The Internet Reacts To Soldier 76 And His Ex-Boyfriend

Image: Overwatch

Tracer is no longer the only canonically LGBTQ hero in Overwatch. Today, Blizzard released a new short story focusing on steely sniper grandma Ana and grumpy military dad Soldier 76.

The latter, it turns out, used to be involved with a man named Vincent.

In the short story, titled “Bastet,” Ana encounters Soldier for the first time since an explosion destroyed the Swiss Overwatch headquarters, supposedly killing Soldier.

He’s wounded, however, from a tussle with BFF-turned-nemesis-in-a-Halloween-costume Gabriel Reyes, a.k.a. Reaper. While nursing him back to health in her hideout, Ana notices Soldier rifling through some old photos, one of which depicts Soldier standing next to a dark-haired man, with an arm around his shoulder. This takes her by surprise.

Vincent.

“Vincent… I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said.

“Still keeping a candle lit for him?”

Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”

“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,”

Ana said.

Jack glared at her.

“OK, touchy subject.”

Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”

Ana was unconvinced. In the early days, Jack talked about him often, floating a dream that the war would end quickly, and maybe he’d have a chance to return to a normal life.

But a normal life was never the reward for people like us.

“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”

“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?”

Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.

“At least you and Gabe managed to have families.”

The pair lapsed back into silence.

According to Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu, Soldier is gay. Tragically gay. The Overwatch community, of course, has been having a field day with this.

https://twitter.com/a/status/1082359277107347456

https://hunty-wunty.tumblr.com/post/181814284046/ana-hey-i-got-some-new-lore-and-possibly-a

https://gunpowderandspark.tumblr.com/post/181815700359/soldier-76-being-confirmed-as-a-member-of-the-lgbt

http://march-moon.tumblr.com/post/181814617343/hes-ours-now

http://stah-l.tumblr.com/post/181815080106/jack-morrison-said-gay-rights

http://sunnytilmae.tumblr.com/post/181815499545/i-honestly-dont-understand-how-the-new-short

https://parksnark.tumblr.com/post/181813758937/hunky-beefcake-exists-soldier-76-ive-got-you

http://rinnannon.tumblr.com/post/181813167930/soldier-76-voice-were-all-gay-now

Now that the two “faces” of the game are canonically queer, it’s only a matter of time until Blizzard makes official what fans already know to be true: that everybody else is gay, too.


Comments

    The cynic in me is wondering how long until the inevitable Kotaku (US) article about why every gay character always has a failed romance.

      Thought the same thing straight away. Theyll never be satisfied.

      Ohh careful saying anything negative or even remotely critical about the LGBTQ community. Kotaku loves to censor the shit out of it..

      I was thinking more how the bi dad joke was pretty solid

        Was surprised anything about the game could still give me a chuckle.

        The dad jokes are weird... cause he also just confessed he isnt a family man, he gave up on that idea to be the ever vigulant Soldier 76.

        Which raises an interesting point. Everyone's just immediately assumed he's gay, but very few have considered that he's bi or pansexual.

          i think they confirmed he gay specifically not bi

    Wow some off the comments from the "other side" are just as stupid as the people getting shitty about it.

      Yeah, it would seem that as a straight guy I'm supposed to be really pissed about this news or something.

      *shrug*

        That just means you're not hideously homophobic :)

        If something doesn't affect you it's probably not directed at you HTH

    Ehhh its an unimportant change for a largely unimportant game. Though I get two parts of the argument that stem from it coming out three years later. There are probably a decent amount of people from both "sides" that feel like this was a cheap effort and in line with a lot of the issues that plagued most of Marvels attempts at diversity. There are much better ways of doing it than retconning or simply leaving the story super ambiguous for this reason.

      I'm just a massive cynic and see it as a cheap way to get good press about the game. The game's been dropping in popularity due to a lot of poor balancing choices made over the last year. While Overwatch does have a pretty big tumblr following, appealing to that following isn't going to stem the reason why people are leaving overwatch.
      So I could understand why some people would take it the wrong way, that Blizzard is trying to fix the problems with diversity instead of actually fixing the game. It's really not a big thing but people are interpreting it as a signal of where Blizzard's priorities lie on the game.

        There's also all the recent controversy...

          My joke is awaiting moderation because i hit edit, but it probably works better here:

          Are we sure Soldier 76's partner isn't really a woman called Ellie?

    Damn. This truly makes me feel like I can relate to soldier now.

    Are we sure Soldier 76's partner isn't really a woman called Ellie?

    Last edited 08/01/19 1:30 pm

    Might as well just assume at this point that every character is either gay, lesbian or loves robots.

      I can't wait for it to be revealed that Zenyatta has an Omnic wife, personally.

    Game is dying, better roll out some 'controversial' news to try and generate some clicks\logins.

      Controversial only to a small insignificant portion of society

      try and generate some clicks\logins.
      How about you stop commenting and clicking on articles to set an example.

        "a small insignificant portion of society"

        Whether or not that's true (your opinion != fact), would really appreciate it if people toned down the air of condescension they use when talking about these issues to anyone who seems remotely resistant to the idea.

      People keep talking about how Overwatch is dying, and yet here I am in Australia (a country with a relatively small population compared to the other major gaming markets) finding matches in less than 5 minutes off-peak... generally in roughly the same amount of time it took to find matches a year ago.

      I really don't get where all these assertions that the game is dying are coming from, it seems to me that the playerbase is totally healthy.

    Does it matter? Good for him that he had someone at some point. I just hope he brings down Talon.

    I love it when gay dudes are depicted as dudes, and not just prettier, facial hair lacking men that are slightly more sensitive than their counterparts. I mean I know this was likely retconned in, but so would any other details about his life.

    How do we know specifically that his Ex partner identified as male? As far as we know they could have identified as female, thus not making Soldier gay or bi.

      Because a male identifying as a female does not make their partner "not-gay". You either like the D or you don't; what the person with said D calls themselves is irrelevant.

    Soldier 76 is gay for pay let's face it.
    I wonder if the LGBTQKFC123 community would be mad if there was a gay character made straight?
    This isn't going to help them ship more copies or anything.
    I'm just glad the gay community put up with the oh now he's gay btw style of storytelling, not better than him always having been gay and the studio taking risks from the start.
    Worse is the dragon age mass effect approach which is everyone and everything is born bi. Awaiting your character to make an entrance.

      It's only "he's gay BTW" because it's assumed everyone is straight until said otherwise. As far as I know nothing was said about his sexuality or past partners until now so it's not a "retcon".

    good for LGBTQ exposure sure but it still seems randomly shoe horned in for the sake of diversity.
    Especially for an online competitive shooter.

    Good on ya, Blizzard. I think my only bugbear with this article was the one or two peeps saying they should ALL be gay (yes, I know that didn't come from anyone @ blizzard), as that really isn't promoting diversity in the true sense of the word. I'd like to see some canonically bi (that's my team right there before anybody accuses me of some obscure way that I'm inadvertently gay hating or whatever that I'm unaware of) and straight characters confirmed by blizzard, if only to shut down the bloody shippers! Sorry, each to their own, but I find em utterly cringe. If it's your thing, good for you.

    TLDR: congrats Blizz, plz keep it truly diverse, shipping makes me nauseous, yada yada yada...

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