Alignments & Orientations

I​ ​was​ ​still​ ​deeply​ ​closeted​ ​when​ ​I​ ​started​ ​playing​ Dungeons​ ​and​ ​Dragons​, even ​to the close friend​ ​group​ ​that​ ​made​ ​up​ ​my​ ​adventuring​ ​party.​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​like​ ​to​ ​think​ about​ my​ ​sexuality, but obsessed​ ​over​ ​it​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time​ ​–​ ​something​ ​that​ ​is​ ​a​ common​ problem​ ​for​ ​many​ ​members​ ​of the ​ LGBTQ+​ community. I​ also happened ​ to​ be​ a​ ​gigantic​ ​nerd. ​​I ​ loved how​ science fiction and fantasy ​ allowed​ me to​ escape​ from my anxiety-ridden,​​ ​everyday​ ​life.​ This​ ​almost definitely correlated ​ with​ my​ sexuality​ struggles,​ ​but, ​​at ​the time,​ I​ ​thought​​  I​​ was just​​ a ​​fan-girl who really liked​ ​gay​ ships​ ​for​ ​some ​​reason.​ ​Thankfully,​ the​ rest​ ​of​ ​my​ ​friend​ ​group​ was​​ ​equally​ nerdy,​​ ​and we ​ inevitably​ started​ playing​ Dungeons​ ​and​ ​Dragons​ at​​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​high​ ​school. 

I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​love​ ​with​ ​the​ ​game​ ​from​ ​our​ ​first​ ​session.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​the​ ​next​ ​level​ ​in​ ​escapism​ ​that​ ​I​ ​had been​ ​craving.​ ​With​ ​my ​ favourite books,​ movies,​ and TV​ shows,​ ​I​ ​was ​​just​ ​a​ ​passive​ ​observer, but ​ in​ ​ DnD​ I​ was​ able to​ actually​ participate​ and​ “exist” in​  ​​a​ ​fantasy​ ​world.  ​​My​ ​half-elf ​paladin,​ Hokie Windsailor-Styles​ (​ yes, ​named​ after​ ​Harry Styles ​– ​ it’s​ a​ long​ ​story) was my​ vessel​ ​to explore​ ​aspects​ ​of ​ myself​ ​ that​ I​ ​was ​ ​too​ nervous​​ ​to​ ​experiment​ ​with ​ in​ ​ everyday​ ​ life.​ She​ was​  more​ ​confident​ ​and​ ​smooth-talking​ than​ I​​ ​was,​ ​and​ she​​ wasn’t​​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​take​ ​what​ ​she​ ​wanted. She was​ the​ woman​–​or​ half-elf​​ –​ ​that​ I​ ​wanted​​ to​ ​be.​ 

In​ ​the​ ​beginning,​ ​Hokie​ only​ flirted​ with​​ male characters​ who,​​ ​according to ​my Dungeon Master, conveniently​ looked​ like my​ celebrity crushes​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​However, ​as​ I​ ​became​ ​more​ comfortable ​playing​ the​ game,​ Hokie​ started​ ​to​ show​​ some​​ ​same-sex ​ tendencies.​ The​ kitchen table at my​ DM’s​ house became​​ a​ place​ where​ I​ ​could​​  ​forget my​ ​anxieties ​over the​ ​gay thoughts ​lurking​ in​​ the​ back​​ of​ my​ mind​ and​ ​just let​ ​loose.​ ​I​​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​be ​​myself, ​by​​ ​being someone ​ else.​ I​​ wasn’t even​ worried​ about any​ connections​​ my friends might​ ​make​ ​​between ​my​ character’s ​ sexuality​​ and​ my​ own.​ I​​ ​was ready​ to​ ​point out​ ​that Hokie ​also​ ​loves ​to murder       and​ steal, so​ she​ was​ obviously​ not​ an​ exact reflection​ of​ me. ​​But, ​seeing as the​ sexuality of my​ character was​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the ​least​​ ​interesting​ ​parts​ ​of​ the​​ game,​ ​my​ ​friends​​ never​ ​actually​ ​did question​ me.​ In​ a​​ world​​ of​ lizard cults​ and talking​ ​dragons,​ a​​ ​pansexual ​half-elf is​ ​​pretty mundane. 

When​ ​Hokie​ ​began​ ​her​ ​search​ ​for​ ​a​ ​wife,​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​more​ ​Trudeau-esque​ ​gender​ ​ratio in​ her​​ polygamous​​ marriage,​​ I​ ​realized ​that,​ without​ noticing,​ ​the ​conflicts ​in​ ​my ​head had started​ ​to​ work​ themselves​     ​ out. It’s​ ​like​ ​when ​you​ figure​ out​ ​the ​solution​ ​to ​a ​problem ​in​ ​your sleep, ​and​ you​ wake​ up​ feeling​​ ​great. Through​ DnD​ ​ I​ ​was​​ ​able to​ ​​discover ​so much​ ​about myself​ ​that​ ​I​ ​would​ have ​never known or​ kept​ repressed       ​​ ​otherwise. ​Dungeons​ ​and​ ​Dragons really​ ​allows​ ​you​ ​to​ ​be​ ​yourself​ ​by​ ​playing​ ​yourself,​ ​or,​ ​at​ ​least,​ ​certain​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​yourself.