Transgender people ("trans" for short) are those whose gender, meaning their innate mental blueprint of how male or female they are or aren't, doesn't match their physical looks and/or the gender they were assigned at birth. (Which is why in some countries, a birth certificate will now say "sex" instead of gender, leaving it up to the individual to find out instead.) Gender falls on a big gradient — some people are strictly male or female, and others have aspects of both, or are neither.
Transgender people can experience gender dysphoria (distress caused by the sex or gender assigned to them at birth) on physical or social levels, and can pursue medical means (e.g. hormone replacement, surgery, etc.) to help mitigate this discomfort. Others don't pursue medical treatment for various reasons — for example, because they don't experience discomfort, because socially transitioning is enough for them, or because no available medical options fit their gender. Since medical science has only been able to alleviate dysphoria for about a century, the vast majority of transgender people in history did not have the option to change their bodies, and many today still don't have access to medical transitioning options (either due to prohibitive costs, health issues, or the practice being outlawed in certain countries).
Transgender people aren't a new group; their existence has been documented throughout history, but they're typically discriminated against in their respective societies, which clouds their visibility. They're often used as a source of interesting Conflict in a story, partly because their coming-out stories can depict change very visually. See the Useful Notes on Transgender people for a more Real Life-oriented and complete description. There's a general craving by most of the trans community for more representation of them as just regular people — just like not every female character's story has to be about battling sexism or traditional gender roles and people of color don't have to be defined by their race, many trans people too would like to see themselves depicted in all traditional narratives.
Note that an older term now considered more outdated would be transsexual, which is often used in older contexts up until fairly relatively recently. The language around trans discourse changes very rapidly, due to being de-pathologised and re-written by trans people themselves instead of by outside onlookers. The demarcation between gender, sex, gender expression and orientation is also subject to constant historical and cultural shifts in perspective — the realisation that these are different things with only some overlapping points is slowly seeping into our modern narratives. This should be kept in mind with context to older media and stories from foreign cultures. As a matter of fact, there is still a lot that isn't understood, and because research on the subject is always yielding new discoveries in relatively quick succession, in addition to shifting societal norms and growing understanding that even biology isn't as cut-and-dry as it once was thought to be. It's best to keep an open mind as previously rigidly held, commonplace ideas are constantly challenged.
Now for some definitions of the terminology involved:
- AGAB (Assigned Gender At Birth), which can be; AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) and AMAB (Assigned Male At Birth) refer to the interpretation of a person's genitals by doctors/their parents at birth. Variations on these terms include FAAB (Female Assigned At Birth), CAFAB and CAMAB (Coercively Assigned Female/Male At Birth), AXAB (Assigned Intersex At Birth), UAB (Unassigned At Birth), and so on. Calling someone's body a "female body" or "male body" can be misleading — it's always up to trans people themselves what words they use for their parts. It's also rude to ask a transgender person what they look like under their clothes, as those questions are invasive and privacy-violating ("Anyway, how's your sex life?"). A person can decide to share that, but if they don't, DON'T ASK. Same goes for transition-related questions. If you aren't close enough to someone to ask for intensely personal medical details about their genitals, don't make an exception for people who are already going through a lot of stigma.
- Crossdresser and Transvestite refer to wearing clothing that's traditionally culturally coded as belonging to a different gender. They may or may not be used interchangeably and don't automatically entail either transgenderism or homosexuality, but they also don't preclude either. That other wiki has an entry for "transvestic fetishism". Transvestite is often considered an offensive term because of its history, and shouldn't be used to refer to people who crossdress and/ or are trans although this again strongly depends on culture.
- Drag Queens and Drag Kings are performers who dress as a caricature of gender. Drag performers may or may not be on the trans spectrum, but the majority are cisgender and only dress up to entertain. They are often Camp Gay men or Butch Lesbians in their day-to-day lives, leading to the mistaken notion that all trans people are "just super-gay". The history of drag is deeply interlinked with the trans community; many trans people use drag performance as their sole outlet if circumstances don't allow them to fully transition. Note that anyone of any gender can do drag (sex isn't relevant at all); cis women in lady drag and cis men in guy drag are also part of this community, commonly known as "bio-" or "faux-" queens/kings" in the drag community.
- Cisgender or just cis is the opposite of transgender. A cis person is someone whose gender identity matches the one they were assigned at birth. "Cis-" is the Latin prefix that is the opposite of "trans," meaning "not across," as used in chemistry or "cisatlantic/transatlantic." Non-trans is also used. Saying "normal" or "real" instead of cis is considered offensive for implying that trans people aren't really male/female/nonbinary.
- Gender is someone's innate mental blueprint of how male and/or female they are (this is specifically known as a Gender Identitynote . Gender is on a massive gradient with many different points. It can fluctuate over time for some people, but on the whole it seems to be immune to outside influence. Gender roles, on the other hand, are a changeable social construct, and include things like "girls like pink" or "the English word for men is he."
- Gender dysphoria means discomfort that can arise when someone's gender, sex and social roles are mismatched. It can be further split into physical note ; socialnote ; and mentalnote . Not all trans people experience dysphoria, although some define dysphoria simply as the mismatch itself (leading to many, many internet arguments over semantics). The opposite is gender euphoria, which is the happy feeling when someone's gender, sex and social roles finally do match up.
- Homosexuality means being sexually and romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Trans people can have any sexual orientation, and are not just gay people "Up to Eleven." For example, a transgender man who is solely attracted to women is not a lesbian since he's neither a woman nor gay (hence why Claudine...! is not really a Yuri Genre manga despite sometimes being mistaken for one). The "T" is in "LGBT" because transphobia and homophobia have similar motives — both stem from the idea of how a person "should be" according to their assigned sex.
- "Intersex" refers to a development of genitals, hormones and/or chromosomes that don't match biological norms of "male" or "female". It is approximately as common as having red hair. Intersex People are sometimes called "Hermaphrodite" depending on culture, though this is seen by many as an outdated slur. Intersex people can have male, female or non-binary genders, and may identify as transgender if their gender doesn't match their bodies or their assigned gender / social roles. The exact link between intersex conditions and being trans is currently being scientifically explored.
- Misgendering means that you refer to a person (usually, but not always a trans and/or inter person) in a way that doesn't fit their gender. For trans people it's mostly their dead name, a birth name they no longer go by. It can happen by accidentnote , it can happen if a trans person isn't out (to that person) yet. Quite often, however, it's used to imply that their gender, name, and/or identity is "fake"; if done with this intent it's a form of Malicious Misnaming.
- Non-binary, agender and related words describe genders that aren't strictly male or female. The knowledge of gender as a gradient appears throughout world history — non-binary is a recent Western umbrella term for this knowledge and includes many points on the gender spectrum. Synonyms include genderqueer, gender variant, third gender and androgynous, all of which have their own connotations and cultural histories. People whose gender varies over time may choose the word genderfluid, and people who don't experience any gender may call themselves agender. Different cultures have tons of different words. There are many points on the cis-to-trans scale, and it's important to keep in mind that distress over one's body is never a prerequisite.
- Passing refers to a transgender persons ability to be perceived as their gender (with or without being recognised as trans). It's a rather nebulous and controversial concept, with many debates within trans spaces raging over whether trans people who pass better are better off than those who don't. It's also rarely as simple as being seen as ones gender 100% of the time (for example, a trans man might pass at a glance, or in his photos on social media, but not in a direct conversation; a trans woman might pass when she's putting a lot of energy into her appearance, but can't pass when she's pressed for time; a genderfluid personnote might not pass as well as one gender as another). It's also not much of a factor for nonbinary people, for obvious reasons.
- Sex are physical traits that are seen as "male" or "female": genitals, chromosomes, hormones, hair growth, etc. Like gender, sex is on a gradient with many points in between male and female. Unlike gender, most parts of one's sex can be medically altered, which many trans people are happy to do if they have the means. The term "biological" sex is often used to describe someone's sexual characteristics at birth, but it's quickly falling out of favor as it implies people's gender being less biological than the rest of themnote .
- Trans is used as an umbrella term for all non-cis people, and is short for "transgender".
- Transitioning is when a trans person changes their appearance and/or social roles to match their gender. This can be broken down into:
- Social Transition is the process of moving into the social role of ones gender. It can consist of things like picking a new wardrobe, changing names and pronouns, and generally trying to be legally recognised as the gender you identify with. Many trans people simply do this (especially nonbinary people), and don't feel the need for medical intervention (although many jurisdictions require some degree of medical transition to recognise it legally). Sometimes the term Legal Transition is used to further distinguish the paper work from the more specifically social aspects (such as using ones new name, and asking people to use the correct pronouns).
