Baine Bloodhoof Should be Gay and Here’s Why

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I enjoy manga/anime while being 0% "represented" by the characters in it. If you can't handle consuming any media that doesn't look and think exactly like you, maybe you should make your own?


First of, that is such an infeasible option for most due to either lack of skill, lack of will(seriously many people do what to do other things with their lives) or even the just lack of opportunity. Second, if we are no longer allowed to criticize media for what we feel are failing of said media then I say we just close the entire story forums and be done with it.

10/21/2018 05:25 PMPosted by Mellow
They aren't "making a statement". No one is being excluded/ attacked/ or whatever. They aren't required to represent real life demographics in a fantasy setting, nor should they be.


No they are not required but at the same time nothing says they CAN'T/that they shouldnt be making a statement. Hell, Hearthstone once made a tweet supporting gay marriage.

Add to that, Blizzard's mission statement has "lead RESPONSIBLY" and "think GLOBALLY" as core of tenets and if anything excluding people is something they general avoid(unless if the story absolutely must be told with said exclusion, like say Starcraft's story)
10/21/2018 05:25 PMPosted by Mellow
They aren't "making a statement". No one is being excluded/ attacked/ or whatever. They aren't required to represent real life demographics in a fantasy setting, nor should they be.


I never said they were required, but you can’t just eliminate all implication from a work because it wasn’t intended. That’s not how implication works, hence why we have phrases like ‘unfortunate implications’. Pointing out that any text is inherently political isn’t some kind of accusation, it’s just the face-value assertion that humans are humans. For reference, see literally any internet discussion board that talks fiction. This story forum will work just fine, too, if the breakdowns of Vietnamese ethics in war or Stalin’s relative level of atrocity are any indication. Thins get heated enough here, over Elf and Orc politics, for people to insult each other as real people with things like ‘morally stunted’.

The extreme rarity of homosexuals in WoW, even as a proportion of explicit relationships, is unrealistically low. Saying we can’t draw conclusions from that detail, when we can argue over one line of text from some random ogre for 500 posts, is kind of strange. It might make some people uncomfortable I guess, but is that really the fault of the gay people using the forum?
10/21/2018 05:44 PMPosted by Yersynia

I never said they were required, but you can’t just eliminate all implication from a work because it wasn’t intended. That’s not how implication works, hence why we have phrases like ‘unfortunate implications’. Pointing out that any text is inherently political isn’t some kind of accusation, it’s just the face-value assertion that humans are humans.


It does become an accusation when you decide a work has an anti-homosexual element purely by virtue of not having any homosexual characters in it. That is the step too far.

Not having something in the work is a purely neutral position. To have the unfortunate implications you're suggesting it would need to portray homosexuality as something negative. If it doesn't then the work isn't implying anything, you're inferring something on your own, and no writer can control what you subjectively infer from every little detail of their writing.

Also the people accusing Blizzard of being pro-genocide aren't the best thing to base how proper, reasonable discourse about a fictional work should occur.
I say he shouldn't. Game has enough tokens as is.
It does become an accusation when you decide a work has an anti-homosexual element purely by virtue of not having any homosexual characters in it.


That is not what I am saying, however. I am saying that the disproportionate absence of homosexual characters is inherently a statement about what is normal in terms of sexual distribution - that is neither negative nor positive, it’s just a matter of numbers. That is not an accusation of anti-homosexual bias, just of oversight. That oversight is political, however, because that’s how politics works - this is a charged topic.

You can have perfectly fine people doing perfectly fine work, with no intent of politics, and still end up stumbling onto rocky ground. I accuse nobody of anything, because I am not making a point about Blizzard’s ethics, but rather responding to the charge that WoW does not need any homosexual representation because not everything needs to be political.

The argument that was being employed is to try and position inclusion as some kind of egregious political tactic, which is grossly inappropriate. However, rather than try to argue that there is no political element (which is stupid, because people get killed over this even where I live), I have responded by pointing out that this argument is invalid as the positioning of WoW as some kind of apolitical entity is false.

Especially when nobody is asking for anything insidiously political, they’d just like it if Baine Bloodhoof was a gay guy. If that is insidiously political to you (‘you’ is here used as a general term), we might just have to agree we won’t make much productive ground here.
10/21/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Kisin

Not having something in the work is a purely neutral position. To have the unfortunate implications you're suggesting it would need to portray homosexuality as something negative. If it doesn't then the work isn't implying anything, you're inferring something on your own, and no writer can control what you subjectively infer from every little detail of their writing.

