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FE16 Same-Sex Relationship Discussion

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Just now, Integrity said:

midhair has a bit of it too, but has a more .... reserved? face portrait that does add some non-traditionally masc elements that makes it at least reasonable to see why someone could take him entirely at face (heh) value and briefly think he's a girl before his first line puts the lie to that

Oh yeah, his new name's Midhair, isn't it. But yes, with him it's more understandable, considering also that Genealogy has everyone with essentially the same anime eyes and you can only tell by their face shape or hair what gender they're supposed to be. (Or I suppose their map sprite.)

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oh i don't mean the face shape necessarily - if you look at it analytically, he's got a reasonably masc face, but his default expression is kind of looking away from the camera, which is a more shy fem thing and can distract some people from that. there's nothing intrinsically feminine about his face shape or hair, it's the lack of confidence in the expression that fools some folk

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8 minutes ago, Integrity said:

you finally made me twig onto it, linhardt just looks like pictures of squires and pages from all the million books on knighthood i read as a youth

 

EDIT:

fewer than one in five respondents put in Yes, and some of those put in things like 'i also thought shinon was a girl'. i'm very hesitant to accept this as evidence that more than those thirteen people thought soren was a girl.

So you don't think Soren looks at least a little bit feminine. And that thus he doesn't fall into the yaoi stereotype of the uke that was present with Lucius in blazing blade? I mean just look at Soren and Lucius. And now look at Lindharth, you really don't see any similarities?

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Just now, Integrity said:

there's nothing intrinsically feminine about his face shape or hair, it's the lack of confidence in the expression that fools some folk

Ohh, yeah, what I meant mostly is that everyone in Genealogy is actually pretty androgynous, besides the old men. Everyone's a bishie. But yeah, although that has to do more with his feeling inadequate as a knight, speedy gendering marches on! 

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18 hours ago, firewitch912 said:

It's that there's a lot of queer coding in his character and personality, which we've seen since the beginning. The same can be said of Edelgard, and even Dorothea and Mercedes, and you wouldn't say that thode characters are necessarily flirty.

This is a bit late but imma need a citation on these. Whereas i can definitely see it with Claude, i didn't get the sense that Edelgard, Dorothea and Mercedes were queer coded. 

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2 minutes ago, magenero29 said:

So you don't think Soren looks at least a little bit feminine. And that thus he doesn't fall into the yaoi stereotype of the uke that was present with Lucius in blazing blade? I mean just look at Soren and Lucius. And now look at Lindharth, you really don't see any similarities?

no, i don't think soren looks the least bit feminine, neither does lucius except in the OA that puts him in a stock feminine pose and the FEH art, where he is drawn as a woman. the only similarity between linhardt and soren/lucius is that he also does not code fem to me at all.

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3 minutes ago, magenero29 said:

So you don't think Soren looks at least a little bit feminine. And that thus he doesn't fall into the yaoi stereotype of the uke that was present with Lucius in blazing blade? I mean just look at Soren and Lucius. And now look at Lindharth, you really don't see any similarities?

The yaoi stereotype of an "uke" is not just a stereotypically feminine character, my guy. And no, I don't think Soren looks feminine: I think he doesn't look particularly masculine. Absence of masculinity does not equal femininity. Lucius is feminine, Soren is non-masculine. For examples on the female side of things, Ayra isn't particularly feminine, but she's not masculine; whereas Leonie, for example, is masculine. (Though FE sorely lacks butches.)

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6 minutes ago, magenero29 said:

So you don't think Soren looks at least a little bit feminine. And that thus he doesn't fall into the yaoi stereotype of the uke that was present with Lucius in blazing blade? I mean just look at Soren and Lucius. And now look at Lindharth, you really don't see any similarities?

No, not really. I reminds me of a twink, which fills the same role of uke in yaoi stereotypes though

 

4 minutes ago, Armagon said:

This is a bit late but imma need a citation on these. Whereas i can definitely see it with Claude, i didn't get the sense that Edelgard, Dorothea and Mercedes were queer coded. 

As I said earlier, I used the term queer coded because they were confirmed (or in the case of Claude we have pics of him and M!Byleth being flirty). In truth, queer reading is a better term. I don't have a citation, as it's basely entirely on my own intuition and general talks and tweets that I saw months ago. However, we gained that coding when Thani's rumors were revealed to be true.

