Xbox Live in Discussions with Gay Rights Activists

Xbox Live has had a rocky relationship with its gay and lesbian users in recent times, but there are signs that things may be improving.

Gay Gamer reports that Stephen Toulouse, who polices the XBL community, recently met with members of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation:

I can’t talk about what we discussed specifically except to say that we provided them with a lot of information about what we do today, why we do what we do and how we do it. And then we asked them the question, ‘How can we do this better?’ And we have some ideas. Here are some ideas. That dialog was super, super helpful. I think it was a great engagement. Justin and Jeffrey who came out from GLAAD really appreciated the effort that we’re putting into it – and had great ideas, like they brought up some stuff we hadn’t thought of.

We’ll plan to say something about [GLAAD and Xbox LIVE policy] in the future.

Via: Kotaku

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  1. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Yes, I am tired off seeing IlikedickIamaguy or proudrainbowlikedik or mufflovinwoman such great names but we must respect the gay community though those at have such a great site so much friendly people ah, I take it back 🙁

  2. shamrock says:

    I got a chuckle out of that one! It’s a case of people not thinking before they speak. People can be awful when they are behind an internet connection. Everyone should stop and think. If my Mom, Dad, brother or sister were gay would you feel different about what you were saying? Most of us would of course. If you are a future parent, be careful about being hateful. You just never know. Have an open mind everyone. Peace.

  3. Valdearg says:

    "By my estimate, there are 30 billion homophobes on Live, and that’s only the ones that are under 10."


    Hah! Hilarious. That is probably one of the better quotes I’ve seen from GP. 🙂

  4. State says:

    So you would be interacting with gay culture by playing against them in a death match for instance? If you have a problem with the gay names then surely you should be able to block those players yourself? Doesn’t this surely go against all that free speech stuff that Americans hold in such high regard?

    I don’t understand how playing on an online game with someone with their sexual orientation in their username means that you endorse their lifestyle. So surely you believe that interacting with a gay person through the means of an online game (where in many circumstances the interaction is little more than shooting bullets at each other) is going to affect your own sexuality.

    As other people have said replace sexual orientation with race and then do the same arguments still stand? The same goes for religion and gender too. Does playing with someone who said that they were female in their username, mean that I instantly support feminism? Mean that I endorse everything they stand for? Mean that I will endorse I genre of film (chick flicks) that I currently dislike?

    I see no difference in someone stating their race, sexuality, gender or eye colour in their username. Pretending that gay people don’t exist doesn’t mean that they will suddenly go away.

  5. Doomsong says:

    So then the arguement here is not about people being harrassed (as all they have to do is mute other players or just block communications with them). Basicly what you’re saying is that people should be able to wave a huge banner advertising their personal lives, forcing it in everyones face; and not have to worry about comments being made towards them that might hurt their feelings… as long as they are gay.

    Please don’t misunderstand, I’m all for gay rights in gaming (and I definately agree that Microsoft censors way too much)… but you need to get the bigger picture: while homosexuals feel hurt or insulted about being made fun of, many heterosexuals feel equally insulted by being forced to interact with a culture they want no part of. Crying out for special attention does nothing but prove there is a lot of growing up to do on both sides.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin


  6. Valdearg says:

    Wow, you are completely ignorant. You are ignorant of the fact that, for gay people, being gay is as big a part of thier lives as being black, white, mexican, or asian.

    Whats the difference between putting "I’m a 25 year old black guy who loves video games" in your profile, and "I’m a 25 year old gay guy who loves video games"?

    There is no difference, they are describing themselves. The only difference is that for people like you, who seem to want to live in this fantasy world where everybody is straight and homosexuals don’t exist.

    Guess what, the word "Gay" is not a bad word anymore, so why don’t you get used to it?

  7. Bennett Beeny says:

    "what about if your gamertag is your actual name which happens to have the forbidden three letters G, A and Y next to each other in it?"

    Good point.  My wife’s name is Gaye – would she have been banned?  What about someone called Gaylord – yes, it is a real name.

  8. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ah, the Rick Gaywood approach.

    DarkSaber: +1 i|\|73R|\|37$


  9. Pinworm says:

    No, they should keep banning people who publically spout their sexuality. I don’t want to know if someone is homosexual, I don’t want to know if someone is heterosexual, it has NO place in games, and if you plan on publically anouncing your sexuality like that, and expect it to be allowed, well then it should be allowed that other people give the homosexual (or hetero) an opinion on their sexuality, because they did the same thing when they shoved it down their throat.

    Is it immature to insult gays? Yes. But it’s more immature to go ranting and raving about your sexuality in a game, putting it all over your profile, then acting surprised when people react.

    It is absolutely no less than running into traffic and then complaining that the cars shouldn’t have been driving towards you.

  10. Valdearg says:

    Honestly, Microsoft should step up the enforcement with regards to the abuse of Homosexuals online. If someone is getting harrassed because they are gay, then they should punish the harassers. Not doing so is just enabling them to be more viscious to the next gay person they meet.

    People need to realize that Homophobia and Gay-Bashing are wrong, and being banned/suspended from XBL for it is a good start.

