🏳️‍🌈Pride Month- Celebrating Representation in TTRPGs (2024)

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Minor historical notes:

1st ed Deities & Demigods (1980) essentially describes Corellon Larethian, the chief elven deity, as genderfluid: "Corellon is alternately male or female, both or neither."

Fantasy Wargaming (1981) had a bunch of random bonuses and penalties you could roll on; 'homosexual' was a severe disadvantage (everyone hates you) but 'bisexual', strangely, was an advantage despite this.

This article has some historical survey on other RPGs:
 
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MGibster

Legend
I've never heard anyone complain about Corellon being gender-fluid, even the folks I might have expected to. It's interesting.
I certainly haven't heard any complaints either, maybe it's because they're grandfathered in? I suspect the concept of gender-fluidity just wasn't there for most D&D players 40+ years ago. And without the culture wars we're currently experiencing there wasn't much reason for anyone to complain.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I certainly haven't heard any complaints either, maybe it's because they're grandfathered in? I suspect the concept of gender-fluidity just wasn't there for most D&D players 40+ years ago. And without the culture wars we're currently experiencing there wasn't much reason for anyone to complain.
Even David Bowie and Prince, who were intentionally provocative and played with gender fluidity, didn't rile most people up that much, back in the day.

It's certainly possible that the current outrage we see around such things is disingenuous and intended to drive people to their polling place at election time, since the last big motivator was taken off the board (and given to the other side) by the courts.
 

MGibster

Legend
Even David Bowie and Prince, who were intentionally provocative and played with gender fluidity, didn't rile most people up that much, back in the day.
While Bowie might have appeared androgynous I don't believe he ever said he was anything other than a man. Even Boy George and Philip Oakey (Human League) whose appearance didn't exactly fit what was expected of men never claimed they were non-binary or anything of that nature. Quite frankly, very few people would have understood what that meant in 1984. So it's tough to get a lot of backlash when the public really isn't concerned about an issue. I do have some vague memories of moral groups railing against Twisted Sister in part because of how they dressed. On the other hand, take a look at these guys:

Poison.JPG


I don't mean to sound glib, but part of the reason there's such a backlash is because LGBTQ people are much more visible than they were. Not only that, but they're much more accepted today than they were in 1980. The Monster Squad (1987) had a scene where two students make homophobic remarks about one of the school administrators and nobody batted an eye back then. You simply couldn't put that scene in a movie aimed at children and young teens today.

I hope nobody interprets this as an argument on my part that everything is rainbows, lollipops, and sunshine for LGBTQ people today. Okay, it's rainbows for them this month at least.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I don't mean to sound glib, but part of the reason there's such a backlash is because LGBTQ people are much more visible than they were.
100%

I think we're looking at the last major gasp* (although that gasp may take a long time to run its course) of homophobia, etc., and that then being weaponized for political purposes.

I think this will eventually all sound as insane to my grandchildren as my dad's tales of going to college on the first day that women and Black people were allowed to attend does to me now.

* Bigots will still exist -- there are people who irrationally hate all sorts of people -- but they will be increasingly marginalized over time. You can find people who genuinely believe that left-handed people should be beaten into "normality" still, but everyone pretty much agrees those people are awful and likely have something seriously wrong with them.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Do you believe that diversity and representation should extend to villanous roles?
This feels like someone setting up a trap no matter what the answer.

I'll spring it.

I'd love for all of the cast of characters to mimic the diversity of the setting. I also love for characters, including the villainous, to be well developed with their own reasonable motivations. Remember that a villain is rarely the bad guy to themselves. Some fantasy beings like demons and devils are the exceptions, but those fall outside the normal diversity roles anyhow.
 


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