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9 hours ago, iavasechui said:

Well Baldur’s gate 2 ee had an exclusively gay female npc the player could romance my problem with her had nothing to do with the fact that she was gay and everything to do with the fact that she was a vampire who quite literally killed a character in the party then asked to join us... so not the best example there (and the male romance option was a bi halforc who was also evil aligned) honestly I was more annoyed that all the ‘official’ (remake only characters) gay romance options were evil. Granted I’m not gay so unlikely to play those paths but seriously why were they both evil -_-;

 

I think part of the reason they did that was to even out the evil and good characters more- I believe original BG2 has 7 good party members and only 3 evil ones. The unfortunate side effect of trying to kill two birds with one stone (alignment and sexuality imbalance) was that all the gay romance options are evil.

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the real issue with bg2 is that hexaat is fucking awful, irregardless of her status as a lesbian or a romance option at all. fuck hexaat. she is the only bad part of the entire enhanced edition content across both games.

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I agree that IS is trying, and I can see that in Linhardt and Alois, but Gilbert still astonishes me. Who did they think they were appealing to with him, especially with Alois in the picture?

49 minutes ago, Integrity said:

no, i don't think soren looks the least bit feminine, neither does lucius except in the OA that puts him in a stock feminine pose and the FEH art, where he is drawn as a woman. the only similarity between linhardt and soren/lucius is that he also does not code fem to me at all.

I legitimately thought Lucius was a woman until I read his support with Serra.

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1 hour ago, Integrity said:

fewer than one in five respondents put in Yes, and some of those put in things like 'i also thought shinon was a girl'. i'm very hesitant to accept this as evidence that more than those thirteen people thought soren was a girl.

Ah, reminds me of the time I thought Zelos Wilder from Tales of Symphonia was a girl, back when I was a wee child. And before I actually encountered him ingame. Just a little long hair with some pink coloring could lead to a first glance mistake.

1 hour ago, Integrity said:

neither does lucius except in the OA that puts him in a stock feminine pose

Not even the hips? I know men are naturally somewhat curvy, just not as much as women typically. Unless you're talking Final Fantasy Tactics.

It isn't just the hips though that makes Lucius look feminine to me, since OA Etzel has the same hips.

The face portrait ingame isn't so feminine you'd be right though. But I think it still leaves ambiguity at least.

 

 

And I'll offer some pity for those on this sinking Claud ship. Read too much into speculation, place too much hope, and this is what can happen.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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31 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Ah, reminds me of the time I thought Zelos Wilder from Tales of Symphonia was a girl, back when I was a wee child. And before I actually encountered him ingame. Just a little long hair with some pink coloring could lead to a first glance mistake.

Not even the hips? I know men are naturally somewhat curvy, just not as much as women typically. Unless you're talking Final Fantasy Tactics.

It isn't just the hips though that makes Lucius look feminine to me, since OA Etzel has the same hips.

The face portrait ingame isn't so feminine you'd be right though. But I think it still leaves ambiguity at least.

 

 

And I'll offer some pity for those on this sinking Claud ship. Read too much into speculation, place too much hope, and this is what can happen.

The real ship sinking for me is Raphael and the hotness that he is going to be after the timeskip.

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I agree that IS is trying but the disappointment comes from the fact that they seemingly chose the wlw options correctly (since there’s way less arguments surrounding it) and people expected them to do the same for mlm. I feel like if they put in the effort and did some research on Japanese media regarding gay relationships, the outcome would be much more different. For example, the fact they decided to pick two options that will be 50+ post skip is a bit questionable (Gilbert can possibly be Byleth's dad's age or even older). I am not sure how popular huge age gaps are in gay OR straight relationships. The seemingly arbitrary decision to make the number of wlw and mlm options different is also why many people are upset. If there were 5 options and the other 2 were students (like the wlw options), there will be way less disappointment. Currently, it just feels a bit half assed and careless.

Regarding Linhardt, I think it is fair for people to interpret how he’s representing part of the gay stereotype. While he may not act feminine, he does have a feminine appearance. In the character profiles just released, there are also some stereotypically feminine traits (in anime) that got mixed in such as how he likes stuffed toys.

