Thomas' Portrayal = Tasteful or Tasteless?

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kevinski

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Edited By kevinski
WARNING: THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS END GAME SPOILERS FOR DEADLY PREMONITION, AS WELL AS SPOILERS FOR ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S PSYCHO.

I'm a huge fan of Deadly Premonition. I'm currently working toward getting 1,000 GamerScore, which requires that I just play through the game once more. Given my love of this great game, I just can't get enough of it, especially when it comes to listening to and reading online discussions about it. Most recently, I listened to a podcast which - in addition to featuring an excellent interview voiced by York's voice actor - contained an in-depth discussion about the game's strengths and weaknesses, as well as how each of the podcast's hosts felt about the overall experience. Overall, I'd have to say that I was pleased with the discussion, until its focus shifted to Thomas.

Now, to me, Thomas is a strong character in the literary sense. He's functionally designed in a way that likens him to Marion Crane or Norman Bates, characters from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. How's Thomas similar to a woman who's brutally murdered in a shower and the guy who brutally murdered said woman in said shower? Well, he's intended to put your feelings to work in that you're consistently tricked into feeling for him in ways that you shouldn't from a moral standpoint. You see, Marion Crane was a woman who wanted certain things out of life, and you genuinely cared for her in a certain sense. Thing is, once she steals $40,000, shouldn't your morals take over and condemn her to whatever horrible fate awaits her? Not at all. Whether she's being tailed by a police officer or stabbed in a shower, the viewer feels genuine concern for her. As for Norman Bates, Marion's killer, shouldn't you feel genuine hatred toward him? Not quite. When he tries to ditch Marion's car in the swamp, most viewers feel genuine concern as the car ceases to sink into the water for just a moment, only to feel relief as it resumes its trip to the bottom.

With Thomas, you, as the player (or viewer, in the case of people who've only experienced the game through the Endurance Runs), are intended to always be at odds with how you feel about Thomas. You know him as a great cook, as well as a co-conspirator to murder. You know him as a shy man who can barely take a compliment, as well as a maddened man who'll resort to crime and cruelty for the man he loves. Or, perhaps more simply, you know him as a Sheriff's assistant who also happens to be on both sides of the law. Really, he's a great character.

Now, I haven't been able to uncover much in the way of these complaints as to how Thomas is portrayed throughout the game. Perhaps they're not as substantial as one host of the aforementioned podcast claims. Thing is, I'm curious as to whether or not anyone seriously has a problem with how the legacy of Thomas unfolds.

Sure, he's a gay character who also happens to be a complete psychopath. Does anyone who has a problem with this also fail to realize that George, a character whose bisexuality is definitely an implication in this scenario, also happens to be not quite right upstairs? And how about Carol? While I realize that Carol doesn't have nearly as much screen time as George or Thomas, you also need to realize that she isn't as deep as those characters. Furthermore, of the three characters involved in the entire scheme, Thomas is easily the deepest, and nobody who has a problem with potentially negative portrayal of homosexuals should even question the developers' motives regarding how Thomas is portrayed. He's a strong character, again, in the literary sense. His weaknesses make him strong as a character. Thomas' progression toward insanity comes far more naturally than, oh, say George's similar trip off the deep end. Really, do people seriously have more of a problem with the fact that an effeminate gay character turns out to be a psychopath than they do with the fact that a masculine bisexual character happens to be a step up on the totem pole in all respects?

Bear in mind still that Thomas' motivations are more human, while George's motivations are more divine. Again, Thomas' strengths lie in his weaknesses. You're supposed to feel for him. As for what you're supposed to think about George's sudden turn to WCW-style theatrics, well...I haven't a clue. As a player, I found myself feeling genuine sympathy for Thomas at some points, even after learning of his involvement. When I learned of George's involvement, well...it's hard to sympathize for a character who goes Super Saiyan and turns into Blanka, THEN begins to babble and cry to his mother. While Thomas' progression was quite natural, George's was completely forced. Even with the build-up, there was still no saving George's WCW-style performance. It was, in a word, ridiculous.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter. Really, I just wish that more people would enjoy characters for who they are, rather than whether or not they should be portrayed a certain way based solely on the fact that they belong to a particular demographic. I'm a white guy, yet I can still enjoy Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and laugh at how white guys are portrayed on the show. I'd expect it to be possible for gay people or people who otherwise support homosexuality to maintain a certain level of fairness in media consumption and realize that anyone in any demographic can take a trip off the deep end. I know this all too well.
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kevinski

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#1  Edited By kevinski
WARNING: THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS END GAME SPOILERS FOR DEADLY PREMONITION, AS WELL AS SPOILERS FOR ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S PSYCHO.

I'm a huge fan of Deadly Premonition. I'm currently working toward getting 1,000 GamerScore, which requires that I just play through the game once more. Given my love of this great game, I just can't get enough of it, especially when it comes to listening to and reading online discussions about it. Most recently, I listened to a podcast which - in addition to featuring an excellent interview voiced by York's voice actor - contained an in-depth discussion about the game's strengths and weaknesses, as well as how each of the podcast's hosts felt about the overall experience. Overall, I'd have to say that I was pleased with the discussion, until its focus shifted to Thomas.

Now, to me, Thomas is a strong character in the literary sense. He's functionally designed in a way that likens him to Marion Crane or Norman Bates, characters from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. How's Thomas similar to a woman who's brutally murdered in a shower and the guy who brutally murdered said woman in said shower? Well, he's intended to put your feelings to work in that you're consistently tricked into feeling for him in ways that you shouldn't from a moral standpoint. You see, Marion Crane was a woman who wanted certain things out of life, and you genuinely cared for her in a certain sense. Thing is, once she steals $40,000, shouldn't your morals take over and condemn her to whatever horrible fate awaits her? Not at all. Whether she's being tailed by a police officer or stabbed in a shower, the viewer feels genuine concern for her. As for Norman Bates, Marion's killer, shouldn't you feel genuine hatred toward him? Not quite. When he tries to ditch Marion's car in the swamp, most viewers feel genuine concern as the car ceases to sink into the water for just a moment, only to feel relief as it resumes its trip to the bottom.

With Thomas, you, as the player (or viewer, in the case of people who've only experienced the game through the Endurance Runs), are intended to always be at odds with how you feel about Thomas. You know him as a great cook, as well as a co-conspirator to murder. You know him as a shy man who can barely take a compliment, as well as a maddened man who'll resort to crime and cruelty for the man he loves. Or, perhaps more simply, you know him as a Sheriff's assistant who also happens to be on both sides of the law. Really, he's a great character.

Now, I haven't been able to uncover much in the way of these complaints as to how Thomas is portrayed throughout the game. Perhaps they're not as substantial as one host of the aforementioned podcast claims. Thing is, I'm curious as to whether or not anyone seriously has a problem with how the legacy of Thomas unfolds.

Sure, he's a gay character who also happens to be a complete psychopath. Does anyone who has a problem with this also fail to realize that George, a character whose bisexuality is definitely an implication in this scenario, also happens to be not quite right upstairs? And how about Carol? While I realize that Carol doesn't have nearly as much screen time as George or Thomas, you also need to realize that she isn't as deep as those characters. Furthermore, of the three characters involved in the entire scheme, Thomas is easily the deepest, and nobody who has a problem with potentially negative portrayal of homosexuals should even question the developers' motives regarding how Thomas is portrayed. He's a strong character, again, in the literary sense. His weaknesses make him strong as a character. Thomas' progression toward insanity comes far more naturally than, oh, say George's similar trip off the deep end. Really, do people seriously have more of a problem with the fact that an effeminate gay character turns out to be a psychopath than they do with the fact that a masculine bisexual character happens to be a step up on the totem pole in all respects?

Bear in mind still that Thomas' motivations are more human, while George's motivations are more divine. Again, Thomas' strengths lie in his weaknesses. You're supposed to feel for him. As for what you're supposed to think about George's sudden turn to WCW-style theatrics, well...I haven't a clue. As a player, I found myself feeling genuine sympathy for Thomas at some points, even after learning of his involvement. When I learned of George's involvement, well...it's hard to sympathize for a character who goes Super Saiyan and turns into Blanka, THEN begins to babble and cry to his mother. While Thomas' progression was quite natural, George's was completely forced. Even with the build-up, there was still no saving George's WCW-style performance. It was, in a word, ridiculous.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter. Really, I just wish that more people would enjoy characters for who they are, rather than whether or not they should be portrayed a certain way based solely on the fact that they belong to a particular demographic. I'm a white guy, yet I can still enjoy Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and laugh at how white guys are portrayed on the show. I'd expect it to be possible for gay people or people who otherwise support homosexuality to maintain a certain level of fairness in media consumption and realize that anyone in any demographic can take a trip off the deep end. I know this all too well.
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ryanwho

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#2  Edited By ryanwho

They never really judged him based on his choice to live privately as a woman, just on the fact that he was crazy. I felt like those aspects were separate. He wasn't crazy because he was gay, he was crazy because he couldn't be George's number 1 girl and the game reflected that by having his portrayal in the afterlife also be that of a woman. If being gay was part of his corruption, it wouldn't be shown in those positive dream sequences, just like George wasn't shown there. 
Compare that to, say, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, where his homosexuality is implied to be directly connected to his psychosis.His desire to live as a woman is the reason he killed them. That sort of thing got a pass because of the time it came out. I don't see that sort of direct correlation here.

