By ShadowX 26 Comments
So a few months ago I created a blog entry complaining about the lack of trans characters with in comics.
I got a lot of examples of shapeshiters or people who can take over bodies, etc. But that isn't really trans that was just genderbent.
I did get a few ones such as Lord Fanny, and a few other characters from various indie comics, however not too many from the Big 2.
However today I shall discuss a few characters that I were left out of the discussion as well as two new characters that come from the the big 2 that have come out as Transgender from the big 2, as well as how I feel about the reveals.
I would also like to take this to remind everybody that I am in fact a Trans woman, and that does give me some representation of the community however I do not speak for all of the community and you may find other trans individuals to have different views on this subject from me. I would share some of those other opinions as well.
First off I would like to discuss a character who has already existed but sort of went under my radar in my last post. Sir Ystin from the Dc comics Demon Knights.He is implied to be intersex( a minority group that gets even less positive publicity than trans individuals) andI believes identifies as genderqueer but referring masculine pro nouns. From scans, he seems to be portrayed pretty great, being a total badass and even has some love interests.
I would also like to talk about Coagula from Doom Patrol. Her background is a little odd, but she was one of the first Trans Woman characters in comics and her creation was specifically to create a positive portrayal of a trans woman that was a lesbian. Although she was later retconned to be bisexual.
Next up I would like to discuss Xavin. Xavin is a Skrull who had appeared in the runaways series. She first met the group explaining that her and Karolina Deans family had an arranged marriage between the two. But seeing how the Karolina Dean was a lesbian, Xavin did not mind shapeshifting into a female form. She is different among other shapeshifters who I would not include as transgender because she actually shows discomfort in her gender at several points in the book, occasionally switching back and forth between the male and female. It's also unique to mention that the Skrulls see gender differently than humans ( well actually western civilization, because only in western civilization was there a strict binary, but that is a discussion that I will explore later on). Xavin was portrayed pretty well, she had her differences coming from another culture, but she genuinely did care for Karolina Dean and in the end made the ultimate sacrifice to save her, by impersonating her and being taken away to space. I bring her up, despite not being in a comic for awhile now, because her being an alien ties greatly in with the discussion I will have with my next character which is....
Tong is a moloid who appears in the Marvels Future Foundation series. In the most recent issue Tong told the other moloids who she calls her brothers, that there was a girl inside her, and she wasn't a boy like them. Sharing this info she asked her family if they were still in fact her family. The response was a heartfelt moment of the youngest Moloid hugging her, face in her dress saying " love my tong", the others moloids come and hug her too, as Tong rejoices. Later on you see the moloids walking around, and the adults of the cast seem supportive. I believe She-Hulks words were " Good for her." and Scott Lang's words were "Are we doing that now?" which at first sounds bad, but then you realize he is juts shocked and confused rather then having any actual problem with it. I noticed two concerns with this The first concern was that the moloids have so far been seen as a source of comedy, and that not a lot would come from this except for comedy. But I disagree, just because a character was used just for comedy or a gag-character doesn't mean they can't be expanded. And besides in their comedy the moloids have said some undelrying profound things and have been pretty accepting such as this little fun line " A date is for a Mens and Womens. Or Mens and Mens. Or Womens and Womens. And dates are for smooching." It might just be me, but there is a beauty in how simple they explained it. The second problem I noticed people are having is the fact that the Moloids are not Humans, and neither are the Skrulls which Xavin is a part of. And some criticize Marvel for using non-human characters to express these themes. I understand the criticism, but for me I absolutely love these characters and i think in a world where we have mutants, clones, angels, aliens, and demons that these characters are still people and can still be effected by these scenarios, and I am still able to connect with these people. Seeing Tongs family react with joy and acceptance brought tears to my eyes, wishing my own mother and sister would be as accepting. And this topic of Acceptance brings me to our next character.
Alysia Yeoh A.K.A Barbara Gordon's(Batgirl) roommate. It was in the most recent issue of Batgirls self title series that Alysia came out as Trans to Barbara. In the scene Barbara tells her about her encounter with the joker that had left her paralyzed. Alysia shares her own history and comes out as trans. The two bond over their secrets being revealed, and Babs even tells Aysia to call her " babs" because people she loves calls her Babs. The importance of coming out is a big deal to alot of individuals, whether they are Trans or gay, lesbian, pan, bi, etc. And a lot of people think that coming out is a one time thing but it's not. Everytime you encounter a new person you need to decide whether you are going to come out to them. You need to judge things like how comfortable you are around them, how often will you see them, and what type of relationship you have with that person. It is a continuous process that will go on for the rest of your life, something that straight and cisgender people do not have to deal with. It is something that can give major stress and anxiety to individuals, and any positive portrayal is important. People often discuss realism and think that it should appear in comics and I agree, however I disagree with the extent that realism should take effect. Especially when it comes to minorities, it is important to have positive portrayals of coming out, even if it is higher than the realistic average, because as a source of media comics should be striving to be greater than the realistic world and influencing it. The more positive portrayals of coming out the more okay people would feel about the subject, and the people who have to come out will feel like they have even more support.
Anyway this has been my discussion of trans individuals in comics. I hope you enjoyed, and you can discuss it too in my responses. I hoped you enjoy and i hope maybe you learned something from what I have said. I feel confident that comics are moving in the right direction, and hope to see even more trans characters come out of the wood works.