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]

  • "Desperate Living" (1977): A John Waters comedy featuring a trans man character who gets phalloplasty.
  • "Linda/Les and Annie: The First Female-to-Male Transsexual Love Story" (1992): A 30-minute docu-drama, written, co-directed/co-edited by Annie Sprinkle.
  • 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 male friends. The movie received lots of media attention when its star Hilary Swank, who played Brandon, won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • Southern Comfort (2001): A documentary film about the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a transgender man from the southern United States.
  • "By Hook or by Crook" (2001): A queer buddy film written, directed by, and starring trans men.
  • 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 her female singing voice. 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) has gender dysphoria. She bonds with the main character, Anna, and develops an apparent crush on her.
  • Romeos (2011): A drama and tragicomedy which revolves around the romantic relationship between Lukas, a 20-year-old gay trans man who is transitioning from female to male, and a cisgender gay man named Fabio.
  • Tomboy (2011): A French drama about a 10-year-old transgender child who, after moving with his family to a new neighborhood introduces himself to his new friends as Mikäel.
  • 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."
  • Pierrot Lunaire (2014): an adaptation of Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire that features a trans man in the title role.
  • Trans: a documentary about transboys (2014): A documentary film that explores the female-to-male transition by following several subjects in Ghent, Belgium.
  • About Ray (2015): A drama about a young person transitioning female to male (Ray). Elle Fanning plays Ray.

Trans women[edit]

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 transphobia, gender identity, and the beginning of puberty.

Television[edit]

