I had a really interesting conversation about the possibility of a female Doctor with my 12-year-old sister two weeks ago. Doctor Who is her favourite tv show. In the past, she has always underlined that she wanted her Doctor to be young and attractive and basically Matt Smith, thank you. I don’t think she would have had issues with a Doctor of Colour, but a female Doctor would have been almost as bad as, you know, some old guy.
I never had the impression that she put any deeper thought in the matter. And then two weeks ago, faced with the more tangible potential of a female Doctor happening, she looks at me and tells me she doesn’t think a female Doctor is a good thing, because a female Doctor can’t do the same things as a male Doctor? “Really?” - Unsure look. “I guess…?” Silence. “My favourite scenes are the ones where he realises that he’s wrong, that he’s an idiot, they couldn’t do that with a woman?” - “Why?” - “I mean, there’s not really a reason, but…”
There’s this back and forth in which she comes up with new things that a female Doctor probably cannot do, only to me met by her own confusion every time I question why. There’s no direct logical reasoning that goes “Female Doctor” -> “Incapable of all the Doctor’s ‘weak‘ moments”, but she also kind of holds on to that concern as a real one. She never fears that a female Doctor cannot be an awesome hero. She fears she cannot be an awesome, flawed one.
And that’s fascinating perspective from someone who is essentially half a generation younger than me, who grew up with a slightly different media landscape, with half a generations worth of new heroes. So here’s to the Doctor as a flawed female heroine, as someone who is silly, as someone with faults, as someone who gets to be wrong. In spite of being a 2,000-year-old alien, let her be a role model who is real.
We asked trans and gender-nonconforming adults what they think young trans people need to hear right now, whether that’s advice, words of encouragement, or a piece of inspiration. Here are their letters. (x)
I never came to the beach or stood by the ocean I never sat by the shore under the sun with my feet in the sand But you brought me here and I’m happy that you did ‘Cause now I’m as free as birds catching the wind
I always thought I would sink, so I never swam I never went boatin’, don’t get how they are floatin’ And sometimes I get so scared Of what I can’t understand
But here I am Next to you The sky’s more blue In Malibu Next to you In Malibu Next to you, baby
We watched the sun go down as we were walking I’d spend the rest of my life just standing here talking You would explain the current as I just smile Hoping that you’ll stay the same and nothing will change And it’ll be us just for a while Do they even exist? That’s when I make the wish To swim away with the fish
Is it supposed to be this hot all summer long? I never would’ve believed you If three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song
But here I am Next to you The sky’s so blue In Malibu Next to you In Malibu Next to you, baby
Next to you The sky’s so blue In Malibu, baby Next to you
We are just like the waves that flow back and forth Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and you’re there to save me And I wanna thank you with all of my heart It’s a brand new start A dream come true In Malibu