Trans Headcanons

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Acceptance and representation of LGBT people in video games, particularly the T, is astoundingly pitiful. We beg and plead with game developers and publishers, year after year, to throw us a bone. Please, give us a character that we can relate to! We get less than a bone; we’re a dog at Christmas dinner, standing firmly at attention in the vain hope that a piece of turkey falls on the floor, and that we can eat it before our masters yell at us for it. It’s pathetic and dehumanizing.

Earlier today, an article that I will not link to, at a website I will not mention, co-written by someone I refuse to bring any more attention towards (don’t know the other writer; they’re probably alright), was published. It attempted to ascribe a degree of progressivism to some jabroni motherfucker at Nintendo referring to Metroid’s Samus Aran as a “shemale.” Or “newhalf,” depending on the translation. Not like either term is a good one, anyway.

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This screenshot is, obviously, incredibly fucking offensive. This interview may have been conducted in the 90s, but considering Nintendo’s currentĀ prevailing attitudes towards LGBT people (see examples: Tomodachi Life, Fire Emblem Fates), it’s not like things have changed much.

Rather than simply stew in our own rage, we (that is, trans women) have used this as a way of making Samus ours. Giving a metaphorical middle finger to a company full of backwards-thinking assholes who think we’re a joke. We’re taking your character, and giving her the title of “trans,” and we’re going to do the same thing to Link, as well! Hence the image at the top: Samus and Link are trans girls. It’s nothing more than a spiteful headcanon. It’s not an empowering thing, it’s merely a way of coping with yet another example of disrespect by a major company.

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There have been, in the decades that games have existed, exactly two good trans characters: Dark Sun Gwyndolin from Dark Souls, and Kaine from Nier (who is either trans or intersex, depending on which member of Cavia is telling the story that day). And even then, Gwyndolin gets misgendered in her item descriptions, has a male voice actor, and at the end of the day, is still a mutated freak with snakes for legs. Kaine walks around in a negligee she quite literally found in the trash, and was designed from the ground up to be a “trap;” a character that players would want to draw hentai of and jerk off to, and then surprise, douchebag, she has a dick. These are the best we’ve got. That’s without getting into the bullshit with Persona 4, or how beating up Poison in Final Fight is justifiable because Capcom assured us that she wasn’t a “real woman.”

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As an aside, while writing this piece, I thought I would find some of Poison’s win quotes from Street Fighter IV. Google’s autofill gave me this option when I typed in “poison street fighter iv.” This is some pretty dire shit.

(I’m told that there is a trans character in the new Dragon Age that’s supposed to be good, but uhhh that requires to me play a Dragon Age game and that ain’t happening twice)

With all of this in mind, this is why we make up our own stories for otherwise bland characters who never speak or show any emotion. Samus and Link are blank slates, and as such, it’s easy to put a label on them in a fit of desperation. And that is exactly what it is. It’s the smallest possible act of defiance to a world that would rather have us die. It’s not brave, and it’s not progressive, and neither is that prick at Nintendo dropping slurs.

Not to say that there’s anything wrong with making this headcanon. Far from it. Hell, I use it myself! But this is the sad reality of why we have done it. And we should be the ones recognized for making it, not bigoted cis men.

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