The Time Games Helped Me Come Out

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

The Time Games Helped Me Come Out

Games can help you explore which you like better, a posture collar or a dog lead.

Read Full Article

Nice article. Many people like to forget or dismiss the importance of diversity in various media, including videogames, but it is actually important as things stand.

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

Now unsure of what to write i'd like to congratulate you on having the ____ to write this article being what it means and having it set in such a public form, and with you name attached. I like how you summed up a lot of your experiences as I did this here because i wanted to try it without the world judging you for it. Which is what i think more of use need even when it comes to different things. This is semi inspirational to me it makes me feel good that someone else struggled with their life in a similar way

But before i go off on a tangent i'll stop right there. Thank you for the interesting article and a great read, i hope Christmas isn't too awkward this year but if it is, just remember you have more courage than most.

Thanks for writing this article. As a transgendered gamer, I too found solace in games, especially ones like the aforementioned Mass Effect. I guess it's one of the reasons I want to get into game design: I want to give something back to the medium that helped me keep it together in some of the most turbulent times of my life. Thank you.

Good on you mate. Obviously video games have quite a ways to progress, but it's nice to see what effort has been made is having a positive effect :)

My... This was... Unexpected. At least someone's speaking out for recognition of a new "norm'".

"Some people look at porn, others go to nightclubs - I played GTA III."
Reminds me of my high-school years, though for different reasons.

You do bring up an interesting idea. Romance and sexuality in general tend to be marginalized as a side thing, some sort of gimmick, a mini-game even. I don't recall any games that deal with that, properly (properly properly) as their core concept. That's not only an untapped idea, but an untapped market, were I to judge by the the appeal of romance movies.
Unfortunately, making something like that a reality would be difficult, for a variety of reasons, like repeating the whole "sexbox, debby does star wars" media frenzy.

unacomn:
"Some people look at porn, others go to nightclubs - I played GTA III."
Reminds me of my high-school years, though for different reasons.

You do bring up an interesting idea. Romance and sexuality in general tend to be marginalized as a side thing, some sort of gimmick, a mini-game even. I don't recall any games that deal with that, properly (properly properly) as their core concept. That's not only an untapped idea, but an untapped market, were I to judge by the the appeal of romance movies.
Unfortunately, making something like that a reality would be difficult, for a variety of reasons, like repeating the whole "sexbox, debby does star wars" media frenzy.

Various dating sims and stuff like Catherine seem to look into this a bit more. You'll probably be hard pressed to find a western game that actually looks at relationships and sex that isn't just smut.

V8 Ninja:

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

I love how, after all that was talked about in the article, -this- is what makes the comments. Well played, my friend, well played. I personally, happen to be one of those perverts who plays both sides.

I'm very glad you wrote this article Ed. Thanks; I know I went through something reasonably similar when it came to developing my sexuality (Even if I didn't really realise that's what it was at the time.). Another note; even if it's not something you're personally into, having features like that in games (like you spoke of in the Sims and also, more surprisingly, Saint's Row) it also can help teach acceptance. It's really not a big deal no matter what you do. It's your stuff. Particularly something I noticed in Saint's Row 3; it's good, surprisingly so, at just overlooking stuff that would be seen as taboo or whatever. Now maybe that's because it's trying to get some 'shock factor' or whatever but it comes across quite nicely I think. Or maybe I just got too into it. I don't know. :/

I get that the discovery of some aspects of sexuality (fetishes for example) might be, well, just that - a discovery.

And I get that coming out as gay or bi must be really difficult.

But I really don't get how someone over a certain age (like, say, 14) can be unaware of something as basic as their own preference of males vs females, at least not if they are male. Doesn't the average 14 year old boy-man get a near-instant erection at the slightest visual stimulation? I know I did, and comedy sketches like Kevin and Perry make me think I was far from unusual in that regard. So then I have to imagine that if said stimulation is in the form of another male then, well, wouldn't that be a pretty big fucking clue?

It's not unawareness, it's suppression. People can know what they like but because parents, peers, TV etc. tells them it's something grubby or weird they do these mental contortions to try and keep it buried.

thatsthespirit:
It's not unawareness, it's suppression. People can know what they like but because parents, peers, TV etc. tells them it's something grubby or weird they do these mental contortions to try and keep it buried.

Very true. Unfortunately we still live in a world where those who don't fit into the "normal" boxes are suppressed, abused, and looked down upon because they're different. I had to hide my identity for a long time, because the punishment for being different around here was nothing less than death.

thatsthespirit:
It's not unawareness, it's suppression. People can know what they like but because parents, peers, TV etc. tells them it's something grubby or weird they do these mental contortions to try and keep it buried.

