Forums - General Discussion - The LGBT thread (Revisited)

Well I don't have much else to do right now, so figured I'd expand some more on my earlier response to TopCat's question of whether video games influenced my (or anyone's) sense of sexual identity.

There were actually lots of female game characters I thought were totally hawt growing up. Tyris Flare of Golden Axe was half the reason I begged my parents for a Sega Genesis until they conceded and got me one for my birthday in 1990, and Blaze Fielding of Streets of Rage, Chun-Li from Street Fighter II, and Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat were among my other youthful game character crushes. Samus Aran stuck with me more than the others though because, as I've shared before, the original Metroid had been the game that really got me into gaming in the first place and Super Metroid was just such an extraordinary follow-up. I felt like I knew her in a way, almost. She was my I guess people today say "waifu".

The funny thing about it all though was that, honestly, while part of me was attracted to these characters, another part of me also wanted to be them. That was the one of the phenomena that confused me about my sexuality when I was young, and it was true of more than just certain female game characters. There were characters on the original She-Ra cartoon series and later characters in movies that I felt similarly about, among the examples. The truth is that I've never really felt very appealing, and it was a thing for me to wish that I was the characters I, y'know, had the feels for because it made me feel like a hot baaaaaaaabe, as people said back then. I didn't really know what to make of that for a while.

Movies and music were probably just as formative for me though really in terms of my I guess you could say sexual awakening? I'd single out the film Thelma & Louise, which I saw at a friend's house (whereupon I was forbidden from ever watching it again), pre-Trump-era Roseanne (the TV show), and the song Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill were really more helpful than any games around back then were for me in the sense that they made it clear that same-sex attraction was something that other females, grown-up women, experienced too, not just me. I mean in terms of media.

Expansion completed!

Last edited by Jaicee - on 13 May 2020

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Otter said:
I'm very drawn to films with gay story lines and its definitely something that I appreciate in games when done well. Even before Ellie's sexuality was known, the the really tactful way to incoporated the gay character (I think Bill?) was awesome. Also Mass Effect deeply impacted me because my characters relationship with Kaiden. As a whole it would never convince me to buy a game but I do appreciate it, would love to see a gay/male story as a center piece to a massive AAA game. Ellie in TLOU2 is a monumental step but I don't we've realised yet because we haven't got our hands on it.

Am I remembering incorrectly, or was Kaiden only available as a love interest to female shepard?  Also, 

Spoiler!
I stared at this post for like 10 seconds wondering "who's Kaiden" since I let him die every time, and forgot he existed by Mass Effect 2 XD. 


@JWeinCom

Not in ME3, my Male Shepard and him made sweet love.

Didn't read the your spoiler comment.



Otter said:
@JWeinCom

Not in ME3, my Male Shepard and him made sweet love.

Didn't read the your spoiler comment.

Ah.  I'm sure it wouldn't spoil anything for you, but it would explain why I was unaware of this option.



JWeinCom said:
Otter said:
@JWeinCom

Not in ME3, my Male Shepard and him made sweet love.

Didn't read the your spoiler comment.

Ah.  I'm sure it wouldn't spoil anything for you, but it would explain why I was unaware of this option.

Ah, its Mass Effect related lol. I'm on high alert since I mentioned TLOU2. Yep, not knowing who was at risk at the end of ME3 did keep me on edge. 



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I got to see the newly-released fifth and final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and...YaY! That is what I can say. It made me a happy cat.

The conclusion of this series is, frankly, all about two of the female characters (I won't spoil which two, but if you're like me then it's the two you've most been thinking of) finally becoming girlfriends (as in they lock lips; it's NOT left subjective) and the whole complex, emotional way that that happens. It turns out to be what saves the day in the end, in fact. It absolutely works and makes all the more sense of the whole show because everything really was leading up to this point. This isn't one of those shows that's interesting for a while, but has no real conclusion per se. The build-up here really does lead to something heartfelt and powerful. It's tough to avoid spoiling things, but it also seems like it's too early since the release of the last season for it to be appropriate of me to get too detailed and specific. You should see it for yourself and have the details be an extremely pleasant surprise!

Anyway, let me just take a minute to recap the key point for our purposes here: this is an American cartoon...not broadcast on Adult Swim...that includes a lesbian couple kissing on the lips. That is something new. This sets the bar. We have not seen that before. In fact, growing up, even more subtle lesbian relationships were carefully screened out of the U.S. versions of cartoons imported from other countries. (For example, in the American version of Sailor Moon that ran on TV back then, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune weren't a couple, but sisters, which required some pretty careful editing and rewriting...and still wasn't convincing, frankly).

The reception? Pretty much unanimously positive so far, as far as I can tell! In fact, throughout the show, fans have picked up on the strong gay vibes and voiced their appreciation. Showrunner Noelle Stevenson has said that those were intentional and that positive fan reaction emboldened her along that narrative trajectory toward being explicit about how...certain characters...feel about each other.

I can be a sap. Lots of stuff makes me cry, especially when it comes to matters of looooooooove because I'm lonely and haven't been very successful that way all in all. I yearn for what I don't have that way. Still, I cried more than I usually do throughout this last season, which was the best of them all. Nothing drove that more though than the relationship I'm cryptically referencing here. It was just an extremely heartfelt and validating process to see and it makes me wish that THIS She-Ra program had been the one available when I was a kid because THIS kind of material in animation is exactly what I needed back then and it wasn't there. But I'm grateful it's finally here now and that lesbian relationships don't have to be censored anymore, even in children's animation because it's really that 8 to 14 year old demographic for whom questions of sexuality are the most important. That can be the most confusing part of life if you're not straight! And this, like well-made animation broadly, is the kind of show that can be thoroughly enjoyed by all age groups, not just kids.

