Sapphics who play video games got a big W when Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores DLC launched this week. Spoilers ahead! In it, Seyka says to Aloy that she wants to be with her and she hopes she feels the same way. All three dialogue options, whether you choose to accept or reject her, seem to reflect that Aloy is canonically queer. If you embrace the romance, Aloy and Seyka kiss. Gayloy is confirmed.
Fans have long speculated that Aloy is queer because she’s a clone of Elisabet Sobek, a lesbian. Without getting into the complicated and fraught science around the potential genetic nature of sexuality, we can just say that this theory has often been shut down on Reddit whenever it’s been brought up. No longer – it’s canon!
Plenty of fans are celebrating, which fills my heart with happy gay feelings. I love seeing queer characters in video games. I think representation is important, and telling a diversity of queer stories matters even more in a time when queer people are actively being discriminated against and oppressed by new laws. There’s always been lots of queer representation in indie games – a big reason why I love them – but every big triple-A game that showcases well-written, earnest queer representation does a little to change the gaming landscape.
Of course, plenty of people will say this is ‘furthering the gay agenda’, and they’re not wrong, assuming the gay agenda is just normalising the fact that not everybody is straight. I saw Aloy trending on Twitter, and because I hate myself, I clicked on it. Frankly, it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it’d be. There were a few “ew I don’t want to see LGBTs” and “Sony went woke”, but there were plenty of joyful reactions as well. People were celebrating not just her queerness, but the fact that a character they loved was given a chance to find companionship and love instead of dedicating her life solely to saving the world.
I did see a tweet that “it’s now more controversial for characters to be straight than gay”, as gamers do, but we all know that’s bullshit. If that were true, they wouldn’t be complaining about it. When characters have straight relationships, the internet is not flooded with complaints that the straight agenda is everywhere. Queer representation still has a long way to go, and the reactions from homophobes every time they see a queer relationship just proves that. I find it pretty funny that straight male gamers are up in arms about Aloy being gay considering they were previously bitching about her not being attractive enough. So she wasn’t hot enough to be your video game waifu, but now you’re mad that she likes women and not men? That’s so weird. It’s almost like everything hurts your feelings.
The only rational reason to be mad at this relationship is that Aloy didn’t end up dating muscle mommy Petra, and that her relationship with Seyka felt rushed. I haven’t played the DLC, so I wouldn’t know, but that’s what many queer fans are saying. But that’s not a reflection of negative attitudes about her queerness, that’s just people shipping characters, as they do. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some development of Aloy’s queerness in the third game – and maybe we’ll even get to see more of her and Seyka.
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