Overwatch was first released in 2016, and it quickly became popular due to its fun mechanics and its colorful and diverse heroes and villains. With such inclusivity seemingly at the forefront, it was no real surprise that LGBTQIA representation quickly became something Overwatch fans wanted.
Queer representation in video games has massively improved over time, largely because technology has become more accessible over time, as well as the shifting attitudes towards the queer community. However, back in 2016, LGBTQIA characters in FPS games, or hero shooters, were not particularly the done thing. So, while Apex Legends has seemingly mastered the task of including a diverse and inclusive cast with its characters, 2016 made Overwatch stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
Because of this desire for representation, fans of the game were more than happy when Activision Blizzard revealed the game’s very first LGBTQIA character to be the ‘star’ of Overwatch, a British hero character named Tracer. What really inspired fans was that this was the very first year of Overwatch, and there had been a promise of more stories and lore on the way. Could this mean more LGBTQIA characters?
Apparently, yes. Only, the inclusion of most of these LGBTQIA characters came back when the game relaunched as Overwatch 2 in 2022.
Currently, 5 Overwatch heroes have been confirmed to be part of the LGBTQIA community. There are several other Overwatch characters in-world that are also queer. However, we’ve decided to only focus on characters you can play in the game.
All of the Overwatch characters confirmed so far are:
Tracer – Lesbian
Tracer was the very first LGBTQIA character to be revealed in Overwatch. However, the reveal was not in-game, but through a 2016 December comic that unveiled her girlfriend, Emily. Unfortunately, Emily was barely mentioned in-game until some time later, and only after fans brought up that for those who didn’t read the comic, Tracer would easily be able to be seen as heterosexual.
Whether Emily will feature in the upcoming Overwatch 2 in any official capacity outside of voiced lines is unknown. However, considering the sequel’s push for more story-focused missions, it’s possible that Emily could be featured sometime in the future.
Soldier 76 – Gay
Much like Tracer, Soldier 76 was revealed to be gay in a medium outside of the official Overwatch game.
In a short story that has Soldier 76 and Ana meet up for the first time in years, readers get to see an image of Soldier alongside a dark-haired man called Vincent. Ana teases Soldier about checking up on the man, to which he replies that Vincent had gotten married and couldn’t provide the life his ex-lover wanted.
Michael Chu also confirmed their relationship: “Jack and Vincent were in a romantic relationship many years ago. Both identify as gay.”
Lifeweaver – Pansexual
Niran “Lifeweaver” Pruksamanee is the latest support character in Overwatch 2. He’s an architect from Thailand (the first hero in the game to be from there) and identifies as pansexual. We found all of this out via a leaked PCGamesN article, which Kotaku was able to report on.
Niran is a friend of Symmetra’s. The two both attended the Vishkar Architect Academy, and both work with light to shape the world around them. So, as expected, their kits also tend to work well together too. They also share several different voice lines together, commemorating their past relationship as roomies and friends.
As far as we know, Lifeweaver doesn’t share a romantic interest with anyone in the Overwatch cast, but that doesn’t stop him from being pansexual. He’s just vibing.
Baptiste – Bisexual
Baptiste has been confirmed as bisexual by Activision Blizzard during Overwatch 2’s very first Pride Month. Unlike Pharah, who was also revealed to be a lesbian in the short story ‘As You Are’, Baptiste never came out and made his bisexuality clear in the same way Pharah announced she was a lesbian.
Even so, Baptiste is bisexual. Even before the confirmation from Blizzard, Baptiste regularly flirted with several members of the Overwatch team, such as Lifeweaver, Ana, and Mercy.
Pharah – Lesbian
While Pharah fans have long since suspected that their favourite gal was a lesbian, it was never really confirmed… Until now.
Thanks to the short story ‘As You Are’, Pharah has been confirmed as a lesbian – explicitly stating so during a conversation with Baptiste. There was also a hint of the popular fanship Pharmercy within the story, with Pharah seemingly having a long-lasting crush on the Swiss doctor. Whether anything will come out of that remains to be seen.
Venture – Non-Binary
It was revealed at Blizzcon’s 2023 opening ceremony that Venture, a non-binary hero with a massive drill, would be coming to Overwatch 2 next year.
Unfortunately, not much is known about Venture outside of what they look like, that they’ll be DPS hero, and they go by they/them pronouns — which was confirmed by Overwatch 2’s technical artist, Ana Martínez. Hopefully, we’ll get more information about Venture sometime in the future.
In-game, Lifeweaver makes mention of a romantic relationship between Roadhog and Junkrat. However, Activision Blizzard has not confirmed whether any of these characters are LGBTQIA+ like they have with Tracer, Soldier 76, Baptiste, Pharah, Venture, and Lifeweaver.