30 Days of Pride Challenge - Day 12
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By JocelynSamara   |   
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On a lighter note (because I need it) let's continue the 30 Days of Pride Challenge. #30DaysOfPride

12. Name your favorite fictional LGBTQ character.

That moment when you try to force yourself not to be totally shameless and name your own characters. XD

(Please note, this answer WILL contain spoilers for various shows/games.)

Seriously though, I'm often drawn to stories (shows/movies/games/books/etc) that happen to feature a prominent queer and/or trans character.  And in truth, I'm
more likely to get into a terrible story that happens to have a queer character than and a great story with all cis het characters.  The catch is that terrible stories tend to be terrible.  And a lot of popular media does an awful job of representing LGBTQ characters.  For instance, I love anime.  But so help me, if I see one more storyline with a seemingly well-written trans character who grows as a person only by "getting over" their transness, I'll f***ing scream.  

That vent aside, there ARE some good representations in media.  Pearl from Steven Universe is a fairly recent favorite queer character of mine.  She's just super real, and well-written (far better than I'd ever have expected from a kid show).  And in terms of pairings, I've got nothing but love for Alphys and Undyne from Undertale.  It suffers a little from my pet peeve of "nothing really happens between them until the story is over", but their blushing crushes on each other are presented several times before then... and it's adorable.  What makes both of these examples so much better is that no one questions any of it in their respective stories.  They simply are what they are, and there doesn't need to be any pomp and circumstance about it.

Also, it's purely crackpot fangirl shipping on my part, but I'll be so disappointed if Ruby x Weiss (from RWBY) never becomes a thing.  :P

***

As for trans characters, unfortunately, I tend to have a harder time with their depictions.  I'm sure I've seen examples that didn't make me want to tear my hair out, but there are so many bad examples, I struggle to think of any of any of the good ones at the moment.  All I can really think of are my headcanons for silent protagonists in games I've talked about in the past.  Like:
Dragon Warrior 3 (NES)
jocelynsamara.deviantart.com/j…
and oddly, South Park: The Stick of Truth
jocelynsamara.deviantart.com/a…
Obviously, there's no basis, and these were certainly not intended by their respective creators.  Yet somehow, unintentional headcanons like these end up feeling better written to me than 99% of intentional trans characters who are probably in the story as some kind of novelty.  :/

***

I would like to close by adding that all of my stories feature several queer and especially trans characters.  I remember when Rain was still really new, reading a comment (I can't remember where or why) where someone said something to the tune of, "I don't think you really see trans characters in a lot of media because the idea is always the same with only minor variation.  There's not much room to build on it."  I couldn't disagree more!  And since then, it's been kind of a mission of mine to write at least one trans character into every new story I have (and of course, make it feel natural and not forced).  And moreover, to distinguish each one as a wholly unique character portrayed differently than the last.  I believe there's a LOT of room to build on this, and as a trans person, I want to see it built upon.  I want a revolution of well-written, unique transgender characters.  ^_^

Comments21
anonymous's avatar
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gdpr-23338774's avatar
gdpr-23338774Hobbyist General Artist
OMG I agree so much on a Ruby × Weiss!
thediremoose's avatar
On the tabletop RPG scene, Pathfinders' been pretty good about including LGBT characters in their published work. There are a few trans characters there as well, including the iconic shaman, Shardra.

For my part, I actually made one of my own Pathfinder Society characters trans (docs.google.com/document/d/18N…) though I have yet to reveal this part of her background to anybody I've played with and it's never actually been relevant to anything in-game. Just another character except she happens to be trans, really.
atlantifique's avatar
atlantifiqueHobbyist General Artist
1. Rain

best ever, pretty much always on point imho
Mallory36's avatar
I wish there were advice out there on how to write a side character who's trans. A main character is relatively simple, but I really don't know how to make a not-really-focused-on side character trans without making them appear cis to a potential audience. If the main characters don't know someone is trans, how could the audience know? Is it possible without putting focus on the side character?
JocelynSamara's avatar
JocelynSamaraProfessional Writer
In Shangri-La, my only trans character is a less prominent NPC.  There are hints in her dialogue, but it can be very easily overlooked.  I haven't quite figured out if I want to spell it out completely at the end of her arc, or just let the hints stand on their own.  But the point is, the character is trans either way, and she's not that important to the story overall.  But to express this, her lines - however uncommon - need to have the potential to at least hint toward it, even if it's never outright stated.

