Homosexuality in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
I'd rather see two sides (at least) to the gender and orientation issues, personally, rather than a one-sided, black and white approach.

Well, it's been shown over and over in the Paizo adventures that you can have LGBT NPCs in a module without delving into the social issues that people are worried about. The NPCs that have been included that were LGBT (Reign of Winter, Rise of the Runelords, Wrath of the Righteous, Rivals Guide) don't have any of the current prejudicial issues and baggage that others are worried about. I think the only one that comes close are the gay couple in Sandpoint, but even then it's one family and it's practically a footnote.

So I think Paizo has shown that you can put in LGBT NPCs and not include the social issues and gender politics that people are worried about. Reading through the NPCs they've included in both Reign of Winter and Wrath of the Righteous, they don't include the social issues of today and truthfully, their status as LGBT is simply stated and doesn't play an overwhelming part of their identity. They are adventurers like Kyra and Valeros that just happen to be LGBT.

As for black and white dialogue about gender and orientation issues, it would be nice for the debate to be less polarized, but it is difficult for it not to be that heated when one of the sides is essentially dismissing the others want of equal rights and inclusiveness and with some people (not necessarily pointed at those in this thread), treating them like sexual deviants (connecting homosexuality to pedophilia). Imagine if someone was arguing against interracial marriage or other ethnicities in RPGs. It doesn't matter how reasonable and polite the person is being. It seems practically insane to consider barring different ethnicities from tabletop gaming. And I've unfortunately had that debate with someone who truthfully believed that interracial couples and non-European ethnicities and cultures had no place in an RPG. It can really get infuriating to hear someone say that, especially so nonchalantly, as if the request to leave out other people and cultures on the basis that they don't belong, they'll bring the racial politics, or it's pandering to PC thugs is a reasonable one.

Still, I'll try harder to be less fighty in my posts. And my remark on religion wasn't meant to be a potshot at religion as a whole, just a statement on some people that have unfortunately used religion in really crappy ways. I definitely didn't mean to insinuate that only religious people are prejudice and I do apologize if it came off that way.


Odraude wrote:
I know I've said this before earlier in the thread, but I still think that if we can have women in a setting without having to delve into real-world sexist issues, and we can have different ethnicities in a setting without having to delve into real-world racists issues, then I'm pretty sure we can have LGBT NPCs in a setting without delving into real-work issues. So far, the adventures I've seen that had LGBT NPCs didn't have the real-world issues in it. And I'm okay with that. If there are groups that prefer those kind of issues, then they can add them in. Likewise, if there are groups that don't want LGBT NPCs in them, then they can remove them. But I'm happy to see them in there. Leave the rest to the GMs.

Pretty much this. There are no "real world issues" here, unless someone wants to bring them in themselves by objecting to inclusiveness, tolerance, and acceptance. In themselves, those are not issues or political agendas, they're just *the right thing to do*.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
I'd rather see two sides (at least) to the gender and orientation issues, personally, rather than a one-sided, black and white approach.

What sides do you want? Do you want one group ok with LGTB characters and relationships and another persecuting them, with neither side portrayed as wholly right or wholly wrong?

Shall we do the same for racism and sexism? Make sure there are positive portrayals of those prejudiced against women and against other races to balance out the inclusive characters?

Seems like a really bad idea to me.


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I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.


John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Though, otoh, the fantasy world that I'd really want to escape to would also probably have a lot less horrible monsters in it than a D&D world. :)

I'm not sure how that plays in.

I certainly don't think the real world would be better off with Otyughs. for example.


John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Let's not put words in their mouths. I think that's a hefty conclusion to jump to. I don't think they want a real world completely devoid of LGBT people. All it is is that some people believe that you can't divorce LGBT NPCs from the social prejudice of today's culture. I think that Paizo is doing a good job so far at gradually proving that notion wrong. :)


Odraude wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Let's not put words in their mouths. I think that's a hefty conclusion to jump to. I don't think they want a real world completely devoid of LGBT people. All it is is that some people believe that you can't divorce LGBT NPCs from the social prejudice of today's culture. I think that Paizo is doing a good job so far at gradually proving that notion wrong. :)

Yeah, I don't think people are consciously saying that. But it's easy to get that impression.

Again: "I'd rather not have black people in my fantasy world. I don't want to deal with that."


John Kretzer wrote:
I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game.

I think the central issue is that removing LGBT characters from the game doesn't magically make your game free of real world politics. That is something that literally cannot be done.


I think the podcast of PaizoCon's Diversity in Gaming would be a good listen for everyone on either side of the debate. I think one thing they mention that we need to remember is to not let passion and frustration rule the argument and fall into debate traps. It's a bad way to win allies on your side, even if you are right. Just definitely something good to revisit and listen to. Calmer heads will rule the day.

Edited because that sentence was awkward as hell. :D


thejeff wrote:
Odraude wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Let's not put words in their mouths. I think that's a hefty conclusion to jump to. I don't think they want a real world completely devoid of LGBT people. All it is is that some people believe that you can't divorce LGBT NPCs from the social prejudice of today's culture. I think that Paizo is doing a good job so far at gradually proving that notion wrong. :)

Yeah, I don't think people are consciously saying that. But it's easy to get that impression.

Again: "I'd rather not have black people in my fantasy world. I don't want to deal with that."

