Tiny Tina – Borderlands series
An unorthodox character, Tiny Tina can be found amongst Pandora’s world of chaos in Borderlands 2. Players will probably remember this eccentric young lady, who specialises in blowing up anything and everything. She was so adored by fans of the series that she even headlined one of the game’s DLCs: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. Voice acted by Ashly Burch, who plays Aloy in award-winning Horizon Zero Dawn, it’s no surprise that Tiny Tina is an incredible individual.
Players may or may not have noticed Tiny Tina’s immense appreciation for the female characters she’s surrounded by, making fairly raunchy comments towards them (namely Maya). She even boldly asks Maya if the feeling is mutual. Anthony Burch, one of the writers for Borderlands 2 (and Ashly Burch’s brother) has confirmed several times that Tina is canonically homosexual.
“That’s Mushy Snugglebites’ badonkadonk. She’s my main squeeze. Lady’s got a gut fulla’ dynamite and a booty like POOOW!” – Tiny Tina
Fan appreciation speaks for itself. It’s refreshing that a likeable character can be homosexual, without there being an unnecessarily self-satisfying level of representation. Tina’s gay, but it’s not her only character trait.
image: Borderlands 2 | Gearbox Software
Soldier 76 – Overwatch
Poster girl Tracer springs to mind when we consider LGBTQ representation within Overwatch’s diverse range of characters. However, Blizzard haven’t stopped there and as of this year they released a new comic, titled “Bastet” which gave an indication of Soldier 76’s (real name: Jack Morrison) sexual orientation.
“Young punks… Get off my lawn!” – Soldier 76
Another of Overwatch’s roster, Ana, speaks to Soldier 76 about their dark and miserable histories and inquires about a man she finds in a picture alongside Soldier 76, called Vincent. The conversation leads to Soldier 76 admitting that Vincent has moved on and married, as “Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I (Soldier 76) could give him.” Ana even describes whatever was between Vincent and Soldier 76 as a relationship.
Soldier 76 is such a dynamic character that it’s immensely warming to be able to welcome him into the LGBTQ community. Subverting the stereotypes of what makes a typical homosexual male, Soldier 76 stands as proof that the LGBTQ community is formed of all shapes and sizes and that expectations are ignorant. Don’t judge a book by its cover, folks.
image: Overwatch | Blizzard Entertainment
Rachel Amber – Life is Strange/Life is Strange: Before the Storm
The enigmatic Rachel Amber was nothing but a mystery to be solved in the original Life Is Strange, and it wasn’t until Life Is Strange: Before the Storm that we got to get to know the girl behind the missing posters.
The relationship between Chloe Price and Rachel forms alarmingly fast throughout Before the Storm , and is scarily raw. The duo dive off a metaphorical cliff with little regard for what’s waiting at the bottom. Rachel, through the course of Before the Storm, is plagued with a multitude of problems which make everything that burdens Chloe Price seem insignificant.
“Who cares if the stars are dead. As long as we can still see them, that means they’re real to us.” – Rachel Amber
The player discovers who Rachel Amber is as she finds out herself, as she comes to terms with who she considers her family and loved ones. Rachel Amber is a lovely representative for the LGBTQ community, but it should be clarified that, despite players’ presumptions, Rachel Amber is not homosexual and has relationships with men that are talked about (but never seen) throughout the two Life is Strange games. Rachel Amber is a bisexual enigma, and that’s awesome.
image: Life is Strange: Before the Storm | DontNod Entertainment
Clementine – The Walking Dead series
As Telltale’s lasting legacy, Clementine is a character that’s very hard to forget. Four games have followed Clementine’s journey to adulthood in a post-apocalyptic world. It has been a rollercoaster ride that is almost certainly leading everyone on board to devastation.
In The Walking Dead: The Final Season the game begins to probe ideas about Clementine’s romantic emotions. Two characters, Louis or Violet, could be of interest to Clementine: and the best part is that this choice is up to the player. Even in The Walking Dead: The New Frontier, Clementine can have feelings for another member of the dysfunctional group that you’re leading, meaning that the player has a lot of freedom in exploring Clementine’s sexual orientation.
“No one who died is anyone’s fault! We…we all wanted to be together, and it just went bad. But we owe it to them to try to make the best of this!” – Clementine
The romantic scenes that ensue with the player’s choice of Clementine’s potential love interest (who she could also choose not to be romantically involved with) are endearing and natural to watch. Enabling us to customise our Clementine to fit our narrative, Telltale have ensured that people definitely won’t forget about her anytime soon.
image: The Walking Dead: The Final Season | Skybound Entertainment
Every Monster Prom character ever – Monster Prom
A small game all about monsters falling in love with other monsters just in time to have a date for the titular Monster Prom, this game is already unique in premise.
“We were young and unafraid, and ready to start!” – Monster Prom narrator
When choosing which of the fabulous four of Monster Prom’s glamorous roster of dateable ghoulies to pair off with, the game allows you not only to customise your character’s name, but also specify your character’s preferred pronouns. Throughout the game, characters make an unfaltering effort to recognise this preference and adhere to it.
There’s no hesitation or apprehension attached to said pronouns, nor any contention. Acceptance is unashamedly extant and the game throws even more in the player’s way of choice, by allowing every dateable monster to be dated regardless of what character you choose to play as. Miranda, the murder-loving mermaid princess? She’s game. Damien, the pyromaniacal demon? He’s down for whatever. Scott the harmless football-loving werewolf doesn’t even need to be asked. The world is the player’s oyster! Or, if we want to stay in theme: the world is the player’s world-devouring kraken.
image: Monster Prom | Beautiful Glitch