What influenced the devs to make Tracer a lesbian?

Note: I have nothing against LGBT+ characters or individuals.

When I first ever saw OW being played and it’s lore, I was quite curious. The first thing to catch my attention was Tracer on the cover, alike Heavy in TF2. So so months go by from late 2015, seeing how OW lore is going quite well. Then (I can’t exactly remember when) it was (maybe?) the first Christmas of OW. The comics got released and then we saw it.

The illustration of Lena Oxton kissing Emily.

Blizzard, I don’t mind that Tracer or any character of yours is LGBT+. I’m just simply curious with what influenced you to make this decision.

Was it the media and how society has been pushing for LGBT+ communities to be accepted?

Is it because a member of your team is LGBT+?

You don’t have to directly respond, but if you do, please don’t attack me. I’m just simply curious as to what did influence the team to say “Yes, we want Tracer to be a lesbian.”

Edit: Oh my, wow. This has gotten a lot of traction again. I don’t ever intend with this post to say that it’s a bad thing they made Tracer lesbian, rather wondering why they made specifically Tracer the lesbian/LGBTQ+ character.


Such a delicate subject.
Its such a hard thing to get right.


Because they were like:
Blizzard: We need a gay character
Blizz Employee: How about Tracer
Blizzard: Good enough


At one point you just needed a token…


I know it may be old news, but on the old forums, people weren’t curious, just either praising or hating the choice.

First, they needed a gay character for PR purposes, while still keeping the conservative playerbase unalienated. Lesbians get more acceptance and sympathy in general, so Tracer was an ideal choice. Being the box cover hero, it would also be considered a “bold” move.


I mean, LGBT folks exist so why not give us a little representation that’s cannon and not just a headcannon/ship thing?

I’m sure there is probably LGBT folks on the Blizz team as well, seeing as, well, some people are LGBT.


Why does it have to be to appease someone? Why can’t it just be because gay people exist in real-life, and so it makes sense to have them in Overwatch?


It was a bold move. The act of a company with extreme success that decided to do this is quite extreme. Not bad, just very out there.

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Oh and 404 inb…
and have fun with a ban…

Because most companies do things to appeal to a player-base/consumer base. It can vastly help a company if they get it right.

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It’s cheating, you can literally ask about any decision made by a company and answer with this.

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But you, in your own post, asked if it was because a member of the Overwatch team was queer. So, you’re accepting the possibility of it not being to appeal to the consumer, but still you go down the route of appeasing people. Just seems odd.


It doesn’t seem extreme at all. The depictions of non-LGBT relationships are still overwhelmingly considered and portrayed as the norm across all media, Overwatch included. I fail to see how occasionally displaying LGBT folks as normal people in normal relationships – in the case of Tracer tacit acknowledgement – is an affront to non-LGBT people to the extent that they declare it extreme.

Are we as straight folks so fragile that the occasional inclusion of non-straight things is regarded as a tool of our victimization?


It’s true.
I don’t blame them.
But she is their mascot.
She being gay leads to higher sales value.


I do accept that possibility. I’m fine if it’s that. It’s just that majority of choices like this are for pleasing a portion of consumers.

Pretty true. Plus, as I said earlier, lesbians don’t get as much flak, so you can see they took the option with lesser risk.


i want to believe that the influence is that they had this on their mind for a while-- tracer having a romantic partner, and not for monetary reasons or a ‘token’

they probably went through it and decided that she would have a girlfriend because it made the most sense for her as a character

perhaps she was based off of someone they knew and the person in question had a gf-- anything can go into the process


With how often this topic comes up, I’d say give the PR team who made this decision a pay raise. The clearly nailed it.

Wouldn’t be too surprised if at some point they start adding in character bios in the hero gallery with Name, Age, Sexual orientation, and general background story.

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