- Medical Transition is the term used specifically for physically changing ones body to match what is typically expected of ones gender identity, either to alleviate physical dysphoria, or reduce the chance of being misgendered (and thus social dysphoria). This can include taking hormones (or puberty blockers for trans people who come out at younger ages), and surgical alteration of the body. The term "sex change" is an old-fashioned and overly simplistic description of many different surgical procedures. The preferred term for genital surgery is "gender confirmation/reassignment surgery" or the more specific terms "phalloplasty" and "vaginaplasty"note . Colloquially mastectomies/breast augmentation and GCS are known as top surgery and bottom surgery, respectively. Transfeminine people may also opt for face feminisation surgery.
- Detransitioning is when someone who previously transitioned socially or medically goes back to living as their assigned gender at birth. Contrary to stereotypes, this is rarely out of regret for the transition itself (indeed, Gender Confirmation Surgeries have lower rates of regret than surgeries treating serious medical issues). It is most commonly due to the person in question feeling that the discrimination they suffer for being openly trans outweighs the relief of being able to live as their actual gender (a fair majority of detransitioners do so to regain access to children a former partner has custody of). It can also be conflated with someone who questions their gender identity (and might try a different name and pronouns for a while), but concludes they are cisgender without making any significant changes in their life. Either way, most professionals in the field report low rates of detransition (less than 1%), but this doesn't stop it being frequently brought up by anti-trans organisations (and tabloids looking for a quick buck).
- Slurs, like "Shemale," "He-She," "Tranny,"◊ "It,", "Trap", et al. are almost always considered insults. If you don't know whether you have societal permission to use these words, you don't.
- Stealth refers to a transgender person who passes well living as a cisgender person and not disclosing their trans status (not to be confused with a trans person living as their assigned at birth gender, which is simply being closeted). In the latter parts of the 20th century, this was expected of anyone who wanted to medically transition (or at least anyone who went along with medical gatekeeping). In more accepting times, this is less the case, but even today can be necessary for survival, or simply to avoid discrimination. Whether it's better to be "out and proud" (where it's safe to do so), or being seen as a member of your gender without any complications (aside from the risk of being forcefully outed) is a matter of some debate. It should go without saying that doing this or not is a personal choice, and outing a trans person is never acceptable.
Portrayals of trans people range between Acceptable Targets and Once Acceptable Targets. While many portrayals are sympathetic, many, many are also built around jokes about the character "really" being another gender — plus, bigoted and inaccurate "trans panic" jokes portraying trans people as deceptive cross-dressers ("Oh no, the hot chick is really a man!") are still common. Because this line of reasoning is often a motive for murder in Real Life, this type of humor goes beyond mere Unfortunate Implications.
Trans women are more common in media than trans men, whose existence is largely ignored by the mainstream despite statistically being equally common in Real Life. Trans people who align with neither gender (broadly known as "nonbinary") recieve even less exposure (and are often portrayed as a stepping stone to being "fully" trans when they do). When a shapeshift causes characters to get transformed into another sex though, it's almost always male characters getting stuck with female bodies. Rarely does a female character end up inhabiting a male body. This influences the perception of trans people, even though "sex change shapeshift" is 'not' being trans. It varies, how good - or how awful - trans implications are handled in such storylines.
Stereotypes and caricatures of trans women in the media can range from heavily masculine-bodied people wearing unflattering budget dresses and wigs, to highly attractive and feminine women whom men fear. In live-action movies, trans people are almost always played by either a cis man or a cis woman, as opposed to actual trans actors, which doesn't exactly do wonders for visibility - and provokes a damaging misconception that trans people should be expected to be able to look exactly like a cis member of their aligned gender (which most can't and many don't want to). It also builds barriers on real trans actors: They don't come first to a director's mind when casting a cis character and thus have difficulties in getting roles. You know, most movie characters are cis. You see the problem when they aren't even casted 'for trans characters'. Sometimes, two different actors are used before and after the transition.
Contrast Gender Bender, which is a trope about characters changing to another sex through magic or Applied Phlebotinum. Gender Bender may change the DNA, but if the audience even gets to know that it requires a certain storyline. Some plots allow a "now-biologically-male" or now-biologically-female person being able to conceive a child, further complicating things. Also contrast Easy Sex Change; though it has at least a pretense of realism, it minimizes or ignores many physical, psychological, and/or social complications of transitioning. Also see Trans Equals Gay for common misconceptions. Ambiguous Gender Identity is a trope for characters who may or may not be transgender. As more and more writers consult (or are) trans people, more and more stories feature a Supernaturally Validated Trans Person, whose gender identity is verified by some sort of scientific or magical phlebotinum.
- A 2019 Gillette's razors ad shows a trans man shaving with his father for the first time.
- A 1997 Holiday's Inn ad features a trans woman going to her 22 year class reunion. The woman is confident and gets stared at by several men as she passes by, but the punch-line is that she's a trans woman. It received complaints for transphobic Unfortunate Implications and was pulled.
- In a Sprite ad for Latin-America, a guy reunites with his school friends, and each encounter reveals the friend to have, over the years, acquired characteristics apparently at odds with their childhood nickname, finishing with "[insert friend's childhood nickname], eeeeeeeh!" and a hug/group hug. The last one, nicknamed "Oso" ("bear" in Spanish), turns out to have transitioned from male to female; we only see her from the back but she's clearly using heels and a minidress. What do her friends do? "Oso...? [blinkblink] OSO!! EEEEEEEH! [group hug]".
- Alisa Yeoh, a supporting character and Barbara Gordon's roommate in Batgirl is a trans woman as revealed in issue 19. Though reported by multiple media outlets as "the first" transgender character in a superhero comic, author Gail Simone has repeatedly stated that this is not the case, as the Sandman example and others show.
- The Highland Laddie arc of The Boys had a secondary character known as Big Bobby, first met in a pub wearing heels, a frock, makeup and a wig, the 6+ foot Big Guy self-identifies as a lesbian, although she was pre-op at the time. The storyline sees her emasculated by a fat psychotic lady with a pair of hedgeclippers. Bobby takes this in stride, and asks the doctors not to sew the severed genitalia back on, but to treat it as the first stage in gender-reassignment surgery. Played very sympathetically, with nary a joke in sight (initial surprise on the part of Wee Hughie, who hadn't seen Bobby for several years; Bobby is referred to by male pronouns, although not when present. There is one genital mutilation gag near the end).
- Black Canary in DC Comics Bombshells is a trans woman. She mentions how she came out young and that her mother was supportive of her.
- Sam from Deadman is non-binary. Berenice corrects Deadman when he calls Sam "her" by stating that "Sam uses they/them pronouns" and "They're non-binary. Not a woman or a man. Just awesome".
- Marisa Rahm, the lead character of Milestone Comics' Deathwish miniseries, is a realistically-portrayed trans woman police detective. The series was written by Maddie Blaustein (better known as the voice of Meowth from Pokémonnote ), who was transgender herself.
- Sir Ystin from Demon Knights has a nonbinary gender identity, as she explains to Exoristos.
I was born this way. I've kept saying, whenever anyone asks. I'm not just a man or a woman. I'm both.
- DC's Doom Patrol had a relatively short lived trans woman character named Coagula (real name Kate Godwin). The character was created by transgender science fiction writer Rachel Pollack.
- Dykes to Watch Out For:
- Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For started by introducing trans woman character named Jillian who hung out for a few strips.
- A trans man character named Jerry was introduced; Lois developed a crush on him, which later moved on to a fairly durable friendship.
- Jasmine's child Jonas became more and more insistent about identifying as a girl, and eventually started living full-time, taking hormones, and identifying as Janis, with Lois's support.
- Grant Morrison's The Invisibles features a character called Lord Fanny who blurs the line of several types of transgenderism, her origin and things she says throughout the series suggesting that she has identified (or simultaneously identifies) as transsexual, transvestite, and drag queen. The contradictory nature of this may have been done on purpose, or more likely was sloppy research.
- DTWF Follow the Leader Jane's World has Chelle's "mother", a trans man. A female trucker who fell in love with him thought she was gay after learning about it.
- Blaze, a comic original character, from Jem and the Holograms is a trans woman. She's a musician and a huge fan of The Misfits, which results in her becoming an Ascended Fangirl after Pizzazz's larynx is injured and she's hired as a temporary lead singer. She's also Clash's, The Misfits' resident groupie, girlfriend.
