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Blanche is the leader of Team Mystic in the mobile video game Pokémon GO. In 2019, the Pokémon GO blog appeared to confirm that the character is of non-binary gender, as a post about Blanche used they/them pronouns to describe the leader.
The character appeared in fan art and Pokémon GO Appraisals memes over the following several years (examples shown below). While the character was popular as a team leader, they were not necessarily moreso than Candela and Spark.
The character has long been subject to questions about their gender, as Pokémon had never confirmed their gender unlike Candela and Spark. This intensified following an August 5th, 2019 tweet by the Pokémon GO Twitter account which listed traits about Blanche but did not specify the character's gender (shown below).
This led to speculation that the character was perhaps non-binary. This appeared to be confirmed in an October 26th, 2019 post on the Pokémon GO blog, when the post, written from the perspective of Professor Willow, used they/them pronouns to discuss Blanche. The passage read, "Blanche became visibly upset, which tends to happen when things don’t go to their carefully curated plans" (emphasis added). Pink News first reported on the apparent confirmation, and it was then picked up by GamesRadar and Daily Dot. The news was celebrated on Twitter. User @rowrowrowan tweeted in praise of how the post didn't make a big deal of the character's gender (shown below, left). User @EvieGHJ noted how "Blanche" means "white" in French and white is representative of NB people in the trans pride flag (shown below, right).
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