 

 

Edited by zuibangde

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I never thought Lucius was a woman nor Libra, but I do love my long haired men. <3

Maybe I've just got the eye for it.

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51 minutes ago, Florete said:

I agree that IS is trying, and I can see that in Linhardt and Alois, but Gilbert still astonishes me. Who did they think they were appealing to with him, especially with Alois in the picture?

I legitimately thought Lucius was a woman until I read his support with Serra.

My theory is that if the third option was any of the students (except Ignatz) instead of Gilbert, this thread's length might be cut in half. 

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1 hour ago, zuibangde said:

I agree that IS is trying but the disappointment comes from the fact that they seemingly chose the wlw options correctly (since there’s way less arguments surrounding it) and people expected them to do the same for mlm.

I feel like among the entire female cast in the game, you basically can't go wrong.  Only one that might be "wrong" is Flayn, since she's really young, but I don't even know if she's an option for romance in the first place (even post timeskip).  You could even pick some of the less talked about females like Annette or Hilda, and the only difference is that maybe people would be like "Hey, I wasn't interested in this character before, but now I am".

Conversely, there are options among the males that would be more questionable, which I think comes down to the notion that they don't care as much about making the men look pretty and young as they do for the women.  Though the fact that they chose Gilbert is still astounding beyond words.  I really do think there'd be less controversy if they picked literally any other guy besides Gilbert - even someone such as Hanneman, because at least he seemingly doesn't have a family.

4 hours ago, GreyJedi said:

My take on everything: IS is trying. They don’t quite get it, though. 1) they’re mostly straight males. 2) they’re Japanese. They don’t understand what the west’s take is. All they know is people got mad at them for not having LGBT representation. So now we have what we got. As some people have pointed out, it feels like these characters are what white males think gay people should be like. That’s because the game was made by white straight males. (okay Asian straight males… who have have light skin)

I would hope it's that they're genuinely trying and that my worst fears have no real application here.  As time moves on and I get to think on it more, I'm starting to see that maybe it was more a baseless fear or gut reaction to drama, but I'm still a bit wary.

4 hours ago, GreyJedi said:

On Claude: I’m planning on playing as female and getting an S support with him, so I’m not as disappointed as a lot of you are about this, but I still get it. I expected him to be one of the bisexual options, and am surprised that he isn’t. BUT, there’s one thing I keep in mind: IS never said he was gay. IS never saw him as gay. We did. It’s okay to be disappointed, but I think it’s unfair to blame IS for baiting us or something like that… something which they were never trying to do. Sure, reviewers may have, but that’s not IS’s fault. What we saw, as one poster said, ‘as gay encoded DNA’ was never what IS envisioned for him. Insisting that Claude seemed gay isn’t much different than insisting on a stereotype. I think it’s unfair and unfortunate that we don’t have some young bishounen gay option, but I think it’s just as unfair to compare Claude to Soleil (if there a support convo where he blatantly starts calling the male avatar cute or something like that, I’ll eat my words).

I feel like if it wasn't for the one article luring people into believing he's such, there might've been less outrage.  People were always talking up how they think Claude might be bi, but usually such talks came with the stipulation that "hey, the leaks said he's been planned as straight since the start", so people wouldn't have been terribly surprised if he turned out to be such if they weren't recently led to believe he actually was bi because of a source that actually has their hands on the game implying he is.

I don't feel like they were outright malicious in their intent, but I feel it was a bit predatory in the same vein a lot of clickbait is.  They knew it'd get talked about and that the people reading would be enticed by all the pictures of the attractive Claude flirting with them, so I feel they did what they did so that they could just bring more traffic to their site.

4 hours ago, GreyJedi said:

On trans rep: Other trans people can totally disagree with me, but I feel Forest was decent representation. The other feminine male characters, like Libra, always just looked like dudes with long hair to me. Forest is different, though. Everything about him is feminine. He even has traditionally female-only class. Despite this, he still identifies as male. That entire inner tug-a-war with gender identity and roles is something that resonates with me. I suppose it might not be a bad thing to have more trans rep, but I’m happy just to be able to pick which ever gender I want my avatar to be. I’m more concerned with (and this is coming from a white person) there being options to have darker skinned avatars, and having more darker skinned characters in the games.