So with your side character, even if they aren't prominent in the story, I do recommend them getting some lines.  They don't have come right out and say, "hey, I'm trans!"  But some kind of remark from them - even if only once - that might hint toward the idea could go a long way.
Mallory36's avatar
Thank you. That helps :).
bkworm5's avatar
bkworm5Hobbyist General Artist
If you're looking for any more series with LGBT+ characters, I would wholly suggest Welcome to Night Vale (WTNV), Tokyo Ghoul:re and Young Avengers.
WTNV is a podcast where the problems stem from pretty much everything except sexual orientation. A wild pack of antiques running around the town? Problem. A neighboring town pushing their corporations into Night Vale and trying to take over? Problem. Being transported to a desert other world? problem. Librarians? Huge problem! Cecil gushing about his boyfriend? 100% adorable and normal (as it should be).
Tokyo Ghoul:re is the sequel to the manga Tokyo Ghoul, so you would have to read that first. Just a heads up, it's earned the genre of tragedy. A character in it, Mutsuki, is canonically FTM. He wears a binder; I'm not sure if he wants surgery or not, though. (Obviously, he doesn't need to get top and/or bottom surgery to be male, I'm just not sure if that would make him more comfortable or not. There are certainly a lot of more immediate issues he has to deal with first.)
Young Avengers, as you could probably guess from the title, is a comic book series about the next generation Marvel superheroes. (I'm not really sure if you're into that stuff or not.)
bludythunder's avatar
As a fellow White Rose shipper, can personally confirm that you have good taste!
FairySmash's avatar
Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Even though north american localization completely overlooked her being trans because that's how the industry is I guess...
Tiruin's avatar
TiruinStudent Writer
Love that last paragraph, it's seeing others see the immense misplacement of concepts towards people (and treating them as concepts, which in narrative terms means 'treating them as flat characters') and then doing better by adding their own ideas into the collective pool--thus making the common conception a lot better than it was first portrayed.

Which I believe is a significant part affecting one's writing and...general portrayal of characters and people. :3 That drive, and that inner sight towards others in seeing more than 'just concepts' or draft figures. That affect's one's writing prowess and potential. Love that last paragraph a lot here.

E: And I'm finally being able to express more on why I like this webcomic and author. :I Umph my eeeengleesh.
That said, I'm very bad at names and titles, hence I have nearly 0 idea (other than this webcomic) of other webcomics/comics or books/novels which have LGBTQ characters :( [Would LOVE to know some though!]
OvalElephant's avatar
I absolutely loved Reily in Jeff Garvin's 'Symptoms of Being Human.' They're genderfluid, and the story is mostly centered on that, but it's equally about mental health, high school and being a teenager. It's just so good :D Highly reccomended
LauraRola's avatar
LauraRolaHobbyist General Artist
Well, Rain was at the top of my list, but in terms of trans characters, I've had to look pretty hard to find good ones outside of webcomics.  Aside from the character Stephanie from the anime series Sorcerous Stabber Orphan, nearly every example I find in anime has a few issues (except perhaps in Wandering Son, but even there there's a bunch of cultural aspects involved that make that story fascinating and very Japanese).

I do like some anime characters that seem to cross the line from Japanese queer stereotype to obvious trans character, even if only a little.  Characters like Aoi Futaba from You're Under Arrest or BC from Vandread definitely fall under this category.

