There’s an episode of Ally McBeal’s first season. It involved a Ally getting a transgender off a prostitution charge. And a job at the law firm. I was excited for a moment, looking up the actor who played the character. Only to find out they were only in one episode. And i knew at once they put her in the fridge. Which I suppose is the best one could have hoped for from a Fox show in the 90’s. It meant well at the time, I’m sure. But it’s a bit typical of tokenism when you only bring them on to martyr them. It was a low rent version of Rent. Which itself was no rent, both in that was the plot of the play, and it was bad.
I wrote a bit ago about Read Only Memories. I spoke briefly of my love of it. I recommended it to a friend. Who played it and remarked that he enjoyed it more after a bit. When he got over the whole “Down the throat” thing. (Possibly not his words.) Which, I think was appreciated. Most of the characters in that LGBTQ alphabet soup, which is fitting since it takes place in and around the Castro. And there’s no fridging. No tokening. It’s just a bunch of assorted folks who help you unravel a cyberpunk mystery.
And perhaps it’s the residual defensiveness from growing up gay in Bush era Texas. But I kind of needed that. The most often I have been to my favorite gay bar was for Trivia night. The allure of such venues for me not so much the meat market, but just a spot where that bit of doubt and restraint about a core aspect of who I am is undone. No one will be shocked to learn that I like dudes at The Iron Bear. And I felt quite a bit of that playing 2064.
It’s hard not to speak for the entire community, perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I’m a bit to obsessed with my outcast typecast that I’ve not fit in. Though it is clear that the core aspects of the group have changed radically over a generation. It feels like we’re at a strange middle point where most of our to do checklist is gone. And as such a few of our community cores are going. And yet the feelings we had, and the desire for our own little spots where we could feel that knot in our stomach unclench is still around. At least for some of us. At least for me.
There’s a lot to separate video games from other media. One of them is the ability to be built on a budget. Many of the biggest games over the last few years have been indie darlings. And with that comes the ability for those little slices of unapologetic normalcy for folks who are reminded everywhere else that they’re different. Also, the game’s set during Christmas time. So if you’re looking for something to get you into the holidays, it may be a good pick.