I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a bit of an obsession with TV Tropes, with tropes defined as “devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.” It’s as great a time-killer as WikiPedia, with more mass media and less actual “knowledge.” In addition to describing the trope, each page also has a list of comics/books/movies/shows/etc that demonstrate the trope (and often have snarky commentary as a nice bonus). Basically, it’s this.
Anyway, I’ve been bookmarking TV Tropes pages about gender, sexuality, and trans issues. As a culture-related site with a page about the Whateley universe, they have some good pages that seemed like they were worth sharing.
We’ll start with Transsexual. Their definition – “people who are not at all happy with the sex they were born with (more clinically, whose gender identity is out of whack with their biological sex)” – actually isn’t too bad. They also go on to differentiate between transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and so-on.
Gender Bender – A main character has somehow (magically, sci-fi, curse, doesn’t matter) switched genders
Attractive Bent Gender – when a man is seen as a woman (turned into one, cross-dressing, masked by a magic spell, whatever) someone (or everyone) will inevitably see him as beautiful
Sweet on Polly Oliver – The opposite of above, where a woman appearing as a man will inevitably be found attractive by some man, who then feels intensely uncomfortable at being attracted to a “man”
Mandy’s Law of Anime Gender Bending – “Once a girl has been created, circumstances will conspire to keep her a girl.” It’s true. It really is.
Easy Sex Change – TV, movies, or bullshit political arguments about how “easy” sex changes are
Man I Feel Like a Woman – The inevitable sequence fictional men go through when suffering from a gender bender: shock, staring down at breasts, grabbing crotch, grabbing breasts in disbelief and realizing how good that feels (apparently…)
Dropped a Bridget On Him – The fictional version of “You think she’s hot? She used to be a man!” (Named for Bridget, a cross-dressing character from a video game series.)
Jumping the Gender Barrier – A variant of a gender bender where “someone who would have made a good match if not for gender suddenly is a good match”
Gender Flip – Retelling a story with a main character’s gender being switched, doing a remake of a movie with a character recast as the other gender, etc
Double Standard – I’m gonna hope if you’re reading this blog you know what double standard means…
Wholesome Crossdresser – “usually well-groomed, compassionate, nice and above all, so convincing that his or her sex is mentioned on occasion just to remind newer viewer”
Villainous Crossdresser – Basically, opposite of the above. Often homophobic, transphobic, or generally ___phobic
Different for Girls – When – for whatever reason – a someone goes out as the other gender, and their original gender shines through and makes things super awkward, because they haven’t “had the benefit of the years of acculturation that real members of the other sex have had.” (Basically, how transitioning adults are afraid they look, 24/7. Well, I won’t speak for anyone else. How I’m afraid I look, 24/7…)