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Kingdom Hearts & acknowledging LGBTQ+ content from Disney source material ReMIX



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Soldier

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Woo boy, how to put this delicately....

In my opinion, adding LGBTQ to a series is a very difficult thing to do, and no matter what happens when it's put in things tend to go wrong. As a species we're inclined to argue about things, being descended from apes after all (one of the most violent animals on the planet, if you can believe it). So I could see this (potentially) going one of two ways:

Option 1: Nomura puts it in the game, it's seen as reaching for social brownie points like J.K Rowling rewriting Dumbledore as gay for wizard Hitler, people get pissed and the internet gets another battleground on it's infinite space.

Option 2: Nomura puts it in the game, people acknowledge it and move on with their lives peacefully, but news outlets and social media blow it up to the point it becomes as big as Frozen, which is when it will get annoying.

Now, this being said does that mean I'm against it? No.
I live by a code as most of you know, "Whatever you do, so long as you don't harm anyone or anything or push your ideals on me I don't care what you do".
It's a code of neutrality because I've grown tired of picking sides my whole life, and this even extends to social issues. But there reaches a point where I sometimes look at these issues and get irritated.

If it's a small scene or 30 minutes or so, fine.

If it rewrites the whole game and constantly shoves it in the player's face, that's crossing a line.

(Do note I'm not trying to be bigoted, I'm just trying to say that there's a time and place for everything and I personally think the way Nomura handles the relationships between characters is the best option. Leaving it open ended allows others to form their own opinions on these characters and narrowing them down to X is straight, Z is gay, and G is bi seems kind of limiting to me.)
 

Luminary

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In my opinion, adding LGBTQ to a series is a very difficult thing to do, and no matter what happens when it's put in things tend to go wrong.

The main topic of this thread is about the inclusion of Disney source material featuring LGBTQ+ characters/stories. So any of these Disney characters and stories would already be out there in the universe and established with these identities/themes. So Nomura would not really be changing things or forcing anything into the story for these. Simply honoring the original source material.

Straight washing these characters/stories would be no different than someone changing existing straight characters/stories to include LGBTQ+. (It’s actually worse in my opinion as it diminishes established representation of an underrepresented group whereas straight people have no shortage of representation in media.)

For the original characters, it would only be a rewrite if they were to change the character in a way that goes against previously established canon. As you said, things so far in this series have been very open ended and not definitive one way or another. So it wouldn’t really be a rewrite or retcon to start exploring these themes with some characters when nothing previously established contradicts it. Especially as our core characters are getting older and entering the stages of life when themes of romance and identity become more relevant.

If it's a small scene or 30 minutes or so, fine.

If it rewrites the whole game and constantly shoves it in the player's face, that's crossing a line.

I respect the opinion to stay neutral if the idea is that romance as a whole should be left out of the series. That being said, it has to be pointed out that the representation of sexual/romantic orientations in media (including KH) skews heavily in favor of heterosexuality. Yet no one says it is being shoved in anyone’s face when a straight romance is prevalent in a story.

Why is it that queer characters, stories, and relationships are always seen as being aggressively inserted to spread an agenda if they are more than a background element? LGBTQ+ people just want art and media that reflects our lives and interests the same way everyone else does. Admittedly, it’s more harmlessly selfish for our own enjoyment than trying to force anything on anyone who is straight. We aren’t trying to force anyone into consuming anything they wouldn’t personally enjoy.

True neutrality would be allowing these stories to exist in the same capacity as their straight counterparts without viewing one as somehow inherently more harmful than the other.
 

NoWay

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True neutrality would be allowing these stories to exist in the same capacity as their straight counterparts without viewing one as somehow inherently more harmful than the other.
But that’s the problem. The LGBTQ+ movement propagates sexual diversity as the main factor of the society, as if there weren’t any other minorities who are facing an exclusion from society. If we are talking about a representative representation, then why is everyone demanding sexual diversity in a video game which is like the most private aspect of diversity? If we want to respect diversity, then we mustn’t focus on only that one aspect which we ourselves consider as important, but we also must stand up for disabled people or individuals who are discriminated against because of their skin color, their religion, their ethnicity or their political beliefs etc.
That’s why this whole US-American discourse about LGBTQ is nonsense. And if you don’t like the representation of individuals in a video game, there are many other games or TV shows you can enjoy. We don’t have to pretend that nowadays LGBTQ is still a topic which is ignored by media, because it is definitely not.
 

Luminary

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But that’s the problem. The LGBTQ+ movement propagates sexual diversity as the main factor of the society, as if there weren’t any other minorities who are facing an exclusion from society. If we are talking about a representative representation, then why is everyone demanding sexual diversity in a video game which is like the most private aspect of diversity? If we want to respect diversity, then we mustn’t focus on only that one aspect which we ourselves consider as important, but we also must stand up for disabled people or individuals who are discriminated against because of their skin color, their religion, their ethnicity or their political beliefs etc.
That’s why this whole US-American discourse about LGBTQ is nonsense. And if you don’t like the representation of individuals in a video game, there are many other games or TV shows you can enjoy. We don’t have to pretend that nowadays LGBTQ is still a topic which is ignored by media, because it is definitely not.

