Trans Characters

Here's a topic that can be veeeeeeeeery sensitive to people. But I'm going to breech this because enough is enough.

I'm sick of reading trans characters that were written with very little research done on trans issues. I'm sick of reading angsty trans characters whose parents are complete shit and they completely hate their bodies and are suicidal because of it.

In stories, this is romanticizing the issue.

Not. All. Trans. People. Have. It. Hard.

Take me, for instance. Sure, I don't have the most supportive family (they refuse to call me Oliver and 'he'), but I have supportive friends. I don't hate my body for the fact that it's feminine. Do I wish it were more masculine? Sure, I do! And I take measures where and when I can to look the part. My hair is short, I bind sometimes, and I lower my voice when I talk. I haven't been in to see a gender therapist, nor have I thought about whether I would start Testosterone or not. I'm not sure I would.

Not every trans person is necessarily locked in the wrong body.

Transgender is an umbrella term encompassing anyone that doesn't identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (trans = different; cis = same). There are so many other genders out there: agender (no gender), genderfluid, bigender, gender neutral, gender queer, etc. Not all of these people feel like they were trapped in the wrong body. They like to alter it, sure, but it's not a necessity. Even for the binary - male to female and female to male - not all transgender individuals want to take hormones. Not all of them want surgery. Some are ok with what they have, they just would rather be referred to by different names and pronouns.

Now. For trans characters. All of these things should be kept in mind while writing them. What sort of home life do they have? Would their parents accept them, be concerned, reject them, kick them out? How do they feel about themselves? Are they made fun of or do they have accepting friends (hint: most do have accepting friends)? Try not to romanticize these problems. Make the characters as unique as your cisgender ones. Give them different sexualities rather than adhering to a heteronormative standard. Have a male to female like girls. Have a female to male like boys. Have a genderfluid person like another genderfluid or agender person. Mix it up. Break society's need for heteronormativity. You're already breaking the norm by having a trans character. Take it that much further.

But remember to research if you don't know things firsthand. Talk to people like me. We can give you a LOT of insight.
May 19th, 2016 at 07:31am