10 transgender-inclusive games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy
Positive transgender representation matters. Period.
No matter what Avalanche Software does, games like Hogwarts Legacy cannot erase nor ignore the open transphobia and hate from Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling. So, as the newly released Hogwarts Legacy gets a lot of buzz, allies should naturally want to support trans representation and voices. If you’re looking for transgender-inclusive games to play and boost, here’s a list of games that showcase characters across the gender spectrum.
A newer addition to the Apex Legends line-up is Catalyst, a trans woman. Writer Meli Grant and her fellow creators wrote Catalyst’s backstory with inspiration from her own experiences. While lore doesn’t matter too much to Apex Legends gameplay, this LGBTQ+ Legend is a powerful addition to the trans representation roster.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
In a world of murder and crime, Ned Wynert is a rare triumph, a person who gets to be their truest self in the seedy London underbelly. As a character, Ned is an ally of your twin assassins Jacob and Evie Frye. He uses his connections in the British merchant class to help steal cargo for repurposing. While his family may not approve, Ned gets to live his best life exactly as the man he was meant to be.
A masterpiece that shares the player character Madeline’s journey with anxiety, Celeste is a charming indie darling of a platformer. However, something that not everyone knows is that Madeline is a trans girl, much like her creator Maddy Thorson. While it’s not the central conflict of Madeline’s story in Celeste, her trans-ness also feeds into that pressurized anxiety she feels. Celeste is a story for all people with anxiety but also gives a unique perspective into the intersectionality between being transgender and mental health issues.
Related: 5 LGBTQ+ developed games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy
Dragon Age: Inquisition
As Dragon Age: Inquisition came out in 2014, Cremisius Aclassi (AKA Krem) was one of the earliest and most openly visible trans characters in triple-A video gaming. In the game, Krem very honestly shares his difficult childhood story with the Inquisitor. However, he’s also unconditionally accepted and beloved by his in-game found family, Iron Bull’s Chargers, as well as the fans themselves. Many Dragon Age players hope this fan-favorite character shows up in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.
While just getting to see transgender characters live and exist is really exciting, sometimes an honest, authentic story about what it’s like to be transgender is necessary. Dys4ia is a free-to-play game that explores the transgender experience, from transitioning to navigating the world. Published in 2012 by Anna Anthropy, it pushed players to think critically about gender identity from a transgender perspective.
One of the dual protagonists of this modern science fiction hybrid is Kasio, a trans woman returning home after completing her Master’s degree. Once there, she must navigate her complex family and friend dynamics as she grows and changes. It’s a raw and honest story about the hurt that people can endure and cause while fighting to accept their identity.
Night in the Woods
In Night in the Woods, one of the characters you encounter Jackie. The tan deer Jackie is a trans woman with a lot of piercings and fierce opinions. She’s fun, protective, and really hates fascists. In the first version of the game, Jackie’s transgender identity accidentally wasn’t mentioned in the final cut. However, in later updates, the creator Scott Benson has added mention of Jackie’s one-woman band “Trans World Order Give Them Hell.” So yes, Jackie is very cool.
Tell Me Why
A rare high-profile game led by a transgender character, Tell Me Why follows identical twins Tyler and Alison Ronan as they unweave the mysteries and secrets of their family. Throughout the story, Tyler gets to be a transgender character exploring other complexities in his life, not just his gender identity. However, it’s still a vital facet of his identity and helps build Tyler into a compelling, fleshed-out male lead.
The Last of Us Part II
For half of The Last of Us Part II, you play Abby Anderson, the young woman who killed Joel. One of her closest companions is Lev, a young trans man exiled from his community. Alongside his sister, he forms a found family with Abby, doing what they can to protect each other. The diverse queer representation in The Last of Us Part II gives space for its LBGTQ+ characters to be complex, heroic, vengeful, and hopeful, including Lev.
While many games only have one trans character at best, ValiDate switches up that narrative by having a grand total of five nonbinary and trans characters in its dating roster. Because of that, ValiDate really gets to show the variety and unique experiences of each of these gender-redefining characters. Whether you date Anoki, Catherine, Inaya, Arihi, or Emhari, you’ll dive deeper into their one-of-a-kind life stories and maybe even fall madly in love with characters all across the gender spectrum.