Do you think that Cloud is closet bisexual?

sy2pie

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sy2pie
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/HoYay/FinalFantasy

We know that Cloud and Sephiorth are the biggest yaoi bait in this franchise. However, some deleted dialogue from the games could shed more light on Cloud's budding sexuality. Apparently in some original dialogue he mentioned how he was so obsessed with Sephiroth he dreamed about him every night and it was even to the point his mother gave up on on him. It does probably hint that Cloud was supposed to have than an admiration for Sephiorth, but as an actual crush. That really does put a lot of subtext of their relationship into text.
Asexual. He had two near goddesses fighting over him and all we had was some implied nonsense.
 

Magnus

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Based on what we know? No. The game only lets us know that he is into Tifa and Aerith.

That being said, we live in a world where everyone is presumed heterosexual until proven otherwise. Even people who express no obvious interest in the opposite sex.

A lot of people got their panties in a bunch when J.K. Rowling confirmed Dumbledore to be homosexual. The backlash from bigots was to be expected, but there were also a lot of people who took issue with the fact that it "came out of nowhere" and felt like a retcon. But when you think about it, the reason behind the aforementioned reaction was based on the assumption that he wasn't and couldn't possibly have been LGBT prior to this.

Which is why, when it comes to fictional characters, I try to never rule anything out unless there's an official confirmation one way or the other.

If anything, Sephiroth is the bisexual one. He's the one who's obsessed with Cloud and is leading Cloud and Co. around everywhere. And then uses his obsession with Cloud to come back in ACC.
It does kind of mirror the relationship between Dio and Jonathan Joestar, where the former is confirmed to be bisexual and had an obsession with the latter. But I doubt that's intentional.
 
A lot of people got their panties in a bunch when J.K. Rowling confirmed Dumbledore to be homosexual. The backlash from bigots was to be expected, but there were also a lot of people who took issue with the fact that it "came out of nowhere" and felt like a retcon. But when you think about it, the reason behind the aforementioned reaction was based on the assumption that he wasn't and couldn't possibly have been LGBT prior to this.
I've never been into the Harry Potter fandom, so I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the issue about the reveal about Dumbledore's sexuality was that there wasn't really much to support it in the books (except him not being in a hetero relationship, I suppose), so it just came off as Rowling fishing for diversity points after the fact without taking the risk of really making it clear in the books.

But yeah, heteronormativity is definitely a factor in how people view fictional characters. Still, since it can be so pervasive, it's not surprising that people will assume it of the author, too, if nothing is made clear or hinted at one way or the other.
 
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Mr. Ite
I've never been into the Harry Potter fandom, so I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the issue about the reveal about Dumbledore's sexuality was that there wasn't really much to support it in the books (except him not being in a hetero relationship, I suppose), so it just came off as Rowling fishing for diversity points after the fact without taking the risk of really making it clear in the books.
Considering how she’s done it again and again since, yeah, total queer baiting. That said, with Dumbledore there are a couple of reasons why evidence like that might not have made it to the page:

1. The book is from the children’s perspectives, and none of the teachers’ romantic lives are mentioned except plot-relevant Snape.
2. It’s set in the 1990s when being an out teacher would have gotten you fired pretty much.
3. Dumbledore is so old he stopped caring about sex or romance long ago.

Now there are all good, except none of these are actually real, they’re all post-hoc theories from Rowling apologists. Boy did they feel stupid when in the new Grindelwald movie Rowling forgot Dumbledore and him were a couple, cause the whole movie skirts the issue... but of course she’s eager to talk about their “intense, passionate, love relationship” in interviews, reducing her queer representation to sex details in media commentary. Nice.

Regarding “normative” I am fully okay with assuming everyone is straight, monogamous, and medium height/build unless being told explicitly. I mean, that is most people, and it gets mega boring to read that over and over, and the alternative is to overwhelm your reader with more queer-and-out characters than a Gilbert & Sullivan Convention which... isn’t realistic, or else don’t bring it up and erase their queerness (and the representation) which defeats the point.

I am less okay with assuming every character is male and white so if we could make that more explicit in books we’ll probably start seeing a lot more race/gender diversity which plz can we
 
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Fancy
Considering how she’s done it again and again since, yeah, total queer baiting. That said, with Dumbledore there are a couple of reasons why evidence like that might not have made it to the page:
Right, I was going to say, had she stopped at Dumbledore or a little afterwards, I might've thought her genuine, but several retcons later, it was evident that she was saying whatever gave her 'credit' with her readers, which is a shame. It's no less cringey than inserting the "token black guy" in one's media in order to check off some minority quota.

"Look! Look how diverse and woke and aware we are!"

lmao foh, minorities and their experiences shouldn't be utilised as tools in order to make someone feel better about themselves or appear cooler. Nothing more jarring than catching a fauxgressive.
 
