothing. This combined with her being a lesbian with a romantic interest in Hitomi Hino has led many fans — particularly Western ones — to happily claim her as trans representation.
  • Urusei Yatsura has Ryuunosuke, whose psychotic father forces her to present, talk, and act as a man due to denial over not having a son. In this case, Ryuunosuke canonically wants to come out as cisgender but can't get out of her father's grasp to do so... Though this hasn't stopped modern queer fans from instead asserting that she is a transboy who is just in complete denial of their true gender idenity.
    • Ryuunosuke's fiance, Nagisa Shiowatari, a boy who was raised as a girl by his equally crazy if less abusive father, is also very commonly interpreted as either a lesbian transgirl or nonbinary, since he is equally comfortable both with his feminine behavior and wearing dresses and also with his strong romantic desires for Ryuunosuke. It doesn't hurt (help?) that Nagisa only gets two stories in the manga, only one of which got an Animated Adaptation, and is pretending to be a girl until the very end of the first one.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Gyro Gearloose is occasionally portrayed as a trans man by fans due to him being an anthropomorphic chicken, but not looking anything like a rooster.
  • Ultimate Spider-Woman is sometimes interpreted as trans, due to a backstory of being a clone of Peter Parker that emerged female but still carries all his memories of being a guy, sometimes experiencing identity dysphoria over them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Viewer Gender Confusion notwithstanding, there is a small, very vocal portion of the Garfield fandom who interprets Nermal as either transgender or nonbinary. He has long eyelashes, a trait usually reserved for female characters in the strip, and his entire personality revolves around looking cute in contrast to Garfield, whose primary trait is laziness. Some have also pointed out that his voice change between Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show is him changing his voice to sound more masculine while still somewhat high-pitched.

    Fan Works 
  • Some "fans" of My Immortal interpret Enoby as a trans girl, given her rather (completely and utterly non-prompted) Suspiciously Specific Denial about having an erection and extremely vague descriptions of her genitals. Early waves of this sentiment were transphobic mocking, but it resurged in a more sincere fashion after J. K. Rowling's transphobic takes.
  • The Serpent’s Vow turns Seto Kaiba into a Goa'uld queen who walks around in a very male human body. In spite of the author swearing that Seto is genderless and only cares about the body because it's the only one he ever had, the readers nonetheless noted how horrified Seto was when a former lover threatened to take his body away and reduce him to a female and submissive role, along with his insistence to be called Seto instead of Nephthys, so keep interpreting him as a trans man.

    Fairytales 
  • Florinda is a Chilean story that lends itself to a number of queer readings. Florinda is a young woman who disguises herself as a man to escape her evil father. As a man, Florinda marries a princess and is eventually changed bodily into a man by the Crucified Christ.
  • The Girl Who Pretended To Be A Boy: The protagonist is a princess who goes on an adventure under the name Fet-Fruners (a variation of Făt-Frumos, the Romanian equivalent of Prince Charming). Fet-Fruners battles giants, evil kings, and regressive gender norms. Towards the end of the story, the hero upsets a wizard who casts a spell: if the offending party is a woman, turn into a man, if they are a man, turn into a woman.
    But punishments are things about which people do not always agree, and when the princess suddenly felt she was really the man she had pretended to be, she was delighted, and if the hermit had only been within reach she would have thanked him from her heart.
  • The Marquise-Marquis of Banneville: Mariane, the daughter of the Marquise of Banneville, falls in love with the charming Marquis de Bercourt. But Mariane’s overprotective mother and the Marquis himself keep coming up with excuses to avoid the wedding. As it turns out, Mariane was assigned male at birth and Raised as the Opposite Gender, as is the Marquis. When the two lovers learn they've been fretting over the same secret, they accept each other for who they are, continue living their lives as they please, and guarantee the existence of a rightful heir that will keep Mariane's scheming uncle away from the family fortune.
  • Prince Lindworm: Some versions of the story have the witch tell the queen that eating a magical red rose will give her a son while eating a white rose will give her a daughter, warning her not to eat both. The queen eats the white rose first and finds it so delicious that she eats the red rose too. This results in her firstborn child being a dragon and her second child being a male human. After eating two princesses, the dragon's curse is broken by a plucky maiden (with some help from the witch), it is transformed into a fully-human prince, and they get married and live happily ever after. However, some — such as Overly Sarcastic Productions' synopsis — have noted that given the specifications of the spell the dragon should be female, which in turn has led be some considering the dragon-prince to be trans.

    Film — Animated 
  • Barnyard: Otis being a male cow with udders, combined with Ben misremembering a moment with Otis as a moment with his non-existent sister, is often used to point to Otis as being trans.
  • The Toaster in The Brave Little Toaster is seen by several fans as something of a trans character, due to the fact that the toaster has no identifiable gender outside of a single use of "he" (only for the director and actress to refer to the Toaster as female in outside interviews).
  • A Bug's Life:
    • Francis the ladybug is interpreted by some fans as a trans man due to possessing feminine Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, as well as him identifying as male and objecting to being referred as female.
    • Gypsy is also sometimes seen as a trans woman due to having certain biological traits — feathery antennae, brown-toned wings, the ability to fly — that are only possessed by biologically male gypsy moths.
  • Encanto: Camilo is popular to interpret as genderfluid because he shapeshifts into women as easily as he does into men, and this does not present any problem in-universe but is considered wonderful.