Yeah that is a fair point. And it really is hard to stay calm headed when you hear that, even if it's not the intent. Believe me, when I was a teenager, I got in a lot of fights at my Not-so friendly local gaming store over race in D&D. I've since calmed waaaaay down and got rid of the chip on my should, but still it can be hard to not get passionate about these kind of issues. :)


Scott Betts wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game.
I think the central issue is that removing LGBT characters from the game doesn't magically make your game free of real world politics. That is something that literally cannot be done.

Well if your game is just a beer and pretzel game where you kill orcs and take pie in a 4x4 room, then there are probably no politics to worry about. Those kinds of games can be silly and enjoyable. Until we get into the economics of pie exchange and supply and demand of fruity pastries. ;)

Again, the major disconnect is that people think that including LGBT NPCs begets the social issues, which the adventures that Paizo has published have proved otherwise. Only thing Paizo can do is keep including the NPCs without the social issues. Which I'm totally fine with :)


I think it's important to remember two very important things:

1. This country (the USA) is undergoing a radical philosophical change when it come to the LGBT community. Other countries are as well. What was once, and sadly still is, seen as sexual deviancy in many cultures is now being seen for what it is. Namely that sexual preference is not a choice but it is how we are wired. Logically more and more people are getting this and with time this won't even be a blip on the social radar. That's the good news. The bad news is tolerance isn't a light switch. It takes time. Sometimes multiple generations.

I understand that everyone wants to be accepted for who they are but you cannot realistically expect everyone to embrace it just because you want it NOW. That is the crux of this problem. One side is saying "Go, go, go! Equality now!!!" Not everyone on the other side is entirely comfortable with that yet. They get it logically but it's hard to shake off the institutionalized belief that homosexuality is wrong.

2. Paizo is in a weird spot. The important NPCs in the APs need to be fleshed out. That means they have to give us as complete a view of these characters as they can in just a page or two. I think I now have a better understanding of the position they are in. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It's tough and I don't envy the decisions they make sometimes. Yes, the LGBT world is scary to people not in it and for those of you who are I understand your want for tolerance now. Please understand that when people raise the agenda flag or flat out say they hate the inclusion of these characters it comes from a place of fear and ignorance. This is a fast moving social shift that requires a lot of understanding on both sides and it's important to respect each other's perspectives without calling each other names.

I'm doing my part by telling my kids it's no big deal and that, I think, is the most important thing.


Odraude wrote:
Well if your game is just a beer and pretzel game where you kill orcs and take pie in a 4x4 room, then there are probably no politics to worry about.

No, there definitely still are. Is there a female PC in your beer & pretzels game? That's not particularly noteworthy in our culture, but in any culture where a woman's role is strictly controlled, playing a woman who slew monsters for gold and glory would be seen as a radical political statement!

The point is that it's impossible to remove politics from a game as involved as D&D because politics is simply a way of looking at how people interact. What someone really means when they say they want to keep politics out of their game is that they want their game to reflect the norms that they personally are comfortable with. They don't say that, of course, because it paints them in an unflattering light, but it's the truth.


Odraude wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Let's not put words in their mouths. I think that's a hefty conclusion to jump to. I don't think they want a real world completely devoid of LGBT people. All it is is that some people believe that you can't divorce LGBT NPCs from the social prejudice of today's culture. I think that Paizo is doing a good job so far at gradually proving that notion wrong. :)

I was not really trying to put words in peoples mouths...I was trying to express what they are saying to certain people...even if it is not their intent.


thejeff wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

I find it odd that the complain against having LGBT NPCs is that people don't want to include 'real world' politics into their game. It interferes with there 'escapism' and fantasy world. And don't how this being a bigot. Which they may or may not be...it might be because there are not thinking it through...

So I'll explain it it them. The problem is pretty what these people are saying is that in your fantasy world LGBT people just don't exist. That is the world you want to 'escape' too. That is kindas of like saying the 'real world' would be better of without LGBT people in it. As a fantasy world of your construction is going to reflect what you think by your exclusions.

Though, otoh, the fantasy world that I'd really want to escape to would also probably have a lot less horrible monsters in it than a D&D world. :)

I'm not sure how that plays in.

I certainly don't think the real world would be better off with Otyughs. for example.

Ah...but you need monsters to fight in your Heroic fantasy world...otherwise you don't get to be the Hero.

Also...waay off topic but if otyughs existed in the real world would probably mean our sewage systems would work a 1000 times better. ;)


Scott Betts wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Well if your game is just a beer and pretzel game where you kill orcs and take pie in a 4x4 room, then there are probably no politics to worry about.

No, there definitely still are. Is there a female PC in your beer & pretzels game? That's not particularly noteworthy in our culture, but in any culture where a woman's role is strictly controlled, playing a woman who slew monsters for gold and glory would be seen as a radical political statement!

The point is that it's impossible to remove politics from a game as involved as D&D because politics is simply a way of looking at how people interact. What someone really means when they say they want to keep politics out of their game is that they want their game to reflect the norms that they personally are comfortable with. They don't say that, of course, because it paints them in an unflattering light, but it's the truth.

You're making a good point in this post and the other related ones before it. Thanks.

The conscious exclusion of LGBT characters from the game, and actively arguing against their inclusion, as some do, itself imposes politics upon the game.

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