Growing up a dual citizen who constantly moved, thereby allowing his family to make up all manner of personal holidays and traditions, who just so happened to realize he was queer pretty early on in his teens–all while being raised by a mother who firmly believed in many feminist principles without necessarily subscribing to their club–identity politics are nothing new to me. Add to that the realization that while I am firmly rooted in being male in sex and will not be seeking to change that fact (considering my alma mater, this may be for the best), I find nothing about me cisgendered. Naturally, part of my degree involved Gender Studies.
Preface what I am about to say with the realization that it is merely an annoyance rather than something over which I am ready to take arms against a sea of troubles. I would like to see the options of character creation actually ask my character’s sex, rather than the gender.
While I would love the inclusion of gender in games, I somehow seriously doubt we will see any consideration of this topic in terms of choosing characters with a sex and gender that do not match (let alone genders beyond just masculine and feminine).
In fact, in a discussion with a friend who loves his ‘trannies,’ we could not recall a transgendered game character. While I realize the gaming culture we may face, I also realize there are some interesting gems, and am merely hoping I’m overlooking something or have just missed an opportunity–y’know, beyond Birdo (who does bring a smile to my face, admittedly). However, her history is a confused one, made doubly so by Nintendo’s not knowing what to do with her for a number of years.
However, considering the number of actual gay or lesbian characters we see in videogames (and what their depictions may be), I somehow imagine that transgendered characters will not be a priority. Especially as we still have some problems with depictions of females in them as well (though I do love me some Samus and Jade). Frankly, it’s an issue that unless it can be done well, I would also rather see steer clear of games, as it could create all sorts of headaches.
This is a topic to which I will return.