Our Favorite LGBTQ Characters in Video Games

It’s Pride Month, and what better way to celebrate than to shout out our favorite LGBTQ characters in video games. These are characters who have spoken to us through meaningful LGTBTQ representation and are also complex, fascinating, hilarious, or otherwise cool as hell. Be sure to let us know who your favorite LGBTQ video game characters are in the comments below!

1. Ellie – The Last of Us

Ellie has proven to be an extraordinarily complex character over the course of The Last of Us, Left Behind, and The Last of Us Part 2. She’s resilient, ruthless, kind, protective, vulnerable, vengeful, and ultimately capable of great change. Her first love Riley was taken from her while she survived, and she carried that guilt with her for years. By the time Part 2 wraps, she had fallen in love again, this time with Dina, started a family… and left that family. We last left her on an emotional cliffhanger, where it’s uncertain if she’ll be able to find herself once again. – Colin Stevens

2. Lev – The Last of Us Part 2

Lev is maybe the most beloved character from The Last of Us Part 2 despite having less screen time than many of his counterparts. He becomes the game’s moral center, temporarily stopping the cycle of violence from continuing and acting as a saving grace for Abby on her journey to redemption. He’s compassionate and intelligent, and brave, especially in the face of scrutiny from his community after he came out as trans. Lev’s a character we’d love to see further explored in future games. – Colin Stevens

The Last of Us Part 1 – Summer Game Fest 2022

3. Alex Chen – Life is Strange: True Colors

Alex Chen is the latest protagonist in the Life is Strange franchise. Witty, hardened, and independent, Alex is a deeply endearing character, and there are many ways her journey could progress, depending on your choices. And while Alex is not the first protagonist to have the option to romance either a male or female romantic partner (or none at all), it genuinely feels like there’s no right or wrong choice in the latest Life is Strange, a major boon for a series that has always prioritized player choice. – Taylor Lyles

4. Steph Gingrich – The Life is Strange Series

Despite the fact she’s a side character in the Life is Strange series, Steph Gingrich gets some suitably interesting backstory, particularly in Ture Colors, where she not only plays a more prominent role in the main story but has her own prequel DLC that centers on her first year living in Haven Springs. While Steph’s queerness was confirmed in her first appearance in Life is Strange: Before the Storm, we certainly learn more about her by the end of True Colors and the DLC. It’s a part of her identity – but so is the fact she’s a loyal friend, a music lover, and, of course, a tabletop enthusiast. – Taylor Lyles

Screens – Life is Strange: True Colors

5. Parvati – The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds could have been a game that was simply “Fallout in space” but ended up being so much more, and a big reason for this is the companions you meet along the way. Parvati is one of these, an engineer working at the Saltuna Cannery on Edgewater who asks the player character if she can join you off-world for adventure. After meeting Junlei, another engineer on the Groundbreaker, Parvati opens up to you about her feelings and her past relationships. She tells you that she’s been in other relationships in the past, but that everyone always felt she was “cold” and left her because she had no interest in physical relationships. It’s one of the most heartfelt and honest depictions of an asexual character in a video game ever (so far), and the questlines to get Parvati to open up and trust you and Junlei enough to pursue a relationship is extremely rewarding. – Chelsea Miller

6. Tiny Tina – The Borderlands Series

It’s hard not to fall completely in love with Tiny Tina when you first meet her in Borderlands 2. The 13-year-old explosions expert who tragically lost her parents at a young age is feisty, witty, and extremely capable…if not still a little wild. She’s also, according to her writer Anthony Burch, a lesbian. While relationships and queer-coded adult characters are great and important, it’s refreshing to have a kid who exists outside of any kind of relationship and is just allowed to exist on the LGBTQ spectrum. Tiny Tina is confident in who she is and while she has pretty heavy emotional moments in the series (looking at you Assault on Dragonkeep), she never questions her own identity. In Borderlands 3, as a fully grown adult, we see and hear her more explicitly talk about relationships (both emotional and physical) with others – pretty sure an orgy is mentioned at one point! – but it’s the kid, sure of her own identity, that sticks with you. – Chelsea Miller

