(Note, I originally posted this on the Battle.Net forums, but after much abuse, I decided to give up on it for a while until deciding to post it here)
Greetings, I have really enjoyed my time playing Overwatch, both with the Beta and the final game and I am really glad that the game has been a big hit and has been beloved by many. However, I have one request that I feel could improve the game and potentially help a group that rarely gets acknowledged in the mainstream.
I am gender fluid and I feel the series would be better if it incorporated a gender fluid character into the game. To clarify, gender fluidity describes people like myself whose gender varies over time. For me, understanding this about myself opened a lot for me because I no longer felt conflicted about who I was and why I felt confused a lot of the time.
Sadly, there is very little census data to show how much of the population we represent (as is with most non-binary groups), however we have made great strides for equality and recently, with organizations like the Oxford Dictionary, the UK’s National Rail and EA with the Sims with their new gender options improving representation and awareness of gender fluidity and other non-binary genders.
As such, I would be really great and heartwarming to me to see a gender fluid character in Overwatch that can be awesome and be treated like an equal alongside Tracer and Reinhardt, while also someone who can be a role model for gender fluid people like myself, a group who rarely gets any acknowledgement in the media.
For me, I would like to see a gender fluid character be one with a more slender physique and can be fashionable and behave in ways that don’t conform to what is expected like being sassy and sexy in how they act without being mocked for it. However, even something as simple as being described in gender neutral pronouns like they or them would be a subtle but a very effective move and would be very welcoming to many gender fluid people.
And on a personal reason, I discovered my gender fluindess a while back after much soul searching. One of the things that helped me and I realise this sounds silly and daft was Leo from the Tekken series, a gender fluid character who could kick !@# like every other character, was never discriminated for what they were and was allowed to be a normal person (well as normal as you get with a series with a Kung-Fu Bear and a Velociraptor as playable characters).
I honestly feel more characters like Leo could do some real good for the gaming industry and you have an excellent opportunity with Overwatch to do it. Your video game already contains a blue woman, a gorilla and the Grim Reaper, I don’t think a gender fluid character would be out of place.
Plus, it would give players more choice and to be able to play as characters that more relate to them on a personal level. To be able to get more invested with the series and enjoy it more. None of those are a bad thing and I feel would be an excellent opportunity for Blizzard to try out.
Another alternative that would still be affirming for gender non-conforming players would be an effeminate male character, because at the moment, while you have created an impressive and wide range of male characters, all of them seem to draw from male power fantasies like the bulky knight in shining armor with Reinhardt, the post apocalypse biker type with Roadhog and the brave and noble samurai with Hanzo.
There is of course, nothing wrong with any of these characters and it is great that many people are having fun with them. However, adding an alternative for those who are either less interested in those power fantasies or wish to see their identities better represented in fiction would be a really good move. Like with the gender fluid character, it would give effeminate men a character that allows them to be kick $%^ and take names, something that rarely happens in fiction.
Like for example, a character who can be a male equivalent to the femme fatale. Who dresses in more feminine clothing and is allowed to be sexy, classy and seductive in ways that men are rarely allowed to be in fiction other than as joke characters. There are exceptions to this like Ash Crimson in the King of Fighters, a character I personally adore for being able to both be sexy & classy as well as be a serious threats and their sexuality not being treated as a bad thing.
I hope Overwatch continues to be a huge success. Even if nothing comes from this, I feel better about myself and my gender for having the nerves to ask you for this request.