In a newly released short story, Blizzard confirmed yet another major Overwatch is canonically LGBTQ. And we are ready for him to get a fabulous rainbow skin in the next update.
Though Ana is the protagonist of “Bastet,” it was the macho military man Soldier 76 (aka Jack Morrison) who got a bombshell backstory reveal while discussing his past relationship with a “dark-haired man” named Vincent.
Ana asks Jack about him, and the implication is hard to miss:
“Vincent… I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said. “Still keeping a candle lit for him?”
Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,” Ana said.
Jack glared at her.
“Okay, touchy subject.”
Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”
Ana was unconvinced. In the early days, Jack talked about him often, floating a dream that the war would end quickly, and maybe he’d have a chance to return to a normal life.
But a normal life was never the reward for people like us.
“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”
“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?” Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.
Writer Michael Chu confirmed on Twitter that, while the relationship happened a long time ago, both Jack and Vincent identify as gay.
This also isn’t the first time LGBTQ representation was casually confirmed through Overwatch‘s popular comics and short stories. In 2016, Tracer was depicted celebrating Christmas with her girlfriend Emily.
Like last time, the internet came out in full force to rejoice and praise Blizzard for its continued commitment to inclusivity in one of its flagship titles. Ironically, many at first disregarded Soldier 76 as Overwatch‘s only standard hyper-masculine white guy video game protagonist.
But turns out we were quick to make assumptions and he’s actually our new gay icon.
It’s important to note that some feel this is yet another example of queerbaiting in mainstream media, where LGBTQ representation is only implied or relegated to the margins, rather than explicitly depicted in the movie, TV show, or game. Retconning characters into surface-level LGBTQ relationships is often a red flag for queerbaiting.
There’s one key difference between Overwatch and other recent examples of this in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald and Solo: A Star Wars Story, though. Unlike with a traditional movie or TV series, most of the lore and story of Overwatch is told through this kind of supplementary writing.
I know a random nobody ex-boyfriend is not anyone’s ideal way to reveal this but soldier 76 being gay gives me so much satisfaction because he’s one of the ones that will make the straight men maddest
— solid snake amiibo enthusiast (@darkmayproject) January 7, 2019
The lore revealed through the comics and such often makes its way back into the main game through unlockable voice lines, sprays, or other customization options. Yet LGBTQ backstories never seem to get an overt nod.
It reads as somewhat strategic that players can continue to play as Tracer and Soldier 76 without any awareness of their canonical sexual orientations. But for now, let’s enjoy the fact that two of the most prominent heroes in one of the world’s biggest video games are gay.
To both Tracer and Soldier 76, we say it’s an honor to have you serve, soldiers.
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