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kevinski

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#3  Edited By kevinski
@ryanwho said:
" They never really judged him based on his choice to live privately as a woman, just on the fact that he was crazy. I felt like those aspects were separate. He wasn't crazy because he was gay, he was crazy because he couldn't be George's number 1 girl and the game reflected that by having his portrayal in the afterlife also be that of a woman. If being gay was part of his corruption, it wouldn't be shown in those positive dream sequences, just like George wasn't shown there. Compare that to, say, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, where his homosexuality is implied to be directly connected to his psychosis.His desire to live as a woman is the reason he killed them. That sort of thing got a pass because of the time it came out. I don't see that sort of direct correlation here. "
If the fact that Thomas was crazy was, indeed, kept entirely separate from the fact that Thomas was gay, then why only discuss Thomas in this respect?
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#4  Edited By ryanwho

It was relevant to his involvement, just the correlation wasn't directly linked to causation. Basically there's no reason to assume after you find out he's gay that he must be obsessed with George. Those are two separate entities.

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JJOR64

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#5  Edited By JJOR64

Wow, spoiler right in the title of the thread.

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hedfone

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#6  Edited By hedfone

I think swery just said   yo, let me put a gay dude up n diz bitch.

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kevinski

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#7  Edited By kevinski
@JJOR64 said:
" Wow, spoiler right in the title of the thread. "
Well, it's hard to mention most of the characters in a thread title without insinuating some form of spoiler.
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#8  Edited By shidoshi

Unless there's some other podcast out there that discusses Thomas in this way, I am the person in question who brought up said discussion. It wasn't that I specifically disliked how Thomas was presented, I just wished that certain things about him had been handled differently. 
 
This is a terrible reply, however, and I'll try to give a longer (and more in-depth) one later.

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kevinski

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#9  Edited By kevinski
@shidoshi said:
" Unless there's some other podcast out there that discusses Thomas in this way, I am the person in question who brought up said discussion. It wasn't that I specifically disliked how Thomas was presented, I just wished that certain things about him had been handled differently.  This is a terrible reply, however, and I'll try to give a longer (and more in-depth) one later. "
I look forward to reading your reply, assuming that you're the one who brought it up. Thing is, I feel that Thomas was handled very well as a character. I don't see how or why anything should necessarily be changed about him, because his behaviors are completely believable in a lot of respects. Furthermore, I fail to see how anyone would be concerned as to how Thomas was handled when George was so blatantly mishandled.
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Undeadpool

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#10  Edited By Undeadpool
@kevinski:  
There is a strong contingent of people out there who insist on being PC Police (and that's Politically Correct, easy to get confused on this gaming website). Anytime a minority character is placed in a villainous role there will be people who have a problem with it. They don't seem to realize that having only straight, white, male villains would be INCREDIBLY dull. 
Perfect example: One of David Croenenberg's first movies was called The Brood (Spoilers for the movie Brood, I suppose) : Long story short, it's about a woman who gives birth to these strange, monstrous creatures and has them kill people who are problematic in the woman's life. People called him a misogynist for having a female antagonist. They feel to see the fact that they're insinuating that women can only be the hero or the victim in a horror movie, which is more misogynist than the movie itself.
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kevinski

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#11  Edited By kevinski
@Undeadpool said:
" @kevinski:  There is a strong contingent of people out there who insist on being PC Police (and that's Politically Correct, easy to get confused on this gaming website). Anytime a minority character is placed in a villainous role there will be people who have a problem with it. They don't seem to realize that having only straight, white, male villains would be INCREDIBLY dull. "
Well, the downside to people attempting to be politically correct is that they're also not being completely realistic. I realize that there'll inevitably be people out there who are offended, regardless of what the situation. What blows my mind in this case is that people seem to completely disregard how well-designed the character is. I mean, Thomas is one of the strongest characters in the game. Whether they attempted to do the same with George by making him seem vulnerable is hard to say, as I believe that they either intentionally failed miserably or unintentionally failed miserably. I think that it has to do with being human versus being divine, so I'm more inclined to feel that any failure on the developers' parts as far as George goes was intentional. I couldn't imagine them getting one character so right and another character so wrong.
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#12  Edited By blue_crow

I agree with you in so many ways.  I am actually really pleased by your comparisons with Psycho, because that's what I've been thinking about a lot- I mean, okay, the more obvious parallels with Psycho are probably George's dead mother in the basement, but Thomas and Norman have a very similar demeanor on the surface.  I suppose that's a bit of a digression.
 
I think I was a little frustrated with how Thomas's multiple personalities came out- that once he sort of snapped, I believe he was displaying the somewhat sweet but sad feminine persona he may have had all along but kept private ("Emily, Emily, I-") but also the very shrill, angry female persona ("Die, you skanky swine!").  I at least interpreted the different moods as different personalities?  I wasn't sure.  The voice acting (which was pretty impressive) suggested to me that they were wildly different moods, at least.  But I think it was difficult for me because everything Thomas had done so far had led me to a picture of him that was very sweet and meek and honestly very much like a lot of the characters I'm drawn to- and suddenly he was doing things that I didn't like, and it was a little tough for me to see him do something difficult.  I think in many ways, if they were multiple personalities, it was an interesting little mirror for York and Zach- that something inside Thomas stood up and decided to protect the meeker parts, though it was less of a helpful force and more of a potential suicide by police.  (I guess I've been wondering about that too, if the meeker part of Thomas just wanted it to be over, and knew that the situation would result in some kind of resolution, whether it was escape or death.  He seemed pretty fatalistic about the whole thing, when he was talking to York.)
 
All in all, he was the character I connected with the most.  Its been a long time since I latched onto someone like that.  After a few minutes of watching him, I knew he was interested in men (and attributed it to slash goggles, because i has them.)  I also knew he had a record player and liked jazz- I think I guessed that after the biscuit scene.  I can't describe how weird it was watching scenes of his apartment (I have not played the game, but watched through on youtube and then on Giantbomb) and seeing everything I felt like I'd already seen.  
 
I just thought it was pretty respectful that he got a place in the painting and in the forest.  I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to that, and I was pleasantly surprised. 

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#13  Edited By Undeadpool
@kevinski:  
I agree with you wholeheartedly! I haven't played the game, but I watched the VJ Endurance Run (I'm going back through BR's as we speak), and that was one of the most intense, shocking moments of the entire game. All I'm saying is that no matter how nuanced and interesting a character is, some people are only going to see the fact that he's a gay/transgendered character being portrayed in a negative light. Honestly, I think it was a little more offensive when the game had him mincing around all effeminately.
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#14  Edited By Deusoma

I would never, ever read too much into anything to do with Deadly Premonition, let's be fair, that might be giving the game's writing a tad too much credit, even if it is the strongest part of the overall package. 
 
That being said, I didn't see anything wrong with Thomas' portrayal; after all, transvestites can be insane, just like everybody else. It's not like they openly said 'Look how crazy he was, wearing women's clothing'. 
 
On another note, I don't at all see the Norman Bates thing with Thomas, it wasn't a case of split personalities, it was a case of a crazy person hiding his insanity very, very well. George you could maybe make a case for, but let's be fair, the dead-mother-in-the-basement thing has been copied so many times it's not even a direct reference anymore, it's a genre cliche.

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#15  Edited By Supermarius

I don't think Thomas' sexuality was significant. It's more about his personal repression of his gender identity. Seems like he wanted to be a woman but didnt pursue the healthy outlets for that and eventually went nuts. Probably because theres not alot of tolerance for gender reassignment in a small town. I don't think hes meant to be a condemnation or judgment of homosexuality. We also don't know exactly how much of an effect the red seeds have. Did he take them, i may have missed that. He, and maybe even George, might not really be responsible for their actions anymore by the end of their lives. The gas could turn people into murderous zombies, what were the chronic effects of exposure to the seeds or of living in greenvale with its level of toxic contamination in the soil?

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#16  Edited By blue_crow
@Supermarius said:
"We also don't know exactly how much of an effect the red seeds have. Did he take them, i may have missed that. He, and maybe even George, might not really be responsible for their actions anymore by the end of their lives. The gas could turn people into murderous zombies, what were the chronic effects of exposure to the seeds or of living in greenvale with its level of toxic contamination in the soil? "
I am willing to assume that Thomas ingested the seeds along with the rest of the cult.  
 
Which brings me to the big timeline issue I've been having while trying to piece together events for some fanfiction.  Emily says that she came to Greenvale when she was in highschool and that George asked her out.  This was on average about 10 years ago as the official website lists her as 26- so she was 16?  Anyway.  Thomas is 28 and his sister Carol is 20- so ten years ago, he also would have been in highschool and Carol, Anna and Becky would have been in grade school.
 
Thomas says during his boss fight that things were so much better before Emily came to Greenvale, and that "we had so much fun."  
George says during his boss fight that he asked Carol and Thomas to make the bondage lair after he'd already been using the seeds on Anna and Becky.
Was George involved with Thomas so far back (like when Thomas was in highschool/just out of it?), and was that what Thomas meant was so much fun, or was Thomas happier before he'd gotten with George at all?  (...Also, why did Carol hardly get any character development?  Sorry to hijack your thread.)
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#17  Edited By Bones8677
@ryanwho said:
"Compare that to, say, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, where his homosexuality is implied to be directly connected to his psychosis.His desire to live as a woman is the reason he killed them. That sort of thing got a pass because of the time it came out. I don't see that sort of direct correlation here. "
I don't mean to create a tangent here, but I don't think the story implied that is homosexuality was caused by his psychosis. I don't think it even said he was gay, just that he was transgendered, they're not always one in the same. 
 
Agent Starling made a point that Buffalo Bill did not fit the profile of a transgendered person, saying that they are, "usually very passive." This implied that Buffalo Bill was a unique case. He wanted to be a woman, lot's of men want to be women but none of them go out and kill to become one. And lots of men dress up as women, despite being straight, i.e. Eddie Izzard. 
 
