A while back, I wrote a series of posts celebrating the left-handed characters in videogames. At the time, I had pointed out that southpaws, while they are clearly stronger, sexier, and just plan better than the average person, are still one of the most underrepresented groups in videogames. I almost called them the single most underrepresented group in videogames, but I wasn’t entirely sure of that. Namely, there were two groups giving me pause before making that big, probably wrong conclusion. And the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community was one of them.
Recently, I’d been thinking back to that. Wondering which group had it worse in terms of videogames representation, and if the gay community had come far enough to beat out left-handers. So I started doing a thought experiment, trying to think out how many gay characters have been in the games I’ve played. And, I figured, since I was doing the mental work anyway, I might as well make a list and share it with the public. Hence, this post. Here, I’ve put together a roster of all the homosexual and bisexual characters I can personally remember in video games. Hopefully, this will be interesting to someone other than myself.
A few notes on the composition of this list:
- To be counted here, the character has to be, well, an actual character. They need their own personality and name. If I could count generic NPCs, we’d never leave. They don’t have to be deep characters, but they do need to have something going on. Player Characters are a little tricky with this. In general, if they have some sort of demonstrable character beyond just following the player’s decisions as their only interaction with their world, they’ll count for this. Otherwise, nope. I’ve got a deep love for the blank player avatar, but they don’t really fit in with this project.
- I’m not counting transgendered or intersexed characters on this list. I know in a lot of ways the communities and social issues involved are very similar, but I personally view gender identity as a separate matter than where one likes to stick their junk, and this list is focusing on the latter. Transgender representation in videogames is still a lot more problematic anyway.
- The creator’s word outing someone as gay will be taken into account, but, as always, they present only one possible interpretation of their own work. In-game content is king.
- Much like the list of left-handers, I’m only cataloging characters from games I’ve played. Just too complicated to explore any beyond that.
- I’m only counting honest designations. As much as I’d like to make note of how fancy the King of All Cosmos is, this isn’t the place for it.
- In the end, if it’s not absolutely explicit, it all comes down to my personal judgement call. Don’t agree with me? Well, too bad. This is my list, I can do what I want. And that may well be different from what you’d think. In fact, if you write fanfiction, I can guarantee this list is like a tenth the size of anything you’d put together.
- As always, I was right. Homosexual and bisexual characters are totally better represented than left-handers.
Anyways, that’s all the boring stuff out of the way. Shall we get to it?
1 and 2: Persona 2-Jun Kurosu‘s crushing hard on your main, Tatsuya Suou. He’s not even subtle about it. Tatsuya himself can get into something of a relationship with either Jun or two of the women on your team, no fuss either way.
3 and 4: Fallout 2-This game was notable for having the first same-sex marriage in videogames, possible between your main and either Davin or Miria. This is followed by the first same-sex divorce in videogames. Fallout 2’s just that kind of game.
5 and 6: Fallout New Vegas-Veronica Santangelo and Arcade Gannon
7, 8, and 9: Kazuhira Miller of the Metal Gear series comes close, but I’m not willing to make the call based on what we’ve seen so far. Snake and Otacan are just dripping with the fangirl baiting, but still nothing definitive. Vamp, Raikov, and Volgin are very clear with their sexuality, however.
10: Killer 7-Kevin Smith was outed by the creator. Got nothing in game saying either way, but it makes sense to me.
11: Zangief is specifically noted as disliking young beautiful women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s into men. I’m willing to bet, however, that Street Fighter’s Eagle, being based on the famously fabulous Freddy Mercury, is.
12: The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind-Crassius Curio. Dammit, I really wish I didn’t have to remember him.
13 and 14: Final Fantasy XIII-Fang and Vanille. According to the designer. As if the subtext wasn’t thick enough already.
15: Bully-Jimmy Hopkins
16: Guilty Gear-Venom
17: Phantasy Star II-Usvestia. Literally more famous for being gay than any other reason. Try searching his name and see.
18: Streets of Rage 3-Ash. I guess the walking stereotypes still count.
19: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic-Juhani. Only a romance option for the ladies. Also the first, and still one of only a few, gay characters in the Star Wars franchise.
21: Indigo Prophecy-Tommy
22: Fable-Reaver. Gotdommit.
23: Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines-Jeanette
24, 25, and 26: Jade Empire: Silk Fox, Dawn Star, and Sky. All the romance options, whether by deliberate choice on the part of the developers, a glitch, or a combination of both.
27 and 28: Heather from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn joins your army purely to pick up chicks. Tharja from Fire Emblem Awakening is interested in your avatar of either gender.
29: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream-Benny. Knowing that actually changes the way you look at the wicked dealings in his past.
30 and 31: Gone Home-Sam and Lonnie. Their relationship is the main thrust of the narrative, so the game’s absolutely dripping with it.
32, 33, 34, 35 and 36: The Asari in Mass Effect don’t really count, given that they’re a single-sexed race in the first place. The female Shepard going for them in the first and second games definitely do, however, as does the male Shepard if you join with Steve Cortez in the third. Also, Kelly Chambers, Kaiden Alenko, and Diana Allers.
37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, and 43: Oh jeez. Let’s get this Dragon Age thing going. In the first game, there’s Leliana and Zevran. I don’t really count the Warden, as they don’t have much of an established character. In the second, we have Hawke, Anders, Fenris, Isabella, and Merrill. And I’m sure there’s more in the series, but I haven’t played all the content, so anyone outside of these just doesn’t count. So hah.
44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50: OH JEEZ! Let’s see here. So Saints Row’s Pierce was always suggested as being interested in his own kind, but Saints Row 4 just went and made everyone open to both genders. So that gives us the Boss, Johnny Gat, Kinzie Kenzington, Shaundi, Matt Miller, and Asha Odekar (an aside, if you’re basing a character off of your real life child-aged daughter, please don’t make them a romance option. That just makes me feel icky.). King doesn’t count because his romance option is pretty platonic, and Keith David doesn’t count because, although he does have the romance option, he won’t take you up on it either way.
51 and 52: Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2 has Binbogami and Yabyogami, two bosses who are really, really into fighting (specifically, being beaten by) Raidou. If only they’d find each other, they could leave me alone.
53, 54 and 55: Grand Theft Auto IV-Bernie Crane, Bryce Dawkins, and, well, Gay Tony
56 and 57: The Last of Us- Bill and, as the DLC reveals, Ellie
58, and 59: The Walking Dead-Matthew and Walter seemed a bit closer than just friends.
60: Tales of the Abyss-Total judgment call here, and maybe my own little fangirl moment but didn’t Jade Curtiss seem awfully intimate with the way he kept teasing Guy?