List of transgender characters in film and television

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This article lists many films whose primary character(s) are transgender. It also includes films of note who have a secondary transgender character.

Film and video[edit]

Several movies feature transgender as a central plot element, or well known movies in which a transgender character plays a minor but important role:

Trans men[edit]

  • Willy/Milly (1986): A drama where Willy/Milly has to choose if they want to be a girl or a boy.
  • Boys Don't Cry (1999): A drama film based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was raped and murdered by his male friends after they discovered he was female assigned at birth (FAAB). The movie received lots of media attention when its star Hilary Swank, who played Brandon, won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • Flying with One Wing (2003): Revolutionary Sri Lankan movie – a transgender man, Manju, is discovered after being taken to a clinic after a car accident. Film contains themes about sexism, homophobia.
  • Funny Kinda Guy (2005): A documentary following the singer Simon de Voil's transition to manhood, encountering the sacrifice of his female singing voice and his discovery of true love. Directed by Travis Reeves, a man who has also transitioned.
  • Strange Circus (2005): Yuji, the novelist's assistant, is a transgender man.
  • Boy I Am (2006): A documentary that explores antagonism in the lesbian community as a result of the increased visibility of transgender men.
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007): A comedy about young feminists who spread their message through public art and vandalism. Aggie (played by Lauren Mollica) is transgender, and the only man allowed in the group. He bonds with the main character, Anna, and develops an apparent crush on her.
  • Albert Nobbs (2011): A drama about a trans man living in 19th century Dublin and working as a butler. He bonds with another trans man, who is a painter, in the same city. Film is criticized for its portrayal of trans men as "women in disguise."
  • About Ray (2015): A drama about a young person transitioning female to male (Ray). Elle Fanning plays Ray.

Trans women[edit]