I really understand what you're saying, and I get your point. But deliberately leaving out gay ppl (for example) in a long-standing and ever expanding narrative IS political. The very idea that there is a "default" when it comes to people and orientation IS a political idea. Just because it's the most popular doesn't make it inherently neutral.

Especially when you consider the ways in which gay people are marginalized, their experiences erased, and voices ignored. The status quo is not apolitical - we are just raised to believe that.
10/21/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Yersynia

That is not what I am saying, however. I am saying that the disproportionate absence of homosexual characters is inherently a statement about what is normal in terms of sexual distribution - that is neither negative nor positive, it’s just a matter of numbers. That is not an accusation of anti-homosexual bias, just of oversight. That oversight is political, however, because that’s how politics works - this is a charged topic.


Can you prove it's disproportionate, though? This is a very small chunk of the global population we're talking about, and very few works have more than a hundred named characters, the vast majority of which will never have their sexuality revealed to begin with. Statistically speaking, there's a better case to be made for less homosexual characters than more.

Additionally, you'd need to hold every work to that same standard for every group that might want representation. That means every author would need to have a gay character, a trans character, a black character, a Chinese character, a dyslexic character, etc etc in order to not have any "unfortunate implications". That's impossible to ask.

Which is why not having a member of a specific group present in a story is a neutral position. You need to go out of your way to add representation or add negative connotations to a work, but it requires zero effort to not add anything at all.

You can have perfectly fine people doing perfectly fine work, with no intent of politics, and still end up stumbling onto rocky ground. I accuse nobody of anything, because I am not making a point about Blizzard’s ethics, but rather responding to the charge that WoW does not need any homosexual representation because not everything needs to be political.


The issue is you are making that accusation by saying that not having representation for a certain demographic means you have anti-group implications in the work that should be frowned on.

Especially when nobody is asking for anything insidiously political, they’d just like it if Baine Bloodhoof was a gay guy. If that is insidiously political to you (‘you’ is here used as a general term), we might just have to agree we won’t make much productive ground here.


It can be difficult for people to see where the Liberal agenda ends and genuine desire for representation begins, unfortunately. And a lot of the louder liberal voices people run into on the internet are not... Especially kind to those that don't adhere perfectly to their political alignment. This in turn makes many moderates feel frustrated whenever something vaguely political comes up, which unfortunately includes representation. So they instinctively oppose it.

That being said, there are two good reasons to not make Baine specifically gay.

1. It would turn him into a horrible stereotype of a gay man. This is because the character is passive, submissive, and spineless. Saying he's also gay would be an unfortunate implication worthy of calling out, at least in my mind.

2. The writers seem to have plans for him courting Mayla, which means he was probably conceptualized as straight.
10/21/2018 06:27 PMPosted by Hydrar

I really understand what you're saying, and I get your point. But deliberately leaving out gay ppl (for example) in a long-standing and ever expanding narrative IS political. The very idea that there is a "default" when it comes to people and orientation IS a political idea. Just because it's the most popular doesn't make it inherently neutral.

Especially when you consider the ways in which gay people are marginalized, their experiences erased, and voices ignored. The status quo is not apolitical - we are just raised to believe that.


That's the thing though. You'd need to prove the writer was being deliberate in their refusal to add a gay character. Writers don't typically go down a list of characters and choose sexualities for each one. At least I don't.

This means that a character is only addressed as gay if the writer had some purpose for it. Same with announcing a character is straight. Unless the story calls for a guy with a girlfriend you'd never actually know if the character was straight or not.

Until a character is deemed one way or another they just kind of are. There is no "default" in this case. It's... I guess a Schrodinger's Cat of sexuality.
I just don't get why a subgroup(gays etc.) that are less than 1% percent of the worlds population need represention in every form of media, especially when the overwhelming majority are straight and either aren't interested in seeing it or don't care enough to want it.

But that's just me.
10/21/2018 07:25 PMPosted by Píppen
I just don't get why a subgroup(gays etc.) that are less than 1% percent of the worlds population need represention in every form of media, especially when the overwhelming majority are straight and either aren't interested in seeing it or don't care enough to want it.

But that's just me.

There are much more gay people than 1% of the population. There are more gay people than even 10% of the population. You are around more gay people every day of your life than you realize. I guarantee that.

