Blurb: RPGs and LGBTQ Community
I have to say growing up being gay in the 80’s was pretty tough. I mean I did it in Kentucky for God sake. Now do not get me wrong I had a few supportive friends and my sister to get me though some of the tough times. But… there was no LGBTQ friendly anything or many highly visible out people at the time. So there was no real support in society, actually there was nothing but damnation if I am to be brutally honest. At least that is how it felt.
I used, as many of you do, Role-playing games to escape real life. No I did not play female characters I had no inclination to do so. But what I did do was play characters that were the farthest from gay. I am not sure if it was self loathing or just the fact I felt that I needed to be “normal”. As the years passed (many years) and being a person in the LGBTQ community became more “normal” I actually started embracing who I was and started to play characters that were more like me. One of my favorite characters was in a Exalted game where I was a bad ass warrior who happened to be in love with another man. Who was murdered by a evil Storyteller (you know who you are Mike) that used him to taunt me…. ummm sorry… I digress.
In 2007 when I was reading through the first book in Paizo’s adventure path Rise of the Rune Lords I noticed what appeared to be a same sex couple. I thought it was just my own projection and reread it. No there it was in print a Cyrdak Drokkus (CN male human bard 6) & Sir Jasper Korvaski (LG male human paladin 3/expert 1) and in Jaspers description it stated “Despite his best efforts, his romance with Cyrdak Drokkus has become one of Sandpoint’s worst-kept secrets.” so I was not projecting at all! I can tell you that this inclusion of a same sex romance endeared me to Pathfinder.
Paizo did this without even a mention that it was choosing to be LGBTQ inclusive. So when I read Wesley Schneider’s blog this morning he gave a little insight on why they did not make a big deal of it.
As most of you know by now Wizards of the Coast D&D 5th Edition is out and one thing that is getting some notice is they are now following suit with being LGBTQ inclusive. In the Basic Rules download it states things like “Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.” and “You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.”.
In closing… It is important to feel included and accepted so I am pleased to see that some of the leading RPG companies have taken action to do just that. To those companies I raise my goblet of elvish wine and thank you!
Until next time Nerds!