  • Ash Fox from Fantastic Mr. Fox is interpreted by some to be either Ambiguously Gay or trans, given his feminine features (the facial fur markings around his eyes look like makeup), how his superhero costume is made out of a girly wool sweater and a lacy cape (Beaver's son even points out that Ash "dresses like a girl"), and how when his dad talks about his thoughts when mom was pregnant with him — "I kept wondering: 'who's this little boy gonna be'?" — Ash awkwardly adds: "Or girl!" The end of the movie also has a gag where the juice stains on his lips resemble lipstick.
  • Finding Nemo: It is hilariously common to head-canon Marlin as being a trans woman due to how real-life clownfish biology works. If there aren’t enough female clownfish around, then the males will turn into females, and sometimes, they’ll even mate with their children to reproduce. In other words, if the movie was biologically accurate, then Marlin would be female, and would have likely mated with Nemo.
  • Incredibles 2: Due to her issues with being Super, her "coming out" as Super being similar to coming out as LGBTQ, and her design being nonstandard for female characters in the series, Voyd being a transgender woman has caught on in fanworks.
  • Riley in Inside Out is the only character in the film whose five emotions are shown to be of different genders, two male and three female. Every other character has emotions corresponding to their gender, which has caused fans to view Riley as genderfluid or non-binary, and just hasn't discovered that about herself yet. The name "Riley" being rather androgynous helps a fair bit.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Pleakley, an alien treated as male in-universe, has a tendency to dress as a human woman while in disguise, even admiring their own appearance in a mirror. Many fans see Pleakley as trans because of this. It goes further in the TV series where Pleakley actively attempts to flirt with human men while dressed up and even succeeds in one episode in charming a guy who, it turns out, is genuinely interested in Pleakley and not under the effects of Hunkahunka's love-inducing peck as initially assumed.
  • Madagascar: There's a number of fans who interpret King Julien as being a trans man thanks to the Animal Gender-Bender trope (lemur colonies in real life are matriarchal).
  • Meet the Robinsons: It's mostly attributed to how her voice is masculine, but some fans interpret Cousin Tallulah as being a trans woman, which fans see as strengthening the aesop that even non-traditional families are still to be loved.
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish has one particular line that suggests that Baby Bear is trans in some way. He once said that he doesn’t have "dingle berries (as in, testicles)", to which Papa Bear assures him that he does. There are a few ways that this can be interpreted.
  • The villain of the French animated film Raining Cats And Frogs is a tortoise voiced by a woman and treated as female who tells the others that the three crocodile eggs she stole were actually laid by her. Later, when she has her Removable Shell pulled off, it turns out she has a penis and thus couldn't have laid the eggs. Given that her evil plan wouldn't have been much different if she didn't tell the others she laid those eggs, some viewers have interpreted her as a trans woman.
  • Robots: Many fans often interpret Rodney Copperbottom as a trans man due to the fact that he had to wear "hand-me-downs," as in body parts, from his female cousin around the time a human would start puberty. He's clearly embarrassed by this, and he gets rid of them upon becoming a young adult, which some viewers could see as being akin to top surgery. In general, the fact that male and female segments can be easily switched and that poverty apparently forces hand-me-downs heavily implies that a sizeable portion of the robot population underwent situations like these, though it's portrayed rather negatively.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: Gwen Stacy has been interpreted by a large section of the film's viewership as being trans-coded, if not being outright transgender. She has a trans pride flag hanging in her room, and later in the movie, when she finally has a conversation with her father and yells at him about having to hide part of herself in case he didn't accept her, she is bathed in bright blue, pink, and white light (the "Trans Pride" colors) which solidified the implications to many that her arc is an analog to those in the transgender community coming out to their loved ones.
    • An alternative theory is that the Peter Parker from Gwen Stacy's dimension is also trans due to his somewhat scrawny and weak physical appearance, and his need to "get stronger" using the lizard serum.
  • Turning Red: Miriam's butch appearance has lead to more than a few fans believing that she is actually trans.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Princess Fantaghiro, the heroine of a series of Italian fantasy TV movies from the 1990s that were highly popular with young kids across Central Europe at the time, is occasionally interpreted as genderfluid by some of the now-adult fans. This is because she's very much a Tomboy Princess in spirit and the movies feature her dressing up as a boy for most of their running time (complete with breast-binding scene and cutting off her long hair), though she always reverts back to a feminine presentation in a pretty dress at the end of each story. In the first film, there is a classic Sweet Polly Oliver reason for her crossdressing - but then she keeps doing it when going off to rescue her husband in the later films, seemingly just for the convenience and practicality of the male outfit while adventuring in rough terrain. (The pageboy haircut was also not exactly unusual for young girls at the time when these films were made.) The first film also features a magical mentor character (played by a cis-female actress) who visits the heroine in the form of a bearded White Knight in armor and as a beautiful White Witch in a billowy dress.
  • Some Evil Dead fans interpret series protagonist Ash Williams as a trans man, on account of his full name being "Ashley Joanna" and his status as a male Final Girl.
  • Giant Little Ones: Though the film is unclear on whether Mouse is meant to be a teen trans boy or just butch lesbian, audience members generally lean toward interpreting the character as the former, given Mouse's fascination with the idea of having a penis and using a strap-on while having sex with women.