What I'm saying is that Buffalo Bill was not gay because he was crazy, he was just plain crazy.
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kevinski

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#18  Edited By kevinski
@blue_crow said:
" I agree with you in so many ways.  I am actually really pleased by your comparisons with Psycho, because that's what I've been thinking about a lot- I mean, okay, the more obvious parallels with Psycho are probably George's dead mother in the basement, but Thomas and Norman have a very similar demeanor on the surface.  I suppose that's a bit of a digression. 
 
I think I was a little frustrated with how Thomas's multiple personalities came out- that once he sort of snapped, I believe he was displaying the somewhat sweet but sad feminine persona he may have had all along but kept private ("Emily, Emily, I-") but also the very shrill, angry female persona ("Die, you skanky swine!").  I at least interpreted the different moods as different personalities?  I wasn't sure.  The voice acting (which was pretty impressive) suggested to me that they were wildly different moods, at least.  But I think it was difficult for me because everything Thomas had done so far had led me to a picture of him that was very sweet and meek and honestly very much like a lot of the characters I'm drawn to- and suddenly he was doing things that I didn't like, and it was a little tough for me to see him do something difficult.  I think in many ways, if they were multiple personalities, it was an interesting little mirror for York and Zach- that something inside Thomas stood up and decided to protect the meeker parts, though it was less of a helpful force and more of a potential suicide by police.  (I guess I've been wondering about that too, if the meeker part of Thomas just wanted it to be over, and knew that the situation would result in some kind of resolution, whether it was escape or death.  He seemed pretty fatalistic about the whole thing, when he was talking to York.) 
 
All in all, he was the character I connected with the most.  Its been a long time since I latched onto someone like that.  After a few minutes of watching him, I knew he was interested in men (and attributed it to slash goggles, because i has them.)  I also knew he had a record player and liked jazz- I think I guessed that after the biscuit scene.  I can't describe how weird it was watching scenes of his apartment (I have not played the game, but watched through on youtube and then on Giantbomb) and seeing everything I felt like I'd already seen. 
 
I just thought it was pretty respectful that he got a place in the painting and in the forest.  I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to that, and I was pleasantly surprised.  "
I can understand and respect your view of Thomas and how he should've been handled, but I think that you need to reflect on his character a bit more by either playing through the game one or two more times or watching the Endurance Run one or two more times. You'll pick up on a lot of things that you wouldn't have paid nearly as much attention to prior to knowing the full storyline, and you'll be far more accepting of everything that happens and why it happens.

Thing is, as I stated before, Thomas' descent into madness is very suitable. I'm not sure if this is the exact quote, but I recall Thomas saying something along the lines of, "We used to have so much fun." He says that during the scene in which he has York tied up. I just feel that Thomas came to a lot of realizations at that point in the investigation. I think he realized that his relationship (whether it was the initial friendship or the implied loving/sexual relationship) with George wasn't the same that it was in the beginning, finally allowing him to understand that his future with George was going nowhere. Also, Thomas had to have realized that York was on the right trail, so it was inevitable that George and Thomas be separated at some point, either through death or imprisonment. Prior to him completely snapping, Thomas lives his life in a delusionary state, and he's ultimately only set off when that delusion is threatened.

It's all right to like Thomas as a character. That's his function. You're supposed to like him. I'm playing through the game for the third time right now, and I've watched both Endurance Runs. I like Thomas more the more that I play through the game. Now, had he been the one to kill Emily, I doubt that I would've ended up still having a positive outlook on him. (Kaysen's another story, though.) And yes, he's in the forest at the end, which should put your concerns about his character to rest in the end.
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kevinski

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#19  Edited By kevinski
@Undeadpool said:
" Honestly, I think it was a little more offensive when the game had him mincing around all effeminately. "
Oh, I totally agree. His portrayal before he went completely insane was a bit more questionable than anything afterwards. I mean, from the moment York meets him, all that you're thinking is, "What in God's name is with the way he runs?!" XD

@Deusoma said:
" I would never, ever read too much into anything to do with Deadly Premonition, let's be fair, that might be giving the game's writing a tad too much credit, even if it is the strongest part of the overall package. 
 
That being said, I didn't see anything wrong with Thomas' portrayal; after all, transvestites can be insane, just like everybody else. It's not like they openly said 'Look how crazy he was, wearing women's clothing'. 
 
On another note, I don't at all see the Norman Bates thing with Thomas, it wasn't a case of split personalities, it was a case of a crazy person hiding his insanity very, very well. George you could maybe make a case for, but let's be fair, the dead-mother-in-the-basement thing has been copied so many times it's not even a direct reference anymore, it's a genre cliche. "
I don't think that I'm giving the game's writing too much credit. While a lot of people probably could make the case that George has similarities to Norman, I still feel that Thomas is the stronger parallel. Besides, I don't think that nearly as many people get the true concept of Psycho, although that certainly doesn't stop them from seeing the obvious references. Problem is, if they don't understand that Psycho (or Deadly Premonition) is working on them in the way that I discussed in my initial post, then they're bound to misinterpret the characters. To an extent, I'd say that a lot of people even dislike movies that're legitimately awesome simply because the movie's intent just flies right over those people's heads.

@blue_crow said:
I am willing to assume that Thomas ingested the seeds along with the rest of the cult. 
 
Which brings me to the big timeline issue I've been having while trying to piece together events for some fanfiction.  Emily says that she came to Greenvale when she was in highschool and that George asked her out.  This was on average about 10 years ago as the official website lists her as 26- so she was 16?  Anyway.  Thomas is 28 and his sister Carol is 20- so ten years ago, he also would have been in highschool and Carol, Anna and Becky would have been in grade school. 
 
Thomas says during his boss fight that things were so much better before Emily came to Greenvale, and that "we had so much fun." 
George says during his boss fight that he asked Carol and Thomas to make the bondage lair after he'd already been using the seeds on Anna and Becky. Was George involved with Thomas so far back (like when Thomas was in highschool/just out of it?), and was that what Thomas meant was so much fun, or was Thomas happier before he'd gotten with George at all?  (...Also, why did Carol hardly get any character development?  Sorry to hijack your thread.) "
It's very possible that the seeds played a part, although I'd say that they also have the same effect as alcohol in that they loosen people's tongues. Thomas was probably keeping a lot of what he said around that point buried for years.

As for George asking a 16-year-old out, yeah...perhaps that's something that wouldn't have raised eyebrows in Japan. I'm pretty sure that 16 is legal there, so I don't think that we're really supposed to read much more into that if we happen to be living in a country where 18 is the age of consent.

And I don't feel that Carol needed any development, personally. To be honest, I don't think that she would've been a very interesting character. Furthermore, you could probably make enough assumptions to flesh out her character a bit more based on Thomas' fixation on being like her. Oh, I know that another comment had mentioned Thomas' love of jazz, but I don't think that it's so much a love of jazz as it is a means of fueling his want to be like Carol. He dances around while listening to his sister sing. I don't think that the music genre is important here.
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#20  Edited By blue_crow

Hm, kevinsky, I don't know why you're refuting things I didn't say.  I agreed with you, and I do think he was set off by something- a specific incident- probably the moment he realized that George had been trying to frame him the entire case (which has become more and more clear to me in subsequent viewings- especially the moment George suggests to York that the killer was the one who put on the high heels at the initial crime scene, but also the red hairs in the lumber mill and the book in Thomas's handwriting and George's false lead to Thomas's apartment.) 
 
Actually, the line, "We had so much fun" was directed at Emily, but yes.  I don't know if he means that he and Carol had more fun before they got involved with George, or he's adopted Carol as his protector in his own head and he means "we" the same way York means himself and Zach occasionally, or he does mean that at one point he and George had a relationship that he enjoyed.  
 
My only point was that I was saddened to see him doing things that were violent.  Which is how I think I was supposed to feel- I felt defensive of him when York threatens him ("If you dare to touch Emily" or something similar) and I was sad when he identified Emily as the problem in his and George's relationship, and not George.  I was moved by his development, not resistant to it.

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#21  Edited By Brodehouse

I think a sad part of the problem with Deadly Premonition's production values, is that it's hard to tell whether something was done on purpose.  It's hard to put subtlety into it if you're working with such severe limitations.  I say this specifically about things like Thomas' nancy run and his dancing.  When you peek into his house and see him dancing there, it's hard to tell what the hell is going on due to the production values.
 
I agree with the poster who said that Thomas seemed more offensive to homosexuals when he was mincing about rather than when he turned homicidal.  It's George that I kind of have the problem with... it's as if the moment his bisexuality comes forward that he turns into a psychopath.  The Depraved Bisexual routine is so common there's a TV Tropes page about it.
 
It's nice that gay characters are starting to exist in games, that's a big step forward.  But so far the only complex and almost heroic interpretation of it I've seen is Kanji.  Usually it's closer to Herren and Wade from Dragon Age, who aren't offensive, but more than a little camp.

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#22  Edited By kevinski
@blue_crow said:
" Hm, kevinsky, I don't know why you're refuting things I didn't say.  I agreed with you, and I do think he was set off by something- a specific incident- probably the moment he realized that George had been trying to frame him the entire case (which has become more and more clear to me in subsequent viewings- especially the moment George suggests to York that the killer was the one who put on the high heels at the initial crime scene, but also the red hairs in the lumber mill and the book in Thomas's handwriting and George's false lead to Thomas's apartment.) 
 
