Celebrating Devrim Kay, Destiny's first gay character
UPDATE: "I'm humbled to be a little part of representing people," voice actor says.
UPDATE 15/9/17: Since our article celebrating Devrim Kay went live earlier this week, we've received some lovely responses.
One of the best comes from Gideon Emery, who voiced Devrim in the game. Eurogamer got in contact with Emery to ask if he'd known much about the character before recording.
"I knew that he was gay - not much beyond that or what his relationship was like," Emery told me. "But the 'letters home', if I can call them that, were lovely touches of emotion and I'm all for games being more representative.
I also asked Emery if he had been aware of how much of a milestone this was for Destiny - even though Devrim's sexuality itself is subtly handled in-game.
"I didn't think about how big a deal this was," Emery concluded. "I am fortunate to have played two gay characters, both of which are significant roles in their respective games. The first being Fenris in Dragon Age 2, who could be romanced by man or woman and we recorded lines that would play specific to what the player had specified for themselves. That seemed like a landmark at the time, several years ago. Now it seems like just another character who happens to be gay.
"But I'm naive in thinking that gay roles in games have become more common, as clearly they have a ways to go. I'm humbled to be a little part of representing people who feel underrepresented."
UPDATE 13/9/17: You don't have to venture far in Destiny 2 to find Devrim Kay, your contact and reputation vendor for Earth's European Dead Zone. He's a gruff, grey-haired sniper who spends his days and nights picking off enemies from the rafters of a ruined church.
Devrim is British - so, predictably, if you stick around for some of his ambient speech he will discuss a love of tea. Stick around longer and you'll hear him talk of his loneliness from being stuck out in the wild, and sometimes he'll mention Mark, his partner.
The fact Devrim has a guy waiting for him back home is just one part of his identity, and is revealed through casual dialogue in a way that feels natural and unforced. You'll hear Devrim talk about the home-cooked meals he misses and speak aloud his thoughts - that he's keeping safe, but would quite like Mark to send over more tea.
All characters in Destiny offer up a fair bit of information if you stick around them long enough. Destiny 1's old Eva would often talk about her (rather sad) life, Eris would mumble about her Hive dreams and the Speaker would pontificate about some part of obscure lore.
Quick caricature of Devrim Kay from #Destiny2 and also best line in the game I've heard so far... ☕️ @Bungie @DestinyTheGame pic.twitter.com/r0YZhDsGnT— Pesty💀 (@IanPesty) September 7, 2017
Destiny hasn't shown an openly gay character on-screen before and, to my knowledge, neither has any other Bungie game. Yet Destiny is supposed to show the future of humanity - so it only feels right that the game reflects that.
I dithered over pointing it out at all - it shouldn't be a thing, really, when games are more inclusive. And yet, even in 2017, it still feels worth celebrating when this happens. So here we are. Well done, Bungie - I raise a cup of tea to you.