Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Celeste protagonist Madeline confirmed as trans

When Celeste released its final chapter last year, it included a scene that left many trans gamers feeling validated. It was a scene with Madeline at a desk with a trans flag in a pot beside her, something that was incredibly small, but made a huge splash. Quite rightly, many assumed that this meant that Madeline was showing off her trans pride but the development team remained silent whenever asked to confirm if Madeline was trans or not.

That changed today. Director of Celeste, Maddy Thorson, has made a post on Medium to answer that year-old question. Is Madeline from Celeste canonically trans?

Well yeah, of course she is.

Thorson revealed in their Medium post that when they first started developing Celeste, they had no idea Madeline was trans. They didn’t even know they were trans at the time, either. They admitted that “during Celeste’s development, I did not know that Madeline or myself were trans. During the Farewell DLC’s development, I began to form a hunch. Post-development, I now know that we both are.”

Thorson further talked about how if this ruins Madeline for gamers, then they should take it as a sign that they “have some transphobic beliefs to work through.” Unfortunately, some people did react like that when Madeline was seen with a trans flag, but with no real confirmation on her being canonically trans. We like to assume those gamers have realized the error of their ways and are pleased about more canonical trans representation in video games!

Art by Amora

It wasn’t all positivity though, Thorson acknowledged that they and the development team had caused frustration in not confirming Madeline was trans until now.

“The Celeste community has wanted clarification on Madeline’s identity for a long time now,” Thorson wrote, “and I don’t blame anyone for wanting that, but the messy realities of my gender identity and coming out have meant that I needed time before I could talk openly about it.”

Thorson also made it clear that if they could start development of the game again, Madeline being trans wouldn’t have been added so late.

“If I could start over from the beginning of Celeste’s development, knowing everything about myself and Madeline that I know now, would I write her differently? Yeah, probably.” They wrote. “I didn’t go into this game intending to make a trans story and I would understand my own gender a lot better than I did, that’s for sure. But then again, I’m a very different person and Celeste wouldn’t be the same game. For my part, Celeste is about who I was, which includes that struggle for understanding.”

You can read the full blog post here, and we recommend that you do. It’s raw, honest and if you do nothing else today – then reading this would be a good use of your time. Trust us.

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3 thoughts on “Celeste protagonist Madeline confirmed as trans

  • I’m a cis, straight, conservative male. I sometimes struggle to empathize with those who are not like me. But Celeste is the best goddamn game in the world. Maddy Thorson is one of my heroes and is one of the most amazing, talented, creative, humble, and down to earth people I can think of. I relate to Madeline on so many levels outside of sexuality. I hope Maddy knows that they changed lives with Celeste, and that their positive impact on others transcends the “barriers” of sexuality and identity because Madeline’s story is a deep, personal, and eye opening one, whether she is trans or not. I love Maddy and the characters they created. This does not change that one bit. If anything, I’m sure it enhances it for some people out there, and that’s great.

  • I think that this was going to be a Dumbledore is the gay moment, with the developers only feeling happy outing her when it would be the least impactful. But after reading the blog, it’s actually a really sweet and affirmative story. Guess I’ll put down my pitchfork.

  • Retconned trans, sweet

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