The case for Snape being transgender is complex and, at times, compelling. It stems from a Snape transgender Tumblr community, who have been combing the Harry Potter books for years and coming away with some very interesting arguments to support their theory that Severus Snape is, indeed, a trans woman. Lest you're inclined to write this off from the get-go, it's worth noting that, if this were the case, Snape wouldn't be the only non-cisgendered character in the series.
The community that purveys this theory is not exclusively comprised of transgender individuals, but a fair percentage is. Those trans individuals who hold this belief often find solace in it, especially in light of homosexuality's troubled history throughout fiction.
Read on to discover precisely why Tumblr thinks Snape is transgender and explore the community that shares this belief.
Thematic Metaphors Support Snape's Trans Identity
"Snape is a character who inhabits a fluid, ambiguous position for most of the narrative—always between two worlds, and often quite literally lurking in the shadows of a room, outside looking in. Snape reads as someone in the closet, and tragically so," Ensnapingthesenses said.
Though it's never said outright in Mary Shelley's seminal Frankenstein, it is often believed by scholars that Dr. Frankenstein is gay based on evidence similarly unpacked by the Trans Snape theory.
Potions Themselves Offer A Solution
Ensnapingthesenses argues that "[there are potions that] alter one's appearance, and others change physical attributes potentially forever, so how could this not be a very strong contender for magical HRT?"
This is consistent with Fatuma's assertion that Snape's initial interest in the field was to find such a potion.
Snape's Interactions With Harry Mirrors A Mother-Daughter Relationship
Snape's undying love for Lily Potter led him to an arrangement with Dumbledore, in which he agreed to always look over and protect Harry.
"Snape is, thematically, a stand-in for Lily (Sirius is a stand-in for James)," Fatuma said.
Ensnapingthesenses reinforced this idea, saying,
"Symbolically, boys grow up to replace their fathers; the father prepares them for it, while the mother has a different role and weight in their lives, having a lot to do with managing emotions and seeing things from another perspective... Harry and Snape's relationship reminds me more of the interactions between a teenage girl and her mom, where both have anger management issues because they literally reflect it from each other."
A Young Snape Wore Eileen Prince's Blouse
In the Deathly Hallows there's a flashback in which a young Snape is wearing his mother's blouse. Believers of the Trans Snape theory point to this as an example of more concrete evidence. In Ensnapingthesenses's mind, such instances are examples of "a young woman expressing her gender whenever she could."