7. Krem – Dragon Age: Inquisition

In a cozy corner of Skyhold’s tavern, a handsome young soldier quietly sips out of his stein between quick glances at the bard, Maryden. This is the Iron Bull’s Chargers second-in-command, Cremisius Aclassi “Krem”, and he was the first transgender character introduced in a Bioware game. Gender identity is a big part of Krem’s origin story and how he came to be involved with the Iron Bull, and subsequently, the Inquisition. Krem was raised in Tevinter as a girl but quickly realized at a young age that he was different from the girls he knew. After Krem’s father lost his tailor business, Krem joined the army. His secret was discovered after many years of successfully presenting as male and the Tevinter tribune attacked him after he attempted to flee. During the battle, the Iron Bull came to Krem’s defense and famously lost his eye in the attack. Afterward, the Iron Bull offered Krem a position with the mercenary group “The Bull’s Chargers” and eventually rose to second-in-command. Krem is a skilled warrior and excellent commander, and his determination to be his authentic self never wavers throughout his entire journey. Krem is confident in who he is and risked everything to fight to help others. – Amanda Flagg

8. Tyler Ronan – Tell Me Why

Tyler Ronan broke many barriers when Tell Me Why was announced back in 2019. Before writing a trans lead character in the game, Tell Me Why developer Don’t Nod consulted with expert groups such as GLAAD to ensure that Tyler’s representation was not only respectful but also authentic. It’s an important note as the game approaches a lot of sensitive topics, primarily regarding Tyler’s identity, which plays a key part in the story. – Taylor Lyles

9. Bill and Frank – The Last of Us

We love Bill & Frank’s relationship in The Last of Us. It’s unexpected, and sad, but feels extremely authentic. We don’t know their backstory. Were they together before? Were they driven together by the cruel world they were forced to live in? Either way, love is love and they had each other. And maybe Frank had to try to run away on his own in the end – and maybe that letter was kind of shitty. But ultimately, something special was there. –Jackie Jing

10. Gregg – Night in the Woods

We really like Gregg because he’s this small rebellious trash animal who, despite being a troublemaker and a punk, cares about his friends and his relationship with his boyfriend so much that he’s constantly afraid of messing up. He’s so well-written and real, but so is the entire cast of wonderful characters in Night in the Woods. It’s cool to see a character in a game who’s just a normal dude with normal problems and not someone who’s trying to save the universe. Also, crimes. –Eric Sapp

11. Vivian – Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has an odd history. She’s a canonically transgender character in every translation of the game… except for English. She refers to her and her siren sisters as “the three shadow sisters,” a moment her cruel oldest sister uses to insultingly misgender her. That moment is made stronger in the Italian translation, where Vivian fires back about being proud of her transition. Disappointingly, it’s changed entirely in the English translation, and Vivian is just presented as a cisgender woman, a decision apparently driven by age rating concerns. It’s a crappy decision, and just a shame as Vivian stood as one of the few transgender characters in games (let alone a Nintendo game) where her gender identity wasn’t the crux of her character. Once she escapes her family to fight with Mario, she’s just Vivian. –Tom Marks

12. Dorian – Dragon Age Inquisition

If the carefully groomed mustache of Dorian Pavus didn’t catch your attention at first, his quick-witted and sassy banter is sure to charm you. A proud mage from Tevinter, Dorian is the first male party member to be romanced exclusively by a male protagonist in the Dragon Age series. Dorian is extremely intelligent and has a sharp memory, and as your friendship with Dorian develops (as either male or female Inquisitor) you learn that his sexuality is a point of contention between him and his family. You even have the option to support Dorian in a heart-wrenching confrontation with his father, Halward. If you choose not to romance Dorian or you are a female inquisitor, you discover through party banter that the Iron Bull and Dorian have engaged in a wild and consensual sexual relationship (much to our delight). Dorian is proud of who he is, both as a gay man and as a Tevinter mage. Posh and never unfashionable, Dorian is always ready with a cheeky comeback and maybe a touch of blood magic. – Amanda Flagg