Actually, the line, "We had so much fun" was directed at Emily, but yes.  I don't know if he means that he and Carol had more fun before they got involved with George, or he's adopted Carol as his protector in his own head and he means "we" the same way York means himself and Zach occasionally, or he does mean that at one point he and George had a relationship that he enjoyed. 
 
My only point was that I was saddened to see him doing things that were violent.  Which is how I think I was supposed to feel- I felt defensive of him when York threatens him ("If you dare to touch Emily" or something similar) and I was sad when he identified Emily as the problem in his and George's relationship, and not George.  I was moved by his development, not resistant to it. "
Point taken, although I was only trying to say that I can't understand why anyone would be displeased with how Thomas' character was handled, especially since George was a complete train wreck. I wouldn't change a thing with Thomas' character, personally. He's funny when he's supposed to be, and he's disturbing when he's supposed to be.

And I suppose that it's very possible that Thomas was referring to Carol when he mentioned how they used to have so much fun, rather than referring to George. I took it to refer to George, probably because of when - around that same point - Thomas tells York how kind he is in comparison to George (although he only refers to George as "him" at the time. I wonder what the real turning point for George was and whether or not he was ever really a truly pleasant person to be around. I realize that everyone seems to have a certain respect for George, but he's one of the most reclusive characters in the game.

You do make a good point about Thomas blaming Emily for the whole George thing. Bear in mind that George also names Emily as responsible for what's happened, though, so perhaps Thomas' blame of Emily is more so due to him probably having heard "Emily this" and "Emily that" from George for so long. While he was probably jealous to a point, maybe it's the seeds that ultimately caused him to lash out at Emily. While he was, for lack of a better way of putting it, under the influence, I still wouldn't discount his actions are being out of character.

It's good to know that the character served its purpose for you, though. Again, I do feel that this was by design.
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#23  Edited By kevinski
@Brodehouse said:
" I think a sad part of the problem with Deadly Premonition's production values, is that it's hard to tell whether something was done on purpose.  It's hard to put subtlety into it if you're working with such severe limitations.  I say this specifically about things like Thomas' nancy run and his dancing.  When you peek into his house and see him dancing there, it's hard to tell what the hell is going on due to the production values.
 
I agree with the poster who said that Thomas seemed more offensive to homosexuals when he was mincing about rather than when he turned homicidal.  It's George that I kind of have the problem with... it's as if the moment his bisexuality comes forward that he turns into a psychopath.  The Depraved Bisexual routine is so common there's a TV Tropes page about it.
 
It's nice that gay characters are starting to exist in games, that's a big step forward.  But so far the only complex and almost heroic interpretation of it I've seen is Kanji.  Usually it's closer to Herren and Wade from Dragon Age, who aren't offensive, but more than a little camp. "
I agree that the game's production values can make certain things (the aforementioned dancing) a bit hard to decipher. To be honest, at that point, he honestly just looks like he's having a good time. Whether the whole Carol thing was at play there is hard to say. With Thomas' character, though, it's hard to gauge pretty much everything that he does prior to kidnapping York. He's nervous or shy about pretty much everything. If he was a more confident character and only acted nervously in certain situations, then perhaps his involvement would've been far less surprising and shocking.

I disagree about the depraved bisexual thing, though. If character roles are to become more diverse, then people need to learn to take the good with the bad. After all, consider how many guys who are both straight and white have gone completely insane and killed people in movies. I don't see how anyone should care that a bisexual or gay person should be placed in a similar situation. I mean, George and Thomas could've just been minor side characters who were completely uninteresting, but they ended up being central to the plot. Furthermore, despite them both obviously going off the deep end, they're both profoundly different characters, with one obviously being far more likable than the other.
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#24  Edited By Undeadpool
@kevinski:  
The moemnt I saw that I agreed with Ryan's thoughts: "Wow, really? Thanks, Japan..."
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#25  Edited By shidoshi

Okay, before this thread gets any longer and it's even more difficult to get into it, let me bring up a few of my points. I don't really come at this as a discussion - as in, I'm right, you're wrong, etc. - but more a clarification of my statements on the podcast as to why I wasn't fully happy with the character of Thomas. 
 
Also, before I begin, let me clarify a few things. "I wasn't happy with X" and "I didn't like X" are two totally different things. (For example: I liked Deadly Premonition, I wasn't happy with some of its elements.) Being "politically correct" has nothing to do with anything. Also, Thomas isn't gay; at least, we don't know for SURE that he is. His situation seems to lean more toward being either a cross dresser or transgender (and let's also be clear that those two things aren't the same), and depending on which, the factors of his sexuality could be totally different (as gender identity and sexuality have no connection). 
 
You may have enjoyed the position you saw Thomas being in storyline-wise, and that's fine, even if I may disagree with some of your points. For me, it wasn't so much "I don't like what they did with Thomas" as much as it was "they could have done something FAR more interesting with him in my opinion". The problem I have starts with this question: how many POSITIVE portrayals of transgender / cross dresser characters can you name in video games? Every type of person can and should be available for use as an antagonist, but it can be hard to embrace that idea when positive examples of those characters are so few and far between. 
 
I would never say that the character of Thomas shouldn't exist, but once I knew for sure where they were taking him, it disheartened me. Up until chapter 5, I knew there was something a little "different" about him. Then, when getting to the point where you're searching his apartment, I started to have a sinking feeling as I began to get an idea for where I thought they were going for him: the crazy cross-dressing killer. 
 
But then I'm going through chapter 5, and as more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, I find myself loving where I now think the game is going. We are meant to think Thomas is the killer, that he's this psychopath freak, and yet, I see the resolution being that he's the killer's next victim, killed as one of "the girls" which comes as a shock to us and to most of the inhabitants of Greenvale. 
 
What actually plays out didn't go where I hoped, but also didn't go where I feared. Thomas is a character we can end up sympathizing with, a character who is both an innocent victim and somebody who deserves some level of blame. As it stands, great; I'm okay for the most part with how it worked out. 
 
At the same time, though, I just can't help but feel that it's all a little lazy. The cross dresser ends up being the one that attacks us, forcing us to kill him. I'm utterly shocked, in a very sarcastic way. And then, indeed, George is also a "sexual devient", and he's our other main human villain. No matter how strong or weak Thomas is/was as a character, it's just such an easy way to take the story to me. 
 
Which leads to a bigger problem: you may appreciate Thomas, I may appreciate him, but the way he plays out in DP, I just can't help but imagine a lot of players seeing him as nothing more than "the gay freak". We're never allowed to see any quality signs of Thomas in his "truer" self until the point at which he's going crazy and trying to kill Emily*, and that might be part of what makes me feel so uncomfortable.  Thomas as a cross dresser / transgender character is never presented to us until it's time to use him as our enemy, and I wish that hadn't have happened. It would have required the game to not use the reveal of Thomas being that was as a major surprise, but really, I'd have been perfectly fine with that. Even if we can appreciate Thomas for who he is, you cannot miss the fact that for a lot of people, Thomas being "bad" and his sexuality / gender identity are going to be directly linked.
 
(* that I know if. If there were scenes that I missed where York is shown that side of Thomas in a positive light, then I'm going to look more than a little silly.) 
 
For who he is in relation to the story and the overall game, I'm fine with Thomas. While I can't appreciate what was done with him as much as you can, I still think he's an interesting and pretty positive character once the game comes to a close. For me, though, I wish more had been done with him in a way that didn't have such potential to link his more personal side with feelings of negativity, and which wouldn't feed into the notion that such people are bizarre freaks. No matter how he ends up and what redemption he receives, that's exactly how he is portrayed at his most powerful and prominent moment in the game, at least in my eyes.

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#26  Edited By blue_crow
@shidoshi said:
Which leads to a bigger problem: you may appreciate Thomas, I may appreciate him, but the way he plays out in DP, I just can't help but imagine a lot of players seeing him as nothing more than "the gay freak". We're never allowed to see any quality signs of Thomas in his "truer" self until the point at which he's going crazy and trying to kill Emily*, and that might be part of what makes me feel so uncomfortable.  Thomas as a cross dresser / transgender character is never presented to us until it's time to use him as our enemy, and I wish that hadn't have happened. It would have required the game to not use the reveal of Thomas being that was as a major surprise, but really, I'd have been perfectly fine with that. Even if we can appreciate Thomas for who he is, you cannot miss the fact that for a lot of people, Thomas being "bad" and his sexuality / gender identity are going to be directly linked..
I actually agree with this- wildly so, and I've been very uncomfortable when I've found evidence of it.  I don't know if you've listened to the Warning! A Huge Podcast Approaching (or whatever) podcast, the one with the Jeff Kramer-voiced interview of SWERY, but the guys in it, nice as they were, made a few offhand remarks about Thomas that just seemed... cold to me.  Not nearly the way I had always seen him.  I mean, the ER guys seemed surprisingly positive about the whole thing- Vinny and Jeff particularly, one of them seemed like...  really accepting to me, the other pair not quite as much.  
 
I think in many ways, this sort of thing may be why a lot of media doesn't attempt to handle transgendered/cross-dressing/gay/ethnic/etc characters and may avoid going into women's issues too deeply (because not having any women at all would probably end up looking too obvious)- because they're not as easy to handle as cisgendered heterosexual majority men who prefer men's clothing, especially when they're being written by people in the same group that the characters belong to.  Even a character that's satisfying to some people may come off totally the wrong way to others.  I think authors are scared of handling those issues incorrectly, so they avoid them instead of trying and maybe missing the point, which I think is unfortunate.
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#27  Edited By kevinski
@shidoshi said:

" Also, Thomas isn't gay; at least, we don't know for SURE that he is. "

I totally disagree here. It's blatantly obvious that Thomas is gay. I suppose that there's a remote chance that he's bisexual, but I seriously doubt it. He's obviously very attracted to men, and he barely even gives women so much as a glance.

