LGBTQMTG

Hey, remember how Magic: The Gathering (MTG) had that awesome trans character in 2015, Alesha? (Editor's Note: You're welcome.) Well, they've been building their queer representation in 2016 and 2017!


The Background

You may have played MTG at some point during the past two decades. The game's central conceit is that the players are dimension-hopping wizards who do battle using the spells they learn throughout their travels. Each year the meta-game jumps dimensions and releases new spells and new monsters from a new plane of existence. To support that narrative, the artists and writers at MTG compose novels and short stories about a cast of mages and necromancers. In the late 1990s, the series tentatively ventured into queerness when it created a genderless clone soldier, Xantcha, who rebelled against her overlords and chose a female gender. Her romantic narrative is still one of my urtexts on queer love. After that, though, the series stayed pretty focused on dragons. Then 2015 hit, and we got trans warrior Alesha and some gay Greek statutes from the city of Meletis on the plane of Theros. IN 2016, MTG raised the stakes by queering its narrative and fleshing out those gay statues!


The "VS" is Romantic

Chandra Naalar is a passionate and hotheaded pyromancer whose pale skin and (literally) flaming red hair set her apart from her Indian-coded parents. At the beginning of 2016, Chandra traveled to a wilderness beset by hungry Elder Gods and met Nissa, an animist forest elf trying to save her home from becoming Cthulhu's snack. There wasn't a lot of romance between the two until they combined their magic. Like Willow and Tara before them, working in concert ignited a connection between the two wizards. (Editor's Note: Why are you winking?)

And then the narrative switched to focus on gothic horror, so Chandra and Nissa ceded the stage to their necromantic ally, Liliana, and her telepathic ex. (Though there were some lesbian werewolf hunters!)

After Liliana played Lord of the Restless Dead, she decided to kick off the next chapter of Chandra's tale and sneaked the pyromancer back home to Kaladesh. Nissa wasn't far behind, and the past half year of MTG narrative has focused on Nissa trying to protect and assist the emotionally clueless woman who has stolen her heart. No spoilers, but the ending to the Kaladesh arc is quite cute. (Editor's Note: YAAAS!)

You can read the most relevant prior chapters for free here: http://mtg.gamepedia.com/Collected_Stories And you can get the latest chapters here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/products/aether-revolt-story

If you become as obsessed as I am, you can find a bunch of the old stories (and all the new ones, when they come out) here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/columns/magic-story


Let's Hear it For the Boys

And no worries to you lovers of gay boys. Remember that gay couple from Theros who ruled over Meletis? Well the MTG 2016 Commander decks have heard your (Editor's Note: Anthony's) cries! Unlike Pokémon cards, there's about 1 million ways to play Magic, and one such way centers on decks that have a special leader card. These are Commander decks, and there is a tradition of power couples sharing a card that is, or could be, a Commander. In 2016, MTG debuted its first gay Commander couple, and they are adorable. You can read about Kynaios, Tiros, and there deck of Stalwart Unity here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-story/its-time-talk-commander-2016-edition-2016-10-26

Finally, here's some more Chandra/Nissa pics, because I can. (Editor's Note: Fine. I'll allow it.)