  • Godzilla (1998): The fact that Godzilla has female genitalia and asexually lays over 200 eggs, yet is consistently referred to with male pronouns — e.g. Nick Tatopoulos calling Godzilla "a very unusual he" — has led to some fans (and even some of the people who worked on the film) referring to the film's incarnation of Godzilla — and by extension its subsequent iteration, Zilla — as the first trans kaiju.
  • Inception: Mr. Eames is unique among Cobb's crew as a Forger, able to alter his appearance and identity in the dreamworld. One of his multiple faces is that of an attractive blond woman who seems to have no issue flirting with or seducing male targets, raising the interpretation that Eames himself is genderfluid.
  • In Some Like It Hot, Jerry seems to come to genuinely enjoy disguising himself as a woman to some extent as one scene has him forget that he's not actually a woman and cheerfully announce to Joe that he's going to be marrying the male millionaire Osgood until Joe reminds him that he's only pretending to be a woman. This has led many modern-day viewers to interpret Jerry as genderfluid.
  • With The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again making Frank a woman, some fans wonder if she's transgender like her actress Laverne Cox. Especially when she sings about being a Sweet Transvestite.
  • Tomboy: Many viewers perceive Laure as either nonbinary or a trans boy. Director and writer Céline Sciamma deliberately left the matter open so that multiple interpretations could be made, and Laure also can be taken as a budding butch lesbian or straight tomboy too.

    Literature 
  • Tobias in Animorphs is popularly interpreted as trans for several reasons. He takes very quickly to having the morphing power and immediately starts spending as much time as possible in bird morph to escape his problems, even claiming that becoming human feels like being shut into a prison. This reluctance gets him trapped as a red-tailed hawk but while he has angst about this for the whole series, even when he has the power to assume human form again he shows a strong dislike for his human body and feels wrong and awkward in it, struggling to navigate social situations. In the 43rd book, he morphs a female Villain of the Week and is nervous and excited at the prospect, then strikingly happy and comfortable in her body and much smoother than usual, easily navigating a verbal misstep and enjoying positive attention from bystanders. That's also the book where he considers whether he stayed too long in morph to avoid the complicated or unpleasant parts of his life, and when listing them starts with "being a boy".
  • Some interpret this exchange between Lemony Snicket and Ellington Feint from When Did You See Her Last? to hint at young Lemony being a transgender boy. The use of Ambiguous Syntax means that Ellington could be talking about dressing up as a boy or the plan the two are about to enact.
    Ellington: What do you think, Mr. Snicket? Do I look like a boy?
    Lemony: No. From a distance, maybe.
    Ellington: How is this going to work?
    Lemony: It's easy. I learned how to do it.
    Ellington: From your organization.
    Lemony: Yes.
  • The Discworld has the dwarfs, an entire species whose culture has only one gender (Always Male) and the biological aspect is completely separated from their presentation. When younger dwarfs emigrate to Ankh-Mopork, some of them decide they want to distinguish themselves by presenting as women just as the humans do, the first one to do so in-series being Cheri (née Cheery) Littlebottom. Interpreting Cheri (and later ones like Dee and Rhys) as a trans woman is consequently very popular.
    • Monstrous Regiment also has Jackrum, who is very frequently interpreted as a trans man due to having spent so long playing Sweet Polly Oliver that he feels uncomfortable with the idea of returning to a woman identity. The narration also only refers to Jackrum as 'she' during The Reveal, only to return to 'he' during the character's last appearance. Quite a few fans also interpret Maladict(a) the vampire as genderfluid or nonbinary or trans-masculine, because their behavior has everyone convinced they are male throughout the entire story (even a bunch of girls who are less successfully crossdressing) and because they don't reveal their biological sex when all the girls come out to each other as female. Instead, they only mention this near the end of the book, when the protagonist gazes admiringly at a female officer from another country who is actually dressed in a uniform that reveals that she is female, thus implying that her superiors don't have a problem with female military service.note  People who ship Mal and Polly sometimes interpret the former's decision to reveal their biological sex at this particular moment as the action of a person who is generally more comfortable presenting as male and only was like "Oh, so you like boobs? I have boobs too, you know." when they saw their crush admiring a woman in boob armor. Especially considering that Polly had shown zero physical attraction to anyone throughout the entire book up till this point, so her sexual orientation is pretty much left up to interpretation both by the reader and in-universe.note 
  • Here Lies Arthur has two characters Raised as the Opposite Gender who can be easily read as trans or genderfluid.
    • The protagonist, Gwyna/Gwyn was assigned female at birth but spends most of her childhood living as a boy, and when she is forced to return to living as a female after puberty finds it very difficult to adjust. As an adult she is living as a male again and seems more comfortable as it, so she can be easily read as a trans male.
    • Gwyna's love interest Peredur is more ambiguous. He was born a boy and raised a girl by an overbearing mother who didn't want him to grow up and die in battle like his father and brothers, and unlike Gwyna he genuinely believed he was female until adulthood. As a teenager, he does find himself more drawn towards the role of a man in his time, i.e. as a warrior, and does strike out to become one after learning the truth about his sex. However, he never fully fits in with other men and the ending of the book is deliberately ambiguous about whether he has returned to his female persona or not.