@shidoshi said: 

" The problem I have starts with this question: how many POSITIVE portrayals of transgender / cross dresser characters can you name in video games? Every type of person can and should be available for use as an antagonist, but it can be hard to embrace that idea when positive examples of those characters are so few and far between. "

I suppose that I don't make it a point to sort every character I see into a category. Why does a character's age, gender, race or sexuality make any difference in how enjoyable or interesting someone is? I don't understand this insistence on people seeking out characters who represent certain groups and critiquing them. As far as cross-dressing is concerned, it's no big secret that cross-dressers are generally used in television as a form of comic relief. I don't say that to be rude; I say it because I can rattle off a few male characters who regularly dress like women: Bugs Bunny (as well as a lot of other cartoon characters, to be honest), Dennis/Denise Bryson (Twin Peaks) and Zack Morris (Saved by the Bell). I'd say that these characters' cross-dressing is handled somewhat tastefully. Even more interesting, you learn more about the characters around them whenever these characters are cross-dressing (namely how stupid they are).

Bugs Bunny uses cross-dressing to get himself out of trouble. Dennis/Denise Bryson explains how he got into cross-dressing, and he's generally perceived as a positive character. Dale Cooper doesn't treat him any differently based on his appearance. Sure, other people tend to stare, but c'mon...if you think that a cross-dresser can walk among the general public and not be stared at, then you're living in denial. As for Zach Morris, he cross-dresses for different reasons, namely to help his friends or spy on people.

Sorry about the age of my examples, as I'm really not into modern television. XD

@shidoshi said: 

" We're never allowed to see any quality signs of Thomas in his "truer" self until the point at which he's going crazy and trying to kill Emily*, and that might be part of what makes me feel so uncomfortable.  Thomas as a cross dresser / transgender character is never presented to us until it's time to use him as our enemy, and I wish that hadn't have happened. "

Try watching the news sometime, namely if someone goes ballistic and kills someone entirely out of the blue. You'll generally hear that person's friends and family talk about how they never expected something like that to happen. Why? Because the person didn't let his/her "truer" self out until that very moment. And the cross-dressing thing isn't exposed prior to you finding out that Thomas is the enemy solely because you have absolutely no reason to be in his apartment until he's gone missing.

Now, call me crazy, but I'd say that it makes perfect sense that Thomas' clothes - whether intended for males or females - are stored in his apartment. I mean, really...

@shidoshi
said:
" (* that I know if. If there were scenes that I missed where York is shown that side of Thomas in a positive light, then I'm going to look more than a little silly.) "
Thomas' aforementioned "truer" self is shown whenever he's with the girls in the green room. Bear in mind that he's still wearing his dress. He doesn't return to wearing his normal clothes until the girls return to wearing their normal clothes in the diner.
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#28  Edited By kevinski
@blue_crow said:
" I think in many ways, this sort of thing may be why a lot of media doesn't attempt to handle transgendered/cross-dressing/gay/ethnic/etc characters and may avoid going into women's issues too deeply (because not having any women at all would probably end up looking too obvious)- because they're not as easy to handle as cisgendered heterosexual majority men who prefer men's clothing, especially when they're being written by people in the same group that the characters belong to.  Even a character that's satisfying to some people may come off totally the wrong way to others.  I think authors are scared of handling those issues incorrectly, so they avoid them instead of trying and maybe missing the point, which I think is unfortunate. "
I completely agree with this. There are a lot of angles that these misunderstood roles would need to be approached from, so it's entirely impossible to get a character right for everyone.
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#29  Edited By shidoshi
@blue_crow said:
I actually agree with this- wildly so, and I've been very uncomfortable when I've found evidence of it.  I don't know if you've listened to the Warning! A Huge Podcast Approaching (or whatever) podcast, the one with the Jeff Kramer-voiced interview of SWERY, but the guys in it, nice as they were, made a few offhand remarks about Thomas that just seemed... cold to me.  Not nearly the way I had always seen him.  
 
Okay, this thread has now gone is a strangely bizarre circle, as (a) it was started in response to the comments made on the podcast, (b) I - as the person from the podcast who brought this topic up on said podcast - replied to the comments made about the podcast, and then (c) you post saying you agree with me, and use the podcast as evidence of the kind of ignorance I was saying could happen! *laughs*
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#30  Edited By MrKlorox

Thomas's character has got nothing at all to do with sexual preference and everything to do with gender identity, which is not the same thing. Not to try and play SWERY, but I'd guess that Thomas considered himself (herself?) straight, except born into the wrong gender.
 
I think it was both tasteful and tasteless. Tasteless in the sense that he is overtly animated "femininely" to a cartoonish extent , but tasteful in the sense that he wasn't a joke like a Rockstar character.

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#31  Edited By shidoshi
@kevinski said:

" @shidoshi said:

" Also, Thomas isn't gay; at least, we don't know for SURE that he is. "

I totally disagree here. It's blatantly obvious that Thomas is gay. I suppose that there's a remote chance that he's bisexual, but I seriously doubt it. He's obviously very attracted to men, and he barely even gives women so much as a glance.  
 
I'll hit on the rest later, but I wanted to make sure to reply to this point while I'm here. 
 
The label of "gay" isn't that easy. Your average homosexual man has little interest in putting themselves into the role of a woman, cross dressing, etc. Talk to most gay men, and I'm sure they'll all tell you the same thing: they are not attracted to the same sex because they see themselves as feminine or because they want to be women, they see themselves as men attracted to other men. Some may display more feminine personality traits or actions, but there is hardly ever a point where they would want to be a woman. *
 
That's an important point to remember, though: homosexual men are men that are attracted to other men. Their sexuality is completely separate from their gender identity, and most have no issues with confusion on that second part. 
 
Thomas doesn't display the typical traits of a gay man, and the fact that he may have/have had sex with another man doesn't make him one. When the game is set and done, Thomas seems to identify himself as a woman, and places himself (my use of "himself" due to the fact that I cannot be 100% sure of this being the full story) among the other women who were involved with the happenings in Greenvale. If Thomas was simply a gay male, and dressed up in that way not because he wanted to, but because that's what it would take for George to have interest in him, I'm not sure that Thomas would then continue to represent himself like that after he no longer has to. (Of course, this could be a point where the wants of SWERY may not be aligned with the realistic nature of a person in this situation.) 
 
The conflict I have is if Thomas is transgender, or a cross dresser. Somebody who is transgender has a very specific and deep situation of "I was born as X, but I should have been Y"; cross dressers are people who don't want to change their physical sex, and who don't fully identify with the other gender, but find some need / interest / pleasure in sometimes portraying themselves as the opposite sex. 
 
I don't think that's the case with Thomas, as least in the way he plays out during the story; my best guess is that he's transgender. If that's the case, calling him "gay" is not correct, because (a) it doesn't take all factors of his situation into consideration, and (b) it is a mis-labeling of him and his situation. Gender identity and sexuality are IN NO WAY CONNECTION - I can't stress that point enough. If Thomas is in fact transgender, identifies himself as female and sees himself truly as a woman, he isn't gay if he has an attraction to men: he is straight, because no matter what he may be physically, he comes at the question of attraction from the mental and emotional standpoint of being female. I know it's tempting to call him gay, because the easiest point to see is "male body + male body = gay". When you get into the realm of being transgender, however, the equation isn't that simple. Sexuality is a question of the physical, while gender is emotional and mental. This is a VERY important thing to remember and understand if people who are transgender are ever to be fully accepted in society.
 
That's the point I'm trying to stress here. Calling Thomas gay if he is transgender is completely incorrect. If he's gay, then either SWERY doesn't understand the difference between sexuality and gender identity, or he just decided to make Thomas this way for storyline purposes. 
  

* Let's be clear: the only certainty is that there is never certainty. I'm not saying there has never nor will ever be examples of gay men who enjoy / prefer living out their lives in the role of a female. However, once those elements come into play, it is usually the case of something deeper going on, and probably a bigger question of gender identity and not just a question of sexuality. I know people who have lived that exact life: originally thinking they were "just" gay men, but later coming to the realization that their attraction to men instead came from a deeper self-identification with being a woman. I also know gay men who, when they were trying to figure out what was going on with them and why they were so confused, thought they might want to be a woman. For them, those feelings stemmed from society telling them that men weren't supposed to be attracted to other men, and once they came to terms with everything, they had no desire at all to be a woman.
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#32  Edited By gamer_152  Moderator

I see Thomas' sexuality and his mental state two completely separate things and I'm very surprised that anybody would make a link between the two. If anything I feel like Thomas' portrayal as a homosexual was rather generic and that is probably my biggest complaint about the character but considering how few games would actually dare to deal with the kind of subject matter anyway Deadly Premonition is rather making strides in this field. Thomas was definitely more believable than the other two villains at the end of the game; Thomas' boss battle was somewhat silly but the game always had a weird quirkiness to it and it definitely didn't deviate into the realms of the purely ridiculous like the battle with George or Kaysen. Unlike George and Kaysen though I never saw Thomas as a straight-out evil character, I felt like he was a good guy who had just been lead down the wrong path and the game seemed to take a similar stance on it, showing him at peace alongside the other girls in the afterlife-like realm at the end of the game. Although I did find Thomas a less likable character by the point that he was trying to kill Emily and it had been discovered that he had been involved with the murders I still never really hated him, I just saw him as an unfortunate case.

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#33  Edited By Insectecutor

I thought the portrayal of Thomas as a tragic character was pretty sound. Everyone in the game is odd in some way, does Thomas' sexuality excuse him from the effects of the seeds or the general weirdness that afflicts everyone else in Greenvale?
 
