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Posts with tag transgender

World of Warcraft helps player come out as transgender

Gamer and writer Laura Kate Dale has written a piece in UK newspaper The Guardian about her use of World of Warcraft as something akin to a testing ground for her transgender identity. As Laura Kate explains, the great thing about online games such as WoW is that you can be whoever you want to be. As she recounts her exploration of female names and identities in-game, she also relays the contrast between her in-game happiness and the outside world. It's compelling reading, revealing as it does how escapism can be simultaneously a wonderful and a dangerous experience.

Unfortunately, Laura Kate was eventually "outed" by her in-game friends, to whom she had presented herself as female. This in itself was a learning experience, in which she discovers how people can react to someone presenting as a gender different to the one they are born with. Laura Kate ended up leaving WoW for good. But, she looks back on it fondly, as a safe place to build confidence, experiment, and to be whoever she wanted to be.

Online identity is extremely fluid, and WoW can be a great escape. As the article presents, it is usually far more important how your DPS stacks up, or how good you are at moving out of fire that defines you in WoW. Before gender is even part of the assessment, performance is often the first element of your character that people see. This can make it a safe and comfortable place to try new things, and to express yourself differently than the real world might permit. It's heartwarming to hear how WoW allows people a safe place to try new things, and find friends. Had openly LGBTQ-friendly communities like that of Proudmoore-US been around, Laura Kate's experience might have been even better.

Editor's Note: Comments have been removed from this article.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Drama Mamas: To come out or not to come out

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Be excellent to each other.

I'm in an extra interesting position presently. Let's start with the gameplay perspectives:
I play a Protection Warrior currently, and I'm looking to partake in tanking for my guild. In most cases, this is fine, even with the use of Vent and all that. My significant other is a healer in the same guild, and we're working our way in and being friendly. And it's a great guild, one we both enjoy very much.

But the kicker is that both my partner and I are Transgender, Male to Female, and hoping to start transitioning this year. We RP a couple of female Pandaren with the same guild, and after discussing it with eachother, we've decided we want to do what we can to simply stealth it. It's far easier to just be what we feel we should be online than it is to try and explain it all over again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Where Are They Now? 2012 personalities, including the blind player and his 'guide dog'

Where Are They Now The last year in WoW personalities
At last, our look back at five years of WoW personality interviews rolls around to the duo everyone's been asking about: Hexu and Davidian, the British soldier blinded in Iraq and his redoubtable "guide dog" guildmate who steered him through full participation in current raid content. Their story exploded across the internet after we interviewed Davidian here on WoW Insider, and Blizzard recognized the dynamic duo with in-game helms with flavor text alluding to their inspiring bond of friendship.

Hexu and Davidian are both still playing World of Warcraft -- but the duo is together no more. As of the new year, the ever-energetic Hexu has been raiding on a new rogue, Dirtypawz, in Unqualified on Stormrage (EU). "I know!" he replies to my unspoken exclamation of surprise and sadness. "It was just that people were only raid logging, and it got boring -- but it was all amicable and cool. I still speak to people in Die Safe. I just wanted to do more than raid three nights a week." Hexu/Dirtypawz says a "very nice bloke" named Vatic is serving as his current raiding "guide dog" helper. "The people in the guild are all nice people," he adds, "and there [are] always things going on."

We'll visit with Hexu/Dirtypawz next month about how he's settling in and dig into his tips for the many sight-disabled players who've written to us during the past year trying to reach him for advice.

Meanwhile, Davidian reports that the year since we interviewed him has been packed with recognition and encouragement. "The publicity was just unreal," he says. "Even to this day, I get people coming to our server just to say how much the story inspired them and restored their faith in the gaming community. The biggest thing of all, though, was the fact that it made its way to Blizzard, and myself and Ben got signed copies of the collectors edition of Cataclysm signed by at least 50 members of the Blizzard team, and [we] received in-game pets also. Then to top it off, having in-game items with our names on them was just outstanding -- I mean, to be immortal in a game that we love to play is just, well words couldn't possibly describe it."

All good people connecting to play a game that's close to our hearts ... Keep reading for more updates about people who love World of Warcraft, from our interviews during 2012.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Drama Mamas: When 'he' turns into 'she'

Drama Mamas When 'he' turns into 'she'
More than a few readers have wondered if the Drama Mamas ever make up reader letters in order to make a point. Let me be perfectly clear: We do not. The letters you see here represent genuine emails received from readers, usually within the past month or two, sent directly to the Drama Mamas.

This fact leads directly to another rather incredulous question: "Can there really be that many people out there having trouble with this particular issue?" Almost without fail, the answer is yes. In the case of this week's topic -- the social implications of being a transgender player in an online environment -- there are enough players struggling that even though we addressed the issue just two years ago, players continue to write in.

Here to answer two recent letters about coping with transgender issues is guest Drama Mama Rachel Gold, who you may have met just a few days ago in an interview here at WoW Insider. Rachel is the author of Being Emily, a young adult novel about a teen struggling to work her way through the implications of becoming a young woman after being born in the body of a male.

