Popularization of Dungeons & Dragons helps to create more safe spaces for LGBTQ+ community


Midway Staff

Reporter Haley Maharry says that as D&D is introduced to a broader audience through these new forms of media, more people will be exposed to positive LGBTQ+ representation.

Haley Maharry, Reporter

In the past years, Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop role-playing luck-based game, has made its way into mainstream media through shows like “Stranger Things” and most recently movies like “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” being shown in theaters. 

Because of its openness to different identities, Dungeons & Dragons has a history of being an LGBTQ+ safe space, and recently, its rise to mainstream culture has brought that safe space into the spotlight. 

Although I was disappointed in the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” bringing D&D to the public eye will allow people to access LGBTQ-friendly language and encourage self-expression through its ideology and inclusive gameplay.

The Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game has made a massive shift from its official launch in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules and subsequent version published by Wizards of the Coast, which was mainly directed at a white male audience. In recent years, the fanbase around D&D has expanded dramatically, becoming a magnet for the LGBTQ+ community.

The creators of Dungeons & Dragons have embraced the community and added queer-friendly wording to their official player handbooks that relate to gender nonconformity. The 5e player handbook says, “You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender.” Along with inclusive language, D&D features inclusive characters too, such as LGBTQ+ nonplayer characters in their official campaigns.

FROM TABLE TO SCREEN. “Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves” came to theaters on March 31, produced by and partnered with the official D&D company. (Haley Maharry)

Alex Fogel explained that along with mainstream media representations of the game, other media forms have picked up D&D. One of Alex’s favorite podcasts, “The Adventure Zone,” is a broadcasted D&D game, which Alex said was not only entertaining but also an amazing piece of writing. “The Adventure Zone” features multiple LGBTQ+ characters and NPCs. Alex explained that there are many nonbinary and gender nonconforming characters who use they/them pronouns along the campaigns, and some of the lead characters have queer identities.

As D&D is introduced to a broader audience through these new forms of media, more people will be exposed to positive LGBTQ+ representation. This will allow people to see more LGBTQ-friendly language and characters, which can help to create informed spaces where queer people can feel seen.