  • Fate/Apocrypha:
    • Saber's "son" Mordred, who is technically a homunculus clone of her father. Like her "father" she was Raised as the Opposite Gender, though she is (usually) referred to by feminine pronouns and wears feminine — if tomboyish — clothes. However, Mordred is brash and aggressive, and treating her like a woman (as well as treating her too much like a man) is a major Berserk Button — leading fans to interpret Mordred as being trans or nonbinary despite Nasu stating definitively that Mordred is obviously a woman, with some insisting that he is conflating gender identity and biological sex. The English localization of Fate/Grand Order further threw fuel on the fire by referring to Mordred with male pronouns.
    • Astolfo was one of the paladins of Charlemagne and is canonically male according to the light novel and supplemental materials, but due to a legend where he dressed in women's clothing to cheer up his comrade Roland he manifests as a petite, androgynous boy with long pink hair styled into a braid and decorated with bows, and dresses exclusively in women's clothing because he likes beautiful things. Like Bridget from Guilty Gear, Astolfo is one of the originators of the transphobic "trap" joke/stereotype. However, his feminine appearance and wardrobe, his Servant stats displaying his gender as "le Secret♪", and that he's given bust/waist/hip measurements (something typically only reserved for female characters) have led some to claim that Astolfo is actually a trans girl; and Fate/Grand Order added fuel to the fire by listing his gender as "???".
  • Waver Velvet from Fate/Zero is sometimes interpreted as a trans man due to his very feminine appearance as a 19-year-old and struggle to be accepted as a "real" magus despite being only a third-generation mage being similar to wanting to be seen as a real man. When he appears later in Lord El-Melloi II Case Files he has undergone a dramatic physical shift akin to the second puberty brought on by HRT, including his voice significantly deepening.
  • Some Harry Potter fans joke that Hedwig, as in the protagonist's pet snowy owl, is a transfem icon because she's described as having pure white plumage, which is a male-only trait- real-world females have gray edging to their feathers. In the film adaptations, Hedwig is played mostly by male birds.
  • Firesong k'Treva, in Heralds of Valdemar, is a Tayledras, from a Non-Heteronormative Society where androgyny is the norm. Outsiders often struggle to distinguish men from women and long hair and elaborate, colorful clothing are not gendered, so that Firesong is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy is unremarkable. Still, Firesong is set apart from Tayledras men in that he can call on Need, described in a way that goes far enough into In Touch with His Feminine Side that it suggests he is genderfluid or otherwise nonbinary.
    Nyara: "He is completely balanced between his masculine and feminine sides. So even as he can use man's magic, he can also use women's magic, magic keyed only to females."
    Darkwind: "Such as what Need holds?"
    Nyara: "Yes. And since she is willing to do so, she can feed her power through his feminine side. She would not be able to do that, were he not so balanced."
    • Another Tayledras character, Stormwing, was in a short story in Oathblood. Need's bearer at the time has Gaydar keen enough that she can't just tell that he's gay but that he's "balanced" in a unique way, "so completely accepting of his own male and female natures that he felt poised, like a bird about to fly-" and Need protects him from harm as she would a woman.
  • Princess Ozma of the Land of Oz series grew up as a young boy named Tip, but she was born female, this was a spell cast on her as a baby by the witch Mombi to hide her identity. The spell was undone, and not much more was ever said about it in the original books (not surprisingly since they were written in the early 1900s). Modern fan fiction writers however often have Ozma’s transition be much less seamless than it appeared, making her either a Tomboy Princess or giving her even more severe gender identity issues. Whether or not she still feels more like the boy she grew up as inside or identifies as a female varies. Emerald City went with the former, making Tip a trans boy.
  • George (short for Georgina) from The Famous Five has gotten this speculation over the years as she seems to have traits that go above and beyond what you would normally expect from a tomboy. She even outright declares that she wishes she weren't born a girl at one point, although that was arguably more to do with the Stay in the Kitchen mentality of the time than anything else.
  • The Magic School Bus:
    • A popular theory among the series' LGBT Fanbase is that Arnold is a closeted trans girl and that Ms. Frizzle is Arnold post-transition, having traveled back in time with the Magic School Bus to help her younger self. This interpretation cites the two's similar hair, Ms. Frizzle's flamboyant demeanor and unflappability, and her self-described "private and powerful passion for pickles." Spironolactone, an androgen blocker commonly taken by trans women in the US, is also a potassium-sparing diuretic that frequently causes dehydration and hyponatremia, resulting in increased thirst and cravings for salt. Pickles solve both of these problems and are a meme in trans communities as a result.
    • Likewise Liz goes by female pronouns, but only biologically male Jackson Chameleons have horns like Liz.
  • Both of the male protagonists in the Nightrunner fantasy series by Lynn Flewelling get interpreted as genderqueer by some fans, though for different reasons: The teenager Alec was very obviously based on classic ingenue tropesnote , which the first-time author simply genderflipped back in the late 1980s / early 1990s when there weren't really any established writing conventions for m/m romance storylines yet. As a result of this and an almost total lack of typically teenage-male anxieties or Male Gaze in his narrationnote , his psychology comes across more like that of a tomboy than that of a cisgender boy. Seregil, the older protagonist, has a more convincingly male personality, but he's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy (Alec also grows his hair out in the later books) and he actually spends a good chunk of the first book in female disguise - which he is quite enthusiastic about and he is pretty enough while in drag and convincing enough in his undercover identity as a young-ish noblewoman that straight men fall in lust with him if they don't know about his real gender and even his straight-identifying male best friend of many years gets uncomfortably confused to the point that he refuses to work with him whenever he's in female disguise. It also helps that both of these characters are of slender/wiry build and elven and thus don't really grow body hair, with Seregil expressing some dysphoria about the beard he gets stuck with for a few days when he is magically body-swapped with another male friend.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Some fans interpret Nightheart as a trans she-cat due to his arc of changing his name to one he thinks would fit him better rather than how his family tries to define him as, particularly since he is inspired to do so by Nightcloud, a female cat for whom he is impressed how well her name fits her.
