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The Last of Us: Part II Fans Aren't Happy About the Game's Trans Storyline

Fans Aren't Happy About 'The Last of Us: Part II's Trans Storyline

Fans Aren't Happy About 'The Last of Us: Part II's Trans Storyline

Some critics are even calling it "trauma porn."

byraffy

Ever since the initial release of Sony and Naughty Dog's queer-inclusive The Last of Us made a splash in the gaming world back in 2013, fans have been eagerly awaiting a full follow-up for the post-apocalyptic survival game. While the sequel, The Last of Us: Part 2, just came out earlier this month and has been critically-acclaimed so far, there is one thing many LGBTQ+ gamers don't appreciate about the new PlayStation title: the trauma and violence experienced by one of the game's transgender characters. 

Warning! Some The Last of Us: Part II spoilers ahead!

In the popular PS4 game, a new trans character named Lev (voiced by out, trans actor by Ian Alexander) is introduced to main characters Joel and Ellie's post-apocalyptic world. Though he's not a playable character, players do see that Lev (a teen boy who escaped a religious cult after being threatened to death by his family) is the subject of an overwhelming amount of physical and emotional violence and is deadnamed multiple times throughout the game. Gamers are pointing out that this might be a classic case of "trauma porn," since Lev's character only seems to exist to show misfortune and grief to players. 

Naturally, players took to Twitter to air out their rightful concerns and frustrations about the way the game handled a trans character: 

While it is a very sad, unfortunate reality that many trans people experience a lot of hardships in real life, it sucks that such a highly-anticipated and queer-inclusive franchise like The Last of Us, wasn't able to move past Lev's trauma when creating his storyline and focused solely on that. Maybe one day, a game will be able to include a trans character that is more than just the trauma they've overcome. 

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Raffy Ermac

Digital Director, Out.com

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel