Hello folks! It’s Mardi Gras time again, which naturally means that I, as GTG’s resident Queer In Charge Of Being Super Fun And Cool (official job title), am going to present an extra special Obscure Pixels for you today, taking a look at some of gaming’s best LGBTQIA+ characters! There’s a bunch and it was a hard list to curate, and I have doubled up a little, but this is my list, and I am the Queer In Charge.
So, happy Mardi Gras, and let’s reflect on characters that made gaming that little bit more fun and diverse.
Parvati Holcomb – The Outer Worlds
Parvati is a bit of a unicorn when it comes to queer characters in games, in that she’s an asexual character who also tells you she’s asexual. This is pretty rare which is kind of sad! Part of her personal quest involves trying to hook her up with a nice lady scientist whom she’s crushing on heavily, but she also has a little trouble with the physical side of relationships. Where other games would play this for tragedy, The Outer Worlds instead gives Parvati a happy ending, coming to terms with her asexuality and the player character is even able to say they’re also asexual, as well as encourage her every step of the way. It’s very cute and sweet. What’s more, Parvati’s character was written by an asexual, Kate Dollarhyde, though the detail was originally given to her by the game’s previous writer, Chris L’Etoile.
Gregg and Angus – Night in the Woods
These two, much like their in-game selves, are a real pair. I couldn’t split them up! I’d feel bad! The delinquent fox and the nerdy bear are Mae’s friends, the two living together in an apartment and playing a huge role in the story which can get bigger if the player chooses to follow up on either of their personal stories. Gregg claims the two are “the only queer people in town” which isn’t exactly true, but they are perhaps the loudest and most loved up people in the whole town with their relationship one of comfort, love, support and cuteness. The two of them rely on each other and are all too happy to talk about just how much the other means to them. It’s super sweet. I love it.
Sir Hammerlock – Borderlands series
Truly, Sir Hammerlock is one of the biggest badasses in the entire Borderlands franchises. We first meet him in 2 where he agrees to help Claptrap (for some reason), so long as you clear out a lair of Bonerfarts–I mean, Bullymongs. From here, we learn he’s an accomplished hunter and wildlife researcher, as well as a man who doesn’t take guff from anyone. He’s lost an arm and a leg and could still kick your ass. Not that he’d want to, as a sophisticated gentleman. In Borderlands 3 we’re introduced to his latest boyfriend and love interest after a few references to previous boyfriends being eaten by various creatures. Wainwright, however, appears to be here for the long haul, with the two sets to get hitched in the next Borderlands DLC.
Damien Bloodmarch- Dream Daddy
Absolutely probably not a vampire, Damien is a single dad ready to mingle with the player character, so he’s already pretty gay, he’s also a trans man which is hinted at in the game through his mention of wearing binders, and is confirmed by the developers. He’s elegant, sophisticated, turbo goth and also a bit of a dweeb at heart because come on. You’d have to be to go that all out on being as Goth as possible. I have nothing but respect and admiration for this Dad.
Undyne and Alphis – Undertale
Another inseparable pair, this is a love that players can watch grow over the course of the game so long as players take the peaceful approach. Players befriend both characters and soon learn that they both have feelings for the other but are just too darn dense to say anything. As the player delves deeper into their friendships and helps each monster lady grow and improve themselves, with the player being the one who gets to deliver a confession letter. Even if nothing really goes to plan and it’s kind of a mess, but it’s fine because it works out in the end!
Ciri – The Witcher series
Just like her character in the books, Ciri is very much a bisexual woman, having had relationships with both men and women. Heck, her first serious relationship in the books was with a woman (even though it was a complicated and problematic one). She’s a wild and free spirit but also not one to be messed with, being the Child of Destiny and all that. Also, she’s really good with a sword. Even when she’s in trouble, she’s definitely not the ‘damsel in distress’ type. I’d let Ciri suplex me into the abyss, to be perfectly honest with you.
Almost the entire cast of 2064
I mentioned this in my review of the game, but it’s a super queer game. Almost every character you meet either isn’t cisgender isn’t heterosexual, or both. In a world of the future where body modification is easier and more readily accepted, and societies values have well and truly shifted forward, being queer is perfectly normal and as a result, more people are able to be who they truly are, leading to a rise in experimentation and pushing of traditional boundaries.
Bloodhound – Apex Legends
Another unicorn, being a canon non-binary character in a video game. Or just. Generally. They’ve been confirmed multiple times to be as such, and their voice actor, Allegra Clark, is particularly passionate about the subject. Which is super cute! Though Bloodhound themselves are very mysterious, not much is known about their past, or even what they truly look like. All anyone knows is they are very good at what they do, which is taking down anyone stupid enough to think they can make a clean getaway. Their tracking skills are amazing and also, they have a super cool pet bird whom they love very much. Isn’t that ideal, really?
Ladiva – Granblue Fantasy
I know what you’re thinking, “Hey! This sucks! This is a joke character!” and that was my first thought, too! Or that it was another really awful example, like Bridget from Guilty Gear. Let me tell you a little about this stunning lady. She’s a bartender/pro-wrestler/chef who acts as a role model to many folks and is also regularly included in the women-based events of the game. She’s never left out or intentionally made to be different, and is intensely proud of her body which is, mind you, at no point treated as a joke. Again, here is a character I would let completely yeet me into the Sun.
You, the Player!
Regardless of your sexuality or gender, video games, especially those with character creation, allow players to explore their notions of what various ideas of identity mean to them. Even if it’s not a second thought for a cis man who has decided to play a female Shepherd, or perhaps it’s larger, like the young non-binary kid who’s just seeing someone like them in media for the first time and realising they can be whoever they want to be. Video games allow us to safely explore all kinds of ideas, and even if you’re as cis and het as they come, I encourage you to keep playing with what type of character you play, who you romance, and take a closer look at what the game says about these things! Even if you don’t learn anything about yourself, it might just help you better understand those around you.