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Mr. Ite
Right, I was going to say, had she stopped at Dumbledore or a little afterwards, I might've thought her genuine, but several retcons later, it was evident that she was saying whatever gave her 'credit' with her readers, which is a shame. It's no less cringey than inserting the "token black guy" in one's media in order to check off some minority quota.

"Look! Look how diverse and woke and aware we are!"

lmao foh, minorities and their experiences shouldn't be utilised as tools in order to make someone feel better about themselves or appear cooler. Nothing more jarring than catching a fauxgressive.
1561399911828.jpeg

Try 👏🏻 Harder 👏🏻 Joanne 👏🏻
 
I don't think I understand.

Re Dumbledore, it came up when scripting one of the movies when the movie writer wanted him to talk about a lost love, and she noted his sexuality as an aside.

Then there was Hermione's casting, where JK basically said 'Hermione can be black if you want her to be'

Are there other stories I don't know about?
 

Roger

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Minato
I don't think I understand.

Re Dumbledore, it came up when scripting one of the movies when the movie writer wanted him to talk about a lost love, and she noted his sexuality as an aside.

Then there was Hermione's casting, where JK basically said 'Hermione can be black if you want her to be'

Are there other stories I don't know about?
I'm pretty sure Dumbledore's sexuality got brought up a bit earlier then that. The other recent story is the claim that Nagani, Voldemort's snake, was an Asian lady all along. It is pretty leftfield.

Additionally, there was a story about how wizards got rid of extrement before Muggle toilet existed that has gotten around recently (it's been on Pottermore for years but it just recently started to make the rounds.)
 

Makoeyes987

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Smooth Criminal
Additionally, there was a story about how wizards got rid of extrement before Muggle toilet existed that has gotten around recently (it's been on Pottermore for years but it just recently started to make the rounds.)
That's when I knew to never take what she said seriously ever again.

She's fucking loony toons.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
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Smooth Criminal
On another more positive note, did you hear about how FFVI actually was the first Final Fantasy to have not just a black main character, but a trans, gay woman of color as part of the cast?

Amano and Sakaguchi confirmed that's what Gogo the mimic was! They couldn't show it due to Gogo being hidden under robes and stuff as a mimic but now we know! Isn't that cool??!!

They really pushed the envelope in portraying such a unique character back in the early 90s huh???
 
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Mr. Ite
It’s unfortunate that Quina is such a clown, because his/her non-binary nature is made very explicit. It’s also good that it’s never even brought up or worried about, so that (compared to his/her other non-normative traits) it’s not that big a deal.

Representation that is both a) explicit and b) not a big deal is the bomb. Add in c) not given to a joke character and we’re in real business.
 
At risk of further derailment, do you have a source for that?
https://www.insider.com/fantastic-beasts-jk-rowling-dumbledore-lgbt-backlash-2018-2

She was asked a direct question about Dumbledore's love life, and answered it, it's not like it came out of nowhere or was brought up for no reason.

Hermione's casting also came up due to a stage production, where she was defending the casting of Hermione as a black actress.
. It wasn't randomly brought up for wokeness cred, something happened that brought the question up. The excrement thing is even plot relevant, because how could a chamber that predates modern plumbing be concealed in a bathroom?
 

Magnus

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Considering how she’s done it again and again since, yeah, total queer baiting.
What does that have to do with anything? My intention was not to start a conversation about Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling, but rather to talk about people's knee-jerk reactions to the initial reveal that Dumbledore was gay. Whatever she's done with this franchise since is quite frankly irrelevant to the point I was trying to make.

The book is from the children’s perspectives, and none of the teachers’ romantic lives are mentioned except plot-relevant Snape.
Which is why none of it is mentioned in the books and why it wasn't brought up until she was asked about it some time later. Again, the point was that no one would have had such a negative reaction had she said he had an ex-wife or had an on-off relationship with an unnamed female colleague. And this is a problem.

It’s set in the 1990s when being an out teacher would have gotten you fired pretty much.
Not to dwell too long on this subject, but he was the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I think we can allow for some suspension of disbelief here.

Regarding “normative” I am fully okay with assuming everyone is straight, monogamous, and medium height/build unless being told explicitly. I mean, that is most people, and it gets mega boring to read that over and over, and the alternative is to overwhelm your reader with more queer-and-out characters than a Gilbert & Sullivan Convention which... isn’t realistic, or else don’t bring it up and erase their queerness (and the representation) which defeats the point.

I am less okay with assuming every character is male and white so if we could make that more explicit in books we’ll probably start seeing a lot more race/gender diversity which plz can we
But that's not what I was getting at. Some people have an issue accepting that anyone who isn't immediately announced as LGBT could be anything but straight. And that includes characters that have shown no signs of being interested in the opposite sex. It's not about whether or not they're likely to be. Some people will still assume that they simply must be, because reasons.

