Friday, June 21, 2024
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Overwatch 2 reveals sexuality of Pharah and Baptiste

A new Overwatch short story from Activision Blizzard has revealed the sexuality of Pharah, one of the more popular characters with the LGBTQ+ community surrounding the hero shooter.

In As You Are, a new short written by author Jen Stacey, illustrated by Hannah Templar and with special thanks to Ana Martinez, Pharah reveals to fellow comrade Baptiste that she holds no romantic interest in Cole Cassidy because she is, in fact, a lesbian.

The small passage, where Overwatch confirms Pharah’s sexuality as a lesbian, can be read below.

“So. You and Cassidy?” he asked, trying to strike something up.

She looked confused, then concerned. “What do you mean by that?”

Baptiste reached one arm behind his head, rubbing at an old sore spot. “You know . . . you seem close. I thought you two might be—”


Her laughter caught him by surprise. It was clear and confident, and made him feel a little more at ease. Maybe the same was true for her, too; her entire body language seemed to change, and the seatbelt strained against her as she doubled over. She had a nice smile. When she pushed her hair away from her face, her eyes were lit up.

“Ooh. Sorry, that uh . . . that was a good one,” Pharah said. She unbuckled her seatbelt and let it slip behind her shoulder. “No, definitely not. Cole and I have known each other for a long time. He’s like a brother to me. And besides, I’m a lesbian.”

Pharah spoke with the ease of someone who had spent their whole life knowing who they were. She’d perfected the presentation of the words—offered them to Baptiste like a gift she knew he would accept. When he looked at her again, it was as if some piece of the puzzle had been filled in. Before he could respond, Pharah added, “I would have thought it was obvious. I’m not passing, am I?”

As You Are from Jen Stacey

The short story follows Pharah, Baptiste, and Cassidy (with mention of D.VA, aka Hana Song) traveling back from Seoul to head towards Gibraltar. Baptiste and Pharah speak about who they are, as well as their future, with the former not truly believing he deserves the second chance he’s gotten due to his previous relationship with Talon.

Most interesting is the not-so-subtle wink towards Pharah’s complicated feelings towards a colleague: Angela Ziegler, aka Mercy. While there’s no confirmation on what those feelings are, Pharmercy fans may actually be getting some food this year. We’re just as shocked as you are.

Overwatch Baptiste bisexual
Image Source: Activision Blizzard

As for Baptiste, his sexuality was not revealed in this story but has been confirmed via a conference (in which Gayming Magazine was part of) with Activision Blizzard’s Aaron Keller (Game Director), Brandy Stiles (Senior Game Producer and Chair of Blizzard’s LGBTQ+ network), and Jen Stacey (Senior Narrative Designer) that he is bisexual. For fans of the game and his character, this may not come across as too much of a surprise as Baptiste has flirted with both male and female characters alike, but now it has officially been confirmed.

Of course, that does beg the question: why did Pharah confirm her sexuality, but Baptiste didn’t? According to Stiles, this is just something Pharah would do, and not all of their characters will be so open regarding their exact sexual preference. “We don’t see Baptiste say ‘I’m bisexual,’ right? In the moment, true to his identity, it wouldn’t be the right way to do it.” Stiles said. “I really applaud our narrative team for including these details about our characters and everything that makes up those characters without having to be so blunt all the time. There is nuance to the way we present these characters to the world.”

Stacey further clarified that while this might not be true to Baptiste (or any other LGBTQ+ character in Overwatch) as of the moment in the short story, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will not be instances where these characters are able to express themselves and their sexuality in the future. “If we’re winking and nodding at anything now, it’s the kind of things [previously asked before] like relationships we can’t discuss.” Stacey added, “we have no intention to try and hide or obfuscate character’s identities.”

From a story perspective, that makes sense, though considering Blizzard’s rocky history with LGBTQ+ characters being released during times of great upheaval for the company, there will be some who will remain skeptical of this reveal all the same, especially since Overwatch has only recently revealed their plans to scrap the original PvE story missions.

Regardless, Pharah and Baptiste join Tracer, Soldier: 76, and Lifeweaver as LGBTQ+ heroes in Overwatch 2, bringing more queer diversity into the fold.

Pride comes to Overwatch 2 on Thursday, June 1.

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