The Time Games Helped Me Come Out

BeerTent

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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.[footnote]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.[/footnote] 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. ;)
 

LunaSpark

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Apr 23, 2012
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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
 

thatsthespirit

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Callate said:
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 ***** 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.
 

Calibanbutcher

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LunaSpark said:
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 said:
V8 Ninja said:
Ed Smith said:
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)
 

LunaSpark

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Calibanbutcher said:
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
 

Callate

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thatsthespirit said:
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 ***** 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.
 

Shadow-Phoenix

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Kalezian said:
V8 Ninja said:
Ed Smith said:
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:




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.
 

Calibanbutcher

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LunaSpark said:
Calibanbutcher said:
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.
 

hazydawn

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Epic Fail 1977 said:
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.
 

Sergey Sund

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hazydawn said:
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. ^^
 

Sergey Sund

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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!
 

WindKnight

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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.
 

GeneralFungi

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Epic Fail 1977 said:
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?
I'll go into my own experience as a still-in-the-closet dude and describe my experiences. I don't represent other people in the same situation, this was just my personal experiences. Anyways...

I started to get an inkling of what my sexuality was when I was younger, but I didn't become truly suspicious until I was around 13-14. However, at that stage of puberty you are prone to.. well.. that 'stimulation' at any number of things for any number of reasons. It's rather unpredictable at times. I actually did some research on what other people go through at that age and I convinced myself that it was probably a side-effect of growing up. Just something that I'd get over. When your horomones are going haywire it's hard to know what you do or don't like anymore.

Sexuality is a complicated thing. It seems even more complicated where you aren't eased into it. Your body simply thrusts you into the world of sexuality without a road map or anything of that description. It isn't as simple as 'pop a boner when the thing you like appears', and like I previously said it can happen for little to no reason at all. Do I find that dude appealing because of him being a dude, or is there something else at play? Is my body just messing with me? I used to create excuses for myself about my attractions, and tried to rationalize it in a way that still allowed me to keep with what people considered 'normal'. To find people of the same sex as me attractive yet still rationalize myself to be straight.

At that point almost all of what you were taught about sexuality from the media reinforced the 'ordinary' archetype. Men love Women, Women love Men. I've seen Mario kiss the princess ever since a young age and the idea that romance worked that way was reinforced constantly by many different types of media, remembering of course that at the time I was only around 13. To learn that you might not quite fit into what you were taught was normal made me question myself. It made me create excuses for my behavior and put up the facade that I was still completely straight and everything was peachy with me. I put on an act.

It didn't really work out as you might imagine.

I think you've oversimplified the process of finding your own sexuality a tad in the case of the LGBT. Am I gay, am I bi? Not to mention that even in people that are completely straight, they can still show signs of homosexual attraction without being LGTB themselves. In my own experiences, I really didn't come to terms with my sexuality until I was about the age I am now, which is 17. I'm still young and I'm still discovering myself. I haven't even come out to my family yet, which is something I've been meaning to do since I've come to the discovery but just haven't had the courage to actually do.

I'm not expert on the field of discovering your sexuality; hell I'm in the midst of it myself even though it might be a bit embarrassing to say. There are just more layers of complexity then I think you and me don't realize.
 

southparkdudez

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I agree with you on how games help us see who we really are. Though not always sexually but our character gets build on games in my opion. Im glad you found out who you are through video games and anyone who says you're screwy just tell them to make like a tree and get outta here.
 

GeneralFungi

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Callate said:
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.
I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm sure you're a well adjusted human being that treats people fairly. The thing is I don't believe it is anyone's right to tell another person how much part of their identity should matter to them. But it is well within your right not to associate with that person, or even not like that person at all because of how much they drone on about it. But you shouldn't tell someone how much part of who they are should matter to them and how they present themselves, even if it really is something of little consequence in College like their sexuality.

It can breed an attitude I've been weary of as of late. You probably aren't this person, but I've met people who basically said
"I can deal with you being gay. Just don't be gay anywhere near me." Which is people's way of trying to sound tolerant of others without actually being tolerant at all. It's just something to think about.
 

PuckFuppet

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About four years ago I was playing Mass Effect for the first time with any serious commitment, work etc. had my time monopolised and although I liked the concept I never really gave it a proper play-through. I picked the default manshep, I was bad at customising appearance and I didn't care enough to try it at the time, and about an hour on promptly returned to the main menu and picked the default femshep. The VA for manshep is, in my view, irredeemably irritating.

I was perfectly happy with femsheps VA, and indeed default appearance, and my journey continued. ME2 came out and I continued as femshep, I tried again as manshep but just couldn't play comfortably with that voice. Then something really odd happened, I started seriously customising my femsheps appearance. That is to say, redder hair, a bit shorter, fixed the skintone, made the eyes more defined, tweaked the prominence of the lips, brought the rest of the face into proportion with that, added vivid green eyes.

Prior to this, in almost every game I had played with customisation options, I went default. Never tickled my fancy, or I thought it didn't.

Eventually after playing through ME2 a few times I picked up another title by BW with some customisation, Dragon Age: Origins, and rolled a dude. I ended up really enjoying the customisation, and began giving a crap about everything that was linked to it. This started spilling out into my personal appearance. I was never "poorly dressed" but I was... lazy? If it appeared to work, I wore it without much thought.

But after that in game experience I began to experiment clothing wise, I found that I liked suits (this coming from a guy who thought that a hoodie and jeans was "formal wear") and that with a bit of careful work I could pull off a very respectable goatee. The funny kicker here is that my girlfriend, a patient and no doubt sainthood worthy woman, had been trying to get me to wear that kind of stuff for almost a year. But no, it was femshep that did it.
 

an annoyed writer

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Windknight said:
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.
You're not alone there. Hell, because of this sometimes when I'm in gamestop I like to switch the cover art for Mass Effect 3 to the femshep version just for shits and giggles XD