This issue comes up again and again when discussing characters that aren't explicitly queer-coded. I made it a point to mention that Cloud is most likely not bisexual, for the very reason you mentioned. I don't find any compelling evidence to suggest he could be and statistics tell me he's probably not. On the other hand, you also have people who would outright dismiss the idea that a character they've always assumed to be straight simply isn't, not based on evidence but plain old prejudice. A character who is LGBT but not confirmed as such until much later does not need to have their minority status foreshadowed in any way. Real life doesn't work like that.

If you want to talk about statistics, it's certainly true that most people are heterosexual - or at the very least on that end of the spectrum if measured using the Kinsey scale. But if we were to apply real life logic to video games, and it seems we are, it would also make total sense that there are at least a couple of notable characters in each game, be it heroes or villains, who are LGBT and we just don't know it. And I'm not talking about characters whose sexual or gender identity are played up solely for the sake of cheap laughs. As such, speculating about who could be is a totally valid discussion to have.

There's barely any proper sexual or gender minority representation in Final Fantasy. Fang and Vanille probably come the closest, but even then Square Enix won't come out and say it and you'll have lots of people trying to argue it's just in some people's imagination even though there's actual evidence to support the theory that they're a couple even if not conclusive.

And if we look at other media, there are people out there who deny that Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice are a couple even though it's clear as day. Likewise, people assumed Bill from the Last of Us was straight even though the game gave you enough clues to figure out he wasn't. Same with Kung Jin from Mortal Kombat X. In both cases, the writers had to confirm it on Twitter because sadly a lot people refused to believe or acknowledge it otherwise. It's a weird mentality, but one that is surprisingly common.
 
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Mr. Ite
Errr I wasn’t responding to you, pal. And I certainly don’t feel like engaging in further debate if you’re bringing up the Kinsey Scale as state of the art social theory.

Media is not real life, and while actors and writers can enjoy three dimensional characters that don’t explicitly translate to the screen, if they are failing to communicate that representation, then they are not representing. If my uncle can watch the same movie/game and not know the character is LGBT, then it is not explicit. Word of god means a big wet fart as far as I’m concerned. Make it explicit, or it’s fanfic.
 
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Some people have an issue accepting that anyone who isn't immediately announced as LGBT could be anything but straight. And that includes characters that have shown no signs of being interested in the opposite sex. It's not about whether or not they're likely to be. Some people will still assume that they simply must be, because reasons.
The fanfiction community does its best to redress the balance.

Fang and Vanille probably come the closest, but even then Square Enix won't come out and say it and you'll have lots of people trying to argue it's just in some people's imagination even though there's actual evidence to support the theory that they're a couple even if not conclusive.
Some people think the earth is flat and some people are anti-vaxxers. There's an awful lot of stupid in the world.
 
The way y'all were talking, I thought every other month she was outing the likes of Amelia Bones and Cornelius Fudge.

JKR actually stands out to me as being generally good at representation, in that things like mixed gender Quidditch teams or black super Auror and later Minister for Magic Kingsley are baked into the setting and not made a fuss over. The Cormoran Strike novels are even better.

Word of god means a big wet fart as far as I’m concerned. Make it explicit, or it’s fanfic.
I can see that point of view, but if someone feels represented by Dumbledore, should we take that away from them by not calling it 'real'representation? Oscar Isaac played Poe with a crush on Finn, and a lot of people latched onto that despite it not being in the script or direction as far as we know. This kind of thing does have an impact, even if better representation would of course be an improvement.

Explicitness in the novel would be tricky, as 'I loved him' would probably be misinterpreted as platonic and Dumbledore going into detail to Harry would be really really weird.
 
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Mr. Ite
I can see that point of view, but if someone feels represented by Dumbledore, should we take that away from them by not calling it 'real'representation?
Excellent point. For all those it helped, I’m thrilled. I suppose I am more used to bigoted distant family members ogling characters like Xena while in their real lives condemning ‘them dyke parades’ and I’m just like... *facepalm*

In my experience, it is so very common that hiding/obscuring/queer representation reinforces the bias that queerness is an outlier rather than something ubiquitous in all societies. This may be a matter of perspective, because the lives saved by even word-of-god representation may not reach my notice in the same way.

On Poe, man I didn’t know Isaac was actually playing that!! Awesome. He communicated that very clearly ;) ...until The Last Jedi gave it the middle finger with a Poe/Rey meet-cute (man, what didn’t Last Jedi give the middle finger to? Rian I guess) the Internet was pretty well decided that it was true. But again, the fact that it wasn’t explicit opened the door for it to be shut down — not only in the perspective of unwilling audience members, but by unwilling sequel writers as well.
 

