Frankenstein’s creature’s life, like that of transgender individuals, is governed by the medicalization and consequential classification of their bodies into two narrow categories at birth based on phenotypic traits. When talking to Victor, the creature tells him that he read the written observations and descriptions Victor had written to record the procedures and results of his experiment. Frankenstein’s creature states, “Every thing is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it, is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and lonesome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors, and rendered mine indelible” (Shelley 116). Since Victor abandoned the creature as soon as he was fabricated and, therefore, was not able to witness the cognitive actions of the monster, these notes likely revolved around the creature’s “monstrous” appearance. Records of such an appearance would be the source of visual horrors for Victor. Similarly, these records would be horrors to the creature but because of the marking of their life which the papers would identify. The content of Victor’s notes render the creature’s fears “indelible” not just because they won’t be forgotten from the mind of the creature, but because the characteristics that compose the creature as an individual are literally marked and cannot be erased. The creature never reveals which of the two most socially accepted genders of male or female was assigned or if they was assigned one to begin with. Nevertheless, whatever is on the paper is given legitimacy, the same way the sex and gender of individuals are given legitimacy on medical and legal documents until the person attempts to correct it.

This is a major issue faced by the transgender community that makes them choose between their humanity constructed by genders assigned by social standards and their individuality reflected by the gender they personally identify with. Creature, along with other neo-pronouns, is a term that would be appropriately reclaimed by members of the transgender community, like Susan Styrker author of “My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage” and Jessica Rae Fisher “I am Frankenstein’s Monster: An echo of Susan Stryker’s call to action,” as they could identify with the term’s concurrent humanity and othering by society. According to Stryker in her essay, “A creature, after all, in the dominant tradition of Western European culture, is nothing other than a created being, a made thing” (Stryker 240) Every human is a creature. The negative connotation of the term comes from “the lack or loss of a  superior personhood” (Stryker 240) associated with the term by other people, because creature could also include animals and non-human forms. Because people want to maintain their status as “lords of creation” (Stryker 240) they reduce creature to a subordinate term to demean others of their humanity and rank them below themselves. Thus, the reclamation of the word by the transgender community simultaneously reflects their existence and creation like other humans and their oppression by other people who misgender them. By disregarding the individuality of transgender people and assigning them genders a person sees them as at face value, according to narrow, ambiguous social guidelines, outsiders take possession of the identities of transgender folk and pathologize their bodies based on appearance the same way Victor Frankenstein has done with his experiment. The transgender rage Stryker and Fisher express is a matter of agency and visibility on their own terms and authority, not that which governs their lives and those of many other trans people.

-Wendy Gutierrez