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The First Major Video Game With a Trans Lead Is Headed to Xbox

The First Major Video Game With a Trans Lead Is Headed to Xbox

The First Major Video Game With a Trans Lead Is Headed to Xbox

'Tell Me Why' will be released in spring of 2020.

rachelkiley

LGBTQ representation in video games has been on the rise over the past several years, but trans rep is still one area that’s been sorely lacking. But an upcoming game for Xbox One is looking to change that.

Tell Me Why was announced at Microsoft’s X019 event this week, alongside a slew of other upcoming titles. But what sets this particular game apart is that it will be the first major video game to feature a trans man as the main character.

The game follows twins Alyson and Tyler as they return to their childhood home in Alaska. It’s slated to be a three-episode release over the course of 2020, in a similar style to Life is Strange. Both games are produced by Dontnod Entertainment.

Having Tyler be trans was something that came about naturally during the game development, according to director Florent Guillaume.

“We wanted these characters who were born identical to have lived very different lives, and it was while exploring this path that we came up with the idea of having a trans character,” he said.

But Tyler’s trans identity is far from a gimmick — both the studio and Guillaume were determined to handle this groundbreaking character with care and respect.

“We did a lot of research, we reached out to the community, we wanted to understand their journeys; we consulted with the charity GLAAD, which often works with media companies on LGBTQ+ representation. We were very naive at first, and they enlighten us a lot, they helped us review the script and the characters and to reach out to people,” Guillaume admitted.

And the folks over at GLAAD seem pleased with how Tell Me Why’s depiction of Tyler, who will be voiced by trans actor August Aiden Black, turned out.

“Tyler is a fully realised, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes,” said the director of trans representation at GLAAD, Nick Adams. “Creating a playable lead trans character — and taking such care to get it right — raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”

An exact release date hasn’t yet been set for the game, but the first chapter is expected to be released for Xbox One and PC sometime in spring 2020.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.