Also, of all the ne'er-do-wells in DP, Thomas' motives were the most plain and understandable: Betrayed by his lover he sought revenge.
 
@Gamer_152 makes a good point: the game explicitly states it's position on Thomas. He ended up in the green room with the girls because he is essentially a good and nurturing character. The game never implies his sexuality is wrong or evil and doesn't pander to any particular gay stereotypes either.
 
@shidoshi: Considering the choice of outfit I interpret the cross dressing as Thomas desperately trying to win George back. I don't think he's transgender and I think the "DUDE IN DRESS=TRANSGENDER" interpretation is kinda shallow.

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#34  Edited By shidoshi
@Insectecutor said:

@shidoshi: Considering the choice of outfit I interpret the cross dressing as Thomas desperately trying to win George back. I don't think he's transgender and I think the "DUDE IN DRESS=TRANSGENDER" interpretation is kinda shallow. "

 
I can assure you, I don't come to the decision that I believe Thomas may be transgender lightly. In my big post above, I go into a number of details on why I think he may be so instead of being gay and just "playing dress-up" for the benefit of George. I think how we see Thomas AFTER he is dead and has found redemption is a very important element we can't overlook. 
 
As I said, I could be wrong, but saying Thomas was gay, and that's in, in light of everything presented about him during the game doesn't make sense to me.
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#35  Edited By Insectecutor

@shidoshi: OK, i simply thought everyone in the green room remains in the clothes they wore at the time of their death.
 
As to your big post I must admit I skimmed it because I already know that gay, transgender and transvestite have different meanings. I don't recall the game ever explicitly stating that Thomas was any one of them, therefore if your interpretation is that Thomas was transgender then Thomas was transgender. I think that is too dismissive of his plight though: if the reason for his cross dressing was to win George back then based on what you say that is a desperate and demeaning move for a gay man, and one which gives his character more pathos. So I prefer to think of it that way.

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#36  Edited By MrKlorox

I think somebody should tweet Swery and ask him. Then act really surprised when he offers some cryptic bullshit and says it's up to the interpretation of the player. However within the context of the ritualistic killings, it makes most sense to me for Thomas to identify as a woman.

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#37  Edited By kevinski
@MrKlorox said:
" Thomas's character has got nothing at all to do with sexual preference and everything to do with gender identity, which is not the same thing. Not to try and play SWERY, but I'd guess that Thomas considered himself (herself?) straight, except born into the wrong gender. "
I understand the fact that a person can believe himself or herself to be the complete opposite of his or her born gender, but I also realize that gender identity and sexual preference are also completely separate. The fact of the matter, however, is that a person in this scenario hasn't completely invalidated his or her true gender. A man who considers himself a woman isn't really a woman. A gay person is attracted to people of the opposite sex. By your logic, a transgender who was born a male and considers himself to be a female is only gay if he's attracted to women. That's completely incorrect. Thomas is gay, because he's attracted to the opposite of his born gender. What he *thinks* his gender is doesn't matter, because - to be perfectly honest - the gender that you're born into is the same gender that you'll die as, no matter what you do to alter it.

I'm sorry, but someone who legitimately believes himself or herself to be of the opposite sex when that same person has obviously seen hard proof of his or her true gender just strikes me as delusional. It's a mindset that doesn't strike me as healthy. If you're a guy who wants dress as a woman, then that's fine; just admit it. I just don't understand why a person like that sees fit to lie to other people about it, especially in cases when it's obvious that it's completely untrue.
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#38  Edited By shidoshi
@kevinski said:

I understand the fact that a person can believe himself or herself to be the complete opposite of his or her born gender, but I also realize that gender identity and sexual preference are also completely separate. The fact of the matter, however, is that a person in this scenario hasn't completely invalidated his or her true gender. A man who considers himself a woman isn't really a woman. A gay person is attracted to people of the opposite sex. By your logic, a transgender who was born a male and considers himself to be a female is only gay if he's attracted to women. That's completely incorrect. Thomas is gay, because he's attracted to the opposite of his born gender. What he *thinks* his gender is doesn't matter, because - to be perfectly honest - the gender that you're born into is the same gender that you'll die as, no matter what you do to alter it.    

 I'm sorry, but someone who legitimately believes himself or herself to be of the opposite sex when that same person has obviously seen hard proof of his or her true gender just strikes me as delusional. It's a mindset that doesn't strike me as healthy. If you're a guy who wants dress as a woman, then that's fine; just admit it. I just don't understand why a person like that sees fit to lie to other people about it, especially in cases when it's obvious that it's completely untrue. "

 
I think this is where I might have to bail out of this discussion, because if I understand what you've said above in the way that you meant it, you've got a LOT to learn about those who are transgender and the deeper issues behind gender identity. Maybe it's a case of you just sticking to your own beliefs instead of understanding the issues of people in that kind of situation, in which case I REALLY don't want to continue on with this particular discussion.
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#39  Edited By kevinski
@shidoshi said:
" I think this is where I might have to bail out of this discussion, because if I understand what you've said above in the way that you meant it, you've got a LOT to learn about those who are transgender and the deeper issues behind gender identity. Maybe it's a case of you just sticking to your own beliefs instead of understanding the issues of people in that kind of situation, in which case I REALLY don't want to continue on with this particular discussion. "
I don't feel that I have anything further to learn about transgender people. Again, if someone is one gender and claims to be another, then there's something not quite right about that. I have no problem with someone wanting to be another gender, as long as they're still grounded in reality about it. That's like me claiming to be a unicorn and somehow believing it when I should know very well that I'm a human. Also, sorry, but gay is gay, regardless of whether or not someone is transgender. A transgender person who is male and claims to be female isn't gay if he is still attracted solely to women. Now, if he's solely attracted to men, then he's gay, regardless of how he dresses or which gender he claims to be. If that comes off as ignorant, then I apologize, but I'm tired of the definitions of words being stretched to suit those who prefer to live life in a delusional state.
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#40  Edited By shidoshi
@kevinski said:
 
 I don't feel that I have anything further to learn about transgender people. Again, if someone is one gender and claims to be another, then there's something not quite right about that. I have no problem with someone wanting to be another gender, as long as they're still grounded in reality about it.    
That's part of the problem though: you're seeing this as an issue of "want". 

That's like me claiming to be a unicorn and somehow believing it when I should know very well that I'm a human. 

This is the "furry argument" - that if we accept the idea that somebody can be transgender, then well, the idea that somebody who is human but thinks they should have been a cat-person is the same thing. Except it's not, and that's a completely BS comparison, because one has biological and other scientific reasoning behind how it can be possible and how it could happen, and the other doesn't. There is absolutely no way you could ever have been born a human but have meant to be a unicorn; it is absolutely possible that in the early stages of development, your physical sex and your mental / emotional gender could have gotten mixed up.
  

Also, sorry, but gay is gay, regardless of whether or not someone is transgender. 


You can state this as fact over and over, but it doesn't make it correct. 
 

If that comes off as ignorant, then I apologize, but I'm tired of the definitions of words being stretched to suit those who prefer to live life in a delusional state. 

The problem with this statement is it's an utterly insulting and demeaning comment disguised as an apology. 
 
Anyhow, the discussion of Thomas' situation is a valid one, so I'm not going to stick around to dissuade any potential future conversation on the matter. I can't continue on personally, though, because you're coming from a point where you simply refuse to accept the concept of being transgender as a legit and real one (and in the process basically look down upon everybody who is transgender). I can't begin to see how you can discuss the deeper aspects of the character of Thomas when you're instantly discrediting one of his potential character traits.
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#41  Edited By kevinski
@shidoshi said:
" The problem with this statement is it's an utterly insulting and demeaning comment disguised as an apology. 
 
Anyhow, the discussion of Thomas' situation is a valid one, so I'm not going to stick around to dissuade any potential future conversation on the matter. I can't continue on personally, though, because you're coming from a point where you simply refuse to accept the concept of being transgender as a legit and real one (and in the process basically look down upon everybody who is transgender). I can't begin to see how you can discuss the deeper aspects of the character of Thomas when you're instantly discrediting one of his potential character traits. "
You know, I'm not discounting the scientific aspect of transgender studies, but the fact of the matter is that these people are born with the bodies of their true genders. Their belief that they're of the complete opposite gender doesn't negate this fact. I'm not trying to sound insensitive. I just find it very hard to believe that someone can't take their physical qualities at face value and realize that they're not the gender that they believe they are. Bear in mind that my dissection of Thomas' character points out time and time again that Thomas' lifestyle has no bearing on how strong he is as a character. I only question why people have such a problem with Thomas' portrayal when there are two other characters in the game who go down the same path.

And I wonder why I always get two alerts whenever you respond to this blog. Weird. With everyone else, I only get one. XD
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#42  Edited By blue_crow
@shidoshi said:
 Okay, this thread has now gone is a strangely bizarre circle, as (a) it was started in response to the comments made on the podcast, (b) I - as the person from the podcast who brought this topic up on said podcast - replied to the comments made about the podcast, and then (c) you post saying you agree with me, and use the podcast as evidence of the kind of ignorance I was saying could happen! *laughs* "
...Oh, well, in that case!  That's very strange.  I guess I was responding more to tone than particular words said, and it clearly wasn't everyone who was speaking.  I should probably go and re-listen to the conversation in question.
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#43  Edited By Taler

Nice job on the massive spoilers for   Psycho.  It makes a lot more sense to put spoilers for things other than DP in spoiler tags than for DP in spoiler tags on the DP forum. Ugh. 
 
