So I'm partaking in a DnD 5e home brew game, and in the near-ish future my male character is going to be turned into a female character without knowing and without willingness. My question is, how do I portray a character with gender dysphoria? And I suppose more importantly, how do I portray them coming to terms with their new body in a way that feels natural?

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    I asked a similar question a while back that got some very helpful answers, maybe it will be of help :) writing.stackexchange.com/questions/43077/…
    – Sciborg
    Aug 30, 2020 at 7:51
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    I was about to post an answer, then I saw Sciborg's link. My one specific contribution is to the roleplaying aspect of the question. Since it's homebrew, consider consulting your DM on how people in the setting are likely to respond when they learn of the PC's dysphoria.It provides useful input on the worries and fears the character might have. How to breach the subject is probably a better question for RPG.SE (rpg.stackexchange.com) Aug 30, 2020 at 8:14
  • For clarification, how sudden is the transformation? Does he go to bed one night and she wakes up the next morning? Or is the transformation more prolonged? In my mind, that fact would need to be considered in any answer. Aug 30, 2020 at 9:55
  • FYI: 'Gender dysphasia' is an outdated term that many transgendered people find offensive. Even in the DnD crowd, you could get some nasty pushback on it. if I were you, I would just frame it as the difficulties this particular character faces, and not give it a 'clinical' sounding label at all. Aug 30, 2020 at 16:27
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    @Ted Wrigley, "gender dysphoria" is a term that is very much still used in the parts of the transgender community I participate in, where "transgendered" is an outdated form of "transgender". Gender dysphoria is much more specific than transgender and "suffering from gender dysphoria" is absolutely the term I would use for this character. (Dysphoria is to transgender as panic attack is to anxiety or sunburn is to being white. Note that you don't have to be white to sunburn or trans to have dysphoria, it's just more common to those groups.)
    – TMuffin
    Aug 30, 2020 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


You're specifically asking about a character who experiences gender dysphoria as a result of a magical transformation later in life, as opposed to one who is born trans, so I'll suggest some ideas specific to that scenario.

Will the character come to terms with their new body?

An immediate transformation may cause physical difficulties adjusting that a character will come to terms with over time (probably determined by physical penalties in the game system), but emotionally they may or may not be able to accept the change. They might spend any amount of time and energy attempting to reverse the transformation. On the other extreme, if the character was secretly trans before they may be physically discombobulated by the suddenness of the change for a little while but emotionally overjoyed.

What does the character wear after their transformation?

A character who sees clothing, appearance, and gender as a way to control the situation (such as a politician, con artist, or performer) might immediately start wearing the type of clothes that fit their new body, with some mishaps at first as they figure out the mechanics. Some people might be happy for a little while to experiment with clothing that people would previously have thought odd.

In the (probably more likely) case that the character isn't willing to accept others perceiving them as a new gender at the drop of a hat, are they more concerned with feeling comfortable or with how others perceive them? A character who cares most about their inner feelings might keep wearing the same clothes as before. One who cares more about how others perceive them may have to experiment with clothes that better hide new bodily features. This leads into a final point.

How does the character react to people assuming their gender matches their new body?

Does the character challenge people who misgender them to a duel, kindly correct them, or ignore the situation altogether?

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