Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

if you’re thinking of writing a trans character and concerned about getting it wrong, here’s some stuff to keep in mind 🧵

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

make a compelling character first. Give them flaws! Make them messy! Perfectly pure and moral characters are flat and boring. Give your trans character room to grow and change, just like any other character.

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

avoid making a story centered around a character’s transition if you aren’t trans. Transition is so nuanced, it’s tough for cis ppl to get it right. It’s obviously part of their life story but it shouldn’t be the main focus. let trans ppl tell those stories

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

consult with MULTIPLE trans ppl at different stages/drafts of your project! multiple perspectives are important, bonus points the closer the consultant is in identity to your character. And remember to PAY THEM for their work!

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

(the point of consultants is to help you avoid harmful tropes, but they can also add insightful nuances to your character. Stuff that only trans ppl think of on a day to day basis)

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

if your project involves a team of people, make sure to hire trans writers/artist and LISTEN TO THEM. Like consultants, they will enrich your project.

Kaden Westbrook @ story artist looking for work! @kadejw

that’s pretty much it! Go forth and write trans characters, we need more of them!

I’ve been in love with the show Warrior Nun this past year, on Netflix. One of my favorite characters is Chanel (played by May Lifschitz), who is trans. Her being trans is incidental, she’s just another secondary character, there to support the main character. There is only one point in the show, during a character building moment for the main character, that they reference the fact she’s trans, and you wouldn’t even catch it if you didn’t know thats what they meant.

Chanel’s being trans is not her defining piece. She could have been cis and it wouldn’t have changed the story.

That is how you write a trans character. Make it incidental, just another piece of who they are as a person. And for the love of god, cast a trans person in the role!!