Xbox Live Sadly No Place For Lesbian Gamers

(Former) Xbox Live gamer Teresa found herself on the receiving end of a ban from the service for a surprising reason. She identified herself as a lesbian in her Live profile.

That resulted in a ban from the service after her Xbox Live peers complained about her profile, according to a letter to the Consumerist.

It's not like we haven't heard this before. Microsoft has issued bans to players in the past for expressing their sexual preferences in Gamertags, but this is the first we've heard of profile info at the root cause of being kicked off Live.

Microsoft has gone on record in the past about its policy, saying that it's not limited to Gamertags of homosexual nature.

"Yes 'TheStraighterGamer' or 'TheHeterosexualgamer' would have gotten the same treatment and would have been found to be in violation and forced to be changed," wrote Microsoft reps following previous incidents.

Perhaps more alarming than someone being banned for their expression of sexual preference was how this particular gamer was treated by the gaming public.

Teresa tells the Consumerist "I was harassed by several players, 'chased' to different maps/games to get away from their harassment. They followed me into the games and told all the other players to turn me in because they didn't want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap."

Five minutes worth of interaction with the general Xbox Live population will get the point across—they don't care for "the gays." But does the policy go too far in one sense, not far enough in another?

Identifying Yourself As A Lesbian Gets You Banned On XBOX Live [Consumerist]

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Comments

    Unfortunately, they would never choose to ban homophobes instead/as well because they would lose at least half of the LIVE players.

    "or their kids to see that crap." - this alarmed me as it's not just teenage kids (who think everything bad is "gay") but adults. Then I realised the current level of parenting in the western world today and despair came and publicly arrested my alarm, man handling it into an unmarked black van and telling me "there's nothing to see here".

    Putting your sexual preferences, religious beliefs or political point of view on a gamertag profile is completely unnecessary.

    I agree with Tom - she did this just for the publicity. If you are a real gamer, whose real intent is to game and not to advertise the fact you are gay, then you'll just pick a gamertag/screenname that doesnt include that phrase. For gods sake, when are people going to stop being so PC and stop ramming things down our throats. I dont care that you are a lesbian, but you CLEARLY do, and you are so determined to make sure that I know it. Its pathetic really - what was wrong with a tag like "girlgamer" or "coolgirlfighter" etc??

    Same goes for people who put swear words, or variants of swear words

    I think a point is being missed - an Xbox Live profile may not be the place for a sexual preference, but it's also not a place where it needs to be punished for being expressed.

    I don't think it's a matter of Teresa chasing publicity, because for anybody living a homosexual lifestyle it's exactly that: part of your life. Like putting butter on your toast or socks on before your shoes it's just not something that you ever expect to be a big deal in the modern day when you're dealing with adults, or even teenagers.

    Xbox Live is certainly lacking a mature population, granted, but this is getting to such a stage that I'm losing quite a bit of respect for Microsoft due to the manner in which it's being handled. As a company, surely the responsibility has to be taken up at some point in time to simply cross their arms and say "Tough luck." to some complaints?

    Or is it their responsibility to punish everyone that is complained about, rather than everyone who actually does something wrong?

    I'm sorry, but the logic behind the policy seems completely absent and I don't believe that it's anything but a case of a weak spine and a potential inability to recognize people who are lodging complaints simply out of a lack of personal decency and hunger for more incidents like this.

    The fact is, her sexuality is not offensive and even if you feel that it's not necessary in a gamer tag or profile, it also isn't hurting anyone. My own gamertag references the Tunguska explosion - something totally unrelated to Xbox Live, unoffensive (to the best of my knowledge), but still no reason for me to be banned, no matter how many people complain.

    Also agree with Tom, there are plenty of other avenues in life to express your preferences what ever they me be.

    Choosing to do so in a forum that strictly bans just that sort of thing is pure glory hounding. The ironic thing is, M$ bans that sort of thing to prevent the sort of abuse and hounding the person suffered.

    While we're on the subject of villification though, can we please get over this immediate identification of Live gamers as loud and abusive homophobes. I've had those experiences, but in four years on Xbox Live they make up less than five percent of my overall experience.

    Love the irony AJ
    "Can we please get over this immediate identification of Live gamers as loud and abusive homophobes"
    Which was preceded by
    "M$ bans that sort of thing to prevent the sort of abuse and hounding the person suffered"

    It's the fact that someone gets hounded for such an innocuous thing as listing her sexual orientation in her 'profile' (which in and of itself is something people have to drill down into to actually read) which profiles Live as being home to abusive bored imbeciles with nothing better to do that scour profiles to find the unclean and unwanted.

    Anywhere, anytime someone gets victimised for personal preferences that are neither illegal or harmful it is the obligation of any educated decent society to recognise and defend that person’s rights.

    Anyone that has an issue with someone’s beliefs and/or practices can just click on the block button and move on. Any business or entity that enforces the suppression/oppression of someone’s legal right to freedom of expression should be taken to task.

