Non-binary people were also or could also be trans. Calypso Jonze self-identified as trans and non-binary, (AUDIO: The Lovecraft Invasion) and used they/them pronouns. (AUDIO: "Flight of the Blackstar")
Mickey Smith had a trans friend called Sally Salter, who was part of his Bad Wolf band. (PROSE: Rose) Jack Harkness once had a transgender co-worker, Vanessa, who changed her name, something that perplexed Jack. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Eleanor Blake, an accomplished mathematician who met the Seventh Doctor and entered a brief romantic relationship with Chris Cwej, was a trans woman who lived through the 1940s. She went on to travel with Alpha Wheeler throughout space to escape the discrimination she faced on Earth. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown)
Tania Bell was a trans woman who worked for Torchwood Three. She was a resident of 107 Baker Street. She later became a companion of the Eighth Doctor, as well as Liv Chenka's romantic partner, on 2020 Earth. (AUDIO: Must-See TV, Wild Animals, Dead Time) She was accustomed to other people "minding" that she was trans, (AUDIO: Wild Animals) but understood that the identity one forged for oneself was truer than the "shot in the dark" that was birth assignment. She chose her name to affirm who she really was. (AUDIO: The Long Way Round)
Because gender was commonly assigned at birth, (TV: Day of the Moon, Father's Day, AUDIO: The Long Way Round) trans people like Sally Salter (PROSE: Rose) and Eleanor Blake came to realise that they had always been a different gender to that which they had been told. Despite others' non-acceptance, Eleanor was fully aware that she had "always been Eleanor". (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown) In the mid-2000s, Sally had to cut ties with her family in order to begin living life as herself. She found affirmation with her friends and bandmates, together known as Bad Wolf, and a safe space in which to sleep at Mickey's one-bedroom flat. (PROSE: Rose)
Though, according to the Seventh Doctor, circumstances would improve "a little" by the 21st century for trans people, Eleanor had to hide her identity in order to survive in the 1940s. In fact, Eleanor faced violence and discrimination on account of her gender. She was surprised to find Chris Cwej so accepting, noting how he "didn't even blink", but held little hope for changes to come within her lifetime.
Coming as he did from the 30th century, Chris did not understand the fuss about assigned genders. As he explained to Eleanor, on first finding out she was a trans woman, "it seems a bit stupid to care about little stuff like that", considering the breadth of the universe, and all the dangers and variety to be found therein. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown)
Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17 also once claimed to Rose Tyler that she had once been "a little boy" on Earth, although she was notoriously prone to misusing words and knowledge from her early Earthly life. (TV: The End of the World)
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Writers[edit | edit source]
In 2011, trans woman Lilah Sturges wrote the IDW comic story A Fairytale Life. Sturges was credited by her birth name for the story as she "didn't consciously know [she was transgender] until 2012".
That same year, Grant Morrison came out as non-binary. Although no longer associated with the DWU by that point, they had previously written three comic stories for Doctor Who Magazine, which were reprinted in Grant Morrison's Doctor Who.
Actors[edit | edit source]
Lor Wilson, who portrayed Lucy Cartwright and Daughter of Mine in Human Nature / The Family of Blood, later came out as non-binary. They reprised their role in the 2020 webcast The Shadow in the Mirror.
Adèle Anderson, a trans woman, had a guest role in the 2017 Big Finish audio story The Carrionite Curse. She later played a series of clones named Dreyda in the Jenny: The Doctor's Daughter audio story Zero Space, and held a recurring role as Major Tamasan in the Eighth Doctor: Time War: Volume Three box set.
In 2020, Rebecca Root began her role in Stranded as Eighth Doctor companion Tania Bell, who was the first trans companion in the Doctor Who universe. She also portrayed cis characters in earlier Big Finish stories.
That same year, non-binary actor Robyn Holdaway had a role in AUDIO: The Lovecraft Invasion. They played Calypso Jonze, a trans, non-binary bounty hunter from the 51st century. This became a recurring role in 2021, with The End of the Beginning.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- Eisner-Nominated Comic Writer Lilah Sturges Talks Transgender Narratives, Coming Out, and the Importance of Names
- About Us | Jay Harley. Script Angel. Retrieved on 31 July 2020.
- Doris V. Sutherland
- The Green Lantern Writer Grant Morrison Comes Out as Non-Binary
- Welcome to the homepage of Stacey Smith? "This is by far the most interesting aspect of my name. The other is that it has recently changed from male to female, but that's just because I changed something trivial like gender. The question mark stays, because it's much more fundamental."
- Lor Wilson performs 'Binders and Boxes'
- Wyatt, Daisy (6 August 2015). Doctor Who casts first transgender actor Bethany Black. The Independent. Retrieved on 10 October 2018.