If you care about positive representation of LGBTQ characters in video games ― and even further, if you're a fan of Blizzard's mega-hit first-person shooter Overwatch, which debuted earlier this year ― then this is probably going to be music to your ears. A holiday-themed comic released by Blizzard this week gave a little early holiday gift to LGBT Overwatch fans, as the character Tracer has been canonically confirmed as being in a same-sex relationship.
The comic, which is a lot of fun, introduces Tracer's girlfriend, Emily. If you're a fan of the game, then Tracer needs no introduction ― she's more or less its icon, splashed across the front of all of its promotional materials and covers. And while the presence of LGBTQ characters in fiction ideally shouldn't be particularly newsworthy or rare, it's nonetheless a mark of progress and pride for countless fans of Tracer, now a canonically LGBTQ character who faces the public on Overwatch's packaging.
Also, it's not as if many fans hadn't been envisioning Tracer in same-sex relationships already. Fan communities are never shy about "shipping" their favorite characters, often with an emphasis on LGBTQ relationships, and she's been no exception. But now it's official.
For what it's worth, this news doesn't come as a surprise, as Blizzard had previously acknowledged that there were LGBTQ characters in the game ― they just hadn't said who yet. It's also worth noting that Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu said in November that "multiple heroes," were LGBTQ, meaning it's possible that more such revelations could be on the way.
Needless to say, this has stirred up a great deal of conversation among fans of the game — LGBTQ fans in particular. If you're looking for an engrossing and multifaceted conversation about the reveal surrounding Tracer's sexuality, you should definitely check out this conversation between the staff of Kotaku, as they do a great job articulating some of the nuances and differing takeaways from this news.
But if you're simply feeling unabashedly happy about this news and don't feel like overthinking it, then by all means, let it shine. It's important to take some positivity where you can find it these days, even in seemingly small ways, amid what's been a truly daunting year for countless minorities and historically marginalized communities.