The Taken King's Titular Character is Transgender, but No One Knows

Last month, The Mary Sue published a post about Samus Aran from the Metroid series being transgender. It was contentious not only because of what it asserted, but because of the basis for the argument (authorial intent and artistic interpretation). Today on Polygon, an opinion article discusses how the main character of The Taken King, the newest Destiny expansion is in fact transgender, but the (con)text is buried:

It’s great that we have a AAA video game with a titular lead character who is transgender. It’s great that it’s never made a plot point relevant to their character growth, it’s just a thing about the character that happens to exist. It’s great that so many people out there have been exposed to a transgender character and didn’t even realize it happened. It’s great that he wasn’t given characteristics that highlighted or hinted as his transgender status.

The Books of Sorrow in Destiny, at their conclusion, are revealed to have been written by Oryx himself, as an account of his existence and the way he perceived his life that he hoped would last beyond his potential, eventual death.

Reading a character’s own account of their life, and how they perceived their transition from female to male, is something that not enough media does and it gives a valuable insight into the character. Looking back on their life, it’s nothing more than a single line.

This is how I was before this moment. After this moment I was different. It’s such a beautifully simple account of gender transition, one personally accounted and not overly dramatized in regards to the role in played in their sense of self identity. It’s a subtle and impactful account of transition that is hidden away from almost every player.

It’s tragic that nobody knows Oryx is transgender. I hate that the first example of a transgender character in a titular role is hidden away so much that very few hardcore Destiny players know about it. It’s diversity relegated to the depths of a convoluted and complex set of out of game data logs.

I don't know how to interpret the developers' intent in including this fact, but keeping it buried so far down in the lore as to only be found by the most committed gamers. Surely they knew it would surface, and perhaps that was their hope--for it to be found and discussed--but surely they would have known that a negative interpretation was also possible as well. 

The whole essay is worth a read. Head over to Polygon to read it.