Alright time for me to attack the Grell Gender Drama that for whatever reason has reawakened.
This is actually partially gonna be in response to this anon Bug got
I’m also gonna use some of my personal experience with dysphoria and misgendering here, though I am DFAB genderfluid, not a DMAB transwoman
I’ll start off with the usual arguments of why people claim Grell is a cisman:
- The pronouns Yana uses for them
- They call themself “okama” (as does Yana)
- The ever-disgusting “other characters use he/him pronouns” and “they have a penis” (wonderful transmisogyny if you use those ones)
For the pronouns Yana uses, “kare,” I can’t say much. I’ve read that it’s actually gender-neutral, just translated to he/him. I can’t confirm this, I know very little about Japanese pronouns. Also, it is possible for creators to misgender their own characters. I’ve done it before.
Next, the use of “okama” in reference to Grell. Both Grell and Yana use it for them, and it’s slang for “effeminate gay man,” and okama are known to use the same speech Grell uses, onee-kotoba. Altogether it makes a pretty good argument, as well as the fact that in Japan okama are often equated with transwomen, and are seen as wanting gender reassignment surgery.
One thing I don’t see brought up nearly enough is Grell’s gender dysphoria - literally the reason she helps Madam Red as Jack the Ripper is because she relates to her because neither of them can have children. She’s upset with her body. She wants gender reassignment surgery, and I know the stereotype of okama, but let me put it this way:
okama = gay man = no dysphoria (assuming we’re talking cis gay men)
grell + dysphoria + desire for gender reassignment surgery =/= gay man
grell = not cis
Why then, would she call herself an okama?
Because hey! Sometimes trans people and non-binary people misgender themselves! I’m going to speak as if Grell were a real person for a bit now:
It’s entirely possible that Grell would’ve called herself an okama either before she realized her identity or as a way to act as herself without coming out. I mean, she doesn’t exactly live in the most accepting of times as far as gender goes. And if she called herself okama for however long (maybe 80ish years; she does at one point in the Tale of Will the Reaper OVA refer to herself as male), it could be hard for her to stop, even after she came out as transgender. For example: I am genderfluid. I don’t like it when people call me a girl unless I specifically say I’m feeling like a girl; I prefer neutral pronouns. However, I call myself a girl all the time because for so long I’d called myself a girl. Frankly, it’s hard to stop. See how that works? It’s a habit, and a hard one to break
Obviously Grell isn’t real, but looking at the facts of her dysphoria and desire for gender reassignment surgery, I find it very hard to believe she’s a cisman, even with the stereotype of okama. Because all it is is a stereotype: cis gay men do not have gender dysphoria. Grell does. Grell is not cis.