Being the Doctor and Being Trans

I love Doctor Who. A while ago, a friend wrote a blog post about Doctor Who that just provided even more reasons to love the show, “The queer connection: Trans identity and the Doctor.” Hir post focuses on the similarities between the Doctor and trans people. I think it’s a fascinating idea.

The three aspects of the Doctor that Ronen of “I am the Motley” focuses on are names, passing/coming out, and transition. As Ronen puts if, “‘The Doctor’ isn’t his real name. Except that it kinda is. . . . He passes, and as a result is constantly coming out. . . . Regeneration = Transition.” I’d never thought about it that way, but it makes sense.

Beyond that, Doctor Who challenges gender in different ways. There have been signs, for example, that the Doctor could regenerate as a woman and/or a female (assuming that Time Lords have anatomy such that “male” and “female” actually mean anything). The Doctor is sometimes posited as being outside gender; he’s not always included as being a man, generally due to the fact that he’s not human.

There are so many different species of beings in Doctor Who. Those possibilities lessen the primacy of a binary gender system. When there are so many people that don’t belong to a clearly identified gender, how could you argue that there are only two genders?

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