- Jo from Lumberjanes is a trans lesbian. Notable since she's a main character and this doesn't actually come out until volume 7 or 8 of the series when she's talking to a non-binary character who wants to join the Lumberjanes' all-girl summer camp.
- The Prince and the Dressmaker has Prince Sebastian, who likes to dress up in beautiful dresses but he's isn't just a cross-dresser. When discussing his gender, he says that some days his assigned gender at birth feels right but other days he feels "like a princess."
- In "A Game of You", a Story Arc in The Sandman, the protagonist, Barbie, is friends with a trans woman named Wanda. When Wanda dies, she shows up with Death with a female form.
Neighbor: Wanda? You've got a... thingie.
Wanda: Don't you know it's rude to point out a lady's shortcomings?
- In Thor & Loki, Loki uses Voluntary Shapeshifting to alternate between male and female forms. Odin eventually refers to Loki as "My child who is both [my son and my daughter]".
- The Transformers (IDW): Arcee was revealed to originally have been a genderless Transformer who was forcibly turned female against her will. Later revisions, however, tweaked this. Arcee consented to the changes and had wanted them. She went berserk not because of the trauma of the operation itself but due to the lack of aftercare.
- In Y: The Last Man, trans men are widely accepted in the post-Gendercide world as a way of avoiding Sit Sexuality (except by the man-hating Daughters of the Amazon who are likely to kill them on sight). The eponymous protagonist is often mistaken for one at first glance, due to his situation. Presumably transgender women died when the men died because the virus specifically affected the Y chromosome, but this isn't explicitly stated.
- The film Breakfast on Pluto, based on a novel of the same name, is all about the life of fictional Irish transgender woman Kitten Braden.
- One of the most unlikely transformations is found in the 1970 film Myra Breckinridge, in which Myron Breckinridge (played by film critic Rex Reed, of all people) goes under the knife and becomes Myra (played by Racquel Welch).
- Hedwig of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a gay man who got the operation on the spur of the moment to qualify for a Citizenship Marriage with his lover. Predictably, the shady doctor screwed up, and the vulva didn't form properly, leaving him/her with nothing but a urethra, the titular "angry inch", and a scar. (In Real Life, surgeons generally invert and alter the penis, so this probably would not happen.) Hedwig spends the movie dealing with living as a trans woman, until at the end he comes, at least in the film version, to embrace a masculine identity.
- Transamerica is a film centering on a transgender woman, played by Felicity Hoffmann.
- The Crying Game gives us Dil, the love interest of the movie.
- Different for Girls is the story of a post-op transgender woman meeting up with her male punk friend and protector from high school, ten years later. At first, the male friend is revolted, then accepting, then aroused in the end; they decide that they don't do too well apart, and become lovers. They are both unemployed, but sell the story of their relationship to a tabloid for a sick amount of money.
- This is the whole plot of the movie Boys Don't Cry in which a young trans man (played by Hilary Swank) uses a combination of haircut, bandages holding down his breasts and leaving his hometown to express himself properly as a man: Brandon Teena. He even manages to have sex with a girl without her noticing sort of. Confusion might arise for some viewers as to whether or not Brandon was actually a trans man due to his own claims that he was a hermaphrodite, but he was in a women's prison at the time and trying to keep his secret from the woman he loved, so this was pretty obviously a lie. Especially when taking into account the shower scene after his violent and traumatic rape.
- Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a trans woman (rather than a Drag Queen like her two companions). One guaranteed way to make her angry is to call her "Ralph"...
- Judy Squires in Better Than Chocolate. She's also a singer at a local lesbian nightclub, and gets a rather tart musical number explaining the differences between drag queens and trans women.
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective features one of the less flattering parodies of The Crying Game, revealing that the villain is actually Lt. Lois Einhorn, who this whole time was really the missing football player Ray Finkle, having gone through complete transition (but remaining non-op), adopted the identity of a missing hiker, and became a police lieutenant, seemingly all in the sake of the perfect disguise. Roger Podacter, who was attracted to her, discovered this, finding "Captain Winkie" during a romantic encounter with her and getting murdered for it.
- Tom from The Cement Garden is a boy who would rather be a girl, although it's unclear if he's actually trans or just thinks he wouldn't get bullied if he were a girl. In any case his sisters eventually give him a makeover, and his best friend William takes on a new interest in him.
- Noxeema from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar gives Chi-Chi a rundown of genderqueer types, doubling as a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.note
Noxeema: When a straight man puts on a dress to get his sexual kicks, he is a transvestite. When a man is a woman trapped in a man's body and has the little operation, he is a transsexual. When a gay man has waaay too much fashion sense for one gender, he is a Drag Queen. And when a tired little Latin boy puts on a dress, he is simply a boy in a dress.
- Open, an independent film by Jake Yuzna showed a positive same-gender relationship between a gay male pair: one cisgender, one transgender.
- Elvis & Madonna, a Brazilian film, is a positive depiction of a cisgender lesbian and a bisexual trans woman falling in love.
- The Thai film Beautiful Boxer is a biopic about the famous trans woman and former Muay Thai boxer, Nong Thoom. Thailand is known for its "kathoey", literally "third gender".
- Played for Laughs with Stan/Loretta from Monty Python's Life of Brian, although to the credit of her friends, after the initial joking they accept her decision.
- There's a German film called Romeos where a gay trans man falls for a cis gay friend.
- The 2011 French film Tomboy is about a 10 year old girl who moves to a new neighborhood and decides to pass as a boy to the neighborhood kids.
- Ma Vie En Rose, the movie Tomboy is a Spiritual Successor to, is about a young boy named Ludo who identifies as a girl. The end of the movie implies that the child of Ludo's family's new neighbors, Chris/Christine, may be trans as well. She at least seems to identify primarily with masculine traits, at least.
- The World According to Garp features John Lithgow as Roberta Muldoon.
- German movie Zettl (Spiritual Successor to Kir Royal) has the mayor of Berlin as this. Might be a parody on the Real Life gay mayor, one of the first openly gay ones. Completely with a billionaire who has a thing for pre-op transgender people. And is pissed off when she finally does the operation (in the Cuban embassy, of all places) since this makes her "a totally ordinary woman!"
- Sam from Gutterballs. After being killed, BBK adds insult to injury by bisecting her penis to create a "mangina".
- Come Back To the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, the James Dean fan club reunion is joined by a stranger, Joanne, played by Karen Black, who turns out to have been better known to the rest of the club 20 years ago as Joe. Oh, and it wasn't James Dean who fathered the club president's son.
- The Chilean film Naomi Campbel is about the life of Yermen, a trans woman who enters a Reality Show to get the chance to finish her reassignment therapy.
- 3 Generations was initially presented as a trans boy's Coming-of-Age Story. But after the transgender community criticised the movie for having a cis woman play a trans boy and having no trans people at all in the production, the director backpedaled and defended her decision by saying the movie is actually about "a girl who is presenting in a very ineffectual way as a boy [...] to actually use a trans boy was not an option because this isnt what my story is about", which is all sorts of unfortunate implications and ended up further angering trans people. Early in its production history it was also known as About Ray.
- Joan Lambert from Alien is a trans woman, according to bonus material in the Alien Anthology blu-ray set.
- Racing Daylight has an incredible amount of genderfuck so the audience can draw its own conclusions. The gossip (played by actress Denny Dillon) may be a transgender man. In his previous life he was the prissy Religious Wife, Henrietta, but Anna said everyone knew Henrietta was a man. The Busy-Body (played by John Seidman) is either a drag queen or a trans woman, and in the past was Henrietta's husband Rev. "Troll-Man" Potts.
- Escape from L.A. reveals that Hershe Las Palmas is in fact a trans woman and an old associate of Snake's originally named "Carjack" Malone.
- The Danish Girl depicted the story of Einar Wegener, an artist in 1920s Denmark who was the first man to undergo a sex-change operation to become a woman named Lili Elbe.
- Zus & Zo: About halfway through the movie, Nino says "I don't like my body" and shortly thereafter comes out as transgender. This complicates his upcoming Marriage of Convenience to a woman, Bo (by the terms of his father's will he has to get married to inherit a $1.9 million hotel).
- Normal (2003) is about a middle-aged trans woman named Ruth who comes out to her family after 25 years of marriage.
