Fanfiction is often used to give representation to minorities that wouldn’t normally be featured in the mainstream media. While this doesn’t always work out, fanfiction in general has done a decent job at providing representation, especially queer representation. And while most fanfiction featuring queer relationships is comprised of slash fanfiction (fanfiction featuring male/male pairings), some efforts have been made to give more representation to the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, last month was Femslash February, which focused on celebrating queer women. Fanfiction authors who wanted more ace representation have started Asexy April. So while the majority of queer pairings in fanfiction are still m/m pairings, there has been a push in the fanfiction community for more inclusion.
However, when it comes to transgender, intersex, and non-binary characters, there is noticeably less representation, both in mainstream media and in fanfiction. Recently, I have seen some more trans and non-binary headcanons, but there are still very few intersex headcanons. Headcanons, for those of you that might not know, are fans’ personal idea about characters which could fit into the existing canon of a show, even if the show itself has little to support the idea. Usually headcanons have some sort of explanation or evidence to back them up.
So to encourage people to write more fanfiction with trans, intersex, and non-binary characters, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite headcanons.
My absolute favorite trans headcanon is DFAB (designated female at birth) Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I think I like DFAB Dean Winchester so much because it actually makes a lot of sense and really doesn’t change much of the original canon for the character. Dean would still identify as male and still act as macho and sex-crazed as he usually does, but he would also be a trans character. This headcanon also makes sense given the background behind Dean’s name. Mary Winchester, Dean’s mom, named Dean for her mother Deanna and Sam for her father. Traditionally, though,
parents would name each son after one of their dads. So if Mary and John Winchester were going to name Sam and Dean after their dads, you would think they would be named Sam and Henry. If, because John hated his dad, he decided not to name one of his sons after him, you would still think that the oldest son, Dean, would have been named Sam. This led some people to believe that Dean’s birth name was Deanna, but after transitioning or simply after realizing he identified as male, he started going by Dean. It’s pretty cool that this headcanon works so well in canon, which is probably the reason I love it so much. (Note: You can find this headcanon pretty easily if you search FTM!Dean Winchester. FTM means female to male, but is an outdated and problematic term.)
Another one of my favorite headcanons, which I discovered recently thanks to the blog hiddenhogwarts, is DMAB (designated male at birth) Luna Lovegood. I absolutely adore the idea of Luna or any Hogwarts character being trans and using magic to help themselves transition, or getting some special magical treatment from Madame Pomfrey to transition. With the Harry Potter universe, there are so many fun possibilities to explore.
Non-binary character heacanons are a bit more difficult because they usually feature characters that aren’t human, which, as I have explained before, is problematic because it wrongly promotes the idea that humans can’t be genderqueer. But as always, there is one fandom that comes to the rescue when it comes to good and diverse representation, and that’s Welcome to Night Vale. Non-binary Cecil Palmer is one of my favorite headcanons. Since Cecil is never really described, he is the perfect character for fans to use to gain more representation. In the Welcome to Night Vale fandom you can find a ton of trans, intersex, and non-binary headcanons for numerous characters, proving once again how awesome this fandom really is.
Intersex headcanons, as I mentioned earlier, are a lot more difficult to find. I have seen some intersex Cecil handcanons, but I think my favorite might be an intersex genderfluid Loki. The reason I like this headcanon so much is because it fits Loki pretty well. It’s recently been revealed that Loki is canonically genderfluid, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t also be intersex. Admittedly, since Loki is a non-human character, this does fall into potentially the same problem that I mentioned earlier. However, despite being super-strong and powerful, Loki, Thor, and most of the other characters in Marvel’s Thor are human-passing, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Loki to be intersex in a way that other intersex readers could actually relate to. And if Loki were intersex and genderfluid, his shapeshifting abilities would allow Loki to change his outward appearances depending on
how Loki wanted to present at the moment, whether that was masculine, feminine, or more androgynous.
Transgender, intersex, and non-binary people get little to no representation in mainstream media. Online, it isn’t much easier, with both cisgender and non-cis-identifying people being ridiculed for having trans, intersex, and non-binary headcanons. I myself remember being told what an awful person I was for even suggesting a DFAB Dean. It’s one thing to critique someone’s problematic headcanons, but denying people the right to representation even with the headcanons they mention online is wrong. There are only two trans female characters on TV right now, Candis Cayne (Elementary) and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black),
plus one minor character in DC’s current run of Batgirl, and one in Marvel’s recently cancelled FF title. The few non-binary characters are all non-human, and there are literally no intersex characters to speak of in mainstream media. Our society is denying people representation; let’s not allow that online or in fanfiction. Let’s have more trans, intersex, and non-binary headcanons and fanfiction!