Note: This was written for my GameSpot blog. But it represents a significant moment in both my personal and professional lives, so I am posting it here as well.
As some of you may know, I’ve been privileged with the opportunity to freelance for GameSpot for the past few years. As a publication that I’ve read and respected for more than a decade, this has been a great honor for me.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at my latest review, which was for Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, but this was a special review for me to write. That’s because it’s the first review I’ve written as the newest member of GameSpot’s in-house reviews team. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is for me to be here, working with Justin Calvert, Kevin VanOrd, Tom Mc Shea and Chris Watters in the offices of this site that has meant so much to me for so long.
This may seem a strange shift in topics, but it’s something that must be addressed, at least once. Those of you who have been reading my blog for many years will know this already, but it’s not something I’ve talked about often, and it’s not something I intend to talk about very often in the future. I’m not here at GameSpot to change the world or to make any kind of political statement. I’m here because I love games, I love GameSpot, and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than busting my ass for this site. But soon I’ll start appearing in video reviews and making other appearances here and there, and this will no doubt raise some questions that need to be answered. So here goes.
I’m transgender, or as I usually prefer to say, TG. What this means is that, although I was born with a Y chromosome, in my mind, heart and soul I’ve always identified as female. The process called “transition” is, at least for me, a long, slow, expensive one, but in the meantime I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not. Being true to oneself is essential for one’s happiness. Take it from me, I know. So if this should make anyone uncomfortable, I say: I’m sorry it makes you uncomfortable. I’m not doing it to make you uncomfortable. I’m doing it because living a lie sucks, and because I’m so much happier just being honest about who I am, and not hiding it or apologizing for it or being ashamed of it. Also, with the tragic wave of bullying and suicides of LGBT teens, I don’t think this is any time for any member of the community to hide in the shadows, and I add my voice to the chorus of voices that are saying to young LGBT people in pain, “It gets better.”
Here is a goofy video I made two weeks ago, my first in years, for National Coming Out Day. If you want, you can watch this to get a glimpse of the face you’ll soon be seeing in videos on the site, and perhaps a better sense of what I mean when I say I’m TG.
So that’s it. Again, it’s not something I intend to discuss often. If you have respectful questions, feel free to ask. (I won’t tolerate or respond to hate.) I am TG but being TG is not who I am, and it’s not what I want to be known for. It’s a fact of my life but it doesn’t define me, and it’s not nearly as interesting as video games, or as working for GameSpot, which truly is a dream come true for me.
In conclusion, let me just say: Super Meat Boy is amazing. I grew up with the Atari 2600, and later, the NES, which, along with the arcades of that era, provided many games that were just pure, simple, challenging tests of skill. Super Meat Boy is like that, and it’s one of the very best of its kind, ever. Using only the simplest and most familiar elements of video games—you run and jump your way through 2D levels—it creates something that constantly finds new and surprising ways to challenge you, and the gameplay is just about perfect.
Yeah. Video games are awesome.