Did JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Just Debut Its Transgender Character?
Part IX of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure introduces a Joestar who appears to be the series' first transgender character, but is that really the case?
The ninth installment of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure has begun, and with it comes the introduction of two new Joestars. One, however, stands out in particular because it looks like it could be the first transgender Jojo.
In Chapter 1 of The JOJOLands, readers are introduced to the main protagonist, Jodio, and his brother, Dragona. Dragona clearly has a penchant for women's fashion, and Jodio says he's had boob injections designed to make him look more feminine. Despite its appearance, Dragona is always referred to by his/her pronouns, and a police mishap did confirm that Dragona had male "equipment" in her bathing suit.
Is Dragona Joestar Trans?
Since it's so early in the story, it's hard to say exactly what Dragona's gender identity is. At this point, Dragona may or may not be fully transgender; the continued use of masculine pronouns and gendered terms like "bro" suggests that Dragona may actually be genderfluid, rather than a trans woman. Gender fluid people may feel more masculine or feminine at different times and want to be treated according to how they feel at that particular moment. It's also possible Dragona is still a work in progress “Coming out” as trans does not make those wishes explicit to other people.
On the other hand, in Japanese texts, Dragona always uses the feminine first-person pronoun Atashi, rather than the more masculine Boku or Ore, or the formal Watashi. Since JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 9's main Jojo Jodio serves as the narrator for that chapter, it's possible that Jodio didn't fully understand Dragona's gender situation either, and continued to use masculine terms to refer to his siblings, since that's what he used to do . After all, apart from Jodio, no one in this chapter refers to Dragona with a third-person pronoun, so the reader is left to refer only to his words. Whether Dragona can correct this behavior from Jodio or another character remains to be seen.
A Big Step Forward for Jojo
Regardless of Dragona's exact gender preference, this is a huge leap forward for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, as the series has never addressed such topics before. The situation for trans rights is very different in Japan, so a major series like Jojo featuring such a character has the potential to change how many people think about the issue. series creator Hirohiko Araki is to be commended for stepping out of his comfort zone in order to be more inclusive, and the response from Western fans has been quite positive. As for Dragona Joestar, only the future chapters of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JOJOLands can fully resolve the issue.