Exactly. Good 8th post. ^_^

OT: Good article, it's nice to see someone talking about the many different sides to gaming. While videogames didn't affect my entrance into bisexuality (Angelina Jolee/Keira Knightley/Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp/Brad Pitt did that for me just fine), I'm glad they helped the author.

lesbian Sims

Hm, first time ever I actually want to try The Sims...

Captcha: well heeled

What an interesting (and amusing) article Ed, thanks for sharing.

I'm 25 and I've had very little experience in the world of sexual exploration. To be honest I couldn't confidently tell you my orientation although I typically side with heterosexual because it's most prominent. I could be interested in men but I haven't had the opportunity to... put it to the test, as it were.

Then there's the question of whether or not I'm denying certain feelings because I'm simply making them up or because preconceived societal norms dictate that I must suppress them? The world can be quite the confusing place.

Additionally, I know being a furry isn't considered a sexuality, but finding out that I was one was an interesting part of life. Thank the maker for the internet, that's all I can say. It's so much easier to find like minded people and gain that reassurance that you are not a freak.

V8 Ninja:

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

People prefer Pokemon over Digimon? What is this sacrilege? Burn the heretics! Everyone knows Digimon is the superior franchise.

I agree, but working a low end retail job has taught me something even more important. While on the internet, at least, being gay is literally the farthest thing away from a big deal ever...

in real life, at least where I live, people are still very judgemental.

But I think it will get better. As society progresses, we'll be more open minded to sexuality as a whole and shun something else instead. I really can't say much here without sounding like I should be on an episode of 'Dis Troper, but, I will say that, hey, I think there's a reason alot of guys choose female characters in MMOs; it's not that they want something to look at; it's much deeper rooted, and we'll see a massive change in the open-mindedness to transgender people in the near future on the internet, and in real life too when people don't have to fear getting the shit kicked out of them in the real world while they're not that... convincing.

Not saying I will actually do that. I'm just saying I weigh 130 pounds and work a shitty job and express myself through playing strictly female characters in games.

I can also bench 140 and have 6 years of experience on guitar, which I'm, sadly, much more happy to share in the real world than the paragraphs above that statement. I hope to eventually live in a society where that is just not the truth, where I can be open, and actually go through with certain things. Until then, I have you, internet.

I'm glad games helped you figure out your sexuality, but I'm also sad that society forced you to turn to them for this in the first place.

Fantastic article, with good points made all the way.

I'd like to say that articles like this might change the public opinion on games, and their importance/uses...but I'm afraid that close-minded people just cant be educated.

Still, congrats for having the balls to write this, it was a very enjoyable and thought provoking article, and I'm glad its posted on the escapist. It should really also be required reading for most adults.

I've a feeling I may take some crap for this, but... here goes.

I understand to some degree what it feels like to have something that is inherent to who you are, something you can't change, be held against you. Whether it's sexuality or sexual identity or race or handicap (or whatever), it's deeply hurtful to be pre-judged by people who know one thing about you, barely know that, and yet feel that because of that they know you and can condemn you.

And yet, well... My experience is informed by this. I knew a young woman in college I'll call "M". And her thing was that she might as well have introduced herself as "Hi I'm bisexual. My name is 'M'." Being bisexual was almost literally the first thing she wanted everyone to know, and how hard it was to be bisexual, and how judgemental everyone was about her being bisexual, and... Well, you get the point.

A lot of people I knew in college were going through one form or another of coming to terms with themselves, sexually or otherwise. (Including myself.) A couple of close friends and a couple of girlfriends were openly bisexual, but they were both a lot quieter about it, and as far as I could tell, a lot happier about the fact as well.

"M" wasn't happy about it. She was unhealthy about her fixation with being bisexual, and she was incredibly tedious to be around a lot of the time as a result. She grew up in a setting where her bisexuality was undoubtedly more controversial and painful, and simply couldn't get it that she was now in a setting where that controversy was hardly a factor.

I guess what I want to say is that our sexuality will unquestionably inform on who we are, and I'm glad the author's experiences allowed him to understand an aspect of himself more fully. But I don't think it's ever "healthy" to make something like one's sexuality the central aspect of who you are. It may be hard to overcome the desire to "push back" if you feel something important to you has long been repressed; it's possible such a reaction is all but inevitable. But it seems to me that many people develop less as people for making such a reaction a central tenet of their lives.

