April 4, 2016
The anime adaption of the light novel series “Re:Zero — Starting Life in Another World” started airing. This anime included a character that should later become an internet trans icon, visible on many memes and discussions on the internet. This character had their first appearance on episode 12, as “Ferris Argyle.”
Ferris is an antromorphic, feminine cat person. Her gender is ambiguous throughout the anime and the light novels. At the time of watching this anime, I started a journey of exploring my own gender identity.
As I started watching Re:Zero, I had yet to find out that I am not a cis man in a heterosexual relationship. That I’ve spent years and years wasting time being uncomfortable with myself because the thought of me being trans didn’t come to my mind. I didn’t know that transitioning was a possibility, something that someone like me could do. I wasn’t even aware of the existance of trans people as a whole.
For clarity, Ferris Gender and her representation
Ferris is “canonically” male. I say “canonically” because while the creator of the series and transphobes on the internet say so, the creators content itself let us come to another conclusion. A quote from Ferris’ Light Novel “Re:Zero Ex Volume 1” says:
“The first order of business in the morning was to adress the reflection in the mirror.
(Ferris, to herself:) “Cute! I am cute. A girlish young woman, a wonderful and cute girl.”
For quite a long time now this had been the mantra, the words repeated like magic. No, not like magic. They were magic, for all intents and purposes. A magic spell was simply words that contained the power to change things, to affect the way the world worked. A vow to one’s self that brought about change could be called nothing less.”
As well as:
Those aren’t the thoughts and words of a cis guy. They are the exact same thoughts and wishes that a lot of trans woman have. Ferris is often called by her deadname by people who insist on the male gender identity of her. There’s a fitting quote from Ferris herself in the light novel.
“It’s Ferris, not Felix. It hurts Ferri’s feewings.”
So, while the anime handles Ferris as a, by now, typical crossdressing, cute guy addition, the light novel goes deeper into her character and makes a good point in showing her gender dysphoria and her desire to be a woman despite being AMAB.
How Ferris helped me to discover my own gender identity
When I started watching the anime, still identifying as a cis-man. Ferris helped me to see how much I like femininity and cute things. I loved her dress, i loved how she talked, how she acted, despite being “a boy.”
She was rockin’ it!
I was a person who always acted a certain way to be liked by the people around me. I did what I felt like I had to do. I filled out the role that society and my environment forced upon me.
I remember thinking about being a girl and how much I’d like it but I also thought: “Well, I’m a boy, too bad I can’t change it.” Ferris gave me a new perspective. Despite being born this way I could change things and make myself feel more comfortable and be true to myself. It was okay for me to like dresses and other in the society as feminine perceived things even though I felt ashamed for it my whole life. I liked the idea of me being cute and girly. And Ferris showed me that I could do it. No matter what my gender is, I should wear what I want, act how I want and take care of my needs.
I slowly started exploring crossdressing and felt really good with it. Which made me question things even more. “Is this something I want to implement in my day-to-day life?” I asked myself. The desire to look like and be perceived as a girl was something I thought about a lot. I looked for ways to make myself more feminine on the internet. This was when I discovered the existance of trans people, people like me who always felt like they would be more comfortable transitioning and living their life as another gender. I came in contact with other trans women who helped me figure out my gender identity. Still, it took some time for me to accept and realise that I really am a trans woman.
I went on hormones after getting the permission of a psychologist. Today I am 23 years old, on estrogen and testosterone blockers for 1 and 1/2 years. I know that everything I did at the start of my transition was good for me and I feel much better than I used to pre-transition. What really changed was how my surroundings changed their perception of me. I lost people and I got to know new people. Today, I am happy with how everything went and with the things I did back then. I want to be my authentic self and take care of my needs, no matter what.
All this happened because of the realization that Ferris gave me and I’m truly thankful for that.