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