I'm a lot of things, good, bad, and indifferent, some more fully realized than others, some that I'm still coming to terms with, some that I'm working to overcome. My sexuality is only one of them.

I never really thought of games so much like that. This is kind of a new way of thinking to me... But then again, I grew up on CS1.6, DoD1b, Source, NS1 and 2, and Dystopia. Not much of a chance to explore sexuality there.[1] This is great that you feel this comfortable talking bout it! as I haven't gotten comfortable enough to make a big-ass article on it! O.o

Also, Dog lead if you're just playing around, Posture Collar if you want to kick it up a notch or 8. ;)

[1] Actually, now that I think about it... Dystopia had players spraying wonderful images on the wall. I Found out why Princess Peach kept getting captured! I'll just stick with my ZTC Tags though.

Great article, man.

For the record, I'm a guy (physically anyway, mentally is another story entirely lol), and I had Christmas dinner with my family wearing a tartan dress!

Understanding parents are awesome :D

Let no one say that there are no good articles on escapistmagazine anymore. I kinda miss the old articles, this feels like it could have been in one of those issues when the magazine had only just somewhat established itself.

Courageous too.

Callate:
I've a feeling I may take some crap for this, but... here goes.

I understand to some degree what it feels like to have something that is inherent to who you are, something you can't change, be held against you. Whether it's sexuality or sexual identity or race or handicap (or whatever), it's deeply hurtful to be pre-judged by people who know one thing about you, barely know that, and yet feel that because of that they know you and can condemn you.

And yet, well... My experience is informed by this. I knew a young woman in college I'll call "M". And her thing was that she might as well have introduced herself as "Hi I'm bisexual. My name is 'M'." Being bisexual was almost literally the first thing she wanted everyone to know, and how hard it was to be bisexual, and how judgemental everyone was about her being bisexual, and... Well, you get the point.

A lot of people I knew in college were going through one form or another of coming to terms with themselves, sexually or otherwise. (Including myself.) A couple of close friends and a couple of girlfriends were openly bisexual, but they were both a lot quieter about it, and as far as I could tell, a lot happier about the fact as well.

"M" wasn't happy about it. She was unhealthy about her fixation with being bisexual, and she was incredibly tedious to be around a lot of the time as a result. She grew up in a setting where her bisexuality was undoubtedly more controversial and painful, and simply couldn't get it that she was now in a setting where that controversy was hardly a factor.

I guess what I want to say is that our sexuality will unquestionably inform on who we are, and I'm glad the author's experiences allowed him to understand an aspect of himself more fully. But I don't think it's ever "healthy" to make something like one's sexuality the central aspect of who you are. It may be hard to overcome the desire to "push back" if you feel something important to you has long been repressed; it's possible such a reaction is all but inevitable. But it seems to me that many people develop less as people for making such a reaction a central tenet of their lives.

I'm a lot of things, good, bad, and indifferent, some more fully realized than others, some that I'm still coming to terms with, some that I'm working to overcome. My sexuality is only one of them.

You're right, you are going to take some crap for that. But not from me because I literally haven't the energy to argue with such rubbish. I'm sorry that your friend's identity crisis was so traumatic for you. I'm sure she was only saying it for attention, not because, you know, she felt uncomfortable about it and wanted reassuring that if she told me people they wouldn't ignore her or be offended somehow.

Sorry, I don't mean to be a bitch on the internet because it's totally fucking futile anyway. But that's just a really unfortunate way to see the world. I get that for some sex and sexuality isn't so important but to sit back and announce that it should be equally unimportant for EVERYONE is just kind of precisely the reason some people feel oppressed in the first place. If I'm totally gay as shit and being totally gay as shit is the most important thing to me, then who are you or anyone else to tell me it shouldn't? If you find it a little wearisome that you pal keeps talking about her bisexuality, don't cold shoulder her - take her aside and tell her, I know you're bisexual, it's cool. You don't need to tell me, you don't need me to validate you. Be what you want.

Totally contrarily to me seeing I wouldn't give any crap, I've just given a fucking...quarry load. Sorry. I hope it was worth it anyway.

LunaSpark:
Great article, man.

For the record, I'm a guy (physically anyway, mentally is another story entirely lol), and I had Christmas dinner with my family wearing a tartan dress!

Understanding parents are awesome :D

Not to bother you, but what is a tartan dress?
Because it sounds a bit like "tartar" dress, but I can't imagine even the most understanding parents allowing a dress made of ground beef, eggs and pickles at their christmas dinner.

