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10+ LGBTQ+ Characters From Games You’ve Played

Since LGBTQ+ representation has been growing, you may recognize more and more queer characters.

LGBTQ+ Characters; Madeline from Celeste, Ellie from the Last of Us, and Clove from Valorant side by side.
Alyx Buffenbarger

From classic platformers to new-age shooters, LGBTQ+ representation has grown yearly. Players have seen a widening variety of queer identities through the characters and games that they love. From lesbian to transgender, players can find an identity like theirs in many games.

1. Clove – Valorant

Screenshot from Valorant's Agent Trailer of new agent, Clove
Valorant / Riot Games

Released in late March, Clove was the first non-binary character to be added to the widely popular game Valorant. They are referred to as the “Scottish Troublemaker” and quickly gained popularity as players rushed to try out the new gameplay. Their cool pink style and game-changing mechanics made them stand out instantly on the roster.

Since its release, Riot Games has always strived to include diverse characters within Valorant. With 24 agents and counting, there are many cultures included already. It was also the first game they created that included a black character upon its initial release date.

Clove is not the first LGBTQ+ character to be revealed in Valorant. In December of 2022, Riot Games released a tweet confirming that two characters, KillJoy and Raze, were official. These powerful women became the first confirmed queer characters in Valorant.

2. Max & Chloe – Life is Strange

Life is Strange / Square Enix Games

To many gamers, Life is Strange is a classic choose-your-own-adventure story. It is the tale of two teens in high school with an unbreakable, timeless bond. Originally released in 2015, the game still holds onto its outstanding reviews. Critics described it as one of the “best storytelling experiences of the current generation.”

The story focuses on the relationship between Max and Chloe, but not in a romantic way. The two are bonded together in a unique way as Max continuously rewinds time to save Chloe. In the end, Max chooses to either let Chloe go to save Arcadia Bay or to save Chloe one last time and sacrifice everything for her.

3. Madeline – Celeste

Celeste / Maddy Thorson

Celeste is a platformer video game where a young woman climbs a mountain while battling her mental health. Fans of the game describe it as “genius” and “a masterpiece.” The gameplay is well-made, and the storyline is enticing. This storyline includes the backstory of the main character, Madeline.

The story of Madeline was written by the game’s creator, Maddy Thorson. Her backstory reveals that she transitioned during her life. This parallels Thorson’s life as she, too, is transgender. The story feels more real and alive because of these parallels and provides a relatable representation for trans players. Aside from the representation, the plot is loveable and respectful of its topics, drawing in the player to create a platformer that holds something more.

4. Ellie – The Last of Us

Ellie from The Last of Us
The Last of Us / Naughty Dog

From gamers to binge-watchers, Ellie is one of the most recognizable characters on this list. Since the HBO Original series hit the screens, Ellie has only grown in popularity. Throughout the game series, and mimicked in the TV series, Ellie has had a couple of love interests. Both of these love interests are women, which hints to players that Ellie is a lesbian.

The series also includes a gay couple with a tragic story. Bill and Frank are included in the game series and show adaptation. All of these LGBTQ+ characters are portrayed in a strong, relatable way. In a violent world, they are still able to love who they want to love.

5. Tyler – Tell Me Why

Tyler from Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why/ Don’t Nod Entertainment

From the same studio as Life is Strange, Tell Me Why is a highly reviewed game that won “Best Family Game” at the 2020 Game Awards. Tyler is noted as the first transgender main character from a major game. The game focuses on the tale of two twins reuniting after their mother’s death. Tyler transitioned during the ten years that the twins were apart.

The twins, Tyler and Alyson, from Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why / Don’t Nod Entertainment

The game explores Tyler’s identity through his past and memories, perfectly blending with the rest of the gameplay and storyline. The game does not focus on transphobia. Instead, it focuses on Tyler’s experiences growing up and transitioning. While there are many instances of ignorance regarding his transgender identity, it is not the focus of the game. It is simply one piece of the puzzle of the twins’ lives.