    • It's not uncommon for readers to interpret Redtail as a trans tom thanks to his status as a small tortoiseshell, tortie being a rather rare coat color for male cats.
  • Peril from Wings of Fire hatched in the same egg as a male dragon implying they are identical twins, leading to some people interpreting her as trans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory & Young Sheldon: In the main series, Sheldon mentions that his mother Mary has two brothers named Carl and Edward. In the prequel series, Mary mentions her sister Charlene and brother Edward. This leads to speculation that the former siblings in each case are the same person, and that Carl is a trans man.
  • Selma Green in Big Love openly identifies as a woman, but her husband calls her Brother Selma and she prefers suits to dresses. Many fans headcanon Selma as trans because of this.
  • How I Met Your Mother: While Robin is canonically a cisgender woman (at least according to Ted), the extreme extent to which she was Raised as the Opposite Gender by her abusive father, coupled with her angst over being infertile, makes her a popular choice to imagine as a trans woman.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which already had an extensive trans fanbase due to the characterization of Jadzia Dax and Elim Garak, developed a fringe theory that Quark is possibly a closeted transgender woman or nonbinary person. This is based mainly on the rather notorious episode "Profit and Lace": after going through an Easy Sex Change as part of a Zany Scheme, the normally male-identifying Quark, who is from a No Woman's Land society, appears to have remarkably little difficulty transitioning to being a woman for the duration. As nearly everybody involved considers this episode an Old Shame and most fans would rather not acknowledge its existence, this is very unlikely to be further explored.
  • This essay by a trans woman makes a case for interpreting Wilhelmina Slater of Ugly Betty as trans, and a better example than Alexis, a canonically trans character. The main point is that Wilhemina's obsession with maintaining her feminine looks (including cosmetic surgery), her former identity as the mousy unattractive Wanda, and her goal to reclaim what she considers to be a rightful position as editor-in-chief all hold more weight if she lives in fear of transmisogynistic stigma.
  • Cody from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody dresses as a girl on two separate occasions, likes many feminine things like cooking, cheerleading, and fashion, and is able sometimes mistaken for a girl. Some fans have taken this as him being a closeted trans girl.
  • The X-Files Many fans interpret Mulder as a transgender man for several reasons, but primarily due to his dressing in baggy suits, having unsupportive parents, and, of course, going by the name Fox.
    • Some fans also headcanon Scully as trans, and view their partnership as trans solidarity or a t4t relationship.

    Music 
  • Since Vocaloid's only canon is that there is no canon, many fans like to do this with their characters. The most common examples are Hatsune Miku herself and Kagamine Len. In Miku's case, she's either portrayed as a trans girl or a very, very staunch ally of trans peoplenote , while Len is often portrayed as a trans boy—fans often point to factors such as his status as Rin's "identical" twin brother (a physical impossibility for twins of different sexes), the recurring fanon of Len being uncomfortable with being Dragged into Drag or treated as "cute" and the common rumor that early in development Len was originally going to be a girl before it was decided he'd be a boy instead to satisfy fan demand for more male Vocaloids.
  • Evillious Chronicles:
    • Behemo Barisol mostly claims to be a crossdressing man, but given the fact that he refers to his "sister"/alternate universe counterpart Levia Barisol as his "ideal self" (whilst also being kind of vague as to what he means by that) and his acknowledged status as a lying liar who lies, it's not hard to interpret him as a trans woman instead.
    • Many of the Len characters in the series are interpreted as trans boys, mostly due to the same Half-Identical Twins issue mentioned above.
    • Michaela is often read as a trans woman after the reveal that in a previous life, she was Lich's brother who got Michaela as a nickname when Held misread her name off the class registry; despite this, she's known exclusively as Michaela outside of references to the past. Like other people who reincarnated into forest spirits (who have No Biological Sex) her memories of her old life were blocked off, and when Elluka transforms her into a human woman she seems fully comfortable as such (if a bit confused by Elluka's insistence she has to be a woman) and uses this form even centuries later. She's the only known character whose gender changes over multiple reincarnations, not counting forest spirits, and even then Lich, Eater, and Gumillia all retained their previous gender identities after leaving the forest and getting human/humanoid bodies.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Ovid's The Metamorphoses features a figure named Iphis, who was born a girl but Raised as the Opposite Gender due to her father wanting a boy. Thing is, Iphis doesn't seem to mind up until she gets betrothed to a woman named Ianthe and worries that she'll reject her upon discovering her birth sex. The issue ends up resolved when she's fully and implicitly permanently transformed into a man by the gods and then he and Ianthe live Happily Ever After. While Ovid was more or less writing this as a tract about how "wrong" lesbianism is, it's not hard for modern audiences to reinterpret the story as a trans Coming-Out Story, especially since Iphis' worries that his lover will reject him if she discovers his assigned sex at birth is a common concern for real-life transgender individuals and in the end, Iphis only finds happiness when he becomes a man for real with the help of a goddess.
