Dear Bioware Fandoms,
I want to have a word with you.
We all love these games or else we wouldn’t feel so strongly about them, and I’m pretty sure that the great majority of us like that Bioware has been inclusive with the choices of Love Interests in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Despite this, I keep seeing the same arguments popping up again and again on confession blogs that say to me that some people in these fandoms have really confused perceptions of sexuality.
So here’s a primer:
These are bisexual men:
These are bisexual women:
The reason that these eight characters are bisexual is that they express canonical interest in both men and women. This is the only thing that informs the sexuality of these characters. Kaidan Alenko is bisexual because he is attracted to both a male an female Shepard; Isabela is bisexual because she is attracted to both men and women.
Sexuality cannot be predicted by how masculine or feminine a character is. It cannot be predicted by the color of their hair or eyes, or the length of their ears or legs, or by whether or not their voices are low or high, just like in real life.
The only thing that makes a character bisexual is their interest in men and women (there are arguments that bisexual people are also attracted to non-binary genders, but I am not well informed enough to talk about that, and therefore won’t.) Period. Full Stop.
When people say that they can’t imagine Kaidan with FemShep, or that they can’t imagine Anders with M!Hawke, what they’re saying is that these characters do not meet their preconceived notions of straight or gay. These notions are almost always false, and always informed by some kind of stereotype because you cannot predict sexuality by how someone looks or behaves.
Bioware is unique in that it gives non-straight fans a way to see positive depictions of their own sexual identities reflected in the romantic subplots. However, the tendency of some fans to pigeonhole bisexual characters into neat little boxes labeled “straight” and “gay” is not only factually inaccurate, but hurtful. It says to bisexual fans that their sexuality is invalid, and since bisexual erasure is already a huge problem in the GSM community, it’s extremely disappointing to see it happen in fandom.
We join fandoms because we love things, because we have fun with them. Hurting other people is the last thing that a fandom is for. That’s what the canon is for, right Bioware?
In conclusion: Ship what you want to ship, just stop invalidating character’s sexuality because you can’t “imagine” a character as bisexual.