Just some brief thoughts as this is a topic I’ve seen discussed a lot recently, in various corners around the internet.
Often, I see discussions about the need for trans* protagonists in video games. As a trans person, part of me doesn’t care because there are plenty of male characters from which to choose. Because I identify as “male,” that’s good enough for me. The other part of me can’t help but to wonder the following:
How on earth would they portray this character? Because, outside of story line, you can’t possible make someone look like a trans person. It’s not like ethnicity or social group where you can change skin colour and clothing and BLAMO! You have a First Nations Hipster, as example. You can’t have a transwoman wearing a dress, with masculine facial features, because that is insulting. You can’t have a transman dressed in hyper-masculine clothes, with effeminate features, for the same reason. The character also cannot be androgynous, for the same reasons. There is no way to portray a trans* person when it comes to physical features. The same problem is there for those who are gender queer. So, that leave story, and I don’t trust any video game writer to do that correctly, because we are an extremely varied group of people. I’d suspect that it would be relatable to only a handful of trans* people instead of speaking to the community as a whole. Whatever this character turned out to be, I fear it would be nothing more than a caricature filled with bad stereotypes. They’ve yet to get “strong female character” correct in most cases. How can they possibly portray trans when they can’t even do women?
So, while it’s great that our allies want this for us, I’m not sure it is possible. I’ll stick to playing male characters, because that is where I relate.
For transwomen, there definitely needs to be more female characters.
Also, I’m only speaking for myself. Not others within the trans* community. I’ve yet to see a trans* person comment on this issue, only people who are our allies. So, maybe there is a group of trans* people who have been asking for this and I’m just not aware.
If you are trans* or queer*, are reading this, and are wanting trans/queer* characters in your video game, I’m very curious to know what your solutions to the above problems are. Because if you see a solution, I’d really love to hear it! Also note: If this is something you’ve been begging for, I don’t want to take this away from you. It’s not like I’d try and stop these games from being produced. I’m only saying that, for this trans man, it wouldn’t be something I’d want and I’d be extremely hesitant to play the game. I have a huge fear that it just wouldn’t be for me. I wouldn’t want to risk feeling alienated, when I currently do not feel that way in regards to video games.