Just because this particular conversation is centered around LGBTQ+ does not mean there isn’t also a desire for better representation of other groups. We can want multiple things at the same time and discuss them either separately or together. I would love to see more ethnic and racial diversity, stronger stories for the female characters, etc. That’s just not the point of this particular discussion.

Also, intersectionality is a thing and the queer community is one of the most diverse groups when it comes to ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, etc. LGBTQ stories often go hand in hand with stories of other minorities, such as Strange World which features a gay main character who is also a person of color.

We’re also talking specifically about representation in Kingdom Hearts, which so far has no confirmed LGBTQ+ representation. Representation in other media has come a long way, but there is still progress to be made. But even if it were perfect everywhere else, why is KH somehow “off limits”? There’s really no acceptable reason to gatekeep these Disney stories/characters from joining a franchise focused on *checks notes* Disney characters/stories.

If you think LGBTQ discourse is nonsense though, you can easily opt to not engage with it. The OP is pretty clear about what the point of this thread is for.

This is not a matter of inserting “sexual content” into these properties or into KH. Nothing about it is anymore sexual than a girl and guy getting together at the end of a story. This is about real identities being portrayed and represented in new, interesting stories.

Now, my point in bringing this up (again) is to know how you all feel SE will go about implementing content like this into KH. I don’t mean “will Nomura cut it out of the plot”

I mean, will Nomura and the creative staff be able to do these stories justice and adapt them in a respectful manner? Will they consider also creating original characters that are LGBTQ+ or confirming existing ones have been LGBTQ+?

Dismissive statements with little thought behind them will lead to thread bans. Homophobic comments will lead to automatic bans. If this topic goes sour, I’ll just close it and be done with it.
 

WaltK

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It's also hard to discuss diversity as a whole because not every minority group are fighting for the same exact needs.

While gay couples fight for the right to marry, adopt, and just generally be recognised as a valid union, trans people are fighting for gender recognition, gender affirming care and the right to live their lives with dignity, while black and ethnic communities are fighting for the basic right to not be treated unfairly because of their appearance.

And not every single person in all of these groups are necessarily supportive of each other either. There are gay people who are transphobic and/or racist, there are trans people who are racist, there are ethnic people who are homophobic and/or transphobic, there are ethnic people who are racist against other types of ethnic people, etc.
 
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Launchpad

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when I was younger and a lot stupider I was definitely on that "well *I* already support gay people so I sure hope they don't shove that shit in my FACE!!!" bit, but having grown up and listened to a lot of perspectives from gay pals (along with just... pulling my head out from my ass) I realized that there SHOULD be a heightened abundance of gay rep in modern media. To this day, people are still shitting themselves over gay people in media, and it's just stupid, and the only way I can sensibly think of to snuff that out is to just keep fucking doing it.

Dion from FFXVI is proof that SE can and will include gay characters without pumping the brakes to be like "WHOA WHOA WHOA, WE'RE DOING IT GUYS, WE'RE DOING IT!!" but also not sidelining the character's sexuality and relying on subtext. Dude's gay as hell, along with all of the other traits that make him a fully fledged badass character in the story. I have no worries about SE's execution.

KH doesn't do explicit romance anyway, outside of a few SoKai moments that make it pretty damn clear.. It's never a huge focal point, so with a potential gay romance down the road, it'd operate very similarly. Only a fool would get mad at that
 

Chie

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In my opinion, adding LGBTQ to a series is a very difficult thing to do
No matter how many times threads like this exist on no matter how many different forums there will always be a guy who writes this exact post, talks around the words in the most awkward way possible, and also believes that he's saying some really insightful and important shit.

When I was younger I might have found it offensive but now it's just sad. Buddy, Nomura "put it in the game" the second he drew any boy.
 

BufferAqua

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The issue with some of these arguments is that you are viewing being LGBTQ+ as a purely political thing.

It is not.

Basic human rights should not be a completely political thing. Being gay is actually PROVEN to be a natural part of life, and trying to restrict it in media thanks to bigoted views on how sexuality works will never be justifiable.

There’s no “neutral ground” to this; there is nothing wrong and there should be NO actual issue adding LGBTQ+ characters in media. They shouldn’t be omitted because of how many people will argue about it.
 

Ðari

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People have pretty much forgotten they've been learning about different sexualities, genders, gender identities over the course of centuries from a culmination of Art, History, Religious texts, etc.

Anyone looking to take offense to be exposed to the implementation of LGBTQ+ into ANY form of media to then act surprised after your education depending on where you went to school should've elaborated on cultures where this has already existed centuries before you were even born. It's really not that serious.