- By Hook Or By Crook, an independent "queer buddy movie" associated with the New Queer Cinema movement, is a rare case of a film written by, directed by, and starring trans people. Both of the main characters, Shy and Val, are played by trans people (Silas Howard and Harry Dodge, respectively), and although the words "trans" or "transgender" are not used in the film, their characters use "he/him" pronouns and words like "guy" and "man" to refer to each other but are typically perceived as women by the straight world (and unfortunately, by many reviewers of the film as well).
- Princess Cyd: Discussed. Cyd mentions Katie was mistaken for male, and Miranda suggests maybe she is. This doesn't seem to be the case, but they're completely comfortable with the idea.
- Sorceress: Mara and Mira could be considered this, since having been raised male they truly identify that way at first. Apparently the opposite idea never even occurred to them, or was brought up by any other person until they met Baldar and Erlick. They're even oblivious to the physical differences of the sexes. Even by the end of the film it's not really clear that either of them grasped it, and they both may still identify themselves as male.
- Very much Played for Laughs by Barbara Dixon, the grotesque taxi-driver of Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen.
- Nip/Tuck seems to have a bit of a fascination with transgender people (understandably, as the show is largely concerned with sex and plastic surgery); the most notable of these is Ava Moore (played by Famke Janssen), whom main character Christian calls "the goddamn Hope Diamond of transsexuals." They actually track down the surgeon responsible for Ava's near-flawless transformation, who agreed to do it because he was heterosexual and she was gay and in love with him.
- The Education Of Max Bickford had a reasonably realistic transgender character (well played by Helen Shaver), who was an old school chum of Max's.
- Coronation Street had a realistic and extremely sympathetic transgender woman, now written out as dead from cancer, marrying another long-time regular character.
- All My Children introduced a transgender character in the process of transitioning, in a relationship with a lesbian.
- The City (a reworking of the Soap Opera Loving, was the first Soap Opera to tackle this topic, with the gorgeous model Azure C. being revealed to have been born a man. Unfortunately, negative fan reaction and the actress' poor performance nixed the storyline. The character and her boyfriend were given a happy ending however, Riding into the Sunset after he accepted this.
- The L Word has had a drag king as a recurring character, and a transgender man as a member of the main cast.
- Ugly Betty has Alexis Meade, who lives as a woman after faking her death. Of course, her brother didn't know until after he starts hitting on her. In a later episode in which Daniel is displeased by his long-lost half-brother:
Daniel: Don't call him my brother. My only brother is my sister, Alexis.
- One of the reasons why the Argentinian telenovela Los Roldán was so successful? The fun-loving transgender character played by actress Florencia de la V, who is a trans woman in real life.
- Two and a Half Men:
- In season 1, Evelyn's new boyfriend turns out to be one of Charlie's old girlfriends. Cue the torrent of puerile jokes.
- In season 11, Alan dates a trans woman briefly. Her treatment is fairly sensitive, save a few jabs in the form of "masculine" behavior (paying for him on a date, giving him her jacket, punching an obnoxious man being mean to him, and scratching her phantom nuts), which Alan doesnt mind or even enjoys. In a twist, their relationship ends when she gets back together with her ex-wife, at Alans surprisingly selfless encouragement (although he does get a kick of watching them reconcile).
- Tales from the Crypt:
Female Agent: Does he still like it rough?
- "The Assassin" has a team of government assassins invade the home of a very stereotypical suburban housewife because they're convinced her husband is a rogue former agent who used Magic Plastic Surgery to radically alter his appearance before going underground. Nothing she says can convince them otherwise so she turns the tables on them and easily kills them all. It turns out she was their rogue former agent after quite a bit more plastic surgery than even they had been prepared to believe.
Housewife: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.
- The victim in one episode of Bones turns out to be a postoperative transgender woman. This is handled with surprising sensitivity, and despite the title of the episode that status is not the focus of the plot.
- Drop Dead Diva has two cases involving trans people, one, a widow played by transgender actress Candis Cayne is trying to keep her marital assets from being taken away by her wifes parents. The other a boy takes on his private school when the head of the board insists he use the girls bathroom.
- An episode of Night Court had an old university friend of Dan Fielding show up as a post-op transgender woman, in the process of getting married; with Dan naturally playing the role of rabid homo/transphobe. Dan eventually accepted his friend.
- Doctor Who:
- Cassandra from the "The End Of The World" and "New Earth" makes passing mention of when she was a boy. She's also thousands of years old and had so much plastic surgery that she's now only a face on a very thin layer of skin until she begins to possess Rose's body.
Cassandra: Soon, the sun will blossom into a red giant, and my home will die. That's where I used to live, when I was a little boy, down there.
- Although given her reaction to being forced to possess the 10th Doctor, said line could have been a joke.
- "A Town Called Mercy" features a transgender horse. His name is Susan and he would like you to respect his life choices.
- Many Time Lords apparently, given that regeneration makes for Easy Sex Change. The first one mentioned is the Corsair ("Didn't feel like himself unless he had that tattoo — or herself a few times."), and the first one seen is Missy, previously known as the Master. The Doctor gets in on this as well, with the Thirteenth Doctor being their first female incarnation.
- Cassandra from the "The End Of The World" and "New Earth" makes passing mention of when she was a boy. She's also thousands of years old and had so much plastic surgery that she's now only a face on a very thin layer of skin until she begins to possess Rose's body.
- Mark in Ally McBeal found out that his girlfriend (played by the lovely Lisa Edelstein) was a pre-op trans woman. They tried to make it work anyway, but he was just too freaked out.
- In an episode of St. Elsewhere, one of Dr. Craig's old pals shows up at the hospital. All goes well until he happens to mention that he's having sexual reassignment surgery. After having a trademark freakout for most of the episode, Craig finally accepts the situation.
- One episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles features Sarah searching for a man on the run from Skynet, only to find out he's been hiding his identity by living as a woman. None of this is played for laughs, and with zero amount of freaking out or any talk about sex. Alan/Eileen later admits to being strangely grateful for the opportunity to live as her true self, despite being hunted.
- In one episode of Rab C. Nesbitt a new barmaid at Rab's local pub is a pre-op trans woman (played by David Tennant, no less!). At the end of the episode she helps Rab and Mary to get revenge on Mary's extremely sleazy new boss (who has been sexually harrassing her from her first day in the job) by taking Mary's place at work one day and seducing him in the broom cupboard, leading to a spectacularly horrified reaction.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
- In one episode, the Victim of the Week, Cheryl (played by Kate Moennig), is on trial for beating a man to death. As the investigation continues, it's discovered that she is a pre-op transgender woman, and she acted in self-defense. Long story short, she was put in a men's prison, and after her trial, she is gang-raped.
- "Transitions" involved a pre-teen trans girl whose father refuses to let her start hormone therapy and transition. The episode treats the young girl quite sensitively, with most characters accepting and using her preferred identity and her father eventually coming around (even after being brutally attacked.)
- Another episode revealed an involuntary trans person. Preteen twins, a boy and girl, were the main suspects in the accidental death of a gang member. The DNA evidence seemed to point to the boy twin even though his sister had admitted she was the culprit, until they learned the girl twin was actually born a boy. When he was born, he'd been mutilated by accident during his circumcision, so his parents forced him into transitioning genders when he was still a baby to avoid being an outcast because of what happened. When he's finally told that he was born a boy, he states that he never felt right with his body, and starts the transition back into a male identity. This was based on a true story (sadly, it ended tragically, since he later killed himself).
- A 2015 episode was about a transgender teenager who was mocked by other teens and was accidentally thrown off a bridge. She survived the injuries but suddenly died due to them later. The episode dealt with whether it was a hate crime or not.
- A 2016 episode billed as a Very Special Episode involved a trans woman who was raped and beaten in a bathroom. The investigators had to find out whether it counted as a hate crime or not. It turns out to be music related as her boyfriend, who she is in a Secret Relationship with due to fears of being seen as gay, is a rapper.When she dies her boyfriend murders the man who killed her and ends up going to jail due to refusing to reveal his romance in court.
- CSI: An episode features a well-intentioned doctor who did back-alley sex-change operations.
- A similar case happens in CSI: NY, where a trans woman (who was still transitioning) is found dead in the men's restroom of a very posh hotel that happened to have been running a political rally in one room and a party in the other, which she'd been performing at. The initial suspect was a governor who had raped the woman's sister, but the murderer was actually a man who she'd flirted with to get in and confront the governer, who flew into a rage when his friends made fun of him (since they'd seen her performing at the party in the opposite room).
