Text RPGs: NY Allows Same Sex Marriage - After Text Games
by Shay Andrew
As a New Yorker, I have a lot to celebrate. I am in what I consider to be the best region of the country, I am usually only a drive away from one of the biggest and most culturally-stimulating cities in America, and I am now allowed to get married. Fortunately, thanks to IRE online rpgs, the idea of gay marriage wasn’t always a distant dream. I’ve been 'out' to my friends and family for several years, and for nearly all of them, my male online characters have created and sustained happy marriages with other males.
Being gay has always been somewhat of a heavy cross to bear (pardon my pun). As a scrawny boy of 14, my fear of being judged, attacked, or otherwise downtrodden in some malign way for what something I couldn’t control was sometimes crippling. It’s difficult to be social, and more pressingly, confident in order to BECOME social, when this unwelcome pall of society-based, forced inadequacy looms like a rain cloud in every social situation. Being gay in a very straight world was very hard, and to be frank, is still hard sometimes. I could shock you with some of my stories, but that’s another topic for another time...
It wasn’t all bad, of course; I had, and still have, lots of friends who support me. Now that New York is welcoming the production of same sex marriages, my pride in my state is swelling even larger for all the decisions it’s making, and I sincerely believe that I can count on more forthcoming positive change. The struggle is certainly becoming less all-encompassing. However, despite where I am now, and despite the warm and welcoming crew I had growing up, I still believe that my experiences in the Iron Realms helped me hold out for a brighter future that, until just a month ago, seemed highly unlikely.
I remember signing onto my first ever online role playing game character in Aetolia for the third or fourth time. I was standing at the popular “hang-out,” North of Thera, when all of a sudden, two men came strolling by, laughing about their impending marriage. Perplexed, I followed them as stealthily as a text game vampire could, and tried to listen to their conversation.
They noticed me, of course, and though I was the undead and they were members of Shallam (FYI: for those of you who are just now tuning into Aetolia, have never tuned into Aetolia, or just plain don’t really care to ever play Aetolia [even though you should!], Shallam, which is now Enorian, hates vampires because they’re the City of Light), they let me in on their wedding plans (I guess a baby thrall in big, bad Sapience wasn’t really that much of a threat to the two proud knights).
I remember being amazed that it was allowed. I think I recall asking, bluntly for all of my amazement, “But you can’t really be married, right? Isn’t that just a man and a woman thing?” The knights laughed, benignly, and told me that they’d be having the text game ceremony whether people liked it or not. Low and behold, a few days later, their HONOURS showed the marriage line clear as day (or to my vampire, dark as night!).
It was incredible. Suddenly, a massive weight just fell off my shoulders in an inglorious heap, and I didn’t even know I was carrying it. My world expanded exponentially as I considered the possibility of someday having not a wife, a predetermined failed relationship with a woman just for the sake of having a family, but a husband, someone I could share my world with comfortably. Those two knights, whose names I sadly cannot recall, reshaped my young mind in ways that only IRE online RPG games could accomplish. I tried in vain to convince myself that it was just a text based roleplaying game and that men couldn’t marry men in real life.
Then my first male text game character married another male, and they lived happily ever after. I’m glad I wasn’t able to overthrow the dream, despite it being just a text game. Iron Realms Entertainment planted the first seed in my garden of gay rights activism, and I will never, ever forget it. Thank you, IRE, and thank you, New York!
Shay Andrew is a text game enthusiast who plays addicting games at Iron Realms!