Non-Binary Characters That Inspired a Generation (And Were Showstoppers)

Hi there! After attending an anime convention during Pride Celebration Month, I was inspired to pay tribute to some LGBTQ+ characters who inspired “family” of my generation and other generations to accept themselves. So here’s a list of some characters that I felt really did that!

Ryoji “Ranka” Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club

Oh yeah. You know I had put Ryoji “Ranka” on the list!

Ryoji is the father of the protagonist in this series, Haruhi Fujioka. You typically see Ryoji wearing bandanas and skinny jeans, however, when they dress up as Ranka, Ryoji lets that hair fly, the skirt out, and the attitude soar!

When I was watching this series as a kid, I knew Ryoji cross-dressed but I didn’t realize how powerful of a move that was to put that in an anime. I just treated it like normal. Which is awesome and probably what the creators wanted…but now being 22 and seeing the hate that part of the community goes through, I appreciate this even more. And who didn’t love the badass father and mother figure Ryoji was to Haruhi that her mother wasn’t. Way to go!

Ayame Sohma from Fruits Basket

There’s no way I could leave this fabulous being off the list. Yes, Ayame does have he/him pronouns given to him in the series, but I guarantee you if you walk by Ayame on the street and say, “You go sis!” they would turn around! I don’t know about you but I remember during their debut episode Ayame taking Tohru out to dinner. There was a little snippet of a man and woman walking by them. The two whispered, “Is that a woman? No, I think that’s a man.” Literally two seconds and out! Now, some may ask, “Was this necessary to add?” In my opinion…YES! Because it shows us: 1) How people like to question a person’s gender based on the clothing they wear or the way they style their hair when it’s none of their damn business. 2) How people love to assume said person’s gender based on their presence. 3)How Ayame clearly heard that conversation but brushed it off because that is a question he probably hears often. That is a question many non binary people get, but just like Ayame, they choose not to fight. People are going to talk. And it was awesome the writers showed that so we could get a glimpse on their everyday lives.

Ayame is super comfortable in his skin. He knows he is a male (and apparently a bottom) but that hasn’t stopped him from dressing in women’s clothing, wearing his hair in braids, being in touched with femininity, and just slaying like a queen! Plus, I don’t think he really identifies as male or female or particularly cares. As long as he can express himself in whatever way of the spectrum he wants to, he’s fine!

Sailor Starlights from Sailor Moon

Now this one, flew over my head. When I was younger, I knew the Starlights were disguised as men. I even knew they transformed into women… but that queer dynamic went way over my head! They aren’t even dressed in male outfits when they aren’t Sailor Senshi. Oh no! The creators didn’t go that easy on us. They made them biologically men until they transform (or put on their “Makeup””. Then, they become women…Yes to breaking gender norms!

Also, in their male disguises, they still have effeminate features. They have a pretty edgy and lively attitude that can transform into this femme fatale badass. Like, slay!! Then they kick ass with no mercy and devote their lives to searching for the princess. Need I say more? I think the GIF speaks for itself.

Hange Zoe from Attack on Titan

This a much newer character compared to the rest of the list, but that’s fine! Because it means inspiration for the next generation.

Hange is such a cool non binary character. Definitely no pronouns are given to them. You don’t see subordinates or officers say he/him or she/her, and to be honest, they don’t fit anywhere on the ends of the spectrum. They aren’t masculine, nor are they feminine, but the best thing is that no one cares. They just know Hange is damn loyal and good at their jobs and they treat them as a person.

Hange is also a great inspiration for many people out there who have been bound to the gender of woman but really don’t resonate with addressing themselves as female. Who may tend to be more masculine but still want to wear their long hair out. Also, people who have been bound to the gender of man but really don’t resonate with the word “male”. They may have masculine qualities but also have effeminate mannerisms or may like to wear their hair down or go against other typical gender roles of men. This is such a great character because they are the perfect embodiment of a present day non-binary person.

Animation Exclusive!

For this next character, I am going to step out of the reigns of anime a bit and go into animation because why not talk about…

Him from The Powerpuff Girls

Again, I know Him is not an anime character, but COME ON, you cannot deny this fabulousness! Plus, he/they was probably the first character ever in animation to bring up pronouns! Does Him even confine with the pronouns “he/him”. I don’t think so! Him is not completely masculine nor completely feminine but I love how the writers gave him the name “Him”. Because it makes us question, “Huh… the pronoun him refers to masculinity, but Him the character is definitely not that. So what would Him be?”

Writers: “It doesn’t matter. Why does Him have to be he/him? Him could be she, her or they/them. Him doesn’t have to be bound to a gender. “

Mind fuckin blown!

It’s a great juxtaposition that was introduced to us in the late 90s for us to be aware of pronouns at a time where it wasn’t even thought of . The writers were so ahead of their time with Him but still came in at the right time! Probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Displaying such feminine power in a masculine like body, AND BEING COMFORTABLE WITH IT!

Like…

She ain’t on fire but still slayin!

Get that workout on! Don’t pay these other villains no mind!

Yes! Powder that face! Don’t be bound to gender roles, honey!

Uhhhhh… yes queen! SLAY THAT BATHTUB!

And they are open and comfortable expressing this femininity in a supposed masculine body!

I’m telling you! The reason why I added Him to the list is because I know for a fact Him opened the minds of a lot of children and inspired a lot of that generation watching that to be unapologetically themselves. To grow up not worrying about gender roles like, “I’m a boy so it’s not allowed for me to wear makeup.” This is the case especially for a lot of men. For example, growing up a gay black man in the Southern United States was tough because their were so many roles I had to play in order to be accepted, and masculinity was one of them. However, Him was a huge game changer for me growing up! I was a child, so I loved animation. And seeing Him in my daily dose of animation… it was so eye opening! To finally see a character who was different…like me. Who was identified as “male” but was super feminine and occasionally masculine and was comfortable with it, and the best part, EVERYONE IN THE SHOW WAS OKAY WITH IT! The Powerpuff Girls never stopped and said, “Why are you acting like that?” They never even gave Him a specific pronoun. The girls just called Him by name. Him licked the Professor’s face and the Professor was cool with it. Like everyone was cool with Him being who they were. Thus, why I had to add Him to the list!

And then little 7 year old me started watching anime and realized, “Wow, there are so many shows where gender roles are thrown out the window!


If you have any nonbinary characters you want to see on my next list, please leave me a comment! Or if you have any thoughts on these characters, leave a comment on that as well. If there are any Nonbinary characters that have inspired you in some way, shape or form, please let me know or DM me so when can talk about it. 🙂

One Comment Add yours

  1. 7mononoke says:

    Hange and Ryoji are my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.