Thursday, May 30, 2024
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LGBT+ Fortnite creator’s custom character with vitiligo is added to the game

An LGBT+ Fortnite creator called Dahja Cat has reason to celebrate this week, thanks to the news from Epic Games that their character Joy will be officially added to the game.

Dahja Cat is a concept artist and has created many works during their time with Fortnite, with Joy, in particular, being a stand-out for fans. Joy is a character that has vitiligo – a skin condition that can occur as white patches on the skin due to a lack of melanin. This condition occurs in about 1% or “slightly more” of the population throughout the globe, and affects all races and genders equally, though patches will be more visible on darker skin.

Speaking to Pink News Ed Nightingale, Dahja Cat expressed the importance of Fortnite including a character with the skin condition.

“Joy was made to show the beauty of vitiligo, and I wanted a concept people who had the condition could relate to,” says Dahja Cat. “I’m so happy that my goal of making people with vitiligo feel more comfortable and represented in a video game is becoming huge and finally a reality!”

Dahja Cat originally revealed Joy, named Dahlia at the time, back in February 2021.

Joy is custom content, something which allows Fortnite creators to develop their own skins, outfits, and maps. This content works well alongside the Support-A-Creator programme, where players are able to support their favourite creators through using in-game currency to purchase their content. The jump from custom content to being added to the official game, though, cannot be understated.

Dahja Cat’s character is also LGBT+ too, as seen by the Fortnite creator adding a rainbow outfit to Joy. Fortnite has always been open to including queer content, as shown by its event Rainbow Royale and the queer content creators that have stood by the game to make some incredible skins and maps for the LGBT+ gamers within the community.

However, there have been some issues in the past. Dahja Cat highlights a time where a popular Fortnite creator had made homophobic comments online, leading to their map being removed for a short time and then reinstated despite a lacklustre apology. It also doesn’t help that, as Dahja Cat states to Pink News, that every reveal featuring content from an LGBT+ creator is met with hostile and homophobic comments.

But there is hope. The content creator does believe that the game is, overall, becoming more inclusive.

“Most of my friends and myself are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and Epic has truly been making the environment more welcoming. I see the community will sooner or later become loving as the game grows even larger than it is!”

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