Resident Evil Director Confirms Gay Character For Pride Month

Resident Evil Director Confirms Gay Character For Pride Month

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

2nd Jun 2021 12:34

The rainbow flags are fluttering in the bombed ashes of Raccoon City, as the Resident Evil franchise has announced an openly gay character. The long-running zombie series is largely known for blasting the living hell out of T-Virus zombies and the various villains that have wanted to exploit the Umbrella Corporation for their own gains, meaning LGBTQ+ inclusion hasn't exactly been at the forefront. In fact, you could say Capcom has continued to miss the mark on that front.

When it comes to Resident Evil, Capcom has been criticised for its portrayal of Resident Evil: Code Veronica's Alfred Ashford. The antagonist of the 2000 game was described as a "cross-dressing freak", as the writers tried to do their own twist on Psycho and put Ashford in his sister's clothes. Since then, there's been the genderqueer Morpheus D. Duvall from Resident Evil: Dead Aim and Crispin Jettingham from Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City with a "don't ask, don't tell" backstory. Now, the director of Resident Evil Resistance has confirmed the character of Tyrone Henry was written as an openly gay man - we just might've missed the "openly" part of his sexuality. 

 

Why did Resident Evil make Tyrone gay?

Released in 2020, Resistance was a multiplayer addition to the remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis that pitched four players against each other in multiplayer madness. It received a mixed reception from critics, however, has just come back into the spotlight thanks to words from Game Director, Al Yang. Posting on Twitter in a series of tweets, Yang confirmed Tyrone Henry was written as a gay character. Explaining the decision, Yang wrote, "It's basically impossible to tell, but the character setting for Tyrone is that he is gay, but the goal was to write this without it becoming the sole basis of his character. The nature of PvP only games makes revealing this kind of info sometimes feel pretty abrupt".

Adding to the importance of writing a gay character without necessarily dressing them in a rainbow flag, Yang added, "I feel the problem with a lot of LGBT characterization is that it's their defining attribute (unless that is your intent for a particular reason). For me, it's not about writing a gay character, it's about a character that is also gay". Unfortunately, Yang admitted that a multiplayer game like Resistance doesn't offer the kind of extended campaign the main series of Resident Evil games does. It means a lot of the details the writers scoped out were lost in translation. Even if they might be missed by players, Yang said they're crucial to writers creating more rounded characters. 

 

Why are we only finding out about a gay Resident Evil character now?

Yang concluded by saying that aspects of Tyrone's sexuality simply weren't explored in Resistance's relatively limited script. Despite his best efforts, Yang admitted, "We don't have the luxury of having constant transmedia lore drops outside the game like Overwatch or League of Legends does, so in the end even though we wrote a bunch of lines reflecting this for Tyrone, they stood out and didn't feel natural as part of his dialogue rotation". 

Even though it's great news that the Resiverse is making a move to more LGBTQ+ inclusion, some might argue it feels a little shoehorned into Pride Month to make an announcement like this out of the blue. Others might be disappointed that it isn't a more prominent character in the series. Then again, for a franchise that has taken flack for its writing of LGBTQ+ characters, it's a step in the right direction. 

Despite Resident Evil Resistance's small place in an obscure corner of the franchise, there's every chance we could see Tyrone again. There's a lot going on with Capcom right now. As well as a live-action movie reboot, there's the Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness animated series and promises of Resident Evil 9. Could Tyrone be back to explore his sexuality further down the line? Now, all we need is Albert Wesker to come out as gay and run away with Tyrone. Let the fan fiction commence. 

 

Images via Capcom

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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