Taking Pride in ANZ Pride – Fae Daunt

Teacher, Developer, Badass

Fae Daunt is today’s Pride in ANZ Pride interviewee, she’s a lecturer at SAE, teaching game design, programming, maths, web design and whichever other hat she may need to wear at the time. She also manages LGBTQIA+ support services for students nationwide. So, in short, badass is a pretty appropriate title.

Fae Daunt
Developer/Lecturer/LGBTQIA+ Support
Twitter |  Website

Goto.Game: What’s it like being LGBTQI+ in ANZ games industry in 2020?
Fae: It’s a lot better than it must have been in the past. Personally I have not been within the games industry publicly for very long at all, only say 3 or 4 years, but knowing what culture was like even 10 years ago gives me the impression it would have been a hard place to exist in professionally.

The biggest issue is the consumers, while the majority of them may be open-minded and not a problem at all there is a vocal minority which does not think that women (trans or not) and LGBTQI+ should be involved or mentioned in games at all.

GTG: How does what you make contribute to queer ANZs landscape?

Fae: My work with the university is focused on creating a safe place for people to learn and enter the industry, I attempt to foster them and put their names forward to contacts. Outside of my full-time job, all the games I create have some aspect that is linked to LGBTQI+ themes, either incredibly vocally with Reflections or more metaphorically with The Stranger Next Door.
GTG: What’s it like lecturing at SAE?
Fae: Lecturing at SAE is an interesting situation, the campus at Melbourne is full of a lot of very passionate game lecturers who work their asses off to make things as perfect as they can for their students. The students that I get coming through the university really make it for me though, some of these students just didn’t vibe with highschool and giving them another chance to learn is really important.
GTG: How often does your game dev teaching role crossover with your LGBTQIA+ role?
Fae: Well we get at least a handful of LGBTQI+ students coming through every trimester, and with the gaming consumers being what they are there is always a bit of conflict. Having a place of power during the education process means that I can make it feel as welcome as possible for the students, while also making sure they don’t deal with anything they shouldn’t have to.

GTG: What would you change about the ANZ scene?

Fae: Honestly, the work being done to change the scene is already being handled by groups like Making Spaces and Queerly Represent Me. Both groups are doing an excellent job to both celebrate and promote members of the industry that need it the most and I’m excited to see the changes they make going forward.

GTG: What would you say to a young queer person who wants to do what you do?
Fae: The same thing I say to all my students as they work their way through the course content, everyone will tell you that making it into the industry full-time is cutthroat. This statement is entirely true, making it into a big company that you look up to, companies like Activision and Riot, is such a difficult feat that you will have to work incredibly hard to make it there. However, making games is an art form and just like any others being tied to a huge company is not the only possible goal. Learning the basics and creating your own little projects is both fulfilling and an opportunity for bigger things.

Your favourite queer gaming moment: (ingame, community initiatives, queer games history, anything!)  
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment, but Sonic Fox (being an openly gay trans member of the fighting game community) winning almost anything at a large scale world tournament in any game is always a sight to behold. They almost always cause some kind of outcry, either through declaring trans rights, yelling political stances live or whatever happens. For example, when they won the Esports player of the year in 2018 and declared themselves super gay
There’s something about having a pure, happy example of the community who is also basically the best fighting game player on the planet that spurs hope in so many people and it always makes me incredibly happy to see.


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