- Two episodes of NCIS had transgender characters. One became a running joke after Tony made out with her. The other was a character who was dead by the time the episode really began (suicide), and was dealt with a lot better, even if there was the obligatory "he... she... he-she" moment.
- An episode of The Listener, "Lisa Says," had a trans man character.
- On Will & Grace Jack (a gay man) finds himself sexually aroused by a female stripper giving him a lap dance and starts to question his existence, but is relieved to find out that she is a pre-op transgender woman and he was just aroused by the feeling of her penis. How that works we have no idea.
- Adam in Degrassi: The Next Generation is introduced as a New Transfer Student, and we find out thats hes trans at the same time as everyone in the school does when hes outed. His grandmother still doesn't know. As a bonus, the character also has the title of the first fictional teenage transgender character in the history of scripted television. However Trailers Always Spoil, this was heavily hinted in the promo for Season 10 to be the case. Adam was eventually Killed Off for Real for an aesop about texting and driving.
- Degrassi Next Class introduces Yael, a teenager who finally comes to term with their gender identity and they identify as non-binary.
- In the French-Canadian series Un Gars Une Fille, Guy and Sylvie participate in a gay pride parade alongside Guy's lesbian half-sister. There, they encounter an old high school hockey teammate of Guy's, who has transitioned into a woman. A humorous line happens when Sylvie asks her if it was a difficult process.
"Yes it was, and it took a lot of balls... which I no longer have!"
- Jasmine/Jason of Holly Oaks is a trans man who gets framed for murder by a Psycho Lesbian so he has to carry on living as a girl. It's... complicated.
- Cold Case:
- The episode "Boy Crazy" features a young trans boy in the 1960's murdered for dressing and acting like a boy.
- The earlier episode "Danieka" focused on a trans woman in the 70s who is Driven to Suicide when her boyfriend's father forced them to break up.
- An episode of ER called "Next Of Kin" stars a child named Morgan. The episode doesn't end well, since she's forced to live like a boy after moving in with her mom when her dad dies; apparently due to the fact her step-dad would not accept her as a girl.
- One of the dozens of subplots in Dirty Sexy Money revolves around Patrick Darling's relationship with a post-op transgender woman named Carmelita, which he attempts to maintain despite (a) being married to someone else and (b) running for the U.S. Senate.
- One episode of Dark Angel has Jam Pony's resident square Normal get into a relationship with a trans woman. When he finds out, he's still quite willing to go out with her, but she dumps him and expresses interest in resident lesbian Original Cindy, who is repulsed.
- Mrs. Hudson from Elementary. Interestingly, little has been made of it — she hasn't been treated differently, joked about, or anything really. She is also played by a trans woman.
- Nao, a character introduced in season 6, from 3-Nen B-Gumi Kinpachi-sensei was revealed to be trans. He was introduced as an antisocial, somewhat aggressive New Transfer Student who wears a long skirt instead of the standard mini-skirt. He's considered an influential character in Japan when it comes to transgender characters.
- Tony, introduced in episode 2.08 of Orphan Black, was assigned female at birth but identifies as male and has begun transitioning.
- Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black, who's in prison because when she was a firefighter she stole credit cards and financial information from burnt houses, to pay for hormones and surgery. Despite being a secondary character the show attracted wide praise for having one of the most sympathetic portrayals of a trans woman in film or television history, and her actress Laverne Cox (a trans woman in real life) has used the publicity to further her campaigns for the rights of transgender people.
- In a 2013 weekly-aired Chilean Reality Show about plastic surgery, one of the participants was a trans woman named Alejandra who entered it hoping to get the reassignment surgery. She won that round and was successfully operated on.
- In 2008, 5-time Jeopardy! champion Fred Ramen from 1997 underwent gender-reassignment surgery, becoming Catherine Ramen, Jeopardy's first transgender champion. She was considered for a fan-voted spot in the 90s-champions quarterfinal matches in 2014's "Battle of the Decades" tournament, but lost to 1996 College Tournament winner Shane Whitlock.
- Nomi from Sense8 is a transgender hacker. Her gender identity plays an important role in her story, but doesn't dominate it. Her relationship to her girlfriend, and skill with computers, is as essential to her story as her gender. Considering that the directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, are transgender women themselves, the positive treatment of her character isn't too surprising. Her actress, Jamie Clayton, is also transgender.
- Two similarly-named reality TV shows launched in 2015 focusing on transgender people: I Am Cait, following the very public transition of Caitlyn Jenner, and I Am Jazz, which follows a pre-teen trans girl as she enters into adolescence.
- On My Name Is Earl, Earl signs up for a pen-pal service while in Prison, and gets matched up with a woman named Annie. When Annie appears, she is...not quite what Earl was expecting, but manages to have a nice conversation with him all the same. They connect when Earl mentions that this whole "Karma" thing must be confusing, and she responds that people have been calling her "confusing" her whole life. She talks about how she's planning to complete her transition with bottom-surgery, and allows Earl to feel her breast implants, as "the top half is already done." Earl is impressed with how realistic they feel. Later, another inmate is seen going in for a conjugal visit with Annie.
- Glee gave us two trans characters: Unique (MTF) and Coach Beiste (FTM). Unique was presented as trans from the start and was immensely popular with fans, who often felt she was underused during the fourth and fifth seasons. Beiste, on the other hand, was introduced as a cisgender woman in the second season who later came out as a trans man in the sixth. This wasn't nearly as well-received, since Beiste was already popular with the genderqueer crowd for being a masculine cis/straight woman, and giving the message that just because she wasn't super-feminine didn't make her any less of a woman. As you can imagine, many viewers were upset by the revelation that Beiste secretly identified as a man all along.
- Dead of Summer gives us Drew (FTM), formerly known as Andrea. His mother was deeply disturbed by his identity and eventually left him because of it.
- Taylor Mason from Billions is non-binary, going by they/them pronouns.
- The Switch is a Canadian show about a trans woman who features a nonbinary character. Chris uses "zie/zir" pronouns.
- Butterfly is all about 11 year old Max transitioning into a girl called Maxine.
- An episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun plays it surprisingly straight (no pun intended) and gently. As the family gathers for their end-of-day rooftop debriefing, Sally ponders her experience with a gay man who mistook her for a transvestite. "Remember when we said that two sexes must be so limiting? I think Glenn found a loophole." Sally herself was male on their homeworld as well, assigned a female disguise for their mission on Earth. She gets used to the idea a lot faster than Tommy, who is Really 700 Years Old, does as being a teenager.
- Proven Innocent: In "The Struggle for Stonewall", Madeline and Easy take up the case of Cindy Whitman, a trans woman convicted of murdering a trans woman activist.
- Good Girls: Annie's child Sadie comes out as a trans boy late in the second season, in a heartwarming scene where Annie's just informed him of his half-sibling's birth.
Annie: It's a boy. [She turns to leave.]
Sadie: Mom? [Pause.] So am I.
[A pause as Annie registers, before she tears up, smiles, and sits down next to him on the bed, giving him a big hug.]
- In Tales Of The City 2019, there is Anna Madrigal, reprised by Olympia Dukakis, who played her in the HBO miniseries.
- The series makes no secret of the fact that Jules is a trans girl. One of her very first scenes shows her giving herself a hormone shot.
- "03 Bonnie and Clyde" introduces Minako, who is either genderfluid or non-binary.
- "Trials and Tribulations" introduces TC, a friend of Jules who appears to be either a trans man or non-binary.
- When They See Us: Korey's older sister Marci, who's shown before and after her transitioning.
- The Boys (2019): Doppleganger, a shapeshifter, is genderfluid, going by they, their or them. Fittingly, they're able to go from female to male form at will.
- Strange Empire: Morgan Finn. Though not explicitly stated, it's pretty clear this is his identity, rather than simply being a crossdressing woman, given the lengths which he goes to. Naturally though as the concept of being transgender is pretty unknown, mostly he's viewed as that. Thankfully, he has a very understanding uncle who helps him out.
- Supergirl (2015): Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, is a trans woman. This is actually a major plot point, given that she descends from an alien race with dream-based superpowers that only manifest in women once per generation, and at first everyone assumed that her sister, who is a cisgender woman, would be the one to inherit them. Also has some Reality Subtext since her actress, Nicole Maines, is also transgender.
- The lead singer and guitarist for the band ''Against Me!'' is trans woman Laura Jane Grace. The band's discography includes several songs addressing or centered around the difficulties of being transgender, the most obvious of which is entitled "Transgender Dysphoria Blues".
