I need some advice on creating a Transgender character.
I’d like to portray them before a physical transition, but in no way wish to offend anyone or come across as stereotypical.
Would it be appropriate to have a Transgender Female (born male) shown with a male body?
I’m not transgender, but I think representation is important for everyone.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I don’t know much for Trans characters but I think what you can do is give them long hair, thin eyebrows, and/or puckered lips to demonstrate it for the Male body.
Thanks! That’s super helpful
Thank you for caring enough to ask for advice on the topic! Is the character going to be a main character, or an additional character? Do they have a lot of scenes or are they only there for an episode or two?
An additional character. I don’t want to make them being trans the focus of their character though. I’m planning on introducing them later on in the story, but they then play a more important role.
So they will be a sort of ‘extra’ pre-transition, and then more of a main character after? You already hit on one main point- not to make that all they are.
I do actually have a trans character in one of my stories, and overall the only thing I did any differently than any other character is literally change the avatar. It is only mentioned in a line or two that they are trans. (Most of the story you have no idea.)
A great story to reference would be Nothing Special by Jinx. Jinx has a lot of LGBT diversity in the story, as well as a character who talks about binders. (Chest bindings.) Might want to scan that to see what Jinx did
I do know a couple other people in the community who have experience on the topic, I’ll see if I can get some of them to come offer advice
Thank you for all the thoughtful advice
I’ll definitely have a read and do plenty of research beforehand.
Part of the problem here is the assets that are available, to be honest. We’re very much forced into using binary body types that don’t necessarily fit the characters. So there’s a lot of divided opinions even among trans people on what to do with what we’ve got. Keep in mind that the advice I’m giving is based on one person’s experiences.
Using the “male” body type would be okay for before the character comes out, especially if she’s still figuring out who she is. But once a character fully has themselves figured out and is either out or in the process of coming out, the social part of their transition has already begun. In that case, regardless of physical transition, I tend to use the body type that’s associated with the gender that character is/identifies as if they’re binary (while for nonbinary characters, I typically use the body type with features and clothes that most closely match the character’s aesthetic, regardless of what they were assigned at birth). The big reason is that it has more options to accurately portray the appearance-related choices that character would most likely make. It’s often easier to create their appearance the same way you would a cis person of their gender and have the fact that they’re trans mentioned at some point in time. It can also say a lot about how you view your character as a woman.
In reality, there’s no set way to look like a certain gender, but Episode doesn’t give us a lot of room with that right now. Hopefully that will change in the near future, since I’ve seen screenshots from a few featured stories that included a lovely new body type intended for trans women. Once that’s released to the public, I’ll probably use that one for some characters and continue using the original “female” body type for others because I write a lot of trans characters and, realistically, there’s a lot of variety in trans women’s body types.
:o! What story?
Hi, I’m a non-binary woman and I would like to understand what do you mean by puckered lips and thin eyebrows for a trans character?
Puckered lips and thin eyebrows are not exclusive to female/male body types or any gender so I’m a little confused as to what you mean by this
One I’m not sure what one of the stories was, but the other one was a short scene in the Limelight version of Instant Princess.
I definitely think episode need to add more body types, even if that just starts with plus size characters and eventually develops into less gender specific bodies.
Thanks for the insight. I really hope this character will be positive representation and not offensive.
It would be great if Episode allowed us to use ‘female’ clothes for ‘male’ characters and vice-versa. At the moment the clothing (especially for LL) is super generic.
@TeeS.Originals I think they meant to give a more ‘feminine’ appearance.
I’m sorry if this is too personal, but how can you be both non-binary and a woman?
Feel free to ignore the question if it’s too invasive
Let me rephrase myself, I’m non-binary, woman aligned because my experiences align with those of a woman. My pronouns are she/they
I mean for a more feminine look. But I could be wrong so people can correct me. I don’t really know much about Transgender or how to make trans characters. Sorry if I offended anyone or made you feel a certain way by saying it.
It’s okay. I was just curious to know - no offense taken
Moved to Episode Fan Community since this doesn’t fit into any Creator’s Corner category. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about where to correctly create topics, and feel to PM me if there are any questions.
I just used a female character for mine. I used male character before, then made similar features on the female, (blonde hair, same skin colour) not all transgenders look like men in drag.