On Friday walls were broken down and new territory breached as the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in all of the United States! Cue the confetti! In honor of such an amazing step forward for our country and for humanity, let’s take a look at some of the representation of the LGBT community in video games and comic books alike.
Gaming has virtually represented all kinds of sexualities without any qualms or need to apologize over the years. Some of these games allow the player to choose to have a relationship with several characters, the option for a same-sex hookup, dating situation or marriage freely offered. Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Skyrim all allowed you to pick from a variety of potential partners, gender not being an issue. Saints Row 4 lets you walk up to anyone from the Saints that you’ve collected and propose a bit of, ahem, private time. (Including a robot, which was hysterical. But you can’t have Keith David… he will continuously elude you and its upsetting). And let’s face it; if you weren’t married to at least 5 people in every town in the Fable series, you weren’t playing it right. A few highly-anticipated, upcoming games such as Fire Emblem Fates are going to include same-sex relationships for all of your possible shipping needs.
But a lot of those are about the players; what about all of our amazing support characters and team members? Whenever I think of LGBT representation in gaming, two particular games come to mind; Borderlands and Persona. Gearbox made no apologies for their plethora of sexual preferences among their cast, particularly Borderlands 2. Moxxi, Sir Hammerlock, Mr. Torgue, and Axton are either gay or bisexual. Recently they confirmed that Athena and Janey Springs, characters from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, are officially a couple in Tales of the Borderlands. In Atlus’ cult classic Persona 4, the teenaged characters must face their Shadows, also known as “their true selves”, and this leads to some very deep character development and very real issues that many go through every day. (SPOILER TIME.) Kanji’s Shadow is revealed as gay while Naoto’s Shadow wants nothing more than to change from a woman to a man. Though the Shadows are meant to be extreme representations of their true fears and weaknesses, the fact that Atlus brought up these hard-hitting issues that strike millions of personal chords of gamers worldwide is valiant and greatly appreciated.
While gaming has come a long way when it comes to those of “different persuasions”, the comic book world has been making leaps and bounds in their efforts series after series. Several beloved characters have been confirmed as gay or bisexual in DC and Marvel pages, including Katherine Kane aka Batwoman, Renee Montoya who is the female Question, Wiccan and Hulking of the “Young Avengers” who shared their first kiss in 2012; all of these and more have been in the spotlight, proudly displaying who they are.
When the reimagining of the first Green Lantern Alan Scott made its debut, it was revealed that the Earth Two’s GL was gay when the original Alan Scott was canonnly heterosexual. In recent news, it was (finally) confirmed that the original Catwoman, Selina Kyle is bisexual, seen in Catwoman #39 kissing Eiko Hasigawa. Though we’ve all seen it coming through teases and hints throughout the years, everyone’s favorite cat burglar is out of the closet officially and loving it. And she’s not the only Gotham Siren to make the leap. New 52’s Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have been confirmed as girlfriends via Harley Quinn writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner over Twitter. Though we’ve all suspected all three Batman Bad Girls of their preferences, the confirmation means a lot to the fans and the LGBT movement.
For years the games and comics we love and cherish have been supporting different love and sexualities among their pixels and within their pages. Whether you choose to take the “road less traveled” in your favorite game or the creators deliver a diverse cast of characters for you to enjoy, everyone can appreciate the ground that has been broken in favor of humanity. So pick up your sticks or next issues; it’s a great time to celebrate these advances in equality and representation of love for all.