  • Persephone has been interpreted as a trans man for a couple of reasons, including that her birthname was Kore (which translates to girl or maiden) and that since pomegranate can boost salivary testosterone levels (not enough to be applicable to tangible real-life changes), it can be seen as a metaphor for Hades giving her the means to transition. But most importantly due to Persephone being considered to be dead on some level after eating the pomegranate seeds, including by Demeter. Being grieved as if dead or corrupted by loved ones despite being alive and well is something many trans people can relate to, especially transmasculine people after the pseudo-scientific theory of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria took off, which postures that transness, and transmasculinity in particular, is communicable.
  • It isn't uncommon for people to interpret Loki as non-binary or at least genderfluid (even ultimately adopted by Marvel's take on the deity) due to the fact that he shapeshifts into female forms rather casually, as well as to spite conservative Asatruar.

    Theatre 
  • Anybodys in West Side Story (and in the 1961 film, where she's played by Susan Oakes) is a tomboy aspiring member of the Jets who has short hair and is delighted when Ice refers to her as "buddy boy" like he would any other male member of the Jets. This has led people to speculate on her being actually trans masc, and West Side Story (2021) makes Anybodys explicitly trans, with him played by nonbinary actor Iris Menas.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
    • The Danganronpa series's most common candidate for transgender interpretations is Chihiro Fujisaki, a cis male character in the canon of the games who, being bullied at a young age for being "weak" and "unmanly", decided to crossdress and present as female in order to escape it and better conform to Japanese gender roles.
      • Many fans see Chihiro as a trans girl in spite of the games saying otherwise, pointing out how, while the concept of being bullied for being gender-nonconforming is a real issue, the fact that they saw presenting as female so that they wouldn't get bullied as a solution is seen as ridiculous even by the standards of the game's usual tone. On top of that, many elements of Chihiro's storyline are seen as making more sense and being more relatable if they were a trans character, including their fear of their assigned gender at birth being revealed and them being a software programmernote . Finally, many trans fans have pointed out that their storyline indulges in transphobic storytelling tropesnote  that are excused with the non-justification of them actually being a crossdressing cis boy, and that, by virtue of calling attention to said tropes, Chihiro being trans is actually the less problematic interpretation of their character.
      • While it isn't quite as prevalent as viewing the character as a trans girl, there are also a good number of fans who split the difference between the game's text and the territory it goes into by interpreting Chihiro as a transgender boy. While doing so unfortunately doesn't confront the worst of the tropes in their storyline, it at the very least covers making their backstory seem less outlandish and adds an extra layer to the character's intended themes, as the experience of getting picked on for not fitting others' ideas of what a man "should" be and presenting as female for fear of further negative attention is an unsurprisingly, if sadly, relatable one to many transmasculine individuals.
    • Leon Kuwata is another favorite for transgender interpretations among LGBT fans. While his given name is traditionally masculine, it's written as "Reon" in kanji in a way that's often used as feminine, leaving room to imagine him as a trans boy who opted for a subtle Sobriquet Sex Switch after coming out. He's also highly, if cluelessly, preoccupied with developing a "cool" image for himself to maximize his appeal to girls; and many trans people, especially young and/or recently-out people, can relate to the idea of awkwardly feeling one's way through remaking oneself and seeking validation when it comes to conventional gender roles through such means as being seen as attractive.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Both Hajime Hinata and Kazuichi Soda are popular for trans male interpretations, as their official stats give their chest sizes as unexpectedly large for men given their heights and slim designs (especially Hajime). While in different ways, both characters also deal with themes of personal reinvention.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: Some people believe the reason Natsuki's dad disapproves of her childish girly tastes is that she's a trans girl, which is another reason why being part of an all-female club is so important for her. It also helps explain why she has the smallest bust size of all the girls. Dan Salvato confirmed he wrote all four girls as cisgender, but has no issue with people referring to any of them as trans in fan works about the story.
  • Fate/stay night: Saber, whose backstory involves her having been Raised as the Opposite Gender and living as a man for the majority of her life — to the point of marrying a woman to keep up appearances, is sometimes headcanoned as being trans or nonbinary, especially due to her insistence early on that she doesn't see herself as human — let alone a woman — and looking very handsome wearing a men's business suit in the prequel Fate/Zero. This is despite her being consistently referred to with feminine pronouns, not having a problem wearing women's clothing in the modern day, and her coming to terms with her femininity in the Fate route, where she reconnects with her repressed humanity and becomes Shirō's lover.
  • Your Turn to Die: Alice Yabusame is often interpreted as transgender male by the fandom, due to occasionally switching pronouns and going from very masculine to very feminine speech patterns in the original Japanese dialogue. It's vaguely explained that he was raised as a girl when he was a child, though it's unclear as to whether this means he is canonically transgender.

