VICE’s Matt Baume spent some time recently talking to several trans gamers about their experiences in gaming and the characters they love.
The gamers in this video tells stories that may be familiar if you’re part of any marginalized group — growing up looking for characters to identify with and communities to join. Representation and connection are important for everyone, but they’re often particularly absent for transgender people growing up, and isolation and social rejection have an extremely negative impact on mental health.
VICE also talked to trans gamers who found support in the wider video game community.
Midway through the panel, [Sabriel] Mastin decided to open up about something she didn’t always discuss and began to describe her experience as a trans woman in the game industry. “I didn’t realize how much I had bottled up inside,” she told VICE. “I had to take a moment, catch myself—I was starting to have tears well up.”
A panelist hugged her, and the crowd of hundreds of gamers burst into applause. “It felt amazing,” she said. “That was my contribution, re-outing myself.”
There’s a lot of anger and prejudice in the video game world, but it’s not nearly as universal as it may sometimes seem. We know from experience that there’s lots of support to be had in our community, and it’s always wonderful to see that others have found the same.