Vincent Wang, a 25-year-old Chinese-Canadian eSports competitor, recently came out as gay, using his announcement to call out homophobia and sexism in the gaming industry and eSports community.
Wang — who plays League of Legends under the screen name “Biofrost” for the team Dignitas — wrote via Twitter, “I’ve struggled with my personal identity my entire life…. At the age of 8, I was bombarded with homophobic and sexist remarks at home, and whenever I did something that wasn’t ‘manly,’ I was told ‘Why are you acting like a girl?’ and to stop being ‘gay.’ I was hyper-conscious of how I should act and tried not to act or sound ‘gay’, but I was still constantly bullied at school for it.”
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“Working in the video game industry hasn’t helped matters either,” Wang continued. “On almost every team I’ve been on, I’ve heard homophobic comments from either my teammates or the staff and felt uncomfortable, even borderline afraid of possibly losing my job if I told the truth…. My story is not unique. The gaming industry is rampant with sexism, prejudice, and homophobia.”
Wang is unfortunately correct. A 2020 study found that 73 percent of LGBTQ gamers experienced queerphobia online while gaming, especially if they were out. While this abuse is often written off as competitive “trash talk”, it still compels 41 percent of queer gamers to avoid certain games for fear of harassment. Additionally, 35 percent of queer gamers said they lie about their sexual or gender identities online to avoid harassment.
While some gaming communities have policies banning players for anti-LGBTQ hate speech and harassment, gaming communities on social media networks can heap additional hate onto players. Game development companies — which tend to be dominated by cis men — can also fail LGBTQ and female employees, allowing toxic gaming culture to thrive in the workplace.
“I don’t believe there’s a quick fix,” Wang wrote, “but it starts with us holding ourselves to a higher standard and treating everyone with dignity. We need to educate people in eSports of proper conduct within the workplace…. I want there to be more awareness about the problems our community faces.”
— Vincent (@Biofrostlol) May 7, 2022
After making his announcement, Wang thanked his parents and friends who have made him feel like he belongs. He also thanked supportive people on Twitter, stating, “I didn’t expect this amount of support and it makes me feel hopeful for the change that we can make in this community. I’m incredibly thankful for all of you.”
Wang isn’t the first male eSports competitor to come out. In 2018, Dominique McLean (aka. “SonicFox”) publicly came out while accepting the honor for Best Esports Player at the 2018 Game Awards in Los Angeles. At the ceremony, he declared, “I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates.”
Yes. Vincent cal them out !!
the sexual equivalent of anti-semitism.
“I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates.” Dominique McLean (aka. “SonicFox”)
Such profound words! Now if only more queer / black folks / anyone for that matter, will only allow the blinkers to fall from their eyes, the fog to clear from their brains, and learn and realize what the *GOF is all about.
*GOF – Grand Old Failure party
Homophobia in esports? I have never met a “gamer” anyone would describe as masculine. Or who has any reason to discriminate at all. I went to high school with the poster-child of these clowns. Greasy waist length hair, overwhelming body odor, loved blasting death metal in the parking lot. A few years after graduation, I found out he got ten years for molesting a 12 year old relative. I suppose all those years of skipping showers paid off in prison.
“Let’s knock out the most critical number straight out the gate: as noted in 2020, more than 200 million Americans play video games in the US alone. That means roughly 65% of American adults are video gamers.
Worldwide, though? The market is even more influential. According to Statista, Latin America has 274 million gamers, the Middle East/Africa has 388 million, and Europe has 391 million. The most astounding audience is in Asia, though, with 1.5 billion gamers. That means that, worldwide, the number of gamers in the world as of 2020 was roughly 2.77 billion.”
My late grandmother, who would be approaching 100 if she was still around, was a gamer, for christ’s sake. The fact that the only gamer you knew was a convicted child molestor says more about you than it does about the hobby of gaming.
Stick to trolling topics you at least know a little bit about.
Oh WTF @jt1990, describing yourself in your comment? You forgot the fat bit. So STF up and stop spewing your BS.
You now have 2 replies to your comment, so go beat your meat! You might be able to blow a load.
After the past year, there have been a large number of articles about Blizzard/Activision on all the misogyny, the homophobia, the racism and even ageism that exists within the industry. This is yet another bit of evidence against the industry as a whole.
apologies for the lateness of this but vince you are always welcome here on vancouver island. i can personally guarantee your stisfaction and relaxation. just get here and text me.