    Web Animation 
  • This Cyanide and Happiness sketch, as many comments speculate on, doubles as Alternative Joke Interpretation. Since it features a dying mother insisting she has a daughter to her son, the sketch could either be read as a Scatterbrained Senior not remembering her own child, or as I Have No Son! with a trans male son.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Flaky was originally envisioned as male, but after many viewers thought she was female, the creators eventually stated her to be female. Because of this, along with her not having eyelashes like the other female characters, some fans portray her as a trans girl who hadn't come out yet when her first episodes aired, or as nonbinary or genderfluid.
  • Inanimate Insanity: A common fan theory is that Lightbulb is transfemme, for three reasons. One, her voice is one of the more masculine ones in the show. Two, she was originally intended to be male, but was rewritten to be female to balance out the show's gender ratio. Third, and most importantly, she was the only one to figure out that Paintbrush is nonbinary on her own, which could imply that Lightbulb herself is LGBTQIA+. The II crew have been accepting of such a theory, but have refused to confirm or deny it.
  • RWBY:
    • Nora Valkyrie is considered by some fans to be a trans woman by virtue of her Atlas outfit being the colors of the trans pride flag.
    • Neopolitan is also frequently read as trans by some, particularly owing to her backstory revealed in RWBY: Roman Holiday: She was raised as Trivia Vanille in an abusive household, but eventually broke away from her parents and reinvented her entire identity as Neopolitan, changing her looks and name. Her semblance, Overactive Imagination, also lets her change her appearance at will, something many trans people would love to have.
  • Spooky Month:
    • Roy is often seen as a trans boy, due to him being shorter and having a higher pitched voice compared to both Ross and Robert, and the shadows near his eyes resembling eyelashes.
    • Skid is commonly interpreted as a trans boy due to his maskless self looking rather feminine, in combination with his high-pitched voice.
    • Robert is often seen as nonbinary, due to his original voice actor, Coffee, also being nonbinary.
    • Some people see Lila as being a trans woman due to the Early-Installment Weirdness of Sr. Pelo himself voicing her in the first Spooky Month animation. It helps that in "Tender Treats", she has more lines in Pelo's voice during the flashback to that moment, and Lila subsequently lampshading her different voice implies it was an In-Universe change.
    • Going hand-in-in with fans interpreting Lila as a trans woman, fans will also headcanon Skid's father as a trans man, to keep both of them as Skid's biological parents via his father being the one to carry him.
    • Kevin is commonly interpreted as a trans man, due to the colors of his uniform matching the colors of the trans flag.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck:
    • Some fans, such as the authors of John Egbert and the Goblet of Sick Fires have interpreted Dave as a trans man. A lot of his character arc involves musing about and struggling with the conventions and expectations of masculinity (his character plays with the 90s Totally Radical cool guy archetype), bolstering this interpretation, though canon ties this to him accepting his bisexuality. This fan theory got an indirect nod in the post-canon sequel The Homestuck Epilogues (Meat), when Roxy, Dave's biological mother, comes out as transmasculine and becomes basically a clone of Dave, matching his exact appearance and mannerisms. This interpretation became so popular that the idea of trans men naming themselves after Dave became a meme among the fandom.
    • An increasingly popular fanon idea in later years particularly following The Homestuck Epilogues is that main protagonist John Egbert is a closeted trans girl (commonly given the name June based on a line in this conversation), with many attributing his supposedly maternal worry for his friends and his later isolated and depressed behavior in adulthood to the concept among other things. The June theory was actually later acknowledged by Andrew Hussie, the creator of the comic; after an Alternate Reality Game where the winner wished for the theory to become canon, Hussie made a tweet stating "you were the first to find my treasure, and so it will be done"; with Hussie and Homestuck itself being famous for liberal use canonization and acknowledgement of fan ideas, many have taken this to mean trans John is now canon and as such referring to him as June (though it has yet to show up concretely in any actual official material).
  • In The Order of the Stick, the character Minrah is introduced in the final arc as basically an outsider to the group (who only knows the protagonists as a high-level adventuring party). In one strip she talks about how she used to be a guard, how everyone said she couldn't be a cleric, and now everyone only knows her as a cleric (paralleling Belkar's own status as a Heroic Comedic Sociopath before his own character development). There's also something about her that Thor felt the need to reassure her about, although since he went out of his way to keep the details private it could be anything. Along with some other details (like her mum passive-aggressively showing her her baby pictures before she sets off, and the way she responds to the phrase "preach it sister!") have caused a lot of readers to interpret her as a trans woman (despite the author saying he'd rather avoid writing a trans character due to not knowing how to do so properly).

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role:
    • Back when this webshow didn't have any official transgender representation yet, Vex'ahlia was interpreted as a trans woman by a few fans, due to the fact that she's frequently described as looking identical to her twin brother except for a couple of inches difference in height. There's also the fact that she has a very unsupportive father (the twins ran away from home as young teenagers because of his neglect and emotional abuse), whom she nevertheless still wants to impress or prove herself to (unlike her brother, who has simply stopped caring about what their father thinks). And while she's normally a very self-confident character, she anxiously fusses with her outfit the night before meeting her father again after many years, trying to make sure she looks "put together". (In canon, this is about her elven father's classism and racism against his own half-human children.)