Here's my stance on trans reps - as someone who is cis but has close trans friends and hates the idea of gender roles.

would like for there to be such reps, but it isn't as easy as making homosexual or bisexual reps.  Like, with someone who's gay, it's as easy as "hey, let's have this guy take a liking to another guy".  Of course, it's more complicated, but my point is that them being gay will come up at some point just because they're gonna be given towards fulfilling their own desires related to their sexual orientation.  And with reps of darker skin tones, it's even easier because it's just a matter of appearance.

But with transgender reps, it isn't just something that can necessarily come up naturally.  With someone who has already transitioned and/or come to settle on their identity, they're not gonna just do something that indicates that they are trans, and you can't just "look" trans.  They'd have to outright tell you, or else you'd have to have known them before they transitioned.  So it's difficult to make a transgender character who either isn't forced or doesn't have their transgenderism as a focal point of their character arc (because for most, settling on gender identity is a huge deal - not something to just be brushed aside as "hey, now I'm this gender").  Either that, or you have to bring it up by force i.e. someone deriding them for their gender identity, which could be scrutinized for different reasons given the circumstances.

With characters like Forrest, you come as close to dealing with transgender issues without actually having transgender characters as you can.  It's a nice, easy, safe way to tackle the issues of gender identity while not teeing people off with "misrepresentation".  So I could understand that it's reasonable to expect this to probably be the best way they could handle "trans" representation without it actually necessarily being trans.

Forrest in particular has a lot of the same sorts of struggles.  An unsupportive father who practically disowns him just for being who he is (until he realizes how awful a parent he's being), a struggle with being identified incorrectly, and a defiance of what society would say he should be.  For someone who faces similar struggles, seeing him become the kind, strong man he grows up to be is probably empowering.

And yeah, I would like them to do more with people of color.  And while we're at it, if we'll have a fully customizable avatar later down the line then how about some body customization?  I know that's a big ask, but I'd like to make someone with rock solid abs like Rinkah has.

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55 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

I feel like among the entire female cast in the game, you basically can't go wrong.  Only one that might be "wrong" is Flayn, since she's really young, but I don't even know if she's an option for romance in the first place (even post timeskip).  You could even pick some of the less talked about females like Annette or Hilda, and the only difference is that maybe people would be like "Hey, I wasn't interested in this character before, but now I am".

Conversely, there are options among the males that would be more questionable, which I think comes down to the notion that they don't care as much about making the men look pretty and young as they do for the women.  Though the fact that they chose Gilbert is still astounding beyond words.  I really do think there'd be less controversy if they picked literally any other guy besides Gilbert - even someone such as Hanneman, because at least he seemingly doesn't have a family.

I believe Flayn is shown to be an option for romance from the screenshot.

I think what also made the mlm crowd upset is that they created stereotypical characters/archetypes that attract the gay community (Raphael, Claude) but in an attempt to be non stereotypical or offensive, decided to make them straight only and chose other characters that are less represented instead. While their intention may be good, the truth is that they have characters fitting common archetypes in gay Japanese literature being right there that can’t be romanced by guys. In the perspective of the mlm crowd, it undermines whatever good intentions they had in the first place.

I may also be salty because 2 out of the 3 characters that I personally think would be ‘worst case scenario’ for me became mlm options. I literally just wanted 1 guy in my personal top 10 (male and female combined) to be an option but I’ll wait for yet another game to romance guys I guess.

I also have nothing else to talk about because even though I value gameplay and plot much more than who I can romance, I'm trying to avoid any spoilers regarding those two areas. So all I can talk about is the romance portion of this game lol.

Edited by zuibangde

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9 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

I believe Flayn is shown to be an option for romance from the screenshot.

I think what also made the mlm crowd upset is that they created stereotypical characters/archetypes that attract the gay community (Raphael, Claude) but in an attempt to be non stereotypical or offensive, decided to make them straight only and chose other characters that are less represented instead. While their intention may be good, the truth is that they have characters fitting common archetypes in gay Japanese literature being right there that can’t be romanced by guys. In the perspective of the mlm crowd, it undermines whatever good intentions they had in the first place.

