Does Movie ‘The Danish Girl’ Tells One Chapter Of Third Gender’s Story?

The Danish Girl directed by Tom Hooper in year 2015 is based on true story of transgender pioneer ‘Einar Wegener’ who went under the first sex change operation in the history. This transformative operation dates back to 1300’s. The character of Einar is played by Edward John David Redmayne and Gerda Wegener by Alicia Vikander.

Lilly Elbe, the person whose life was based on The Danish Girl

The story starts off with finely married danish artists Einar and Gerda but things changed when much feminist face of Einar is proved to be helpful one day in place of Gerda’s female model Anna Larssen when she couldn’t make it to the studio. While Gerda enjoyed painting her husband woman look, her art started to get highly appreciated and it becomes a routine for Einar’s woman get up. Soon, Einar started enjoying his feminine look and is agitated without it.

Danish GirlThe couple visits doctor and is recommended Radiation therapy which proves to have no effect at all. The couple moves to Paris and Einar is introduced as Lili (Einar’s cousin). After awhile the artist goes under first sex reassignment (change) surgery with support of his wife and much struggles but unfortunately due to plantation of womb (ovaries) rejection, he dies in his newly transformed woman body legally identified as Lili Elbe.

According to Lili Elbe’s own autobiography, Man into Woman: The First Sex Change, (Niels Hoyer is often listed as the author, but that is a pseudonym for Ernst Ludwig Hathorn Jacobson, Lili’s editor who assembled her letters, diary entries and dictated material to form the book.) Einar Wegener was in agony at the start of year decided to take his life on 1st may 1930 after being diagnosed either as hysterical or homosexual. “I cannot deny, strange as it may sound, that I enjoyed myself in this disguise. I liked the feel of soft women’s clothing,” she wrote. “I felt very much at home in them from the first moment.”, quotes the book. Fortunately, in February he stumbled upon a doctor who could help. After going through 5 surgeries the sixth and final proved to be fatal. Einar was legally provided a woman’s passport with name Lili Elbe and was warmly accepted by the family although rejected by his male friends.

What connects/relate this story to third Gender life is that says “Yes. Lili Elbe/Einar Wegener suggests in her memoir that a pair of shrunken ovaries were discovered inside of her when the doctors were performing her sex change operations”. In conclusion similar to third gender, many believe that he was hermaphrodite, a person possessing physical, genetic and hormonal features of both men and women. Being nourished as a normal boy he was hormonally triggered after dressing up as a woman. A misconception in Pakistan generally about transgender is such people has underdeveloped female or male organs and generally possess womanly mind and traits. Whereas, the third gender could also possess one fully developed male and one female organ at the same time. The reason for womanly mind is that every fetus at early stage of develop as a girl, upon interactions with chromosomes the genitals are formed but the man at mind is not unlikely either.

Even though the environment for transgenders in society is at progressive level, people might still label this as a taboo topic but the biological and psychological reasons awareness is much-needed in society if the third gender is ought to be provided same status as men and women in Pakistan.


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