    • Some people interpret the current incarnation of Leylas Kryn as transgender. While it is canon that she and her consort have had all sorts of bodies and genders throughout their multiple lifetimes, there was no official statement on her current identity and she's not listed as a trans character on the wiki. However, the tie-in comic The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen noticably avoids showing her torso naked in the brief sex scene (and in an artistic nude alternative cover illustration, her cup size seems so small that she can cover up completely with just her slender hands - which kind of implies that the bust of her usual dresses is padded). Also, she has apparently no problem believing that she could impregnate her currently butch-but-cis-female consort, though there was some unexplained magic involved in this conception. And after the writer got to this scene, the artist started drawing her with noticably more masculine facial features (jawline, nose, etc.) The artist's character design notes also describe her as "broad-shouldered and statuesque". One gets the feeling that at least the comic artist decided that the whole magical child storyline and the protagonist's frustrated/alienated reaction after she starts suspecting that the kid is not actually hers but rather the result of a vaguely implied sexual assault by a supernatural enemy would make more sense if the protagonist was trans, even if that was not the official line that the comic creators got from the webshow's Game Master.note  Also, the narrative framing device of this comic is about a 'teenage' Drow boy who's recovering his memories from a past life as the Bright Queen's consort throughout this storyline and in the end, he(?) accepts that as his(?) identity going forward, though it's left open to the reader's interpretation whether this character keeps identifying as male or switches to a genderqueer self-identification.
    • Ashton is canonically nonbinary and uses he/they pronouns, but some fans interpret them as trans-masculine as well. This is partly based on some Rainbow Lens statements (e.g. that they used to be "soft" as a child and only started developing the literally hard-as-stone body of an Earth Genasi at the age when kids normally enter pubertynote ), as well as their outfit in the official character art (which seems specifically designed to make the character easy to cosplay if you need to wear a binder, instead of being shirtless like male barbarian class characters are traditionally depicted). And also based on the fact that the player pushed for a bathhouse scene very early on, but then conspiciously didn't use that scene to reveal what his character looks like in the nude - rather, he just said that Ashton bathes alone and doesn't want to be touched by the bath attendants. (Though this later turned out to be a chronic pain issue and not necessarily a body dysphoria issue.) And there's also the Fridge Logic question why a gruff and buff brawler, who really doesn't have any particularly feminine personality traits, would ever decide to identify as nonbinary, if they were assigned male at birth... (Unlike with most examples on this page, it is entirely possible that this trans-masculine interpretation is actually intended by Taliesin, Ashton's player, who is bisexual and somewhat gender-nonconforming and clearly cares a lot about providing queer representation even for rarer minorities. But he probably wouldn't ever officially confirm this, because while several of Critical Role's cis-male players have portrayed cis-female characters and this is not considered a problem in this Actual Play Tabletop RPG webshow medium, a cisgender player portraying a transgender character would probably still be considered appropriative by this show's queer fans.)
    • The fans who interpret Ashton as trans-masculine often also head-canon Orym as transgender, especially in fanfic that ships these two together. There's actually little basis for this, other than gay trans-male fans identifying with Orym's attraction to muscular guys who are a good deal taller than him. (He's a gay Halfling, so that's true for most of his potential shipping pool anyways.) And, well, Liam (Orym's player) is a very emotionally expressive and romantic soul who likes to cuddle with whoever sits next to him at the table (in campaign 3, that includes Taliesin, Ashton's player) and he just has something about him that leads even some lesbian fans to say that they're attracted to him or to his cis-female one-shot charactersnote  (and in some cases also to Vax'ildan, who is cis-male but very much an elven Long-Haired Pretty Boy). And besides that, there's probably also a factor involved where some afab nonbinary or trans-male-but-not-dysphoric fanfic writers prefer to write erotic fanfiction that only involves characters who have body parts that they can relate to.
    • The Archfey Artagan is canonically male and Matt gave him a deep, masculine voice, but at the same time his fey nature, the long red hair and Matt's somewhat queer-coded body language while portraying this character make him come across as so androgynous that Liam jokingly refers to him as "David Bowie". As a result, it's quite easy to interpet Artagan as genderqueer if you so wish - especially since he also likes to shapeshift for the sake of disguise or just to mess with people, and between campaigns, he became a Trickster God, very similar to Loki in the mythology example above. Some of the fan artists interpret him as so feminine and beautiful that it's really hard to tell that he's supposed to be cis-male.
    • In the one-shot special The Night Before Critmasnote , Marisha played a Christmas elf of indeterminate gender, who can be interpreted in all sorts of genderqueer ways, but there was never any official statement about his/her/their gender identity.note  Also, Matt's male player character in this one-shot special lends itself to a transgender interpretation - not because of the very traditionally masculine (and slightly axe-crazy) "ex special forces" type personality or because of the rather unremarkable character art, but because Matt decided to both semi-cosplay as his character and to put on eyeliner and the same body glitter that all the female players at the table were wearing for this festive occasion. Even Taliesin was only wearing eyeliner to help visually reflect his "disaffected teenage goth" character, so the fact that Matt went out of his way to put on makeup that clashes with his character's fashion style and characterization can be interpreted as a subtle suggestion that his character is biologically the same as the female or genderqueer Christmas elves played by the ladies, underneath his tough and grizzled hyper-masculine presentation. (...Though more likely, Matt just wanted to look pretty for the day and/or wanted to help normalize gender-nonconformity for cisgender men. This is hardly the only time he has worn somewhat feminine makeup or gender-bending cosplay during a special episode of Critical Role)
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    Critic: Let's be honest...we all saw that coming.

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