(seriously though, I highly recommend watching Orphan if you can find it, it's a solid fantasy story that actually manages to avoid a surprising number of obvious story tropes and has a fantastic character who is absolutely 100% clearly a trans woman) Meow :3 

P.S.:  If you're a fan to tabletop RPGs, Pathfinder has many canon queer characters, and the iconic Shaman (the character that represents the Shaman class in the rules and fiction of that world) is a trans woman.  Her name is Shardra and she's really freaking awesome.
SailorDolly's avatar
On "trans characters being all alike in stories", I think that this happens the most when the characters' story is made to revolve around their trans-ness, which results in a character as one-dimensional as a homosexual character whose story revolves around homosexuality. Yes, the LBGT aspect is what distinguishes them from the mainstream, but people are more than just their gender and sexuality. For example, Rain has more to her personality than just "I am/should be a woman", and Maria is more than just "I am a flaming dyke".

Likewise, in stories (mostly anime/manga) where a cis character gets their biological sex unexpectedly altered via either magic or technobabble, the poorly-done stories are the ones where the whole story revolves around the character either having dysphoria for the new sex (a sort of "reverse trans"), or quickly embracing the new sex (either "the mind follows the body", which kind of breaks suspension of disbelief unless there are mental alterations to go with the physical change, or else the character already had some trans aspect, perhaps even being in denial to him/herself before). The GOOD ones are the ones where the story doesn't jump straight to hating/loving it, and instead develops the character's other aspects.
SerraBritt's avatar
SerraBrittProfessional Digital Artist
Hard to say.  I love the Rain comic and I especially love Emily out of the characters, but I can't say she's my absolute favorite.  While this one might be ambiguous since it's never really confirmed, I have to pick Rita from Tales of Vesperia.  She has signs of being lesbian, or at least homoromantic, but there's never a full confirmation.  I absolutely loved her though :)

Reading all the other stuff and playing FF5 for the Fiesta, I think of Faris and how she's not binary at all.  Sure she's a girl, and she doesn't specifically say she prefers being a boy, but at the same time she hates dresses, doesn't mind if people treat her as a boy (sometimes feels like it's preferred) and several of her jobs are boyish outfits (at least in the original).  Maybe, like Rita though, I just read a bit too much into it :p
AshleyRex's avatar
Honestly, it's Rain. She is just like, this beacon of hope and change, and just reading the comic makes me realise that life goes on. That even when we fall, we can and will just rise from the ashes with renewed will and fervor to just keep pushing forward. That's what she means to me at least. :)
Dorucario's avatar
I'm not ashamed to say Rain is my answer to this question, you wrote an amazing character, and she is simply awesome.
Rain was one of the first trans characters that really helped me to realize that I really am normal.
elflovin's avatar
elflovinHobbyist Digital Artist
i'm pretty sure you know of Krem from Dragon age inquisition, he's a trans male character, and really well done for a more popular name video game. But their other lgbt characters are really awesome, espically the ones you don't see in the video games!
One character I looove is Mae, she's a trans woman character who's only in one of the comics. (She is also mentioned by Dorian in game at the end). She's really strong of a character. A powerful mage who uses her power and position to help those who aren't treated as well as she or her fellow mages are. She's eventually found out of being trans of but instead of making it a scene and freaking out, she directs the main characters to where they need to go.
And I also love Empress Celene and Briala (who are in the game, but they don't over their relationship too deeply. mostly bc the plot was already so drama heavy and too many details can stress a player out). But Bioware has books, and the one I'm reading right now is about Empress Celene during the civil war. And of course her lover is with her. The love shared between them so genuine.
silvermistshadow's avatar
silvermistshadowHobbyist General Artist
There's a FTM Transgender warrior in Dragon Age Inquisition. He's not a party member unfortunately, but he's there.

Rain is still my favorite. Next to Ky.
CaldoRosa's avatar
CaldoRosaHobbyist General Artist
From the Rain webcomic, I'm between Ky, Vincent and Rain.

And from Steven Universe, Pearl.
ChidoriChick's avatar
This is probably a question you get all the time, but have you read the webcomic Questionable Content? If you have, what do you think of the trans character, Clair, in that story?
TheEasternEmpress's avatar
TheEasternEmpressHobbyist General Artist
I'd have to say Rain regardless for my fave
anonymous's avatar
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