  • The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970): Former Army private from the Bronx undergoes surgery and hormone treatments in Denmark in 1952 to transition from male to female.
  • Myra Breckinridge (1970): Starring Raquel Welch in an off-beat role.
  • Dinah East (1970): A young actor makes it big in 1950s Hollywood – as an actress. Told in flashbacks, her secret is slowly revealed.
  • The Triple Echo (1972): A British soldier (Brian Deacon) deserts his unit during WWII. At the suggestion of a woman (Glenda Jackson) he meets while exploring the countryside nearby, he disguises himself as her sister to escape detection. Enjoying the experience a little too much, he agrees to accept the invitation of a soldier (Oliver Reed) to attend a dance at the base, risking exposure. Based on a novella by H.E. Bates.
  • Sleepaway Camp series (1983, 1988, 1989, 2008): Angela Baker (portrayed by Felissa Rose in the first and fourth installments and Pamela Springsteen in the second and third), the killer and main character of the series, is a trans woman.
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985): Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis is found guilty of immoral behaviour and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he is in. During the time they spend together, the two come to understand and respect one another. Molina is more accurately transgender, if not transsexual.
  • Soapdish (1991): In this soap opera parody, Montana Morehead (Cathy Moriarty), the show's star and scheming antagonist, is revealed, on live television, as a transgender woman.
  • Just Like a Woman (1992): British comedy-drama film directed by Christopher Monger starring Julie Walters, Adrian Pasdar, and Paul Freeman. The film is based on the novel Geraldine, For the Love of a Transvestite by Monica Jay, and is one of the few "cross-dressing" films in which the hero is actually a transvestite. Gerald Tilson, a finance executive, finds himself thrown out by his wife when she discovers women's underwear in their flat; in fact the clothes belong to him. He takes lodgings with Monica, who gradually discovers his alter ego, "Geraldine".
  • Orlando (1992): Tilda Swinton portrays Orlando, a character whose sex changes after 2/3 of the film.
  • Tales of the City (1993): In the miniseries, based on Armistead Maupin's series of novels, Anna Madrigal (played by Olympia Dukakis), the landlady of the San Francisco apartment building in which the story is centered is revealed, in the concluding episode, to be a trans woman.
  • A Transgender Path (1995): A documentary short about the experiences of Jo Ryan, a transgender student at the University of New Hampshire who came out in the early 1990s.
  • Different for Girls (1996): A British comedy film about two childhood friends who are reunited, after one of them has undergone sex reassignment surgery.
  • Ma vie en rose (1997): A Belgian film about a young child, Ludovic, who believes that she was born in the wrong body and should have been a girl.
  • Better Than Chocolate (1999): Features a sub-plot involving the transgender character named Judy (Peter Outerbridge), who struggles with family rejection throughout the film and who has a crush on, and ultimately begins a romantic relationship with, lesbian separatist Frances (Ann-Marie MacDonald), who owns the gay & lesbian bookstore in which the film's central character Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) works. Judy also becomes friends with Maggie's somewhat sexually repressed mother, Lila (Wendy Crewson)
  • Creature (1999): Documentary by Parris Patton about trans woman Stacey Hollywood; a four-year chronicle of Stacey's transformation into womanhood, life in the West Hollywood LGBT nightclub scene, and her journey from Los Angeles back home to visit her conservative Christian family in North Carolina.
  • Todo sobre mi madre (1999): A film by Pedro Almodóvar that tells the story of Manuela, a nurse whose son is hit by a car and killed. The son's father is transgender. Agrado, a friend of Manuela, is also transgender, and sex worker.
  • Beautiful Boxer (2003): A Thai film based on the real-life story of Nong Thoom/Parinya Charoenphol, a Muaythai boxer who underwent a sex change operation to become a woman.
  • Tom-Yum-Goong (2005): Known as "The Protector" in the US release, this is a foreign action film starring Tony Jaa. The main villain, Madame Rose, is a transgender women in the international versions. The actress who plays Rose, Jin Xing is transgender herself.
  • En Soap (English: A Soap, 2006): A Danish film about the love between a (pre-operative) trans woman and a lesbian.
  • Grilled (2006): A comedy film in which Sofía Vergara plays character of Loridonna, a sultry trans woman who seduces unsuspecting Maurice (Ray Romano) when he and Dave (Kevin James), two desperate meat salesmen, knock on her door. A call from a suicidal friend interrupts signing the contract, so Maurice and Dave offer to drive her to her friend's house, hoping to close the deal. There, troubles multiply as they meet an arms dealer (Kim Coates) - who outs Lori to Maurice just before they got intimate, then hit-men working for a gregarious mob boss (Burt Reynolds).
  • Red without Blue (2007): A documentary featuring identical twins Mark and Alex Farley. Alex transitions to Clair during the film. Clair is featured again in a 2012 National Geographic documentary "American Transgender"
  • Be Like Others (2008), a documentary film about transgenderism in Iran
  • Citulja za Eskobara (2008): Serbian movie includes trans woman named Borko becoming a girl named Lela.
  • Gun Hill Road (2011): A drama about a recently released ex-convict coping with her estranged wife and daughter, who is going through transition from male to female.
  • Boy Meets Girl (2014): 'Ricky' (Michelle Hendley), a transgender woman from rural Kentucky, awaiting acceptance into a New York fashion design school, learns about acceptance, friendship, sexuality and love.
  • The Gap (2014) [German: Der Spalt]: A movie about the core-misunderstanding of transgender women. It's about a girl named "Alex", who is born with body-parts that do not fit to her gender. The people around her do not believe that she exists.
  • Tangerine (2015): An independent film directed by Sean S. Baker where Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor play the main protagonists, two transgender women, Sin-Dee and Alexandra respectively.

Depictions of both[edit]

  • Wandering Son (2011): An 11-episode anime adaptation produced by AIC Classic based on the manga by Takako Shimura. The story depicts a transgender girl named Shūichi Nitori, and her friend Yoshino Takatsuki, a transgender boy. The series deals with issues such as transgenderism, gender identity, and the beginning of puberty.


