Last year we celebrated pride by taking a look at the most powerful LGBT+ moments in gaming but those classic scenes don't play out without positive queer role model characters to take part in them. As such, it makes sense to focus more directly on some of the best representation gaming has given the LGBT+ community.
For a long time, queer representation in gaming was largely the same as any other media. Despairingly few and far between where it counted, and often stereotypical or harmful. Still, bright sparks always existed that set the precedence for the future. In the last two decades many others have joined them to blaze their own trail in a world that is becoming more accepting.
Gaming today better represents the world we live in, and this list aims to do the same.
As the number of positive LGBT+ characters in gaming grows, it gets harder and harder to pick one's favourites. There are many out there, that represent every different shade in the rainbow, and it's important to honour the freedom that pride represents to be oneself.
From landmark moments to simply brilliantly written, these characters celebrate the diversity of life.
Happy Pride month!
10. Juhani - Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic
When it comes to queer representation, BioWare have been a real force for good and so it's no surprise they'll show up several times on this list.
So it seems perfect in retrospect that, before they broke huge with own original IPs, they left a mark on one of the biggest media franchises of all time. Not only is Juhani the first gay character the studio ever wrote, she's the first LGBT+ character in Star Wars history.
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Juhani lives a downtrodden and lonely life. She is a survivor of the near-genocide of her peoples and a lower-class immigrant on the world she grew to call home. Her instinctual emotions get the better of her Jedi training and she assumes that she is destined to join the dark side.
The player convinces her to abandon this thought process and beckons her back towards balance.
David Gadier, the game's writer, admitted that the team never asked for permission with writing Juhani as a lesbian woman but they did tread carefully with it. As such, the character is never too specific with her words but will express a deep care for the player character before the game's final act, only if they're female.
Juhani's struggle with balance speaks to one of the central themes of Star Wars and her timid confession to the player likewise spoke to queer gamers.