People Are Worried About The Gayness of Dragon Age 2

Remember Dragon Age? Well, something happened.


Dragon Age II, or The New Queer Dragon Age. In a recent post I discussed the new “Equal Opportunity Romance” feature, and I was pretty happy about you and your avatar and other cute avatars that all had nice hair together. But a gay gamer for real (disclaimer: I don’t play Dragon Age II, sorry) started a petition against the writer of the game – for his portrayal of gay men. The complaints had something to do with hypersexualization:

It felt very odd that my male companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them. This sort of thing shows that gays are unable to be normal people and think nothing about sex. This is the type of garbage that has people believe that gays shouldn’t serve in the military. We are human beings that are the same as everyone else!

But in the end, it turns out that might not have a lot of legitimacy as a claim. Apparently one gay male character can be described as “insatiable,” but the rest is just a chance situation where this person’s avatar might have just been really really really good looking. To read the full petition, go here. And if you’ve played, please let me know your opinion below this Daily Fix of Updates in the comments! It’ll be really fun for both of us.

So remember: along with fighting pretend dragons and monsters and whatever, you may have to sometimes weather some gay stereotypes. Or not, depending on who you ask. Sometimes life is rough. I still love you.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I find this to be a rather retarded petition, as if the romance is the greatest of the problems with the writing in DA2.

  2. It sounds like what the aforementioned gay gamer finds offensive is that the gay male character becomes a “rival” if he’s rejected by another male character. My question, then, is does he become rivals if he’s rejected by a female character? If one female character is rejected by another female character, do they also become rivals? If so, I don’t see the problem. If not, and rivalry is only an issue between two male characters, I can see why someone might be offended because that does seem a little fishy. Gamers, what say you??

    • I played through as a female and got rivalry points for rejecting Anders and Fenris, so it’s not just the men. Women-wise, I’ve no idea about Isabela – didn’t use her once – and I romanced Merrill.

      Besides, it’s not like it hinders gameplay that much – it’s fairly easy to make up those rivalry points if you’re going for friendship.

  3. I’m on my third play through Dragon Age two…some people are just tooo eager to find problems. Most games have few if any possibilities for gay relationships. In this game they made every “available” character available for both gay and straight romance. So, now someone wants to complain that the guy character is a “gay stereotype”? Umm, the biggest problem with that is that the same character uses almost exactly the same phrasing to hit on a player’s female character, with the same consequences if you turn him down. So, maybe, he’s more of a “male” stereotype? Or he’s written this way as a counterpoint to the female love interest who will also make the first advance on both female and male characters in the game.

    As for the “rivalry” thing, the system is such that there are plenty of opportunities to earn both types of points for each character. Whatever minor addition to the rival score that is “forced” on a person turning him down is easily overridden by looking for opportunities to earn “friend” points(which,much like real life, you earn by doing something he will like).

  4. Yeah, the romances weren’t exactly the area of DA2 that I’d be complaining about. Fangirl bitching aside, I actually really enjoyed the romances. As others have noted, there is a male character who hits on you, but I’ve heard very few complaints about one female character’s offer of sexytime about an hour after she meets you, regardless of gender.

  5. “It felt very odd that my [male] companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them.”

    …Because that kind of thing NEVER happens in real life and so TOTALLY isn’t realistic in ANY interpersonal reactions.

  6. Haha I had a sexy lesbian fling with the pirate lady (omg yum) and then ended up with the whiny possessive mage boy (who made comments like “Well maybe YOU AND SEXY PIRATE LADY should handle this ON YOUR OWN” … seriously. Jealous and pissy. Rather funny, though. And kind of realistic.)

    The issue I had with the game’s sexuality was that I had the chance to be involved with Merril, who I spent half the game believing was FOURTEEN. My roommate said “She’s just an elf! She’s small!” but…. she’s so incredibly young-teenager-ish (whereas many of the elves seemed much older) it really bothered me. I thought she was funny and adorable, but… no. Just no. :S :S

  7. I think it would be way more offensive if they made all the gay characters de-sexed saints. I am already annoyed that when my male mage seduced Anders I just see them kiss on the bed fully clothed, but if you’re a woman and you romance Merril, (not sure about Isabella, ergh) the conversation afterward gives you the chance to oogle her in her undies for like two whole minutes.

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