Trans Rep in Media

It really bothers me how often trans representation in media feels like an afterthought in the story. We are rarely shown much about the trans characters' lives; when we do it's not substantial. More often than not trans characters are seen as a write-off bit, nothing more than a punchline. Even Birdo from Mario bros who is often seen as the first transgender videogame character and an icon for the community is referred to as a "boy who thinks he is a girl" in the game's manual.

Fun fact Samus from Metroid is often labeled as one of the first transgender characters in video games as the lead developer called her a transphobic slur during an interview.

The majority of characters who are often viewed as positive depictions of trans rep are often not even written to be such. I feel this is very telling of the quantity and quality of genuine trans rep out there. 

Even when the media treats the character like a person it often only depicts a cycle of never-ending suffering or sadness for these characters. Often times this suffering is portrayed as a direct result of their identity. Lily from Zombieland Saga is a young transgender girl and a zombie (long story watch the show it's good). Throughout the series, the show would do episodes focusing on each of the girls in the group's backstory and how they died and such. Lily's episode depicted her DYING OF SHOCK because she noticed she grew a single facial hair. This episode made me cry. Not in the way movies and shows tend to make me cry but in the "oh shit" way. I don't know how to describe it other than the fact it made me feel hopeless. That the only way I would be able to feel like a girl is if I dropped dead. 

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Katie's profile picture

One show that I like that I think has positive trans representation is the show Pose.

The show is very much based around LGBTQ culture of the 1980's and 1990's in NYC and it feature a range of LGBTQ characters (many of which are trans women who are played by trans women). Since the show delves into real topics there is some really sad episodes (especially season 2 episode 4 that one was a rough watch), however I feel as though the show depicts just as much positive moments as the negative ones. Characters like Blanca and Elektra are some of the most complex and well written characters I've seen in TV, as they are portrayed as both heroes and villains of the story.

Its a mixed bag ik, and probably not exactly what you are looking for, but it is the first thing that came to mind (this is of course coming from someone who is a LGBTQ ally but I understand if what I interpreted to be representation is different that what you were discussing).

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KitKate's profile picture



Was born a boy, but recently realised she's a girl!

Here's a translated interview from one of the writers about it, she's even literally got a dysphoria hoodie!!

A lot of her story was...odd...but the writers for the game intended for this to be her arc years ago, the problem was people were pushing against it at the time!

"I expressly tried to create characters that were a minority in some way, because I wanted to make heroes for those kinds of people. At the time, there was pushback, but now we’re able to be very public about it, and have it greeted happily instead."

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i love hee

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Everyone loves Brisket :D

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