Despite starting life as a simple enemy NPC in Super Mario Bros. 2, Birdo has since become one of the Mario franchise’s most iconic characters. Appearing as a playable character across multiple side series games like Mario Party, Mario Tennis, and Mario Kart, she’s become a household name to many a Nintendo fan.
But, what some people might not know is that she’s regarded as one of the first transgender videogame characters of all time. This all began when the physical manual for Super Mario Bros. 2 stated that Birdo “thinks he is a girl and likes to be called Birdetta.”
Since then, Birdo has fairly consistently been referred to and presented as female, with the occasional outlier, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl using ‘it’ pronouns. Fans have pretty much agreed that Birdo is in fact female, and trans fans in particular have claimed her as their own.
Despite all of this, we don’t actually have any official confirmation from Nintendo. A Reddit poll has got fans discussing what, if anything, Nintendo would decide to say about Birdo’s identity.
What makes this even more confusing is that Birdo is technically an entire species of creature in the Mario universe, much like Yoshi. Why the distinct individual characters have to have the same name as their entire species, we do not know.
Well, there you have it. Personally, here at Pocket Tactics, we agree that Birdo is a trans icon, but until we have an official statement, it’s up to you to decide what you think. If you want more Mario madness, check out Reddit’s ranking of the Mario movie character designs.