The Transgender Character

by jeanineoloughlin

Thinking Through My Fingers

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Issac Asimov

I grew up in a liberal area but with very conservative parents and family, so growing up I never discussed identity crisis or transgender issues until I was in college. It just wasn’t something I was made aware of or that was talked about. However, this topic has been extremely prevalent in very recent events. I thought it would be interesting to add some of that discussion from my perspective here.

Now I haven’t written about transgender characters myself, but very recently I read a few stories that include them, unbeknownst to me initially, and played a video-game that has a transgender character. I was worried these characters would not be treated well but was pleasantly surprised. The authors/creators treated these characters with the respect and genuine care for those who do not identify as their biological gender. They were real, believable and while the subject of their gender came up the discussion was presented in a constructive manner that built sympathy and depth to the characters rather than demeaning them or pushing these character to change their identity to fit a societal type. I think that as our society evolves and we are introduced to the multitude of facets that humanity is made of our literature needs to also evolve to include stories and characters that portray these facets. I have a very narrow comfort zone with my writing right now and of late I have been pushing my boundaries in a lot of different ways. I haven’t completed any pieces due to these bouts of experimentation; how I’m writing it, what I’m writing and who I’m writing about.

Finding one’s own identity and becoming comfortable with that identity is something that everyone struggles with, but when that identity is in contrast to your own physiology I can’t imagine how hard it must be to come to terms with that. I hope that as we move forward to a more accepting and less judgmental society that our writing and our literature also reflects that and we will see more of these interesting characters and we can reach out to those with these life experiences and maybe help them find their own self and know they will be loved.

Happy Writing!