I may also be salty because 2 out of the 3 characters that I personally think would be ‘worst case scenario’ for me became mlm options. I literally just wanted 1 guy in my personal top 10 (male and female combined) to be an option but I’ll wait for yet another game to romance guys I guess.

I also have nothing else to talk about because even though I value gameplay and plot much more than who I can romance, I'm trying to avoid any spoilers regarding those two areas. So all I can talk about is the romance portion of this game lol.

I'm also trying to avoid as much story spoilers as I can. The only thing I'm paying attention to outside of romance are the classes and the characters skill strengths and weaknesses so I can plan my army.

Flayn is confirmed, I'm just really hoping she's like Lysithea's age to tone down some of that creepiness. And I'm really hoping that Cyril isn't romanceable because he's definitely way younger.

I still really don't see where people got this idea that IS was purposefully avoiding stereotypes, especially since Lynhardt fits the role of uke very easily. And Alois and Gilbert both fill the same role of the older man that's also present in many stereotypes. Honestly, I don't think that Gilbert is necessarily a bad choice (though we have literally nothing to go on either way), but it's the fact that he was chosen seemingly instead of one of the students that I find really jarring. That and the fact that all we know is he's stern and has a kid.

Edited by firewitch912

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I think given the fact that Edelgard is a same sex option and neither of the male lords are is the biggest let down. That just seems like them pushing Edelgard as the main one of the three even more. Also it just being disappointing for those hoping for more diverse choices. The fact that FF got 5 decent choices and MM got 2 older men (though i personally think Alois looks good for his age, it is more him being married with a kid that bothers me) and 1 with effeminate features (not that there is anything wrong with that, but again: diversity) seems a little lopsided and unfair.

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To be fair, I don't think they could have gone 'wrong' with WLW options. All girls seem appreciated by everyone, perhaps because they're less diverse than guys, as is usual for video games. They're all young, pretty and feminine. In fact, I'm sure most WLW players would have traded one of them for Catherine, Shamir or Manuela.

It feels wrong to complain about WLW choices when you see the problems of MLM choices, of course. Still, they skew largely towards the young characters while it would have been great to have a teacher available too.

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5 hours ago, zuibangde said:

Regarding Linhardt, I think it is fair for people to interpret how he’s representing part of the gay stereotype. While he may not act feminine, he does have a feminine appearance. In the character profiles just released, there are also some stereotypically feminine traits (in anime) that got mixed in such as how he likes stuffed toys.

I assumed his stuffed animal trait had more to do with his character gimmick of loving to nap. Stuffed animals are generally used for cuddling them after bedtime. 

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8 hours ago, -Cynthia- said:

I think part of the reason they did that was to even out the evil and good characters more- I believe original BG2 has 7 good party members and only 3 evil ones. The unfortunate side effect of trying to kill two birds with one stone (alignment and sexuality imbalance) was that all the gay romance options are evil.

I thought this too, but Neera may have been a better choice for either (not that I like her tbh) since they added her and Rasaad.

Edited by Tryhard

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8 hours ago, zuibangde said:

I am not sure how popular huge age gaps are in gay OR straight relationships.

For better or worse, the 'daddy' thing has an easy parallel in the 'mommy' or 'MILF' thing.

If you put a little effort into it, I'm sure you could find a perfectly reasonable audience of people who are devoted to characters like Cecilia, Reina, or Manuela -- who all appear as much older and more mature women than most of their competition.

What they won't typically be is the majority. People appreciate that Titania exists, but when it comes to romance, people will usually turn to Mia or Nephenee or Ilyana. I'm perfectly confident someone out there likes Eyvel, but there's a reason Mareeta and Olwen were prioritized for Heroes and it isn't plot importance. And similarly, there's always going to be an audience for older men like Alois, Haar, and Saber... but it won't generally be as large as the audience for the younger dudes like Claude, Hrid, or... 70% of the males Echoes cast.

I guess what I'm saying is that having the option for Alois is nice. It'd definitely see a lot of use, since there's very much an audience for that. Having it as the better of only two real options is a bit shakier, though, and when women have five options (probably including an older woman as well) it becomes a little harder to justify as reasonable. I'm sure there are a lot of people who wouldn't mind their straight avatars being locked into choosing between Hinoka and Reina, but many people would probably be a little annoyed if Camilla wasn't an option despite her... everything.

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