On Thomas. 
 
One of the things that people outside of liberal circles do not get about liberal criticism is that people from minority groups usually are not arguing against a particular depiction, saying it's wrong or bad or what not, it's rarely that. 
 
What they are arguing for... well as someone once adroitly put it to me, it's not about the conceit, but about the representation. There are far too many psycho gays as a percentage of gays appearing in the media as compared to the appearance of psycho gays as a percentage of real gays.
 
It's probably not inappropriate for the particular work which is being discussed, but the frequency the archetype is used is misaligned with reality, and so in the sense of a meta narrative, it's problematic; and symptomatic of prejudice. Though it's slightly annoying to hear all this whining about it. The best solution is probably to write your own stories, or generally do things to increase the attention on positive portrayals of gays rather than whine about the negative ones.
 
I was totally into Thomas' character, and he's clearly a fag. Love-G, remember? Now that I know Thomas the way that he is, I can't imagine him as being like anything else. 
 
I remember the podcast person talking about missed opportunities. I think those opportunities are political rather than actually story relevant. I think him being a normal victim along with the rest would've been a win for the positive depiction of gays column, but a loss for the  overall drama of DP.  
 
I think the 'problem' with Thomas is an overall lack of depth. There were no conversations with him to flesh out his back story, like we had for George. So there's no real explanation for why he acts like what he does. Being a homosexual in rural US must still be a serious trial, but we don't get into that. For a game with a fantastic, mind blowingly interesting take on gender, look no further than Persona 4's Kanji, one of the best characters in recent video games. 
 
I can only hope in the future that more games follow along the lines of Kanji and give us more great introspection of queer characters, or gender in general.

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#44  Edited By kevinski
@Taler said:
" Nice job on the massive spoilers for   Psycho.  It makes a lot more sense to put spoilers for things other than DP in spoiler tags than for DP in spoiler tags on the DP forum. Ugh. "
Sorry about that. I thought it more fitting to put a spoiler alert at the beginning of the post, rather than individual spoiler tags, as spoiler tags don't seem to work reliably for a lot of people. I felt that I gave fair warning.

@Taler said:
" What they are arguing for... well as someone once adroitly put it to me, it's not about the conceit, but about the representation. There are far too many psycho gays as a percentage of gays appearing in the media as compared to the appearance of psycho gays as a percentage of real gays. "
As I mentioned before, though, sexuality shouldn't even be relevant in the argument. You don't need to know whether a character is straight or gay in order to critique how he/she behaves. People who are displeased with the overall portrayal of gay characters (or gay people in general) are probably only focusing on characters who somehow reveal themselves to be gay. Bear in mind that a gay character doesn't necessarily need to have his/her sexuality exposed. Why? Because it simply isn't relevant. Think of just how many straight good guys and straight bad guys are out there. Or, rather, think about how many SEEMINGLY straight good guys and SEEMINGLY straight bad guys are out there. There are bound to be plenty of them whose sexuality isn't even addressed, so how can someone come to the conclusion that gay people aren't necessarily well-represented?

Also, bear in mind that there are a lot of filler characters out there. You don't need to delve deeply into the sexuality of a character in order to have a deeper understanding of that character. Let's say that a character designer happens to create a character who happens to be gay, yet there aren't any signs that would indicate the fact that the character is gay. You never get to experience the personal life of that character. Rather, you always experience that character in some form of professional environment. Let's say that the same character, due to work-related pressures, ends up coming to work and shooting up the place. If that character's sexuality is still never touched upon, then is the overall portrayal of the character still somehow tasteless? Or is it only tasteless once sexuality is brought into the picture, let's say by suddenly introducing a character of the same gender who was dating the character at the time?

I'd say that a lot of people wrongfully assume that characters are straight simply because there's not a clear indication of those characters' sexuality. For a character to be considered gay, does that character's sexuality need to be exposed?
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#45  Edited By Taler
@kevinski said:

You don't need to delve deeply into the sexuality of a character in order to have a deeper understanding of that character. 

 I think your entire post hinges on this important point, and could not disagree more. This is incredibly naive, if you think that a person's sexuality does not in a great way define who a person is. And frankly this is something only a white hetero male would say. Clearly your sexuality is not relevant, because the sexuality of any person considered to be the norm is not really fuel for discussion. On the other hand, being different, being a minority in any way, hugely shapes a person's psyche, warps their experiences in a way 'normal' people find hard to comprehend, and makes him or her a very different animal.  
 
I have a friend who is blind. In an attempt to show that I would treat her as all my other friends, I told that that her being blind "doesn't matter to me". As you can imagine, that was the wrong thing to say. Clearly it doesn't matter to me, but it matters to her. It matters a lot.
 
You have a second subpoint.  

  @kevinski said: 

  For a character to be considered gay, does that character's sexuality need to be exposed?    

Very much so. I like this argument from a theoretical context. But it's just not reality. There are very few to no people in the world who would assume that a character, not hinted at being gay, is gay. Heterosexuality is the norm, This is not a debatable point. Even if the author intends to depict a positive non-trope gay person, if the reader does not take it that way, then it is not a depiction of a positive non-trope gay person. Despite what the author may say, when we talk about the media, we're talking about what most people in the world think. Not just the author. Though I think it would be great if the author comes out and says it.  
 
For instance, Ushiah might be gay. But run a poll and see how many people think of him that way.
 
The fact of the matter is that the psycho gay trope is overused. There's no way around that. 
 
The only way to counteract and lessen the effect of the over-prevalence of negative gay characters is to reveal and positively depict gay characters.  
 
For you this link is probably instructive: 
 
http://www.wri-irg.org/nonviolence/nvse04-en.htm  
 

  It is probably no coincidence that Western European/Northern American, heterosexual, middle-class white men are generally unaware of their identity: they represent the "norm" against which everything is measured. 

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#46  Edited By kevinski
@Taler said:
" I think your entire post hinges on this important point, and could not disagree more. This is incredibly naive, if you think that a person's sexuality does not in a great way define who a person is. And frankly this is something only a white hetero male would say. Clearly your sexuality is not relevant, because the sexuality of any person considered to be the norm is not really fuel for discussion. On the other hand, being different, being a minority in any way, hugely shapes a person's psyche, warps their experiences in a way 'normal' people find hard to comprehend, and makes him or her a very different animal.  
 
I have a friend who is blind. In an attempt to show that I would treat her as all my other friends, I told that that her being blind "doesn't matter to me". As you can imagine, that was the wrong thing to say. Clearly it doesn't matter to me, but it matters to her. It matters a lot. "
I understand your point about how being a minority in any way can shape a person's psyche, but that doesn't mean that sexuality is always relevant in that regard. And no, it's not just something that a hetero male would say. What's stopping, oh, let's say a hetero FEMALE, from saying the same thing? Or a gay person who happens to not think in the same manner in which you're clearly expecting all gay people to think? While I understand the pressures that a large portion of society can put on members of any minority, you need to realize that different people deal with pressure differently. I believe that - numerous times - I've touched on the fact that Thomas was also under the influence of what is, more or less, a drug. Had he not been under the influence of the red seeds, I do feel that the situation would've turned out differently. Think of cases in which people generally just said really stupid shit when under the influence of alcohol. Sure, they may not say those things when they've got their heads on straight, but that doesn't change their way of thinking; it merely changes the actions involved in dealing with it.

Looking at Thomas from the "Oh, imagine that: ANOTHER psychotic gay character..." perspective is just naive. There are other factors here. Even if you want to simply look at the sexual side of things, what's keeping this SAME SCENARIO from playing out with a hetero character? Thomas doesn't strike me as a character who's endlessly tormented because of his sexuality. Rather, he's likely heavily drugs, and he's suddenly realizing how his involvement in what's going around him will shape his future. He has so much to lose. Replace Thomas with a hetero female and tell me that the same situation couldn't play out. Sorry, but I understand why gay people are so misrepresented or underrepresented in any form of media, because any attempt at doing so without making the person a complete angel only ends with countless criticisms. When I play a game or watch a movie, I couldn't care less whether a character is black or white, gay or straight, etc. All I care about is the overall experience. The moment that you start putting adjectives in a sentence to describe a character and his/her actions, you're suddenly excluding other demographics who could legitimately be involved in the same scenarios in favor of some sort of bias.

Also, it should be blatantly obvious that you can't handle a blind person in the exact same manner as a person with perfect vision in some situations. That's like going for a jog and expecting a guy who can barely make his way into the bathroom to participate.

@Taler said:
" Very much so. I like this argument from a theoretical context. But it's just not reality. There are very few to no people in the world who would assume that a character, not hinted at being gay, is gay. Heterosexuality is the norm, This is not a debatable point. Even if the author intends to depict a positive non-trope gay person, if the reader does not take it that way, then it is not a depiction of a positive non-trope gay person. Despite what the author may say, when we talk about the media, we're talking about what most people in the world think. Not just the author. Though I think it would be great if the author comes out and says it.  
 
For instance, Ushiah might be gay. But run a poll and see how many people think of him that way.
 
The fact of the matter is that the psycho gay trope is overused. There's no way around that. 
 
The only way to counteract and lessen the effect of the over-prevalence of negative gay characters is to reveal and positively depict gay characters. "
But a character's sexuality doesn't HAVE to be relevant. As such, sexuality doesn't HAVE to be disclosed. Sure, it CAN be relevant, but just because you have a minor character whose sexuality is never exposed in the slightest, that doesn't mean that you can immediately assume him/her to be bi/gay/straight. Nor should you. Again, it isn't always relevant. Also, I couldn't care less about the number of psycho gay characters, because there are plenty of psycho characters whose sexuality isn't even touched upon.