  • All My Children: Zoe is a transgender character in the American soap opera.
  • All That Glitters: Linda Gray played transgender fashion model Linda Murkland in this 1977 series.
  • Ally McBeal: Lisa Edelstein played transgender character Cindy McCauliff in the fourth season of the show.
  • American Horror Story: Hotel: Liz Taylor is a transgender female character who is the bartender in the hotel Cortez.
  • Bad Girls: Arun Pamer - transgender character who served time in Larkhall prison.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful: Karla Mosley appears as Maya Avant, a transgender super model on the American soap opera.
  • 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.
  • The Brini Maxwell Show, Sabrina “Brini” Maxwell is a fictional character created by actor Ben Sander. Described by Guy Trebey of the Village Voice [1] as the "prototypical, pre-feminist, 1960s homemaker", Maxwell has also been described as a composite of Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Auntie Mame, That Girl and Donna Reed and came to prominence in the late '90s as the host of her eponymous television show on Public-access television cable TV in Manhattan.
  • The Closer: In the episode "Make Over," Beau Bridges plays Georgette, a transgender woman and Provenza's ex-partner.
  • 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]
  • Coronation Street: Hayley Cropper was the first transgender character in a British soap opera.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The fifth season episode "Ch-ch-changes" focuses on illegal sex reassignment operations in the female transgender community, and features several transgender characters.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Paul Millander, a transgender character, appears in three episodes of CSI: "Pilot", "Anonymous", and "Identity Crisis."
  • "Dark Angel (TV Series)": Season 1 ep8 "Out" Back at Jam Pony, Normal has a date with a woman who is actually transgender. After he finds out, he decides that he doesn't care about her past, only to discover that Louise is a lesbian. First time a trans woman was cast to play a trans character on American television.
  • "Dead of Summer (TV Series)": Drew is revealed to be a transgender male. He encounters issues when he comes out to his male crush.
  • Degrassi: Adam Torres (played by Jordan Todosey) is a transgender character introduced into the show in the tenth season.
  • Diagnosis: Murder: A trans woman is murdered by her previous lover, who loved her as a male.
  • Dirty Sexy Money: Candis Cayne, actress and transgender performer plays Carmelita, a transgender woman who has an affair with married New York attorney General Patrick Darling, played by William Baldwin.
  • Doctor Who: Zoë Wanamaker voices Lady Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17, a recurring character in season one and two. In season one episode, "The End of the World," it is revealed that Cassandra was born a male.
  • The Education of Max Bickford: Helen Shaver plays Erica, a trans woman and best friend of Max Bickford, the title character.
  • 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.
  • Faking It: In season three a new character, Noah, is a transgender gay male. He starts dating Shane. He is portrayed by Elliot Flecter who is transgender himself in real life.
  • Family Guy: In the episode "Quagmire's Dad", Glenn Quagmire's father, Lieutenant Commander Dan Quagmire, has gender reassignment surgery and changes her name to Ida Quagmire.
  • 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.
  • Hollyoaks: In 2010, the character Jason Costello was introduced as the British soap opera's first character to have gender dysphoria. Subsequently, they introduced Blessing Chambers, a young trans woman, and, most recently, Sally St. Claire, played by Annie Wallace, the first trans actor to play a regular trans character in British soap.
  • I Am Cait, docudrama/reality show about transition of Caitlyn Jenner; premiered July 2015
  • I Am Jazz, reality show about transgender teen Jazz Jennings; premiered July 2015
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Brittany Daniel plays recurring character Carmen, a trans woman who has an on-again, off-again relationship with Mac until she gets married.
  • The Jeffersons: Veronica Redd plays Edie Stokes, formerly Eddie Stokes, in the episode "Once a Friend".
  • Just Shoot Me: Jenny McCarthy plays Brandi, formerly Burt, an old college friend of Finch's, in the episode "There's Something About Allison."
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Transgender characters are featured in episodes "Fallacy" (Season 4) and "Transitions" (Season 10).
  • The Love Boat: In a 1980s episode, MacKenzie Phillips portrays a trans woman who is eventually accepted as a friend by her old high school classmate, series regular Fred Grandy.
  • 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.
  • My Family: Diana Weston plays Charlie Briggs, an old college friend of Ben's who is transgender.
  • 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.
  • Nip/Tuck: Famke Janssen played Ava Moore in the American plastic surgery based television drama series. Jonathan Del Arco plays Sophia Lopez, whose botched surgery leads the doctors to a doctor who routinely botches surgery on transgender patients in season 1. Cherry Peck (Willam Belli) figures prominently in season 3.
  • Number 96: In Australia 1973, Carlotta played a showgirl revealed as transgender.
  • 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)
  • Orange Is the New Black: Sophia Burset (portrayed by Laverne Cox) is an inmate who serves time for credit card theft. Before transitioning, she was known as Marcus.
  • 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.
  • Second Serve: A TV film based on the autobiography of tennis pro Renée Richards (played by Vanessa Redgrave), whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was transgender.
  • Sense8: One of the Sensate 'cluster' is a transgender woman named Nomi Marks, played by a transgender actress Jamie Clayton.
  • Soldier's Girl (2003): A drama film based on real-life story of the relationship between Private Barry Winchell and singer Calpernia Addams, starring Lee Pace as Calpernia.
  • South Park (2005): From the start of the ninth season, elementary school teacher Herbert Garrison became known as Janet Garrison, then later reverted to male.
  • The Surreal Life: Alexis Arquette, a trans woman who appeared in the reality series.
  • Tales of the City (1993): Based on Armistead Maupin's novel of the same name, this miniseries is set in a San Francisco apartment building run by an Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), an over-solicitous transgender landlady.
  • Transparent: Jeffrey Tambor plays a trans woman in the process of transitioning.
  • Twin Peaks (1990): David Duchovny portrays Denise Bryson, a trans FBI agent, who purportedly began presenting as a woman after working undercover.
  • Two and a Half Men: In the episode "An Old Flame With a New Wick" (Chris O'Donnell) plays a transgender man.
  • Ugly Betty: Rebecca Romijn plays Alexis Meade, a trans woman in the American drama/comedy television series.
  • 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.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: In episode "Hotel Oceanview", Linda Carlson plays Nikki Sinckler, a transgender woman and former high school buddy of salesman Herb Tarlek, whom he unwittingly tries to seduce.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]