The lead writer for hugely popular video game Overwatch just confirmed a major character is gay.
Michael Chu took to Twitter last night (7 January) to confirm the news Soldier 76 (previously known as Jack Thompson) was gay.
He wrote: ‘Thanks for all the messages about “Bastet”! Jack and Vincent were in a romantic relationship many years ago. Both identify as gay.’
It comes about after a short story entitled Bastet revealed Soldier 76 was in a previous same-sex romance.
— Stylosa (@unitlostgaming) January 7, 2019
The short story focuses on Soldier 76 and fellow hero Ana.
Ana finds a picture of the young soldier alongside another man. The other man is someone called Vincent, who was once a love interest for Soldier 76, but they broke up.
Fans loved the revelation, posting to social media with fan art.
— nonearmwithlefttiddy (@nonearmlefttit) January 8, 2019
Zarya comes out as a lesbian
It’s not the first LGBTI character to come out in Overwatch – in 2016, writers revealed Zarya is a lesbian.
Michael Chu said at the time: ‘It’s very important for us to have diversity and inclusiveness of all types, and that includes LGBT characters.
‘There are definitely LGBT heroes [in Overwatch] — that’s multiple heroes.’
‘We want the stories about characters relationships — and not just romantic, but familial relationships and stuff like that — to come out in the course of stories that we feel really do them justice… it’s something that absolutely is important to us,’ Chu said.
The London Gaymers is a fast-growing social group for LGBTI gamers to meet like-minded people in a safe and inclusive environment.
Gay Star News spoke to Curtis Free from the London Gaymers about why this announcement is so important.
He said: ‘By having a visible LGBTI character in such a popular title, Blizzard is sending the gaming community a message that its games are for everyone.’
Free then added: ‘It really highlights the commitment Blizzard have to opening minds and normalising LGBTI characters and heroes.’