- The most common interpretation of the song "For Today I Am A Boy" by Antony & The Johnsons is that it's about a transgender person. The songs "You Are My Sister" and "I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy" have the same interpretations.
- Avicii's "Silhouettes" video involves a trans woman undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
- Dolly Parton's "Travelin' Thru" was written with the process of transition in mind. It is played at the credits of the movie Transamerica.
- Jake Edwards' "Second Puberty" is about starting testosterone in your 20s.
- ''Confused Gender'' by Ravens Moreland is "a song about a transsexual before it was cool".
- In the D&D actual-play podcast The Adventure Zone there's Lup, an NPC who is Taako's twin sister and is revealed to be trans by Griffin, the DM, during her introduction.
- In Sequinox, Harmony's father Charles is a trans man. In the Gemini arc Chell states that she's a trans woman, though it wasn't a reveal so much as stating an open secret.
- Dungeons & Dragons has embraced transgender and gender-nonconforming characters in its fifth edition, with a sidebar encouraging players to explore different options of gender expression and identity when creating a new character. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist feature both a non-binary elf and a trans masculine drow, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes mentions that some elves (including Drow) are born with an innate ability to change gender, which is viewed as a blessing from their god (High and wood-elves do. Drow think it's weird).
- Exalted has three examples. The Tya are woman in the West who, after getting intricate tattoos and drinking a tonic that sterilizes them, are legally considered males, and can sail without fear of Storm Mothers, who destroy any ship that has a woman more beautiful then them, which includes pretty much any woman. The Dereth are Delzhan who wear a special gray sash and are legally and culturally recognized as the opposite gender. The Lunar Exalt Silver Python is agender; as a form of homage to Luna, who's associated with gender fluidity, zhe regularly switches genders every twenty years, and no longer remembers or cares which zhe started out as.
- Magic: The Gathering has Alesha Who Smiles At Death as a canonically transgender character. And a pretty badass one, at that, who comes out in her Rite of Passage after singlehandedly killing a dragon.
- Pathfinder, due to not being hampered by the "decency codes" that constrained earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons'', freely embraces a more adult stance on things and so openly includes homosexuality and trans people in its setting, something that has given the game a notable LGBT Fanbase. Transgender and gender-neutral characters are quite common through the game books, including such figures as the androgynous angelic Empyreal Lordnote Arshea, whose portfolio covers freedom, physical beauty and sexuality, and whose gender ambiguity means that individuals, regardless of gender or personal sexuality, find Arshea to be ravishingly beautiful and sexually enticing.
- More explicit examples include an NPC named Anevia Tirabade (who willingly went undercover as a girl in her youth, figured out in the process that she actually was one, and was eventually given an early version of the serum of sex shift from Starfinder as a wedding present from her future bride; another NPC named Marislova (who, while living in her ex-girlfriend's nearly all-female sanctuary, gradually discovered that she actually fit in); iconic shaman Shardra Geltl (who used an alchemical treatment in order to conform), and two male side characters named Xomar Glavit (a dwarven oracle) and Rexus Vicotora (a sorcerer and heir to a largely-defunct noble house). The name of the Rivethun faction (with whom Shardra and Xomar are both at least tangentially associated) has become almost synonymous in-universe with being either trans or a staunch ally.
- Second edition continues the trend, with the Gancanagh (one of a race of chaotic good angels called Azata) explicitely being motivated to defend trans and gender non-conforming individuals (sometimes to the point of serving as a Karmic Trickster towards bigots).
- Shadowrun's setting has fully embraced trans rights to the point that there are cybernetic mods in sourcebooks specifically for transgender characters as well as rules for changing a character's sex via gene therapy (a longer process, but causes less essence drain). Two of the NPC commentators in Jackpoint are transgender, as well- the Conspiracy Theorist Cloud 9 who regularly changes sex due to a surgical addiction (but always identifies as male regardless), and Hard Exit, who changes sex so often that other character have to ask which gender pronouns are appropriate at the moment.
- Starfinder officially introduces both the serum of sex shift and the explicitly non-binary iconic operative Iseph.
- The World of Warcraft Tabletop RPG touches on this, by explaining how quilboar — a race of warthog-like humanoids, who are Always Chaotic Evil in the MMO but are given a somewhat more sympathetic portrayal in the tabletop game — operate under a strict Stay in the Kitchen rule, but if a female proves herself to be a strong and capable warrior, then she is declared to be a male by the tribe's shaman, and will live as a male and even take wives from that point forward.
- Sweetie in Bombay Dreams, a beautiful trans woman who just wants her childhood friend and longtime crush Akaash to live his dreams and get what he wants, to the point of eventually performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
- In Persona 3 during "Operation Babe Hunt", Junpei, Akihiko, and the protagonist are victims of an Unsettling Gender Reveal when the only woman who actually is interested in you three seems rather suspiciously eager and vulgar minded. The reveal is when Akihiko realizes she has some hair on her chin and she outs herself, disappointed that you figured out her secret, and that she wanted you guys as "boytoys" anyway.
- Subverted in Persona 4. Naoto Shirogane appears to be this at first, given her Shadow's actions and intentions, but it turns out she is a young woman who is trying desperately to be accepted in the very male-dominated line of work she's in, rather than being seen as Just a Kid. All of her detective heroes as a kid were male, and all of her co-workers are male, so she viewed those as role models, and aspired to be just like them, unfortunately causing her to mistakenly believe she had to make herself actually pass as a male to be taken seriously.
- Barkeep Lala Escargot from Persona 5 may initially come off as just a Drag Queen, but she's implied to genuinely identify as a woman.
- Poison and Roxy from Final Fight, both trans women (and Palette Swaps of each other). They didn't make it stateside in the console versions, though (thank you very much, Nintendo Standards and Practices). Poison doesn't reappear until Final Fight Revenge, and from that point forward she sticks around as Hugo Andore's manager/bodyguard/bickering best friend. Capcom of Japan have gone on record that Poison's status is post-op in America and pre-op in Japan, though originally she was a hermaphrodite with a general feminine body-structure and masculine sexual organs. Reflecting this, the scanner on the Shadaloo stage in Street Fighter V lists Poison's gender as "Unknown".
- The Frozen Half, an ice magician described similarly to Poison in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The Dracula X Chronicles rerelease changed the term to "transvestite". In both games the enemy is described as serving Galamoth, and it indeed first appeared in Kid Dracula, though wearing ice skates and looking Gonk.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Birdo was described in the manual of her first appearance as "wanting to be called Birdetta" and "wanting to be a girl". Later appearances still call her "Birdo", but generally treat her as female.
- Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a transgender girl in the original Japanese version. Her sister Beldam is the only one who specifically uses this to insult her, but every other character (including the narrator) refers to her with masculine terms. Only the English and German localizations remove this trait, treating her as a cisgender girl and having Beldam's insults instead be about how ugly she is.
- Dept. Heaven:
- Lethal Joke Character Eater from Blaze Union has two personalities, one of which is male. Eater is AFAB, but when the male half is in control, he is treated by all other characters and by the game system itself (which has different unit formations based on gender) as a man who just so happens to be running around in the girly clothes his other personality put on in the morning.
- Gloria Union has Kyra, who identifies (and is treated by the game's system itself) as intergender.
- Erica, formerly Eric in Catherine. Notably, The Reveal is not treated as anything especially dramatic - it's mentioned rather nonchalantly in the Lovers True Ending, Toby is happily in a relationship with her (or at least one with a lot of mutual snarking), and Vincent, Johnny, and Orlando knew all along as they went to high school with her. In hindsight, there's a lot of foreshadowing for it.
- Dragon Age:
Husky Dwarf: I've got a little something for everybody.
- Played for laughs in Dragon Age: Origins and slightly less in Dragon Age II. In the former, at the Pearl, the PC has the option of saying "surprise me" and getting a very obviously male dwarf prostitute in a female costume. In the latter, at the Blooming Rose, the transgender elven prostitute at least has a female body model even if her voice is male.
- There were transgender elven prostitutes in Origins as well, with such lines as "You have to slay the dragon before you can get to the princess". Also, the "surprise me" option can lead to a whole number of encounters, from the crossdressing dwarf to a room full of nugs- think a pig crossed with a naked mole-rat.