Do you know why you think there are so much fewer gay people than there actually are in the world? Part of it is because we aren't adequately represented. This is just one of the many reasons representation is important.

That being said, there are two good reasons to not make Baine specifically gay.

1. It would turn him into a horrible stereotype of a gay man. This is because the character is passive, submissive, and spineless. Saying he's also gay would be an unfortunate implication worthy of calling out, at least in my mind.

2. The writers seem to have plans for him courting Mayla, which means he was probably conceptualized as straight.

This is such a weird hill for you to die on. Fight to the death to prevent gay characters from entering your game if you must, but try taking a step back and really ask yourself why? Is it really because you think he'd be a stereotype? Be honest with yourself. In WHAT world is Baine a gay stereotype?

10/21/2018 07:17 PMPosted by Kisin

That's the thing though. You'd need to prove the writer was being deliberate in their refusal to add a gay character. Writers don't typically go down a list of characters and choose sexualities for each one. At least I don't.

This story has been going on for almost 15 years and countless straight people / relationships have been depicted, but never a gay one. It's not a hard thing to add, and it's not a coincidence that there aren't any.
That means every author would need to have a gay character, a trans character, a black character, a Chinese character, a dyslexic character, etc etc in order to not have any "unfortunate implications". That's impossible to ask.


Not really. If the work is set in a place where the presence of a ‘full’ cast, as an interim term, would be out of place, then it’s just not reasonable. But WoW is so huge and wide-reaching that it isn’t unreasonable to ask for a greater homosexual presence. And it would not conflict with anything in the narrative. There’s no demand here, just an expression of reasonable desire. If you think ‘where does it end?’ is a reasonable basis to deny that then that’s not really an argument I feel is worthwhile to hold - I can pick my battles, lord knows there are enough.

The issue is you are making that accusation by saying that not having representation for a certain demographic means you have anti-group implications in the work that should be frowned on.


I disagree because I am not a robot incapable of nuance. I don’t frown on this, not only because it’s unfair but because it would be unproductive - and it’s not how I feel. What I am doing is advocating for a change I see as positive, which may very well imply a negative, but I think there is a strong distinction between an implied negative and an accusation. In the same way I think there is a strong distinction between the implied negative presence (which is to say noticeable scarcity) of homosexuals in WoW and the accusation, which I am not making, of anti-homosexual bias at Blizzard.

I do think common sense is a fine guideline here and for representation at large. Not every piece of media, especially small ones, needs a suite of every minority group in proportion. Not only is that inane and bland, it is unreasonable. But in this specific instance, for a multi-decade long piece of aerial fiction, it is a wholly reasonable request. Baine’s appropriateness is a matter of opinion, but any racial leader for whom it is viable would be fine, I assume. Baine’s connection to Mayla is in 8.1, hence the call to change direction at this time by the OP.

This is such a weird hill for you to die on. Fight to the death to prevent gay characters from entering your game if you must, but try taking a step back and really ask yourself why? Is it really because you think he'd be a stereotype? Be honest with yourself. In WHAT world is Baine a gay stereotype?


Hello! I'm Kisin. You must be new to this thread, because I've said several times now that I'm all for more gay representation and that WoW as a setting is a perfectly fine place to have some.

As for Baine being a negative stereotype, I'm not the first to point it out. Baine is a very poorly liked character right now, and a lot of players have a very, very low opinion of him. Like I said, he's weak willed, spineless, and a coward who puts the comfort of his enemies ahead of his own people. I had a whole thread asking what it would take to make him better and a large chunk of the answer I got was "No".

He wouldn't be my first choice for positive gay representation, is my point.

10/21/2018 07:51 PMPosted by Yersynia

Not really. If the work is set in a place where the presence of a ‘full’ cast, as an interim term, would be out of place, then it’s just not reasonable. But WoW is so huge and wide-reaching that it isn’t unreasonable to ask for a greater homosexual presence. And it would not conflict with anything in the narrative. There’s no demand here, just an expression of reasonable desire. If you think ‘where does it end?’ is a reasonable basis to deny that then that’s not really an argument I feel is worthwhile to hold - I can pick my battles, lord knows there are enough.


You're getting specific here. My contention was never that WoW specifically couldn't use more representation, I took issue with the idea that not having representation was a political statement against homosexuality.