    Now, thats NOT saying ban everyone who’s ever used the word "fag." But if repeated harassment happens, those people should be punished.

    Also, I hope this results in Microsoft allowing Homosexuals to include that information about themselves in thier profile, if thats what they choose. If its a big enough part of your life to warrant mentioning it, then it should be allowed, not punished.

  11. Shalrath says:

    "But officer, look at how she’s dressed, she was asking for it!"

    Ah, we’re back to the 50’s are we?

  12. gamadaya says:

    What about ethnicity? Does MS have something against, lets say, "Mexican" appearing in a gamertag? That would also be considered exposing yourself to flaming due to the insane amount of racists on Live. But are we really going to use that excuse, that there are so many racists and homophobes on Live that normal people should cater to them and not say or do anything that might piss them off? Screw that.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  13. DarkSaber says:

    And what about if your gamertag is your actual name which happens to have the forbidden three letters G, A and Y next to each other in it?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  14. Lcpuche says:

    Lets not ignore the fact that there is no normal circumstances when playing when you give sexual orientation EVER. Nobody should know or care either way thats exposing yourself for flaming.

  15. GoodRobotUs says:

    There’s criticism and there is prejudice, Also, who says that anyone was ‘giving it’? A lot of these victims have not harassed other people in the slightest, but yet still receive abuse for being ‘different’, be it race, sexual orientation, gender or any other small-minded excuse people can find for taking offence at other people’s difference from themselves.

  16. gamadaya says:

    That’s not even close to the point. They can take the criticism (and it’s not criticism, it’s just hate) just fine, even though they shouldn’t have to, but it doesn’t make a difference when their accounts are banned. When you’re gay, or there is anything else different or weird about you, you have to be prepared for idiots who try to make your life miserable. But it doesn’t make it any easier when giant corporations get behind those idiots. Stop making excuses for these damn homophobes, and for MS.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  17. Nekowolf says:

    That one made more sense, in my opinion, than the XBL banning homosexual names. I actually see where they are coming from on that one.

  18. rdeegvainl says:

    kind of reminds me of the luvtofu license plate i heard about on the radio. apparently tofu is not allowed on license plates…

  19. State says:

    And what about gender too? Under what circumstances in gaming does your gender become of importance (after all you can choose it for your avatar). Doesn’t announcing that you’re femail attract many geek boys from the other side of the planet thinking they’ve got a chance with you (my brief experience with PS Home and a bit of gender swapping proved this).

    It seems to me that people don’t mind other people detailing certain parts of their lives until it comes to something that they don’t like (sexuality for example) and they suddenly become against people announcing these details.

    Some people want to annouce their sexuality, so what? How does that affect you or me? No matter how you live your life you will come into contact with these people sometime or other in your lives, whether you like it or not.

    I just can’t help but to feel that the people who are against people discussing their sexuality (or rather anything other than heterosexuality) are to a certain degree homophobic. Whilst I don’t particularly enjoy anyone discussing their sex lives publically (it’s nearly always rather boastful)  I can accept that some people may want to show off their sexuality (which doesn’t have to mean them discussing their actual sex lives) as being integral to their identity. At the end of the day any interaction with another gamer through the means of a virtual world with virtual avatars is not going to have any effect over my personality or sexuality (to believe so is just extreme ignorance and paranoia over the power of gaming), which I believe many people truly believe would actually happen.

  20. DarkSaber says:

    The Pope?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  21. gamadaya says:

    Ha! Good one. But if they didn’t ban people with gay usernames, then what would the situation be like? Homophobes would be angry, and we can’t have that! Sure, probably absolutely none of them would stop paying for Live because of gays, but it’s the principle that matters. What principle is that? Well, I don’t know, and MS probably doesn’t either, but you can bet that it matters. Because in the end, who will stand up for the homophobes if not MS?


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  22. State says:

    God hates fags.

    That’s why I don’t smoke.


    This whole situation could’ve easily been avoided if MS didn’t boot out people with the word "gay" or "lesbian" in their usernames. But they did and they now have this problem on their hands.

  23. Stealthguy says:

    Think of it this way, half the time we know we’ve done something wrong is when someone else takes us aside and says: "You know, you kinda fucked up there." But of course it’d take a whole organization of like minded people to even warrent an audience with the all powerful Miscrosoft.

  24. Charax says:

    If you need to contact GLAAD to tell you that banning someone for having the surname Gay is wrong, you have a seriously messed-up worldview.

  25. gamadaya says:

    Well of course they’re omitting a lot of stuff. MS has to be extremely careful here. They stand to lose a lot of money if they even ban a tiny fraction of the homophobes from Live. And I mean a lot. Like, trillions of dollars easily. By my estimate, there are 30 billion homophobes on Live, and that’s only the ones that are under 10.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  26. Firebird says:

    ‘How can we do this better?’

    How about booting every gamer using nametags with, Ex: "Xx AssholeNamehere xX" at the sides?


    Highly doubt we could monitor any person’s converstations…

    So? Let’s not talk about our sexual preferences, and if you have an obscure name… you may want learn how to handle with insecurity, or be prepared to abuse the "report abuse" call.

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