  • Bad Girls: Arun Pamer - transgender character who served time in Larkhall prison.
  • Bones: In "The He in the She," Brennan and her team work to solve the murder of a transgender pastor named Patricia.
  • Brave New Girls: This reality TV show follows Jenna Talackova, a trans woman who was a contestant on Miss Universe Canada, as she moves from Vancouver to Toronto with cousin and best friend.
  • Col'n Carpenter: Col'n Carpenter is reunited with his estranged brother who is now his sister, and she is still Mummy's favourite child.[1]
  • Degrassi: Adam Torres (played by Jordan Todosey) is a transgender character introduced into the show in the tenth season.
  • Eli Stone: In the season two episode, "Two Ministers," Dallas Malloy plays a transgender minister who needs legal help when he loses his job after transitioning.
  • The Fosters: Tom Phelan plays a transgender boy whom the main character, Callie, meets at a group home.
  • Glee: Alex Newell plays Unique Adams, who is transgender. Dot Marie Jones plays football coach Shannon Beiste, who transitions to male (Sheldon Beiste) during the sixth season.
  • Hit & Miss: Chloë Sevigny plays a transgender woman, Mia. Mia is a contract killer who finds out that her ex-girlfriend, from before transitioning, is dead and that she was pregnant and had their child.
  • Just Shoot Me: Jenny McCarthy plays Brandi, formerly Burt, an old college friend of Finch's, in the episode "There's Something About Allison."
  • The L Word: Moira becomes Max, a transgender man. He becomes aggressive and unpredictable during his transition due to the hormones he is taking, and Jenny then dumps him because she does not want to be in a relationship with a man.
  • Married... with Children: In season 9's tenth episode, "Dud Bowl", Drew Pillsbury plays Thad, a former high school teammate of Al's who is now a trans woman, to Al's dismay, but who nevertheless plays football on Al's re-organized team.[2]
  • Medical Center: In the two-part Season 7 opener, Robert Reed porttrays Dr. Pat Caddison, a former colleague of Dr. Gannon, who reveals his intention to transition from male to female.
  • NCIS: In the Season 1 episode "Dead Man Talking," the female person of interest in a stakeout turns out to be the male murder suspect.
  • Night Court: In the Season 3 episode "Best of Friends", Dan meets up with a college buddy who is no longer living as a man.
  • One Piece: Mr. 2 Bon Kurei (better known as Bon Clay in English adaptations) is an okama, or transgender agent, of the criminal organization Baroque Works. Another character, Emporio Ivankov (aka Iva) is the "Queen" of Kamabakka Queendom (Kamabakka literally means "full of transvestites") and possess the powers of the "Horu Horu no Mi" devil's fruit, which grants the user the ability to create and control special hormones that can affect anyone they strike by however the user desires. One of his techniques is Emporio Onna Hormone (エンポリオ・女ホルモン, literally translated as Emporio Female Hormone) which are special female hormones that when injected into a male, causes said male (including Iva himself) to be transformed complete into a female (Iva uses it to change the sex of male opponents and even himself to female)
  • Orphan Black: Tony Sawicki (formerly Antoinette) is a clone and criminal. He is introduced in season two and is suspected to return in later seasons. Every other known clone in his "batch" is female.
  • Penny Dreadful: Angelique ( Jonny Beauchamp) Encounters Dorian Gray in a cafe. After they meet Gray takes up her offer and goes to her work place. Here it is made clear that she is transgender.
  • Pretty Little Liars: In the summer finale of Season 6, CeCe Drake (portrayed by Vanessa Ray) is revealed to be a transgender woman. She was born as a male named Charles DiLaurentis and identified as female from an early age, eventually becoming Charlotte DiLaurentis. In the same episode, she was revealed to be the main villain "A", her motives transpiring from being sent to a mental facility at a young age due to her transphobic father Kenneth.
  • Queer as Folk: Later seasons featured a minor transgender character named Kiki (usually described by other characters as "Kiki the Waitress, formerly known as Kenny the Waiter").
  • The Riches: Sam Malloy, the youngest child of the family on whom the series focuses, is a possibly non-binary pre-teen who usually prefers feminine gender expression, in spite of being assigned male at birth. Sam's parents and siblings respect and accept Sam's gender expression.
  • Sense8: One of the Sensate 'cluster' is a transgender woman named Nomi Marks, played by a transgender actress Jamie Clayton.
  • Twin Peaks (1990): David Duchovny portrays Denise Bryson, a trans FBI agent, who purportedly began presenting as a woman after working undercover.
  • Waterloo Road: In 2011, British School-based Drama Waterloo Road introduced fictional transgender character, 'Martin Dunbar' played by Matt Greenwood in Series 7, Episode 2 of the BBC Drama Series. The episode features around the 'coming out' and coming-to-terms story line of the pupil. Kacey Barry, played by Brogan Ellis, is forced to come to terms with her gender issues in series 8 (episode 18, man of the match") when Barry outs Kacey as a girl on the football pitch after Zoe kisses her/him.
  • The Closer: In the episode "Make Over," Beau Bridges plays Georgette, a transgender woman and Provenza's ex-partner.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]