Jamous:

V8 Ninja:

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

I love how, after all that was talked about in the article, -this- is what makes the comments. Well played, my friend, well played. I personally, happen to be one of those perverts who plays both sides.

For shame, for shame...
We must now collectively oppress you for being a deviant who can't adhere to the societal norms.
EVERYONE, GET THAT BI-FRANCHISE BASTARD.

(Did everyone get the sarcasm up there?
If not pm me and I shall explain why this post calling for drastic action against those who differ from the norm in a thread about an excellent article which in turn is dealing with how to deal with "coming out" and how videogames helped the author with that, is not meant to be taken entirely serious.
Also, the fact that I called for action because someone likes TWO VIDEOGAME/ANIME FRANCHISES might also tip some of you off. I hope)

Calibanbutcher:
Not to bother you, but what is a tartan dress?
Because it sounds a bit like "tartar" dress, but I can't imagine even the most understanding parents allowing a dress made of ground beef, eggs and pickles at their christmas dinner.

It's a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours.

A quick google search would have told you that... https://www.google.com/search?&tbm=isch&q=tartan+dress

V8 Ninja:

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

..... actually, how about:

image

because anything I see about Digimon these days is nothing but Renamon.

like she was the only good Digimon or something.

OT: Second Life is good for a few things, wasting money being a top contender, but I like reading stories like this.

Also, good to know someone else used that GTA III cheat to play as other characters. Silas the homicidal hobo wasn't alone!

thatsthespirit:
You're right, you are going to take some crap for that. But not from me because I literally haven't the energy to argue with such rubbish. I'm sorry that your friend's identity crisis was so traumatic for you. I'm sure she was only saying it for attention, not because, you know, she felt uncomfortable about it and wanted reassuring that if she told me people they wouldn't ignore her or be offended somehow.

It wasn't "traumatic" for me (sacrasm or not), though it did have an effect on how I view such things. And if she was only interacting this way with friends, or close associates, that would be one thing; this was how she presented herself to everyone on the floor of our dorm. Whether you're looking for attention or reassurance, that's not the hallmark of a healthy identity- or the formation of one.

Sorry, I don't mean to be a bitch on the internet because it's totally fucking futile anyway. But that's just a really unfortunate way to see the world. I get that for some sex and sexuality isn't so important but to sit back and announce that it should be equally unimportant for EVERYONE is just kind of precisely the reason some people feel oppressed in the first place.

One, I never said sex and sexuality wasn't important; I just said it shouldn't be the first and foremost thing around which one stakes one's being. And I still think that's true.

Two: really? All the condemnation people get over being gay, bi, kinky, transgender, whatever- from media, from government, from tradition, from religion- you're suggesting that's "precisely" the same as saying that your sexuality isn't the hand on which you should stake all your chips?

Do you really believe that?

If I'm totally gay as shit and being totally gay as shit is the most important thing to me, then who are you or anyone else to tell me it shouldn't? If you find it a little wearisome that you pal keeps talking about her bisexuality, don't cold shoulder her - take her aside and tell her, I know you're bisexual, it's cool. You don't need to tell me, you don't need me to validate you. Be what you want.

If being "gay as shit" is the most important thing to you, I hope you have a happy life. But you're going to miss out on a lot if that's the entirety of how you present yourself to others. You may find an echo chamber of people for whom being gay is the most important thing, but it's very hard to grow or expand if all you ever interact with is people who are as much like you as possible and who are like you largely in having defined themselves in such a narrow way.

An admittedly facile comparison: have you ever been around someone who spent large amounts of their time talking about some MMO they're deeply entrenched in? If you weren't playing that game, how interested were you in what they wanted to talk about? How interested was it reasonable of them to expect you to be?

I was fine with "M" being bisexual, and I did tell her that. But because of how she defined herself, she visibly grew less as a person than many of the other people I knew at college. Her social circle shrank, rather than growing. Her interests narrowed, rather than expanding- at precisely the time in her life when expansion of such things was easiest.

This is my experience. It may not be yours. If what you find for yourself works for you, I wish you well. It may not work for everyone, and I'd sooner people understood that.

Kalezian:

V8 Ninja:

Ed Smith:
It'd be like saying you preferred Digimon to Pokemon; you'd get your head kicked in.

If that was the case, I think us surviving Digimon fans need to make a Digimon revengence crackdown squad.

..... actually, how about:

image

because anything I see about Digimon these days is nothing but Renamon.

like she was the only good Digimon or something.

OT: Second Life is good for a few things, wasting money being a top contender, but I like reading stories like this.