There is nothing inherently wrong with not having a character for every type, no matter how large the work is. There is no "political statement" being made just because an author didn't take the extra time to put in characters of various types to ensure a "full cast", as you say.


I disagree because I am not a robot incapable of nuance. I don’t frown on this, not only because it’s unfair but because it would be unproductive - and it’s not how I feel. What I am doing is advocating for a change I see as positive, which may very well imply a negative, but I think there is a strong distinction between an implied negative and an accusation. In the same way I think there is a strong distinction between the implied negative presence (which is to say noticeable scarcity) of homosexuals in WoW and the accusation, which I am not making, of anti-homosexual bias at Blizzard.


I feel we may have to agree to disagree on this point. The statement of there being an "implied negative" in a work against a specific group comes off as an accusation, whether you intend for it to be or not. You're effectively insinuating that the creator is bigoted, whether knowingly or unknowingly, because they didn't take the extra time to be inclusive toward a specific group, which as you noted is unfair to the creator. It creates an unrealistic standard for them and puts constraints on their creativity by adding additional demands.

I do think common sense is a fine guideline here and for representation at large. Not every piece of media, especially small ones, needs a suite of every minority group in proportion. Not only is that inane and bland, it is unreasonable. But in this specific instance, for a multi-decade long piece of aerial fiction, it is a wholly reasonable request. Baine’s appropriateness is a matter of opinion, but any racial leader for whom it is viable would be fine, I assume. Baine’s connection to Mayla is in 8.1, hence the call to change direction at this time by the OP.


I completely agree that it's a reasonable request. GW2 has a prominent lesbian couple as part of the main cast of the story and the world isn't on fire, as well as a host of gay and lesbian side characters you may run into through questing. Personally I feel the setting is stronger for it. I like variety. It makes the world feel a little more alive.
Kisin, I have enjoyed our discussion and thank you for this productive talk. I think I have said my piece and have come to understand yours. I can agree to disagree where that has become a stopping point. I don’t have anything else to add, but I wanted to say thanks for the chat.
10/21/2018 08:52 PMPosted by Yersynia
Kisin, I have enjoyed our discussion and thank you for this productive talk. I think I have said my piece and have come to understand yours. I can agree to disagree where that has become a stopping point. I don’t have anything else to add, but I wanted to say thanks for the chat.


I can also understand where you're coming from even if I don't necessarily agree with everything. Thank you for keeping it so civil, it's a huge breath of fresh air to be able to talk about something like this without it turning into an insulting match.

Best of luck to you.
10/21/2018 07:47 PMPosted by Hydrar
This story has been going on for almost 15 years and countless straight people / relationships have been depicted, but never a gay one.
Except for all the ones that have been.
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Sexuality#Homosexuality_.26_Bisexuality

And 99% of WOW characters give no indication of sexual preference, so each of the overtly gay and bi characters is a much larger % than they might seem. For example, there's no one in Arathi that says "I'm straight and this is my significant other!", therefore, the population of Arathi that states it's sexuality is 100% gay.
This is why romantically/sexually driven plots are bad.
10/22/2018 08:13 AMPosted by Treng
This is why romantically/sexually driven plots are bad.

It's a good thing no one asked for romance/sex to be driving the plot in WoW.

10/21/2018 08:25 PMPosted by Kisin
As for Baine being a negative stereotype, I'm not the first to point it out. Baine is a very poorly liked character right now, and a lot of players have a very, very low opinion of him. Like I said, he's weak willed, spineless, and a coward who puts the comfort of his enemies ahead of his own people. I had a whole thread asking what it would take to make him better and a large chunk of the answer I got was "No".

I had originally had some faint hope that Blizz would use BfA to have Baine step up and improve as a character.

https://youtu.be/Drw39IypXYw
10/22/2018 08:13 AMPosted by Treng
This is why romantically/sexually driven plots are bad.

It's a good thing no one asked for romance/sex to be driving the plot in WoW.
I think it's time. We should get an epic quest chain from Marcus to gather all his "friends" for a "party". We have to do a "favor" for each of them before they will come.

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Marcus_(paladin)
10/22/2018 09:11 AMPosted by Hahahahahaha
I think it's time. We should get an epic quest chain from Marcus to gather all his "friends" for a "party". We have to do a "favor" for each of them before they will come.

Don't forget, harnessing the "party energy" will be the only way to save Azeroth from interstellar "party" vampires.

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