First, our reader letters:
Hey , I've been a role player since wow began , along the way I've met up and became good friends with a lot of people but over the few years I've been having gender reassignment therapy and now surgery, I've not been able to vent and Skype with my guild for ages and now I can't raid , I'm now asking for help with my drama. -- Melissa

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

WoW adds uniting element to YA novel about a transsexual teen

WoW adds uniting element to YA novel about a transgender teen
"Look! Look! Someone wrote something and actually mentioned World of Warcraft!" That used to be A Thing, a Really Big Thing. After eight years and millions and millions of players, though, it's much less of A Thing. Everybody knows WoW. In fact, the last time a group tried to make a big deal out of the fact that someone played WoW, the outcome didn't turn out in their favor.

So WoW has evolved from A Weird Thing to An Everybody Thing, sort of like the latest hot TV show or book. It's something people talk about over coffee. And that's why author Rachel Gold chose to have the teenage protagonists of her young adult novel Being Emily play WoW -- that, and the opportunity WoW provides to try on different gender roles by playing characters of the opposite sex. You see, Being Emily is the first YA novel to tell the story of a transsexual girl from her perspective.

"I've been playing WoW since its first weekend, and although I'm not transsexual myself, I know that a lot of my trans friends who game found relief in the ability to play a character that matched the gender they know themselves to be, regardless of what body they were born into," Gold observes. "I included that feature of gaming in the novel by having the main character and her girlfriend both play WoW (casually, since they're in high school)."

Since Being Emily arrived in bookstores at the end of June, it's hit #2 on's Hot New Releases in Teen Fiction & Literature. Gold talks with us about why the book resonates with teens and how WoW is helping open doors for people searching for new identities and places to be accepted for themselves.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

8th annual LGBT Proudmoore Pride celebration to be held this weekend

Proudmoore hosting its 8th LGBT Proudmoore Pride celebration this weekend
Here in the United States, the month of June is traditionally known as a month of celebration of pride by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Around the country, major cities are erupting in parades, dance parties, and excellent interior design. But it's not just the real world that celebrates -- June is a time for celebration in Azeroth, too.

Sponsored by The Stonewall Family (Alliance) and Taint (Horde) guilds, the eighth annual Proudmoore Pride celebration will be held this Saturday, June 16 on the Proudmoore (US) server. Lineup for the Proudmoore Pride parade begins at 11:00 a.m. server (2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific). Horde characters will line up at the Mor'Shan Ramparts in Northern Barrens; Alliance will meet at Honor's Stand in Southern Barrens. The parade begins at 11:45, with both factions scheduled to meet up in Booty Bay at 12:30 p.m. for a massive Disco Dance Party.

There will be a special Pride edition of the WoW Factor transmog contest at 2:30 p.m. at the Stormwind Cathedral. All Alliance characters are encouraged to attend to show off their fiercest fashion and try to win a share of the 100,000 gold prize pool.

If you haven't been to a Proudmoore Pride celebration before, I would recommend it -- it's quite the spectacle. Full details about Proudmoore Pride can be had at the official website,

Filed under: News items

Drama Mamas: How many chances should misbehaving guild members get?

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We talked about transgender bullying before, but there is no bullying going on here. Is there coddling? You be the judge.

Hi Robin, Lisa

Roughly three years ago, a "girl" joined our guild. She was under our 18+ limit, but we forgot to ask at the time of recruitment so afterwards, we told her to remain in the guild she would have to show mature behaviour. She's now 19.

Over the years, she has had her ups and downs. She acts out. She acts up. She smartens up. The cycle repeats. She has been warned her behaviour would have consequences. She has been demoted, promoted, demoted again.

I rarely become close to people in the game simply because I don't want to be attached on a certain level, but she reminds me so much of me when I was her age. Insecure, bullied, and very alone. The Internet, for me, brought me out of my shell and gave me the bravery to face the real world. I just worry she uses it as a crutch. I have encouraged her to move on from the Internet and do things in the Real World. Since then, she has improved in school dramatically and gotten a job.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Transgender bullying

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I really, really wanted to embed People are People by Depeche Mode, but Warner Brothers won't let me. Rather than rage about that here, you can go to my tweet, if you wish. So instead of an awesomely appropriate video and song, you get a screenshot taken at the <It came from the Blog> Brewfest 2010 event -- because people are still people, even when they are multiboxing druids dancing with blood elves in bunny ears. Let's just move on to the letter.
Hello Drama Mamas,

I've been playing WoW for about a year and a half now. While I've always been a member of some minority groups (I have a few disabilities, for example) and have always had a problem with the pro-bullying majority environment on WoW, the problem kind of got a bit worse for me about six months into that time when I joined the most maligned group yet and came out as transgender. I really enjoy the game and I'm in a guild that handles this (and many other) things about me quite expertly, but the backlash I get in pickup raids mostly because of Vent (which is how quite a few people on my very small server know my trans status), has me seriously considering quitting the game or at least quitting raiding, which is my favorite part of the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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