- The comic books Those Who Speak and Until We Sleep has Maevaris, a Tevinter Magister who's the former lover of Varric's cousin who is revealed to be transgender later on. Other than that, her gender doesn't play into the story in any way,
- Dragon Age: Inquisition has Krem, a trans male human who serves as Iron Bull's lieutenant. According to Bull, the Qunari term for transgender people is Aqun-Athlok and by their society are treated as whatever gender they recognize themselves as. He also states that any female that wishes to become warriors (traditionally a male role in Qunari society) and are skilled enough at it are treated as thus and sent to the military, though that's more a culture-specific thing.
- The Aqun-Athlok concept is a bit different to most transgender experiences, however, in that it is based on what role a person takes under the Qun; if someone is a warrior, for example, they are a man because only men can be warriors, regardless of a person's assigned gender at birth. This is why Sten is so confused by a female warden, because in his culture, women literally cannot be warriors while still being women - they would be accepted and treated fully as men, however. Iron Bull mentions having to do some mental gymnastics to deal with it; he privately counts Cassandra as a man or woman depending on if she's wearing armor, although he makes sure to use female pronouns and not be a dick about it.
- Subaru Kujo in the fifth Sakura Wars game is pretty clearly genderqueer; zie always uses gender-neutral speech (at least in the Japanese version), refuses to identify as male or female, and dresses in both masculine and feminine attire.
- Pokémon X and Y has one "Beauty" trainer from Battle Tower mention: "Yes, a mere half year ago I was a Black Belt! Quite the transformation, wouldn't you say?" Black Belts are a type of trainer consisting exclusively of men (as opposed to their Distaff Counterparts, Battle Girls), suggesting this particular Beauty underwent gender reassignment surgery. The Japanese version of the game is less ambiguous: The Black Belts' Japanese name, Karateoh, translates into "Karate Kings"; and the Beauty makes mention of "modern medicine".
- Zonda from Azure Striker Gunvolt is bigender and is referred to using "xe" and "xem" pronouns (and the Self-Imposed Challenge for his level is called "Use Xyr Illusion").
Zonda: Look at you, you're all boy!
Gunvolt: I heard you're a little bit of both.
- The protagonist of Aerannis is a trans woman. This ends up being a major plot point, as the setting takes place in a dystopia ruled by TERFS.
- The Sims 4 added a feature called Custom Genders in June 2016. This feature allows one to choose the characters body frame and clothing preferences as being masculine or feminine, and whether they can become pregnant, or make others pregnant, or even neither. As a result, transgender characters are very easy to create.
- Guild Wars 2 has a trans woman character in Lion's Arch named Sya who your character previously met in the personal story as Simon.
- Technobabylon has Max Lao, female partner of protagonist Dr. Charlie Regis, who when asked about her past casually mentions attending a school that Charlie knows to be all-boys. She apparently "fit right in" at the time.
- In Read Only Memories, one of the player's major allies, TOMCAT, identifies as nonbinary (as can the player character, if you so choose).
- Bolt from Crypt Of The Necrodancer is nonbinary and goes by they/them.
- In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, you can make your character either transgender or gender-neutral when establishing your character's gender identity, which causes some minor alterations to other NPCs' dialog. Kyle's character Human Kite identifies as a "Gender-Neutral Alien" while Wendy's character Call Girl identifies as a Gender-Fluid individual, though this only applies for their superhero personas and not the actual characters.
- In Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, the Cleric Mizhena offhandedly mentions that she chose her own name because her parents assumed her to be male and named her accordingly.
- In Pure Again by Kevin McGowan, two transgender characters undergo a voluntary "Freaky Friday" Flip.
- In Fallen London and its sequels it is possible to identify as an Individual of Mysterious and Indistinct Gender, and a number of NPCs also identify this way.
- The Missing JJ Mac Field And The Island Of Memories is a horror themed game about the eponymous J.J trying to find her missing girlfriend, with a strong implication that they've both been trying to hide that they're girlfriends in the romantic sense. It's slowly revealed that their actual secret is that J.J is a trans girl. The entire game has been a Drying Dream she's had after being Driven to Suicide, after being outed and harrassed at university.
- Kaine in A Profile. It's handled pretty tactfully and pointed out that it makes things pretty difficult for him. He reacts poorly to the issue when it is mentioned. However, despite mostly being handled well there appears to have been some confusion on the part of the writers between this and homosexuality, though it may just be that he simply happens to also be attracted to women. Kaine is AFAB but never felt like a woman, so he started going to school in male clothing and took male hormones to be more masculine. Kaine continues to be treated as a male and gets more female attention than Masayuki.
- Alex Cyprin from Astoria: Fate's Kiss is a non-binary demigod who dresses androgynously and goes by they/them pronouns.
- Damien from Dream Daddy is a trans man. He offhandedly mentions his binders in his route.
- Jun Watarase in Happiness is confirmed to be this. Although initially seen as a Wholesome Crossdresser by yuuma and hachi, the OVA in particular shows Jun overjoyed when accidentally actually turning biologically female (of course, she turns back before the end of the episode).
- Heart of the Woods has Tara, a trans woman who came out and transitioned a few years before the story began.
- From the same makers of We Know The Devil, Heaven Will Be Mine features several transgender characters. This is actually explicitly pointed out and discussed by the game's narrative- the children who left Earth to become test pilots were overwhelmingly those who felt like outcasts among their peers, which led to many of the pilots being closeted in regards to their sexuality, gender, or both. What's more, the weak gravity of space explicitly allows one's body to be re-shaped more easily. Of the named characters, Mercury, Pluto, and Luna-Terra are confirmed to be transgender.
- Avery, the protagonist of Hustle Cat can be played as non-binary; you have the option of "she", "he", and "they" pronouns, and can change them at any time.
- Fran from Missing Stars is nonbinary. They dress in the girl's uniform top paired with trousers. With their androgynous looks and a voice that is just as neutral, even Fran's friends don't know what to call them. Natalya thinks Fran's a girl, her sister Sofiya believes they're a boy, and Erik switches between "she" and "they". Fran is coy on the issue of their gender and lets people use whatever pronouns they want.
- In one night, hot springs, the main character is a transgender woman named Haru who struggles with her discomfort about bathing in front of other people at the hot springs.
- Secret Little Haven is all about Alex, a young closeted trans girl, discovering her identity through the fandom of her favorite Magical Girl anime circa 1999.
- We Know the Devil has Venus. This is initially only hinted in some very minor details and a sudden, single change of pronoun in the character's ending, but in the game's Golden Ending both the characters and the narration consistently refers to Venus by "she" after she accepts the devil.
- Carmilla the Series has LaFontaine, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, and is only referred to by their family name because of their dislike of their feminine given name (Susan). This isn't addressed in the show itself because they aren't out yet, but Perry is seen correcting herself when she refers to them as "she".
- Coupleish stars two siblings (Dee and Amy) who go out looking for a third roommate. Their new roommate Rachel pretended to be Dee's partner in order to avoid being deported to Britain. The two begin to pretend to be a couple and that's the start of the rom-com series. Dee is nonbinary.
- Mollymauk of Critical Role usually uses he/him pronouns, but Word of God has stated they are genderfluid.
- Twinfools of YouTube's "Fighting Dreamers Productions" Cosplay Group was very open about his transition on his own channel, but did not carry it into the groups main content. He remains the driving force behind the group playing a majority of the characters and as the main source of the funny.
- Gender-bending is even more common in FreeRIDErs which was created by the same person, in background material it was mentioned that many who tested out the Gender Bender Nanites in the earlier days of RIDE Development had signed up for it to cure their Gender Dysphoria. Paul Reverbek from the story "As A Woman I RIDE" is an Earth Boy who steals a RIDE to finally be free of her GID, it's written in first person perspective and she's played very sympathetically. On Earth where they don't have RIDEs, people can be scanned for Gender Identity Disorder and if they have it they are given nanites to make their bodies match their minds. There are those on Earth who are peeved because it is illegal to change someone with nanites unless they have GID, one gender-curious man without GID actually goes to Zharus just to see what being a woman is like. Finally it is noted that people who use RIDEs of another sex that they are have their brains modified by the nanites as well as their bodies to ensure they don't develop Gender Dysphoria... though some RIDEs intentionally sabotage themselves or are sabotaged by others in order to give their humans Gender Dysphoria.
- The Heaven Cycle has, as the main characters, Tango and Mint, who are biological female but who identify to neither gender and the story uses the pronouns 'they' for them.
- The Kindness of Devils features Belial, one of the devils, who was created in a male body, but identifies as female, coming to grips with that in A Matter Of Pride.