Also, good to know someone else used that GTA III cheat to play as other characters. Silas the homicidal hobo wasn't alone!

I saw her as quite the popular character during the early 2000's with my peers and myself but I can't quite put my finger on why she was so popular with many fans, I myself was interested because she had more intellect than the other two mons and she normally had some sort of a plan compared to the other two who just shot or stomped their enemies and when it didn't work they'd scratch their heads in a clueless manner.

LunaSpark:

Calibanbutcher:
Not to bother you, but what is a tartan dress?
Because it sounds a bit like "tartar" dress, but I can't imagine even the most understanding parents allowing a dress made of ground beef, eggs and pickles at their christmas dinner.

It's a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours.

A quick google search would have told you that... https://www.google.com/search?&tbm=isch&q=tartan+dress

But then I could not have made that quip about the Tartar dress...

The dresses look a bit like kilts to be honest, but I believe that's intentional.

Epic Fail 1977:
But I really don't get how someone over a certain age (like, say, 14) can be unaware of something as basic as their own preference of males vs females, at least not if they are male. Doesn't the average 14 year old boy-man get a near-instant erection at the slightest visual stimulation? I know I did, and comedy sketches like Kevin and Perry make me think I was far from unusual in that regard. So then I have to imagine that if said stimulation is in the form of another male then, well, wouldn't that be a pretty big fucking clue?

I'm in my twenties never had any sexual experience and don't know what exactly I'd get a boner from in real life...
I mean real people not just porn >.<
Do you really think the kind of porn you fancy gives a 100% clue to what your sexuality is? I doubt it. I could be anything from straight(though unlikely) to bi, gay or even fucking asexual, which would be the biggest let-down for me... don't mean to offend any asexual people here :p
*sigh* I guess one day I'll just have to try a (male) prostitute.

hazydawn:

I'm in my twenties never had any sexual experience and don't know what exactly I'd get a boner from in real life...
I mean real people not just porn >.<
Do you really think the kind of porn you fancy gives a 100% clue to what your sexuality is?

Don't worry, I'm 26 and I haven't lost my V-card either. Fuck it. Allthough I am getting more and more curious.
Like, now I can't miss it because I don't know it - but if I have sex once and then no sex for a long time, that seems harder to me than my current predicament.

OK - the whole "sexuality in games" thing. I got into games through shooters. And the closest connection between that time and today is the aliens from Alien vs. Predator II and tentacle porn today. :D
Now, that I think about it, it seems I have a couple of friends who play mostly female characters - WoW, Diablo 3, etc. - today, and who "suspect" me of being gay ..... PROJECTION! Damn, this is funny. We're all students, so bigotry is not an issue, thank Zeus.

Well, we'll see what I turn out to be into. I hang out on 4chan a lot, which is also a virtual, space, and the main point I want to make is that, WOAH is it full of porn. Seriously. Chan boards. NSFW. But through exposure to many different kinds of sexuality there I now know that I'm probably not gay, mostly straight, but if a girl I took home turned out to be a trap (is that a derogatory term?), aka a crossdressing young man I am not so sure I'd throw him/her out ..... until the morning anyway. ^^

Oh, I forgot to ask:
Have you previously come out to your family or
is this article your way of coming out?
Because that'd be awesome, and good luck!

Post collar, posture collar, posture collar!

Ahem, I mean, uh, this is a serious article, and as such deserves serious conversation. *wink*

Good article, glad I wasn't alone in this. Being transgender with nobody willing to listen to me quite frankly say anything in the real world, games were healthy for me because of this, an dother reasons. I was always afraid of being caught playing as a woman, because I imagine my father would disapprove (and he probably would), so I didn't do it as much as I'd like, but when I did, it was cathartic, and sexuality was just one of the reasons. Mass Effect was good for me because it allowed that and, well, I could hold serious conversations with real-ish people, something you'll never have in a high school locker room or with your mother who disregards your existence except when its convenient.

That being said, I have to ask a question:

Fancy creating some lesbian Sims? Please, do.

Am I the only person who ends up with a town that is like 96% of the population being lesbians? I would probably have a biy more males, but nobody ever creates anything good on Mod the Sims for male sims.

I think the first hints that I was transgender (apart from always being more interested in strong heroines vs strong heroes in films and shows) was just how much more 'right' I felt as a female character whenever the game had me be one, or gave me the choice to be one, the the point I would (and still do) look at the cover of the game and if I saw a woman inwardly go 'I hope I'm playing as her'. Took me a long time though to fully understand why that was though.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here