To the surprise of… absolutely no one?
During EVO 2022, a famous esports event in the United States, there were a series of interesting revelations about the most famous fighting video game franchises, however the most interesting was the announcement of Guilty Gear Strive: Bridget is back and she’s a trans woman. She was introduced in this way during her inclusion in the Season 2 character DLC pack and confirmed in several scenes of her main story as well as in the own official page of the fighting game.
bridget is transgender!
you cannot comprehend how hard i screamed its not intentionally vague its loud and clear and of all people to show her that its GOLDLEWIS pic.twitter.com/7kIAOArToH
— hatchling (apoc) (@Marcanthony737) August 8, 2022
“She was first introduced in 2002’s Guilty Gear XX. However, with Bridget’s official return as a playable character in Strive as part of Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass 2, ArcSys has given them a “coming out” moment. ” in which they advertise that they do, in fact, Bridget’s gender is: female, she is a trans woman. On the official page they mention it as follows:
Bridget was born as one of twin children to a billionaire couple and received only the best training and mentorship as a child. However, Bridget’s upbringing was what one would expect from a daughter of a high-society family rather than a son. There was a reason for this: Bridget’s hometown had a superstitious belief that male twins brought misfortune. While Bridget tried her best to appear happy, these efforts only seemed to cause Bridget’s parents more pain. Bridget began to think that behaving like a man and bringing home a great deal of wealth would prove the superstitions unfounded.
Unfortunately, this didn’t make her happy either, as her story scene in Guilty Gear Strive shows. In Bridget’s dialogue in Strive she shows how she is comfortable expressing her trans identity, telling deuteragonist Ky Kisuke and the US Secretary of Defense (Lol) Goldlewis Dickinson who, “[puedes llamarme] Cowgirl is fine. Because I’m a girl!”, Bridget reaffirms herself as a trans woman. Both Ky and Goldlewis help her understand that she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, being who she is with the strength she possesses is enough.
Public reaction to Bridget’s gender in Guilty Gear Strive was celebratory.
In fact, many people online celebrated the reveal with fan art and memes. Someone even created a mod for Bridget that sees her wearing the blue, pink, and white colors of the trans pride flag. Industry insiders like Talking Vidya mentioned that the Guilty Gear Strive community was almost or not at all toxic.:
I found it on the Guility Gear Subreddit and it had a ton of upvotes, it’s good to know there are relatively few toxic ones
My little heart moves me pic.twitter.com/AleUHdlkxy
– Better Call Danny Zeta (@TvDannyZ) August 12, 2022
However, not everyone was thrilled with Bridget’s gender reveal as a trans woman, which shouldn’t come as a surprise in this space. Ready to dismiss her identity wholesale, there are plenty of tweets denouncing ArcSys for “force inclusion”. While there is some nuance to the idea that the studio might be “erasing a character’s previous identity,” as one tweeter put it, most of the negative discourse surrounding Bridget is framed as bad faith arguments about a fetishization of a trans person’s body:
— Eri the otter 💖💛💙 Girlfriend of adm1n and the influencer (@Erivlt) August 8, 2022
Despite these criticisms, we can find more clues in the game about Bridget’s gender in Guilty Gear Strive, for example, the song “The town Inside Me“. The lyrics could demonstrate her experience and path as a trans woman as Some people within the community have pointed out. Specifically regarding dysphoria, a nonconformity between gender and the person’s body, this is framed in several sections of displeasure in the song. In turn, the final section that talks about the changes that her body could experience over time, Bridget sings that nothing could really change who she is.
The negative response to Bridget’s coming out is unnerving, to say the least. At a time when the US government is drafting legislation aimed at targeting trans people; in this way, its representation in the media, especially in games, should be seen as a big step. Furthermore, this is not the first case of a trans person within Guilty Gear Strive, as Testament had been revealed as a non-binary person.
Testament is a non-binary person
On the official Guilty Gear Strive page, Testament’s profile is written in inclusive language to indicate that he is a non-binary person.
Testament was once a person, before being surgically modified into a Gear.. Under the control of the Conclave, she worked to revive Justice. However, after the events of the Second Holy Order Selection Tournament, she regained her sense of self. Feeling guilty, Elle hid in the Forest of Demons, before deciding to protect half Gear Dizzy from the humans who were after her. Although this began as a form of atonement for her sins, she ended up restoring human sentience to them. Elle now lives with the elderly couple who once took care of Dizzy. This new life has brought them peace of mind and now Elle enjoys the happiness part of it.
This is also available in the Spanish version of Testament’s profile in Guilty Gear Strive:
— Eri the otter 💖💛💙 Girlfriend of adm1n and the influencer (@Erivlt) August 9, 2022