Trigger Warning: Discussion of Sexual Assault appears in this article.
Hey Nasties, its once again Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me; I’m just going to jump right into it. Square Enix has a terrible history regarding female and LGBTQA+ representation. To put it bluntly, its been downright offensive in multiple games, and Final Fantasy 7 is no different. I’ll start with some of the obvious negatives. For example, to complete Cloud’s “Drag,” Costume, one mission involves winning a squat contest with a man who is very much a gay stereotype.
You have to win his “Pretty wig,” after which he gets very upset and storms off. This implies that homosexual men are innately feminine, and he is painted in a comedic and honestly antagonistic light. The fact remains that forcing Cloud to “crossdress,” if you even care to gender clothing, supposedly paints him in a very demeaning and frivolous light; mocking the very idea of a man wearing feminine clothes.
Yet still, the dialogue options allow Cloud to come very close to engaging in sexual intercourse with the mob boss should you form the whole costume, after which Aerith and Tifa burst in, horrified, and demand to know what was happening. Another scene that once again paints gay man in a very antagonistic light is the hot tub scene, where Cloud is forced to sit in a hot tub with multiple gay men to get a “Rub down.”
The scene itself implies that Cloud was violated or sexually molested, and paints homosexual men not only in a “Bad,” light, but implies they also will rape or molest straight men when given the chance. These stereotypes are incredibly toxic to the LGBTQA+ Community and truthfully make me sick.
Aerith is clearly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who exists only to give Cloud motivation to push forward, and dies for the very same reason. You may be saying “But only she can use white materia!” Yes, and other than that, what depth did she have? She was supposedly an ancient Cetra, but we only get that information when she’s not in the party. She’s supposedly incredibly powerful, but her “Power,” ends up being a Deus Ex Machina at the end to save the day.
As you can see, Final Fantasy 7 has a lot of negativity, but I can say one thing that was positive. When you go on the date, you can choose Barret. What do you know, you suddenly drop the “Haha, Gay!” jokes. While the experience is still a little silly, at the very least you got to have what was implied as a normal, non-sexualized or demonized homosexual experience.
Whew, the negative articles take a lot out of me! Thanks for tuning in, Nasties! This is Mod Loser, signing off!