If you are not the target audience for this content, you do not have to engage with or consume the content. No one is here to change anyone's mind, hold anyone's hand, and hankerchief eyes from all the "crying" that will inevitably happen. It's merely to make others aware of existing IPs that have already established these characters and their stories potentially we may or may not see them, but to be prepared if that is something you don't want to see.

I don't even understand some of these arguements, people from this very community where shipping same sex pairings from this franchise in 2002, fast forward 21 years, and this community is doing that even now, ain't NO WAY your telling me you managed to avoid all of that, say nothing about it, not participate in the conversation, etc.

At the end of the day it's never been an LGBTQ+ issue. It's always been a "You problem" how "You" feel about it.
Check your Ego. If it upsets you, but when it isn't present you go back to "not caring" you may want to practice "not caring" with what you may see in the future. Food for thought good buddy.
 

WaltK

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ANYWAY.

I feel like my initial bump post that triggered this convo to begin with got buried due to being the last post at the end of a page, so just a reminder:
People are speculating that the main character in Wish will be queer because her VA is. I'm personally putting my bets on Elio, with its openly gay director, being more likely to have some overt representation.
 

Soldier

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No matter how many times threads like this exist on no matter how many different forums there will always be a guy who writes this exact post, talks around the words in the most awkward way possible, and also believes that he's saying some really insightful and important shit.

When I was younger I might have found it offensive but now it's just sad. Buddy, Nomura "put it in the game" the second he drew any boy.
Who said I was being insightful? I was just stating what I think would (realistically) happen.
 

WaltK

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Who said I was being insightful? I was just stating what I think would (realistically) happen.
Honestly, I'm more focused on your use of the age-old "as long as it's not forced down people's throat" rhetoric that has been a standard "I'm not homophobic but" talking point* for as long as I can remember.

I've been having heterosexual romances "shoved down my throat" for my entire life, but you don't see me complaining.

*I'm not necessarily saying you are homophobic, just that you're, perhaps unknowingly, parroting points that are a typical staple of that mindset.
 
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Luminary

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ANYWAY.

I feel like my initial bump post that triggered this convo to begin with got buried due to being the last post at the end of a page, so just a reminder:

I’d love to see some representation in either. Both look like they could be great contenders for KH too. I’m particularly hoping King Magnifico will be a boss fight worthy villain.

That said, I’m not too hopeful for Wish to have anything explicit. It seems they are continuing the trend of recent films like Moana and Encanto that don’t have any kind of romantic subplot for the lead character. But just because there isn’t a romance, doesn’t mean Asha can’t still be portrayed as an LGBTQ character. So we’ll see! I would even take just some side characters in same sex relationships or exhibiting same sex attraction.

I could definitely see Elio depicting themes related to the experiences many LGBTQ people go through as kids. It may just be more on a metaphorical level though. I could see some gay alien side characters though. Something similar to Korg in Thor Love and Thunder where same sex relationships are the standard for the species. And let Elio react to it like it’s not unusual, showing how kids really are accepting about that kind of stuff unless it’s been taught to them otherwise.

I think Sora would get along well with Elio as they both share that experience of being taken from their world and thrust into a high stakes situation where they have to step up to save it.
 

Chie

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Who said I was being insightful? I was just stating what I think would (realistically) happen.
What I mean is, you posted your post at all, which means you thought it contained any value whatsoever.
 

Phoenix

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Honestly, KH is one of the most LBGTQ+ things I've ever seen in my life, and Disney is one of the most pro LBGTQ+ mega corps out there. If anything, I think the blocker would be SE.

I guess it depends on how it's portrayed. KH doesn't really handle straight romance well to begin with. Any real romance comes from already existing story beats in the properties they use. So from that pov, I would assume (and hope) that they're not going to straight wash new properties. But the main cast? I don't know that they'll ever commit anyone to anyone, straight, gay or otherwise.
 

Luminary

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DQXI also has a queer coded character. I know there’s controversy around the portrayal of Sylvando. But I love the man. I think most of his critics only watched trailers/clips and didn’t see how great of a character he really is.
 

BufferAqua

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I think Disney is more trouble when it comes to this stuff than Square would be
 

Chie

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IMO all of these corporations are ultimately conservative and opposed to human expression and life. But developers (esp. Nomura) making games at all is an act of resistance against them. I don't think you can trust any of them to not push back against things like this, but sometimes the creators win, too.

You can look at Bandai's recent thing with Gundam, where they allowed a very high profile show with discussion of lesbian marriage to be produced, but pushed back against that being explicitly acknowledged by the staff in interviews. But it's still in the show, because the creators already won against the publishers. That's the kind of battle this thing is. Square Enix would certainly avoid "officially" saying anything about minorities' existences as a company, but they've published games with queer content their entire histories because this was done by actual creators. So it goes.
 
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