ByJames B, writer at
Just a lame nerd with little better to do than rant and rave about movies, anime, video games, animation, comics, etc.
James B

Yeah, it's pretty obvious where the inspiration for this came from. The media in general, but especially gaming, has been marketed and portrayed as a testosterone-fueled, male-dominated entity with little room for diversity. However, there are many characters within gaming that fall under the "LGBT" banner, so I thought it'd be cool to give that side of gaming some attention and show that everyone can find someone relatable in a well-crafted narrative.

Keep in mind that I'm not choosing characters like Shepard or The Inquisitor, as the player's input affects their "tastes," if you will. It's cool to have the option, but it's an option. I'm talking about characters that are set in stone as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, asexual, etc. As always, these are my personal favorites, though I tried to neglect those that I don't feel are at least good characters. So yeah, let's get on with it (also, I may do this for other mediums if enough people enjoy this one, just too much to cram into one list):

10. Juhani (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)

Knights of the Old Republic is one of my favorite games ever, partly because of its amazingly well realized characters. Though she's not my favorite, the lesbian cat alien thing Juhani is pretty awesome. A Jedi Knight who grew up in slavery and poverty and fell to the dark side on multiple occasions. Her unwavering loyalty to her comrades helped her clear her mind and become a sub-standard ally in the war against Darth Malak. Her backstory is the interesting part about her. Sold into slavery as a child, found by the order, always fighting a temper that she used to hide her frailty, thinking she'd even struck down her Jedi Master in battle and nearly losing her mind, it's pretty compelling stuff. Also (spoilers!), you can just straight up kill her when you first meet her, causing her lover to seek murderous vengeance against you later in the game.

9. Venom/Bridget (Guilty Gear series)

Despite being openly homosexual, the badass Venom is a no-nonsense former member of the Assassin's Guild who swears undying loyalty to its former leader, Zato, after he saved him from execution due to his refusal to kill his targets. He's just really awesome and one of my favorite characters to use. It doesn't get much better than wrecking fools with a pool cue and billiard balls. I'm sure there's some innuendo to his homosexuality there, but whatever.

The other one, born male in a village where twins of the same gender are considered bad luck and one was demanded to be sacrificed or exiled, Bridget was raised as a female. As soon as he was capable, Bridget became a bounty hunter in the hope of earning money to both aid his parents and prove to the village that their superstitions don't hold the weight they believe they do. Also, who else fights with a yo-yo and a mechanical teddy bear? No one, that's who.

8. Bernie Crane (Grand Theft Auto IV)

A childhood friend and fellow member of main protagonist Niko Bellic's fifteen man crew that mostly lost their lives during the war prior to moving to the United States. Once Niko learns of Crane's survival, he presumes that he was the one that betrayed his group and tracks him down, seconds away from ending his life, he learns of another, seemingly far more cruel individual had also survived. They call a wary truce and slowly develop into good friends. Crane is high in moral fibre, despite falling into criminal activity while trying to make his way in Liberty City, and has a strong and unique personality, as well as a dark past and realistic emotional scars.

7. Kanji Tatsumi (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4)

Kanji is possibly the most ambiguous character on this list. When you confront his shadow, it's pretty much a flaming homosexual. Outside of that, he has many awkward encounters with males and is extremely shy around females. He slowly comes to terms with his more "feminine" attributes, and even though he never outright says "I'm gay," he's pretty much certainly bisexual. He's one of those rough exterior/soft interior fellows who dresses and talks like a biker but knits in his free time and is good with kids. He's also a loyal ally and beats people with desks. So that's pretty damn rad.

6. Faris (Final Fantasy V)

Born female and raised as a male by pirates, Saris even made the rank of captain herself. Her heritage becomes a big point of contention later in the game, clashing even more with her character. She often gets confused or even offended by the subject of her gender and its affect on others' view of her. She's reserved overall but staunchly defends those near to her. She's also the most statistically balanced character, making her someone you can use with any build or abilities you like. She has a huge and expansive backstory that runs the gamut of betrayal, success, failure, working her way up, identity crises and the like. There are paragraphs of text explaining it on the Final Fantasy wiki, or you can play the game. It's one of the best in the series.

5. Vamp (Metal Gear Solid series)

The best pat of Vamp's open bisexuality is that it's not a big deal. Unlike many on this list, it's openly stated, but it's never a big deal. It's kind of like "okay, he's bisexual, that's a thing, let's move on." He's cool and maniacal, with an awesome voice and super speed that's awesome but also a bitch to compete with in combat (he's also the first villain on this list), fun but frustrating nonetheless. Honestly, I just love his personality and how he goes from collected to batsh*t crazy (pun intended) when he starts losing, so sure of himself that he can't process failure. He's pure badass and his sexuality is just a thing that he is. Also, he's near immortal and has a healing factor. That's pretty cool.