6. Baptiste – Overwatch 2

Baptiste from Overwatch in front of a pride flag.
Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Baptiste is one of many queer Overwatch 2 characters. Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that he is bisexual during Pride Month events and through dialogue with other characters. Most noticeably, he flirts with another character, Lifeweaver. Both characters have been included in Pride Month events and aren’t afraid to be themselves.

Around 7 years ago, Tracer became the first confirmed LGBTQ+ character in Overwatch. The developers confirmed her lesbian identity through a holiday comic. Since then, many more characters have confirmed their sexual identities. Such as Soldier 76, a gay man, Lifeweaver, a pansexual man, Pharah, a lesbian woman, and Baptiste, a bisexual man.

Overwatch Venture concept art
Overwatch 2 / Blizzard Entertainment

Venture, similar to Valorant’s Clove, is another new addition to the ever-growing list of LGBTQ+ characters. This daring archeologist’s real name is Sloan Cameron. They are a non-binary character who joined the playable DPS characters on April 16. However, they had a trial period around March 28, allowing players to get to know them better.

7. Alphys & Undyne – Undertale

Undyne and Alphys from Undertale
Undertale / Toby Fox

In one of 2015’s most notable games, Toby Fox, developer of Undertale, gave the world Alphys and Undyne. This adorable couple consists of a nerdy scientist and a devoted warrior. The two are complete opposites, but, in this case, opposites attract.

Toby Fox’s work on Undertale is still seen as an amazing feat nearly a decade after the game’s initial release. However, he is most applauded for the soundtrack he created. The song “Alphys” is used multiple times when the character is on screen. Most notably, the song is used during the date scene. It begins at its usual, slow pace until Alphys panics in front of Undyne, her crush. The music speeds up to signify her nerves and feelings toward the woman.

8. Chandlo & Snorpy – Bugsnax

Chandlo and Snorpy from Bugnsax
Bugsnax / Young Horses

Bugsnax is an unexpected addition to this list, but it includes multiple queer characters. Aside from Eggabell and Lizbert’s relationship, players of the game became fans of Chandlo & Snorpy’s dynamic as they watched their romance progress throughout the game.

Chandlo is a fun, dopey jock who boldly, although somewhat unclearly, loves Snorpy, an anxious nerd. While their romance is a side story compared to Eggabell and Lizbert, it is prominent enough to be a fan favorite. Their loveable “bromance-like” relationship adds life and story to the surprisingly dark game.

9. Birdo – Super Mario Bros 2

Screenshots of Birdo from different Nintendo games
Shiromi / YouTube

No list of queer characters is complete without the first transgender video game character. Although there has been much discourse about how Nintendo handled her identity, it is undeniable that she is seen as an important trans character in queer gaming history.

Over two decades ago, the Super Mario Bros 2 Manual stated that Birdo “thinks he is a girl” and would rather be called “Birdetta.” Since then, Birdo has been referred to using male, female, and gender-neutral pronouns. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, she is described as “a pink creature of indeterminate gender.

The discussion of Birdo’s gender has been ongoing for decades, so it is safe to assume it won’t come to a close anytime soon. However, since the character wants to be referred to as a woman, many gamers refer to her with feminine pronouns and, in some countries, call her Catherine.

10. Vi & Caitlyn – League of Legends

Caitlyn & Vi in Arcane / Netflix

The relationship between Caitlyn and Vi has always been alluded to through the League of Legends voice lines. Many fans of the characters were ecstatic when the animated series expanded on the relationship between the two. With consistent flirting, jealousy, and protectiveness, it is without a doubt that these two characters have a little something going on.

After Arcane was released, Caitlyn and Vi were officially included in the Riot Games Pride Month art. This, for many game studios, is a way to confirm their sexualities or queer identity. Caitlyn and Vi are two of many LGBTQ+ characters in League of Legends. Other characters, such as K’Sante, Neeko, Nami, and many more proudly display their queerness during Pride Month.

Written By

I am an aspiring writer and librarian from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am currently pursuing an English degree at Manchester University where I have been published in the school newspaper.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. August Elliott

    May 7, 2024 at 2:58 am

    Gaming as an outlet for queer people is amazing. It gives an opportunity for certain emotions and way to explore one’s identity in an environment that may be safer than their own. I’m happy to see so many new characters for everyone to play and become!

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