Magnus

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Errr I wasn’t responding to you, pal. And I certainly don’t feel like engaging in further debate if you’re bringing up the Kinsey Scale as state of the art social theory.
Why the hostility? Surely I am allowed to chime in even when a reply isn't directed specifically at me, especially when it's about something that I brought up in the first place?

I only brought up the Kinsey scale because human sexuality is complex and not as black and white as some people seem to think. That doesn't mean I personally think it's the be-all and end-all way to measure it. I could just as easily have said "most people lean closer towards identifying as heterosexual than anything else".

If my uncle can watch the same movie/game and not know the character is LGBT, then it is not explicit. Word of god means a big wet fart as far as I’m concerned. Make it explicit, or it’s fanfic.
Not necessarily. Like I said, not everyone who played The Last of Us realised that Bill was gay, despite Ellie finding gay porn at his place and him talking about his partner. Him being gay shouldn't literally have to be spelled out for it to count. I'd argue that not only does he make for proper representation, but good representation at that. Likewise, explicit representation is not good by default. Atlus has a tendency of putting bad and sometimes downright offensive stereotypes of LGBT people in their Persona games. Like the overly effeminate but also predatory gay couple in Persona 5.

The fanfiction community does its best to redress the balance.
It'd be nice if there was more proper LGBT representation in the first place so that people would have to look to fanfiction to find some.
 
Are no gay people ever sexually predatory? I mean, in real life sexuality isn't a personality trait; treating it as if it were is what leads to stereotypes in the first place. You can be gay and also a shitty person. They're two discrete circles in the Venn diagram, and sometimes they overlap. I guess the problem arises when the implication is that a character is a shitty person because they're gay/not straight, which is obviously nonsense.

I do get the point that some people tend to automatically assume everybody is straight. So, if a character's sexuality/sex life/relationship status is not relevant to a story, what would be a good way of introducing this fact about the character that would feel natural and unforced, rather than coming out of the blue and for no reason? To take Dumbledore as an example, at what point should this fact about him have been dropped into the mind of the reader, and in what context, and by which character or characters? Should McGonagall have dropped in some reference to his youthful love affair while discussing him with Hagrid, for example?

Actually, you know, fanfiction really is the perfect cure for that habit of mind which just assumes all characters are straight unless told otherwise.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
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Smooth Criminal
I wanted to chime in and say one other thing about the nature of inclusion and portraying queer individuals in media.

For me, the only time I'm okay with low-key, implicit portrayals, is if the actions taken by the individuals were done by a straight couple, a viewer would naturally assume they were either in love, flirting, or more. That their portrayal would not even be a question, if it were a man and a woman.

If it's something that's so obvious and staring you in the face, regardless of if it's stated or not, it answers it's own question. And if queer people identify and embrace it, the job's done.
 

Strangelove

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hitoshura
Are no gay people ever sexually predatory? I mean, in real life sexuality isn't a personality trait; treating it as if it were is what leads to stereotypes in the first place. You can be gay and also a shitty person. They're two discrete circles in the Venn diagram, and sometimes they overlap. I guess the problem arises when the implication is that a character is a shitty person because they're gay/not straight, which is obviously nonsense.
i think it's a problem with the history and legacy of how these characters have been portrayed, rather than a singular character in isolation. it'd be another thing if there were other characters to act as a counterbalance or contrast or just to give a wider range of representations, but often you just get the one. and if it keeps just being 'this is the gay character and they're predatory' then that's shitty. especially since these are stereotypes that people have in real life and impact the way actual people are treated (such as arguing against gay people working with children or adopting because of the notion that they are sexually predatory and thus a danger, or as the basic of 'gay panic' legal defences).
 

Magnus

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Japan has a history of poor LGBT representation in video games, usually boiling down to either harmful stereotypes, fetishisation for a straight audience or just being flat out ignored. Portraying gay people are being prone to prey on children is the equivalent of portraying Jews as greedy or black people as inherently violent. No one is saying a character who just happens to be LGBT can't also have flaws not related to their minority status, but I feel like it's not too much to demand most portrayals of a marginalised community that's subject to a lot of oppression in real life to be on the positive side. Outside of Final Fantasy XIV recognising and celebrating same-sex marriage, the series barely has any LGBT representation to speak of. With that in mind it's not all that strange to see people speculate and sometimes reach a bit to find the next best thing - characters who are ambiguous enough to maybe consider representing your community. Again, I'm not sure if Cloud fits that bill but characters such as Bartz, Faris, Kuja, Haurchefant and Ignis certainly do. And of course Fang and Vanille, who sleep together and just act like a couple in general.
 
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