- Jas from Openness is non-binary and goes by "they".
- Gender-bending is a common element of the Paradise setting. Some (not all) gender-bent characters are Wish Fulfillment Author Avatars for transgender individuals in real life. Perspectives being a mini-series in that universe about how a trans woman would have lived her teenage life if her best friend and not her had suffered Body Dysphoria instead.
- May Marigold from RWBY was confirmed to be the first onscreen trans character in the show.
- The title character in The Saga of Tuck is a teenager who is physically intersexed, and (possibly) bi-gender. A number of minor characters are also transgender, and several more are Transvestites.
- Sam's Story is an animated short based off a toy. It's about a young trans boy named Sam.
- Shimmer: A Superhero Fantasy has to do with a trans female superheroine named Glimmer Girl.
- Tales of MU features Steff, a trans female half-elf. In addition, the culture of the subterranean elves features an "ornamental" third gender of trans women called "halfkind," who undergo a magical transformation that enhances both breasts and penis/scrotum, and who serve mostly as a status symbol for their families. Steff eventually is given the halfkind potion by a subterranean friend.
- Generator (Jade Sinclair, nee Jared Reilley) of the Whateley Universe. Aside from this relatively realistic instance, a major part of the series that transgender mutants with the Exemplar trait (such as Chaka) will almost always get the Gender Bender change they want due to the power's 'ideal self' aspects. A number of other transgender mutants who don't possess this trait find other ways to change their sex, whether through 'sticky' powers such as ectoplasm manifestation or PK shells (Beltane, Mega-Girl), Applied Phlebotinum (Delta Spike), or Functional Magic (Scapegrace). Of course, those who are subject to unwilling gender bending, such as Phase, Jobe Wilkins, or Hat Trick, in effect become transgender regarding their former sex.
- Worm has Circus, a minor supervillain who appears male in civilian identity and female in their costumed one. Even Tattletale isn't entirely sure which gender Circus identifies as, which is presumably their intention.
- asdfmovie 11 has one guy snidely refer to the "I like trains" Kid as "trainsgendered". He's promptly ran over for it.
- Adventure Time: Whether BMO is referred to with he/him pronouns or gender neutral language changes depending on the episode, easily adopts "male" and "female" roles, and while he talks about wanting to Become a Real Boy he also has an alter ego called Football that wants to be a real girl. Word of God is that BMO is genderfluid, switching between male and female when desired.
- The Bob's Burgers episode "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" has a trio of friendly, funny transvestites (one being a pre-op trans woman) who befriend Bob on his taxi route, and their only negative attribute is the fact that they're implied to be crackwhores. They even help him out in the climax and only one blink-and-you-miss-it Unsettling Gender Reveal joke tucked in.
- Brother Ken from Bro Town is Fa'afafine, a Samoan term referring to being born biologically male but embodying both male and female traits.
- In the Captain Sturdy [adult swim] pilot Captain Sturdy: The Originals, it is established that Captain Sturdy's teammate Commander Guts has undergone a sex change and now goes by Brianna.
- Done once on The Cleveland Show but pulled off with even less tact than the Family Guy example below. The episode doesn't even try to portray Auntie Momma (yes, that's the character's name), originally Uncle Kevin, in a positive light, portraying her as someone who "manipulates" straight men into loving her and being called a "guy pretending to be a woman." At least with Family Guy there was an attempt at sensitivity and understanding, however clumsy.
- Family Guy:
- Quagmire's Navy war hero father, Dan, undergoes surgery to become Ida, much to Quagmire's chagrin. Having bungled a Gay Aesop in a previous episode, the writers tried to make the character sympathetic, but still trotted out the old jokes (including an Unsettling Gender Reveal), and earned the ire of quite a few LGBT people. It didn't help that, when she wasn't acting stereotypical, Ida was a Flat Character at best. Seth MacFarlane then further infuriated the LGBT community by saying that he thought the character was "probably the most sympathetic portrayal of a transsexual character that has ever been on television." Many took this to be proof that MacFarlane had never seen a transgender character on TV.
- The film Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story had future-Meg going to college and getting a sex change, becoming a man called Ron.
- Done a couple of times in Futurama:
Bender: [gasps] That ain't no fembot!Hermaphrobot: Damn, chico! One more upgrade and I'll be more lady than you can handle! Why you so stupid, stupid?Bender: Hey, bite my shiny metal ass!Hermaphrobot: You couldn't afford it, honey! [Snaps fingers.]
- Bender becomes Coilette to keep his Olympic medals in 'Bend-her' and most of the cast have their genders swapped in 'Neutopia'.
- A recurring minor character on the show is a male-to-female transgender robot called Hermaphrobot, whom Bender once tried to hit on before noticing her manbot-parts.
- Recess (of all shows!) gave us Mikey mentioning his Uncle Mary. Vince is confused to why Mikey's uncle is named Mary, and Gretchen just tells him not to ask. However, it's not known if this is the case or if Mary is short for Marian (which some males, including a famous actor, have as names).
- In the Rocko's Modern Life Netflix special Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, Mr. and Mrs. Bighead's daughter Rachel has come out as transgender since the original series (in which she went by Ralph).
- The Simpsons:
Patty: Hello, my name's Patty. I'll be testing you. When you do well, I use the green pen. When you do bad, I use the red pen. Any questions?
- Judge Constance Harm says "You remind me of me when I was a little boy."
Snake: Did she just said she used to be a dude?
- There are a few characters who are implied to be trans but it may just be one-off jokes (for example, Helen Lovejoy). Brunella Pommelhorst, the elementary PE teacher, was supposed to transition but she still appears as a woman in future episodes.
- In "Lisa's First Word" when discussing saving money Homer says Bart can sleep with them until he's 21 just like his cousin Frank. When Marge points out that he doesn't have a cousin named Frank he explains that he later became cousin Francine. Unfortunately, the context for this has it implied Frank became Francine because sleeping with his parents for so long warped his mind, and he ultimately joined a cult under the name "Mother Shabubu."
- In "The Otto Show":
Otto: Yeah, one: Have you always been a chick? I mean, I don't want to offend you, but, you were born a man, weren't you? You can tell me, I'm open minded.
Patty: (drops the green one) I won't be needing this.
- Judge Constance Harm says "You remind me of me when I was a little boy."
- South Park:
- Mr. Garrison, already a Depraved Homosexual, is this in the least sensitive way possible during Seasons 9-12, first as a straight trans woman and then a Psycho Lesbian trans woman, before identifying as a man again.
- The Season 18 episode "The Cissy" has Cartman declaring himself transgender (all the while mispronouncing it as "Transginger") in order to gain access to the girl's bathroom and eventually his own private bathroom in school. In response, Wendy becomes "Wendyl" in order to point out Cartman's hypocrisy. The B-plot deals with the fact that Randy Marsh is secretly the singer Lorde, initially using the guise of a woman for the same reason as Cartman. Unlike Cartman however, he eventually develops genuine identity issues.
- Steven Universe:
- Most gems have an Ambiguous Gender Identity, due to implications that they might not identify as male or female, but use "she/her" pronouns. Fusions involving the half-human and male-identified Steven however seem to be nonbinary and use neutral pronouns. Stevonnie, the fusion of Steven and his female friend Connie, is confirmed by Word of God to use "they/them" pronouns. Smoky Quartz, Rainbow Quartz 2.0, and Sunstone, the fusions of Steven and the (presumably female) Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet, respectively are similar.
- Word of God is that gems aren't female identified. They're okay with using she/her pronouns and being viewed as female, however most are non-binary women.
- "Little Graduation" introduces Sadies new non-binary Second Love, Shep, who is voiced by non-binary model and actress Indya Moore.
- Alice is a trans woman, though it's played for laughs because she is very clearly masculine (which has lead to some controversy around the character and her implications). Also, clearly pre-operative given the always-noticeable bulge in her skirt, and (censored) depictions of her oversized genitalia. The Warden lusts after her and is initially unaware of this, though it appears he either forgets about seeing her genitalia at the end of season 2 (due to Negative Continuity) or doesn't mind it.
- Bruce is the reverse of Alice and portrayed as overweight and lisping, with an aggressive temper. His personality is delved into less than hers, though he constantly tries to challenge and one-up her in his appearances.
- Subverted with Dr. Girlfriend in The Venture Bros. Her deep voice makes several characters (and viewers, too) initially suspect this, but really she's just a very heavy smoker.