    This isn’t being overtly ‘PC’ it is common decency.

    Banning people and avoiding any discussion on the matter because the topic is too taboo and may cause a ruckus with certain vocal, misguided (‘think of the children’) moral fanatics IS being horribly ‘PC’.

    Political Correctness gone wrong is when people hide behind gross generalisations and sweeping statements, putting their fingers in their ears whilst sing ‘la la la’ hoping no will notice they don’t really care about anyone but themselves and not looking stupid. Political Correctness driven by fear is something that eats away at the core of a society’s ability to respond effectively to bigotry and prejudice.

    If she want's to be able to say whe is a lesbian on her profile, then I want to say I like sleeping with women with large breasts. My sexual preference is just as valid as hers, and should be expressed just as loudly.

    ****

    @Tom: Why, exactly, is it unnecessary to include that information? It's not exactly warranted, I'll give you that. But why can't I put my sexual orientation, politics or religious belief in my profile? It's a space reserved for information regarding myself, that I believe pertinent to myself as a gamer and an individual, so why the heck not?

    Also, correct me if I'm off-base here, but can another player's gamertag or profile information (which requires you to go out of your way to view) truly impugn your gaming experience? I'll concede, you might be caught off-guard by an amusing or strange gamertag and give you a moments hesitation. But what about beyond that? What effect does it have? How does it ruin the fun of those that view it?

    This is especially important considering it was in her profile, not her gamertag. If her ingame name was 'LesbianGamer', it might be offensive to *some* people (read: people far too easily offended to be playing 90% of the games hosted by LIVE). But her profile? How does that affect gameplay? How does that effect anyone?

    Ultimately, it wasn't the wisest thing to do when you're dealing with a population known to be homophobic and proactive about such vile activities as server stalking. The suspension of her LIVE account isn't even all that shocking. But to say that she doesn't have a right to mention in her profile that she's a lesbian, or that the information is somehow detrimental to our enjoyment of the LIVE experience, is no better than those puerile morons that abused her in the first place.

    @AJ: While only 5% of the LIVE population (and indeed, it's probably even less than that) are loud, abusive and racist or homophobic, they tend to be the most infuriatingly outspoken. As they say, the smallest groups tend to be the loudest.

    As much as I hate Microsoft I must agree with them here. To have something as stupid as "LesbianSexILoveWomen4EVA" as a gamertag or something similar is just asking for trouble. They do not discourage gays or lesbians, but its also not appropriate for one to put that in their gamertags or to even share that view with other gamers over Xbox Live.

    I have nothing against gay people but I HATE it when they try and push that shit onto everyone else. Be as gay as you like. I have no problem with that, but as soon as two guys start making out in my plain view then have every right as a heterosexual to be disgusted. I'm all for freedom of choice/speech, but that doesnt mean for a second its natural. Lung cancer isnt natural either, but I still support those who wish to smoke.

    I can't disagree more with Tom. Simply put this woman said she was gay, and hence was banned because of that. Unacceptable behavour no matter what the justification. I bet all these people saying that it's not a big deal would be up in arms if Microsoft started banning people who put their ethnicity in profiles.

    M$ sucks. seriously, what the hell. shit like this is why i hate my 260

    @ Tom, Your comment isn't necessary. Doesn't mean you shouldn't make it or that anyone will try to stop you though. Why can't someone express something that is important to them in their profile?
    DansDans, the comment was on her profile, not in her gamertag. It's pretty immature to say this action was taken 'for the publicity' - how can you sum up someones motives by reading the headline and skimming over this article?
    Microsoft need to wake the fuck up and stop acting like idiots - we live in an open society and people need to realise you're going to bump into people different than you, who have different values and beliefs than you. I don't want to single out Americans because I'm sure there are plenty of intelligent ones too - but all the world ever sees is you bitching about people different than you.

    Ever conciderd she put Lesbian on her profile to keep away the tide of sleazy males ... although that may actualy make it worse :\

    This is still sexual discrimination, saying that you would ban 'straightgamer' as well is just missing the point. Being gay is a heavy identifier with many homosexuals because dealing with confusion or finding your place among your peers. Because of this, many gay men and women have very strong feelings about their sexuality and it defines a large part of who they are.

    It's bad enough to have to listen to idiots crying foul over marti gras for 'rubbing sexuality in their faces.' This is an entry in someones personal profile, and can be nothing more than an act of bigotry.

    @The Reason

    Why don't you read the article again? At no point was her sexual preference referenced in her gamertag. The only reference to her being a lesbian was solely within her profile.

    Of course you compare homosexuality to cancer, so you're just a closet bigot, even if you aren't fully aware of it yourself. And if you think otherwise maybe you need to think about just what you're saying here.

    oh come off it mabye she said something stupid in her profile like i spank womens butts(most likely not but you get the jist) or mabye she was playing something like cod 2 and halo 3 games notrouise for haveing loud mouthed rebulicans rednecks

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