With the recent release of the trailer for The Last Of Us series on HBO Max, fans are incredibly excited to see how Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey bring Joe and Ellie to life, respectively. The game is highly regarded for its mature story and memorable characters, including several that are members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Ellie, in particular, was a landmark character as the first explicitly LGBTQ protagonist in a AAA video game, which was directly confirmed in the 2014 DLC "Left Behind." However, she certainly wasn't the last, and the medium of video games today has a much more respectably diverse array of protagonists in their stories.

Tyler From Tell Me Why

Tyler Ronan was the point of much discussion when Tell Me Why was released. Tyler is a trans man, and it's refreshing that his identity is merely part of who he is instead of a plot point or wholly-defining feature.

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But at the same time, Tyler's identity was never hidden or put in the backseat for the audience. The character was never treated like they were keeping a secret, especially when the main focus of the story was about discovering hidden truths. The game received fairly positive critical reception when it released, and it's memorable characters are the main reason as to why.

Birdetta From Super Mario Bros 2

Birdetta is a charming character every time she appears in a Mario game, but she's also been the recipient of insensitivity and inconsistency throughout her various appearances. The user manual of Super Mario Bros 2 describes her (problematically) as a "Boy who thinks he is a girl." Her gender identity as a trans woman (and not just someone who "thinks" they're something else) has, thankfully, been more properly embraced by Nintendo over time.

More recently, Birdetta has been given potential romantic partners as it's hinted at that Birdetta and Yoshi have a romantic relationship in Mario Tennis. It's not quite a full plotline involving LGBTQ+ themes and characters, but at least it's a start.

Ellie From The Last Of Us Series

The Last Of Us series is one of the most critically acclaimed and loved video game franchises of all time, and Ellie has been the foundation of the story since the beginning. The second installment of the series had a lot of great LGTBQ representation, including Ellie, Diana, and Lev.

Neither Ellie nor any of the other characters were reduced to stereotypes or plot devices, and Ellie was shown as a tough-as-nails yet emotionally mature character who could take on undead monsters head-on.

Rachel And Chloe From Life Is Strange

Life is Strange had a brilliant storyline of a girl who could turn back time. The main protagonist in the video game, Rachel, is on a mission to save her childhood friend, Chloe, from being murdered. There are several LGBTQ+ characters throughout the story, most notably Rachel and Chloe.

Life is Strange was notable for its fairly unique-at-the-time episodic structure, and the first game's success birthed a run of five (and potentially more) mainline and spin-off titles.

Beastmaster From Borderlands 3

Anyone who has played Borderlands 3 needs no introduction to Beastmaster (aka FL4K), who is one of the most iconic characters from the game. They also happened to be non-binary. This was indirectly stated in the game, but it was again confirmed by one of the writers of the game, Sam Winkler, on Twitter.

Danny Homan described Gearbox Software's goal as "... to entertain the world, so we have to have a cast of characters that are of the world." The world of Borderlands may be violent and absurd, but it's filled with very real and very memorable characters.

Anthony Prince From Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto has had some of the most iconic characters in the history of video games, and the LGBTQ community has not been ignored either, although it should be pointed out that earlier versions of the game often used them as targets of cheap jokes. But Anthony Prince in GTA IV was one of the most successful businessmen and a nightclub owner.

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The character had become so popular that he also got his own spinoff called "The Ballad Of Gay Tony," and he also appeared in GTA Online. Although his success was not through strictly legal measures, in the world of GTA, it is the only way to succeed.

The Stranger From The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds was filled with great and fledged-out characters that stopped it from becoming just another version of Fallout. Players follow the character of The Stranger, also known as The Captain.

In the story, players can not only choose the gender of The Stranger but can also choose to have romantic relationships with any romanceable characters they choose. The developers did a brilliant job of not arbitrarily dividing romance into categories, representing all love in a meaningful way in the game.

Gregg From Night In The Woods

Night In The Woods has some of the best-written characters ever, and Gregg was arguably the best out of them. He was just a normal person, although a bit rebellious and a troublemaker, who was always trying to do the right thing without needing to save the universe.

He cared so much about his friends and his boyfriend that he constantly felt as if he would screw up. Greg is relatable because of his normal day-to-day problems that every player can relate to, and he's part of the reason why Night in the Woods is one of the best Indie games with LGBTQ representation.

Vivian From Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Vivian's lore in Paper Mario has a complicated backstory. In every native version of the game, the character is transgender canonically, but in the English version, Vivian was turned into a cisgender woman. This decision was apparently driven due to age rating reasons, but it is absolutely abhorrent.

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In the Italian version of the game, when her sister insults her by misgendering her, Vivian fires back at her, being proud of her gender identity. Her representation in the English version is a shame, especially because she was one of the rare transgender characters in the franchise.

Fuse From Apex Legends

Fuse is one of the most popular characters from Apex Legends, whenever players need someone to deliver a bang at the end of the game, they hope that Fuse is on their side. Even with one eye, seven toes, and one arm, he is both charming and tough.

The creators of Apex Legends have confirmed on Twitter that the line in Fuse's lore that says "Ladies man, man's man, and all-around manly man" refers to him being pansexual. The creators have been very inclusive of the LGBTQ community since the beginning, no wonder the game has such a diverse fan base.

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Source:gamerant.com
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