As for Ushah being gay, I dunno...he struck me as the sort of person who just buried himself so deeply in his work and hobbies that he didn't care about a relationship. Furthermore, maybe he's a bit shy about the whole thing, especially given the differences between his personality and Fiona's personality.

And I don't feel as though gay people absolutely HAVE to be exposed and positively depicted in any form of media. They should be treated in the same way that ANY type of person should. Have you ever thought of the fact that maybe - despite the way that you feel about it - most people making movies may not feel that sexuality is relevant to the situation, or maybe that sexuality would add nothing to a particular character? Really, think of some strong characters in movies whose sexuality is never touched upon. I think you'll find that they wouldn't be any better or any worse if their sexuality (or race or gender, for that matter) was changed, unless the inclusion of that change was unnecessary or forced.

I think you'll find that sexuality is worked into some things because some people simply feel that it should be there. That doesn't mean that it's necessary, nor does it mean that it's the best way of doing things. As an example, let's say that I'm talking to a guy about video games, then he happens to say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I love video games. I was just playing Bomberman with my boyfriend yesterday." Nothing wrong with that statement. Let's say that it's reworded and delivered in the following fashion, though. "Yeah, I love video games. I was just playing Bomberman yesterday. Oh, by the way, I'm gay." Also, the person just happens to mention that he's gay after ever sentence that he speaks for five minutes after that. As you can see, the fact that the guy is gay really has no relevance to the situation in either way, but the second means of delivery is just ridiculous. I feel that, for lack of a better way of describing it, too many depictions of gay people are handled similarly to how the second example above handles it. I just feel that much of it's too in-your-face about everything. It adds no worth to the character, so why bother. It's okay to touch upon it, but it shouldn't be harped upon if it's not relevant to what's going on.
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#47  Edited By Taler

To respond to the first part of your post, here's a reprint of my first post in this post: 

 One of the things that people outside of liberal circles do not get about liberal criticism is that people from minority groups usually are not arguing against a particular depiction, saying it's wrong or bad or what not, it's rarely that. 
 
What they are arguing for... well as someone once adroitly put it to me, it's not about the conceit, but about the representation. There are far too many psycho gays as a percentage of gays appearing in the media as compared to the appearance of psycho gays as a percentage of real gays.
 
It's probably not inappropriate for the particular work which is being discussed, but the frequency the archetype is used is misaligned with reality, and so in the sense of a meta narrative, it's problematic; and symptomatic of prejudice. Though it's slightly annoying to hear all this whining about it. The best solution is probably to write your own stories, or generally do things to increase the attention on positive portrayals of gays rather than whine about the negative ones.
 
I was totally into Thomas' character, and he's clearly a fag. Love-G, remember? Now that I know Thomas the way that he is, I can't imagine him as being like anything else.     

In general terms I agree with what you say, and as I said, I support Thomas' character.  But you're not accepting/understanding/responding to what is actually my point, which is the over-prevalence of the trope in the meta-narrative. 
 
On the second part of your post: 
 
I also agree with what you're saying. But perhaps this time my point wasn't very clearly made. 
 
You absolutely do need to state the character's sexuality if your intent is to combat the psycho gay trope. But obviously if that's not the intent, then feel free not to state the sexuality! 

  I couldn't care less whether a character is black or white, gay or straight, etc. All I care about is the overall experience.    

I get that you don't care about how gay people are represented in the media. I get it alright. But other people do. 

You might start to care if one day it starts to come into vogue to have very few hetero white male characters in games, the casts are mostly all black and female and gay, and roughly 40% of the hetero white males are insane harpies, and all the rest are supporting characters of no consequence. <- somebody should make this game. I would play it. 
 
Obviously the person in power does not feel the need to change the status quo. They think it's a non issue, and whatever's happening now is fine, the way it should be, the natural order of the world, and so on. As a person also in a privileged position, I also don't really give a crap about these liberal issues, but the arguments of the liberals are very valid, and just because you can't 'feel' them or experience what they're talking about, doesn't make them irrelevant.  
 
This reminds me back in the day when the laws for punishing rape/DV/gender crimes were very lax. And male lawmakers wouldn't touch those issues, because those issues are scary and sexist and they actually couldn't feel the need. Well no kidding. It took feminists to actually get those laws passed. I'm not drawing an equivalence in terms of the issues, but the attitudes of those in power are pretty much the same. 
 
"Don't care" is not a badge of honor, it's an indication of selfishness. Yes I'm selfish and I don't care. 
 
Edit: You can also check out my post in the SWERY's Women problems thread (page5). It's pretty much the same thing.
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#48  Edited By kevinski
@Taler said:
" You might start to care if one day it starts to come into vogue to have very few hetero white male characters in games, the casts are mostly all black and female and gay, and roughly 40% of the hetero white males are insane harpies, and all the rest are supporting characters of no consequence. <- somebody should make this game. I would play it. "
There are so many insane hetero white male characters out there, anyway. Honestly, it wouldn't matter to me what gender, race or sexuality characters were as long as the plot wasn't always completely dependent upon that respective gender, race or sexuality.

@Taler said:
" "Don't care" is not a badge of honor, it's an indication of selfishness. Yes I'm selfish and I don't care. "
Way to twist my words around. I simply stated that I couldn't care less what gender or sexuality a character happens to be. If I said that I didn't care about people dying of some disease or something, I could see that being branded as selfishness. I'm generally just tired of seeing things being viewed as more notable simply because of differences in gender, race or sexuality. You may view such diversity as a positive thing, but as long as we're differentiating between all of these demographics, there'll continue to be prejudice. Some of the "positive portrayals" of certain demographics that I've seen on television, for instance, strike me as nothing short of appalling. Black in America, for instance, is just the sort of show that makes my jaw drop. It's like, okay, I'm happy for these people, but I have a problem with the fact that the thing that makes these people notable is the fact that they're not on drugs or unemployed. Sure, the show is intended to destroy certain stereotypes about black people, but damn...I find the idea behind that show to be offensive, personally.
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#49  Edited By Taler
@kevinski said:

There are so many insane hetero white male characters out there, anyway. Honestly, it wouldn't matter to me what gender, race or sexuality characters were as long as the plot wasn't always completely dependent upon that respective gender, race or sexuality.  

You admit my point about... sighs I'm repeating myself... the over prevalence of the trope in media right? 

  it wouldn't matter to me what gender...etc

Why are you restating this again? Yes clearly it doesn't matter to you... BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GAY. If you are gay, and you're stereotyped as insane, then yes you would care. If you are black and you are stereotyped as a criminal, you would care. If you were female, and you were stereotyped as bad at math, you would care!!! Basically, *you* not caring, is 100% irrelevant, because you are not the victim.

I didn't say anything about diseases.    I don't see where you get twisting your words from.  I'm talking about you not caring about the representation of minorities in media.

I haven't seen Black in America, but going by the website, I wouldn't call that a positive portrayal either. Ushah is a positive portrayal. Though it would be more positive if he wasn't single. 
 
Let me go back to the rape thing again as an analogy....
 
First let me restate the crux of your point as I understand it. 
 
You wish we live in a post-racial, post-sexuality, world where we are all colorblind and people's sexualities and racial backgrounds are about as interesting as their, i dunno, hair color, though some people could be pretty anal about that too. And things like people's sexualities, race, gender, and their representation in media should not be pointed out, criticized, because those are the things that causes race/etc/ism. And by ignoring it, it'll go away.
 
My analogy: Back in the day, and still the case in many countries, Japan, etc, people thought of rape and sexual abuse the same way. They made the whole thing shameful, taboo. You can't talk about it without embarrassment, without being thought of as a pervert. And if people don't discuss it, it'll go away, right? Of course it did, FOR THE MEN. Like any other issue for unaffiliated people, if it's not brought up it's not real. But for the actual victims, it's reality, and without coverage, oversight and people caring, it gets only worse.  
 
This is true for whether a real crime or more ambiguous problems like stereotypes.  
 
I get that the knee-jerk reaction of any group in power to the requests of any minority group is the big mental IGNORE button. But at least be rational and realize that's what you're doing. 
 
Also to be honest, I didn't read the entire thread before posting, and I was responding to you as a smart person. 
 
But I just read: 

 You know, I'm not discounting the scientific aspect of transgender studies, but the fact of the matter is that these people are born with the bodies of their true genders. Their belief that they're of the complete opposite gender doesn't negate this fact. I'm not trying to sound insensitive. I just find it very hard to believe that someone can't take their physical qualities at face value and realize that they're not the gender that they believe they are    

And now I realize that I've totally wasted my time, because you're an idiot. Clearly you think your 'beliefs' are the most important, and that what you find hard to conceptualize must  be false right? 
 
You should realize that your beliefs are not only completely worthless since not only are you not an expert, you're totally ignorant about these issues!
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kevinski

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#50  Edited By kevinski
@Taler said:
" And now I realize that I've totally wasted my time, because you're an idiot. Clearly you think your 'beliefs' are the most important, and that what you find hard to conceptualize must  be false right?  You should realize that your beliefs are not only completely worthless since not only are you not an expert, you're totally ignorant about these issues! "
Oh, thanks for taking the high road and calling me an idiot. I also apologize that I'm not gay and that I can't share your level of bias toward this argument. I never said anything about transgender studies being false. I said that I find it hard to believe that some people can't take their physical gender at face value and realize that - physically - they're that particular gender. I realize that it's more complicated than just the physical side of things, but the mental aspect doesn't completely negate the impact of the physical. If you feel that I'm somehow wasting your time, then you don't need to comment. Don't resort to childish name-calling.

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