The next generation of kids will grow up in a world with this material already available, where these relationships don't have to be screened out or censored anymore. They're just gonna take it for granted, like there was never another world. I'm glad because that's how it should've been all along!

All that said, I'm sad to see this show end. It's tough to imagine another one like it -- like an action cartoon directed by a lesbian and organized by a bunch of gay people -- coming out for many more years to come. (Seriously, how many other cartoons have you seen where there are no clearly heterosexual characters? I've seen 10 billion metric tons of the opposite, but none of that before save for on this specific show!) I think She-Ra and the Princesses of Power will remain unique in that respect for some time. And that it will go on feeling unique for that very reason.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 17 May 2020

Jaicee said:

Anyway, let me just take a minute to recap the key point for our purposes here: this is an American cartoon...not broadcast on Adult Swim...that includes a lesbian couple kissing on the lips. That is something new.

If you have not watch is yet Dragon Prince on Netflix also has a lesbian couple kissing on the lips and there a strong hint at the end of season 3 that we likely to see a relationship between 2 of the female characters in season 4.  I also think they did a very good job of establishing the connecting between those 2 characters in the first 3 seasons.  

They not the main characters like in She-Ra but I would argue it one of the coolest characters in the show and defiantly my favorite actions scenes was her combat scenes.



Wanted to chime in on the topic of LGBTQ+ representation in media, I thought Doom Patrol did it really well, even with the show for the most part being a bonkers, weird as hell show (that's probably putting it lightly), it took those moments seriously, it made them emotional and had a few nice "fuck you" moments to bigots, a scene/song in particular was a powerful moment but I can't post it because of spoilers, plus the show is awesome.

Character Spoilers:

Spoiler!
One of the main characters is a closeted gay service member trying to come to terms with that, along with living with that fact during a time where America was pretty homophobic, I think during the Lavender Scare era. Also there is significant trans representation which is nice to see.

Overall a great show, season 2 starts soon, I would have made a thread but all my show threads die

Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 22 May 2020

Speaking of representation in media, I just thought I'd share something I found amusing today.

Apparently, even before the coronavirus pandemic began to properly sweep the globe and close down movie theaters, the Pixar cartoon movie Onward was banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait for including one whole line that implies a random secondary character to be in a lesbian relationship. The line, from a female character named Specter, goes: "It's not easy being a new parent. My girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out." Talk about incendiary!! Also, the line was censored in Russia; the word 'girlfriend' was replaced with the ambiguous term 'partner'. (The case of Kuwait stands out here for the fact that, unlike in the other countries I just mentioned, lesbian relationships (and "propaganda!" ) are legal in Kuwait. In theory.)

Here in the good ol' U.S. of A, my favorite homophobes the One Million Moms offered the kind of well-reasoned take you'd expect from them, explaining in a statement on their web site that "There have been numerous attempts by Disney to indoctrinate children with the LGBTQ agenda discretely and now more overtly. These scenes are subtle in order to desensitize children. But now Disney has traded its subtlety for intentionality. Disney has decided to be politically correct instead of providing family friendly programming. Disney should stick to entertaining, not pushing an agenda. Please share this with your friends and family to make sure they are aware of the gay character in ‘Onward’ and not blindsided by it. As moms, we all want to know when Disney is attempting to desensitize our children by normalizing the LGBTQ lifestyle." (Reference in link above.)

I watched the movie recently since it had been released on video and I'm just the kind winner who watches Pixar cartoons as a grown adult without the justification of having children to view them with. (I found it passable, but not one of Pixar's finest works; while it has a genuinely satisfying conclusion that puts the whole adventure in a better and much-needed new perspective, the 'cute' underlying premise makes the film frequently as awkward and uncomfortable as you'd suspect it would.) The line in question was so fleeting and narratively insignificant that I didn't even notice it until I read the linked article afterward, drawing my attention to it. As much has been the pattern for Disney. For some four years now, Disney films have thrown in the occasional "gay reference" or gay background character, most often in simply a fleeting, forgettable way like this. It gets slightly annoying to me because, after a certain point, it feels cheap and canned, like they're just throwing you a bone so you'll stop complaining that they only depict heterosexual relationships on the big screen where millions of people will see, and I mean in the very, very laziest, most pitiful and begrudging way humanly possible. After a while these two-second blips start to feel almost like they're being included in bad faith that way. So yeah, I have to admit finding it hilarious that one of them, just a single line from a secondary character, somehow managed to provoke reactions this strong about the entire movie. The line feels like nothing to me. I was not "blindsided" by it. It's apparently way more meaningful to homophobes than it is to actual lesbians.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 23 May 2020

Cyran said:

If you have not watch is yet Dragon Prince on Netflix also has a lesbian couple kissing on the lips and there a strong hint at the end of season 3 that we likely to see a relationship between 2 of the female characters in season 4.  I also think they did a very good job of establishing the connecting between those 2 characters in the first 3 seasons.  

They not the main characters like in She-Ra but I would argue it one of the coolest characters in the show and defiantly my favorite actions scenes was her combat scenes.

I've heard The Dragon Prince was good (including that way), but haven't gotten to it yet. May have to give it a shot!