Sep 8, 2020 - Technology

New video game spotlights trans representation

Ina Fried
a game screenshot

Image: Microsoft

Tell Me Why, which debuted for Xbox and Windows late last month, is the first big studio game to feature a transgender main character. In an interview, August Black, the transgender man who voices Tyler, said the role allowed him to be the trans male character he didn't see on screen when he was growing up.

Why it matters: LGBTQ representation in video games has lagged behind TV and movies, but that is beginning to change.

  • "At the end of the day I am honored to give Tyler a voice," Black told Axios. "He has taught me so much and in a way I feel like I also showed him a thing or two."

Details: The first episode of Tell Me Why released on Aug. 27, with another episode premiering last week and the third installment arriving this Thursday. The game features the story of Tyler and Alyson Ronan, twins who, according to the game's creators, "use their special bond to unravel the memories of their loving but troubled childhood."

The big picture: In addition to Tell Me Why, 2020 has also seen the release of The Last of Us, Part 2, which features a major non-playable trans character (as well as a lead character in a same-sex relationship).

While excited for what the game means for trans people, Black said he expects some negative responses too.

"Being different always means backlash. It’s not the first time I’ll receive it and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Backlash doesn’t scare me. I think it means you're pushing the boundaries on what people are used to. People should get used to trans representation; people should get used to trans existence."
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