4. Reaver (Fable series)

Honestly, I just love Reaver. He's voiced by Stephen Fry and likes to speak in Monty Python quotes. He's a cruel industrial tyrant, but he's always in a chipper mood and often flirts with the male protagonists of the game. Did I mention that he's an expert in hand-to-hand combat and gunplay, AND he has eternal youth, having lived for hundreds of years? He's possibly my favorite part of the amazing Fable games.

3. Dorian/Leliana (Dragon Age: Inquisition/Origins)

Yeah, I picked two from the same series again and it isn't the last time. Dorian is a snarky and hilarious fellow with a curly mustache and excellent hair. He also has a fucked up family life (spoiler alert), having detached himself from the royal family he was born to after they tried to get their gay son to meet their rigid (heh) standards. He can be serious when needed and he's extremely smart, not to mention being an ultra-talented mage. I'll never not want him in my party.

Leliana is a more seasoned character, having appeared in all three games, as opposed to Dorian's recent addition. Leliana is a model of transformation as a character, though it feels natural given what she goes through. She basically goes from a chantry maid to a badass Ocarcle-esque spy master and archer with absurd athletic prowess. Those who talked to her in both games will easily notice the change, but as her backstory as well as her story between games unfolds, it becomes clear why she's become more reclusive and an obsessive worker. Also, she's just awesome.

2. Hana Tsu Vachel and Rain Qin (Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix)

Hana to the left, Rain to the right
Hana to the left, Rain to the right

This doesn't count as being two selections since they're a couple. Trust me, it makes sense. Hana is a former prostitute owned by the Triad. She takes on dangerous missions in hopes of one day paying off her massive "contract." Where Hana is a martial arts and weapons master, though not lacking ability of her own, Rain is a computer and hacking genius, those skills apparently not going with the rest of her memory. Upon Hana finding Rain unconscious during a mission, they quickly form a bond and begin working together. It would take forever and be very spoiler-ey to tell you where their story goes, but both Fear Effect games are amazing and cheap and you should get them. They're also PSN classics, so you have options.

1. Liara T'Soni/Steve Cortez (Mass Effect series)

I honestly tried really hard to not have a BioWare character, yet here are two on top of this list. It's already two other BioWare games and three other characters, not to mention the honorable mention. I prefer Liara as a character, and she's in all three games whereas Cortez is in just the third game, but he's also an amazing character and in many ways pushes more common perceptions than Liara. So I couldn't pick just one.

Liara is an Asari (a long-aged alien race) scientist and researcher, wise and knowledgeable far beyond her years. She's also a solid shot with a pistol and in peak physical condition. What makes her a great battlefield asset are her biotic abilities (basically techno-magic) and her hacking skills. (spoilers) She later becomes the world's leading information broker but somehow still takes time out to save friends in need and help Shepard save the earth. She's also very awkward in the earlier games, making her an amusing and honestly kind of cute romance option for either gender. Not to mention that a badass information broker is pretty sweet to have on your side.

Steve Cortez is a soldier who left Earth along with his husband and child behind to serve the human race (spoiler warning) shortly before it was invaded by the Reapers (spoiler over). Despite the possible love of his loved ones, he presses on and remains a valuable asset to your crew. He's not a stereotype, being ripped, exchanging quips with his jacked G.I. Joe toy of a best friend, and he never makes a big deal about it. He opens up a clear probability that in Mass Effect's future, it's kind of just a generally accepted thing across the universe to be homosexual. He also has some great character moments, both serious and fun. BioWare just makes amazing characters.

Some honorable mentions, because a reminder of how many quality characters there are is cool: Ash (Streets of Rage 3), Flea (Chrono Trigger), Baron Friedrich Von Glower (The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery), Sir Blaze the Smartly Dressed (Blazing Dragons), Alfred Ashford (Resident Evil: Code Veronica), Vivian (Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, censored in the U.S. release), Makoto (Enchanted Arms), Cassus Vicus (Clive Barker's Jericho, anyone that dislikes his grotesque portrayal, Barker is openly gay himself, so I doubt he's a homophobe), Binbou-gami (Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon), Sir Hammerlock/Mad Moxxi (Borderlands 2), Kung Jin (Mortal Kombat X). Dark Sun Gwyndolin (Dark Souls), Gay Tony (Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony), Soren (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn), Kaidala (Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker), Sugar (Summon Night: Swordcraft Story), Dorn Il-Khan (Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition), Silk Fox (Jade Empire), Poison (Final Fight/Street Fighter), Iron Bull/Cremisius "Krem" Aclassi (Dragon Age: Inquisition), Birdo (Super Mario Bros. 2), and Naoto (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4).

So that sure was a thing I did... Hope you enjoyed it. See ya.


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