Love your trans peter post! My head cannon is steve being trans. Back in the day, he was short and small like peter. How quick to violence people were with poor 1900's steve. The real reason he couldn't get into the army was because what was on his birth certificate. When Bucky told him to 'sell bonds/manufacture' instead of enlist, those were woman's jobs back then. The doctor hooked him up with the super soldier experiment, adding in extra procedures.
damn u right!! but okay- I’ve actually been meaning to talk about my trans Steve headcanon for quite some time now, so I’m just gonna info-dump a bunch of trans history and MCU interpretations right here. SO:
First of all, the setup of Steve Rogers as a short, scrawny boy who’s bullied and beat up all the time fits easily with how a trans man in the 1940s might have lived. This scene from Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) honestly looks like that cliche trans art trope where it’s like: “trans person looks in the mirror and their reflection is the right gender”.
you know the one.
Later in that same scene, Bucky outright says that the reason he thinks Steve is joining the war is to “prove himself.” You could totally interpret this as Steve trying to shove himself into the absolute most masculine role in his society in order to reaffirm his own gender identity.
Bucky is also incredibly worried about the consequences Steve will face if he is “discovered falsifying enlistment documents”. If you headcanon Steve as a trans man, this adds new depth to the stakes. Instead of lying about his respiratory issues and hometown, Steve would be lying about his sex assigned at birth. Which, given the state of the US in 1943, would’ve had even harsher punishment.
It’s also interesting that Dr. Abraham Erskine (the man who accepts Steve into the military) is a German scientist. In the early 1900s, the Germans were at the forefront of medical treatment for trans people. The first clinic to treat transgender people (Magnus Hirschfeld’s ‘Institute for Sexology’) opened in Germany in 1919. But as the Nazis came to power in the 1930s, many of the German scientists at this clinic migrated to the US to treat the trans people here.
Steve is recruited by Dr. Abraham Erskine in 1943, which would be congruent with the time the German scientists from the ‘Institute for Sexology’ immigrated to the US. So, to clarify: a German-American doctor spends his life researching and creating a serum that instantly masculinized Steve via intra-muscular injection. I would like to point out that for trans men, testosterone is administered the same way. Also, this timeline just so happens to line up with a key point in the history of transgender medical treatment. Huh. Interesting.
In addition, the following quote by Dr. Abraham Erskine can easily lend itself to a discussion on transmasculinity:
“…the strong man who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows… compassion.”
and– hey, I just wanna point out the… interesting parallel… between the flag pole scene in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
and the arrow scene in Mulan (1998)
…like wow… okay. there’s actually a lot of parallels between these two movies, (
except in Mulan the protagonist enters the ‘male’ gender role out of necessity whereas Steve does so by desire, differentiating between a cross-dresser and a trans man) but I won’t go there today. nope.
Then the introduction of Peggy Carter leads Steve to question his existing perceptions of gender roles. He admits that “I guess I just don’t know why you’d join the army if you were… a woman” which, under this trans interpretation, could be Steve projecting his own relationship with gendered aspirations onto Peggy.
And god, that’s not even delving into how easily his ‘transformation sequence’ could fall into a trans narrative.
In the second act of the film when a woman hits on him, Steve responds with visible discomfort. When he first realizes that she’s hitting on him, his immediate reaction is to cover his chest.
The First Avenger mentions Steve’s lack of romantic/sexual experience many times throughout the film. Steve passes it off as ‘not having found the right partner yet’ but hypothetically– if he were a trans man, that could be another reason for his fear of sexual intimacy. If he’s #stealth and passing as male, then any form of sexual intimacy could risk his reputation and his ability to remain in the military.
Oh, and did I mention? Statistically speaking, approximately 20% of the US transgender population serves (or has served) in the military. This is over double the rate of the cisgender population. So, tbh, it’s not unrealistic to have a trans character so adamant about enlistment, patriotism, or military life.
Anyways, yeah- Captain America’s story (especially in the MCU) definitely lends itself to an interpretation of Steve Rogers as a trans man.