Anyone who has spent any amount of time playing games on Xbox LIVE knows that it isn’t the friendliest place for gay gamers. The word gay gets thrown around as an insult so often (even by people who don’t think that they’re homophobic) that I don’t know how any gay gamer gets through a match of Halo without being seriously insulted. Now Microsoft has taken it to another level by banning a gay gamer who’s Xbox LIVE Gamertag is ‘theGAYERgamer’. Why? Because of general complaints from the community.
Grant, theGAYERgamer, wrote in to The Consumerist about his experience saying, “I have had a bad morning. Last night when i tried to sign into my xbox live account “thegayergamer” I was told that it had to be changed. I figured that it was just from people reporting it as an offensive name being that the greater Xbox live community isn’t exactly welcome to gay people, i spend a lot of time muting people on Halo3. I assumed that once i called Microsoft they would straighten things out.
“I talked to a supervisor there, Roxy, who told me that she didn’t personally find the fact that my gamer tag had gay in the name offensive, but that the greater Xbox community did, so i would have to change it. I hope I’m not the only person who finds this don’t ask, don’t tell policy disgusting… eek.”
There are two options here. Either everyone thought that Grant was homophobic and chose the nick in order to insult gays, or, the rest of the community is a bunch of idiots and found the fact that the word gay appeared in a Gamertag highly offensive. I wish it was the former but the latter seems far more likely from my experiences over LIVE. That’s fine and dandy really. Those people are entitled to their opinion on gays and, while I strongly disagree with it, they can voice their opinion however they want.
What isn’t right is that Microsoft would react to complaints that are based on hate and bigotry. If it’s an automatic thing after a few complaints come in, why wouldn’t Microsoft give him back his account the second he called in and explained the situation? Grant has every right to have the word gay in his Gamertag, unless I missed something and gay has become a curse word or being gay has become highly offensive.