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The Sims was the first game I played where I encountered—really the first time I even encountered—the idea that you could date another girl and nobody would ever think twice about it. I hadn’t meant it as anything more than an expression of genuine best friend affection (the words came with a sparkly pink heart and some of those weird chalky candy things—I had one for everyone in my class), but her response stuck with me for a long, long time. My town, while small, wasn’t conservative in the biblical sense, but there was prejudice. In that moment, it felt like the world had rated me M for Mature, a pariah, unsafe around children and I—who had dreams of becoming a teacher—couldn’t reconcile that characterization with who I was.
After years of calling myself straight, I played Dragon Age: Origins, and in close succession, Dragon Age 2. For those not in the know, Dragon Age is a fantasy RPG where you can converse with your in-game followers and create relationships with them while fighting the good fight. I immediately tried every single same-sex relationship I could in both Dragon Ages, and I was enchanted.
After I played Mass Effect, another BioWare series, I thought of Shepard, Liara, Traynor, Cortez, and Kaidan. I could be gay, and I could still be a hero and a leader. Or if not a leader, any of the other things that each BioWare character represents. I know that BioWare isn’t the first and only creator that has written stories like these.
No games have made me feel more at home, more loved, and more accepted than BioWare games have, because they gave me a glimpse of what else I could be, no matter how fantastical.

I’ve come to accept now, after years of uncertainty, that I am gay, and I love floral prints and dragons and video games and being liked by little old ladies all at once. All of those aspects of my identity are mine—and they don’t have to come into conflict with each other. Turn on safe browse to hide content that has been flagged by the community as not safe for work.
Turn off safe browse to show content that has been flagged by the community as not safe for work. All I’ve ever wanted was to be able to bring a nice date home to meet my parents, to hold hands in public and have the little old lady on the bus coo over how cute we are, to go to prom in a fancy dress and take pictures.
These are mostly friendships (or rivalries, depending on how you play) but there are also romantic story lines open to players. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. I wanted to be the Disney princess, and at the same time I wanted to be the heroic knight-in-shining-armor. I’ve played games since I was four years old, watching my dad fight slimes in the first Warcraft. I don’t want to be a rebellious teenage lesbian for the rest of my life, plagued by homophobia. No money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, it will not be accepted.

I wasn’t ever in any danger of being beaten up or anything like that, as far as I can tell, but it was a constant stream of anxiety, a miasma that settled over me. These relationships weren’t secret, illicit things where nobody gets to kiss on screen, and one of them eventually gets murdered in a hate crime (what I had come to understand was the general trajectory of same-sex relationships in media).
MMOs got me through some difficult times in high school, and my childhood portfolio is filled with fanart from all the games I loved. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five.
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