13. Judy Alvarez – Cyberpunk 2077

The Judy versus Panam debate is one that will outlive us all, but for this list, we have to emphasize just how wonderful Judy Alvarez is in Cyberpunk 2077. Judy’s a quick-witted braindance technician you meet early on, and the more you learn about her, the more you want to know about her. Romanceable by only a female V, Judy is integral to Cyberpunk 2077’s early main storyline, and while she’s usually at odds with the choices that V and Evelyn Parkers make – it’s always a joy to receive that phone call from her explaining her actions and asking V to come and spend time with her. Judy is the lost, lovable character that one just can’t help but adore, and has become one of the most recognizable and relatable characters to stem from Cyberpunk 2077.

Walter Fitzroy Jr., better known as Fuse, is an Explosives enthusiast and brings loads of mayhem into Apex Legends. Fuse may only have seven toes, one eye, and only one of the arms he was born with, but that adds to his charm and doesn’t stop him from exuding joy. He’s charismatic, scrappy, and all about having a good time with friends and making things explode. Fuse is a favorite of fans who prefer beginning and ending fights with a bang. When a game of Apex Legend is nearing its end, and there is minimal to no cover for protection, Fuse is someone you want in your squad.

You may be wondering why Fuse is on this list. Developers at Respawn confirmed that the first line in Fuse’s lore, “Ladies man, man’s man, and all-around manly man.” means he is indeed Pansexual. Apex Legends has never shied away from including members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Fuse is just one of the many other confirmed LGBT legends. – Jada Griffin

Apex Legends Mobile

15. Zagreus – Hades

As much as Hades is a game about trying to fight your way out of the underworld, it’s also a game about relationships. Be that familial or romantic, the conversations you have as Zagreus are just as important as the giant monsters you kill, and his slick but genuinely caring demeanor carries you through them all. While you’re given the opportunity to romance both the Fury Megaera and Death-incarnate Thanatos, the way Zag’s relationship to every character in the game regardless of situation or societal standing is something truly special to watch. Hades reset the bar for stories in roguelike games, and Zagreus is a massive part of why. – Tom Marks

16. Madeline – Celeste

The story of Celeste is an unexpectedly candid one. It may look like a cute pixelated platformer on the surface, but it quickly reveals itself to be far more than that, and the struggle of its main character Madeline is the beating crystal heart at the center of it. Madeline’s journey as she resists and then tries to make peace with the parts of herself that frighten her is truly touching – whether you read that conflict as her more explicit struggle with depression and anxiety or the journey of transitioning that Celeste’s creator discussed in length later on. Madeline is clever, charmingly stubborn, kind-hearted, and painfully relatable, and her story is a standout part of a game that would be absolutely fantastic already on its own. – Tom Marks

17. Undyne – Undertale

Undertale’s Undyne is an incredibly over-the-top character who suplexes boulders and loves anime, and can either be an extremely tough boss, or a great friend. So much of her charm comes from seeing multiple facets of her personality depending on your actions – kill some monsters, and you’ll come to know her as a fairly intimidating warrior, but if you take on a more genocidal approach, she becomes the hero of the game to foil your villainous intent. It’s only when you go for a pacifist route that you become privy to what’s hiding under her tough-as-nails exterior… a tough-as-nails interior that wants her friends and loved ones to be their very best self – even if it involves dunking them in a trash can. We should all aspire to get on her level. –Brendan Graber

Those are our favorites – what are yours? Let us know in the comments, and for everything else Pride in gaming, stick with IGN.

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