06.10.2021

DbD x Pride: Finding a Home in Horror

Dead by Daylight is lucky to have a passionate base of LGBTQIA2S+ players. These players set the tone in many of our community spaces leading others with creativity, humour and empathy.   

This Pride month, we checked in with a few of these LGBTQIA2S+ leaders. We learned how their relationship to the game began, and how it has grown over the years. 

     

Barbie, Moderator, Streamer, Hag & Kate Main (They/Them) 

   

Meg Turney, Fog Whisperer, Cosplayer, Meg Main (She/Her) 

    

Alice, QA Tester on Dev team, Legion shipper and RPG Enthusiast extraordinaire (She/They)

    

Elix, Voluptuous Latinx Drag Queen, (Self-Proclaimed) #1 Hag, Fog Whisperer (She/They)




 

Have you always been a horror gaming fan, or is Dead by Daylight your first horror game? 

Barbie: Yes! I'm a big fan of horror, it's my favorite genre. Especially survival horror.  

--

Meg: To me, DbD is much more of a thriller-type game than a horror game, but there are plenty of clips of me getting jump-scared in the game to prove me wrong. 

--

Alice: I have always enjoyed games with a touch of horror to them. I’ve tested some pretty bloody games in the past even outside of DbD, so in my personal time I prefer less explicit gore. I love psychological horror, and more environmental storytelling rather than more visceral experiences and jump scares.  

--

Elix: I’ve always been a horror fan. It started with movies and slowly it turned into an addiction with games in the horror genre. 

--


 

When did you start playing Dead by Daylight / how did you get involved in the DbD community? 

 
Barbie: I started playing Dead by Daylight 4 years ago when it became available to consoles. The reason I started playing was because I was very interested in this new survival horror 4v1 that had just came out. 

--
 
Meg: I started playing DbD in 2016 - right after it came out. I had someone suggest it to me, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it because it was a horror game, but I was hooked immediately. No pun intended. 

--

 
Alice: While I had watched people play DbD before I joined the Dev team, I never really got into it. My first day here was pretty amazing- I got to play the game the whole day to familiarize myself with it. It was my first time playing DbD, and I was super obvious about it with my button mashing when I got hooked. The people behind me had a little laugh with me about it. You could always tell when someone new was playing the game in the office because the desperate keyboard smashes would echo.  

--
 
Elix: I was working a lot – I started to get back into gaming, but I needed to play a game with 15-to-30-minute matches. I ran into Dead by Daylight and was like “Wait a minute, is that Leatherface? Is that Michael Myers?” These are all Killers I grew up with, movies I am a fan of – I had so much fun – a month later it got me into streaming. 

--


 

Why did you stay? 

 
Barbie: I stayed because the game had consistent updates that included content, especially the licensed characters. It was something that I had never seen before in one game. That and the community was so welcoming. I felt included, safe and was willing to stick around to get to know the players. 

--
 
Meg: For me, the reason I still play and the reason I absolutely love this game is because every round is different. No matter how much you play or how well you plan out what you're going to do, different things happen all the time, and it gives me a chance to riff with my chat. 

--

Alice: The team is great to work with and the game can be pretty good to test from a QA perspective. There’s always new things to test since we’re a live service, and I’m in charge of QA for Events so there’s always something new to plan for. Keeps me on my toes. That said, I hope you enjoy the anniversary since we’ve worked really hard on it! 

--

Elix: I love going through the emotions – maybe I just like the abuse of emotions when a killer is chasing me. It used to give me anxiety, but then you get used to that, and you work on it, and become a really great player.  

--


 

Are there any aspects of the Dead by Daylight world that stand out to you or draw you in, as a queer person?  

 
Barbie: There's a back story that struck and hit close to home for me, Kate's. Growing up I didn’t have much support. My family and I were always struggling with money which caused me to move around a lot when I was little. We needed someone that could make us forget our worries for a bit and just relax, have fun, laugh. I signed up for singing and drama classes to make that happen, be their entertainment, their hope. Watching them smile and be filled with joy did the same for me. Later on that's what I did for not only us, but other's as we moved around the world looking for a place to call home. 

--
 
Meg: In game, HELLO PEACH PAPA and a special wink and a nod to Jane Romero's thicc thighs. In the community, the way the devs have embraced the diverse group of fans this game has always absolutely thrills me. I LOVE the incredible Trans creators who love this game and make such fun and fresh content with it and I love that the devs not only support them but amplify their voices. It's so nice to see. 

--
 
Alice: Honestly, what could draw me in are the stories that can be found there. I think my favorite is of the teenage hooligans of Legion… they seem a lot more down to earth, and there’s enough room for me to headcanon Susie is gay for Julie.  Honestly, its been kind of hard not to engage with fan content as I’ve gotten to know the game but I like keeping my job! 

--

Elix: We don’t know the orientation of characters and I love that there’s no explanation – a lot of people might disagree with me. Another thing: many people like me are bullied - I grew up very feminine and I didn’t know I was gay at the time; I just knew I was different. I took refuge in my games and my horror movies. That was my escape, those were my friends. As I grew up and got really into gaming these types of games were my sanctuary. I just felt safe – even if its horror movies – even if someone’s trying to kill me– it was my sanctuary.

--


 

Why do you think the themes of the game have been so resonant with the queer community? 

 
Barbie: On top of a survival horror that’s up to date, we have such a strong community and developers that represent/care for us. This is our escape, this is our safe place. 

--
 
Meg: I think it's a game that can be really intense and really high-stakes, but it can also be silly and fun and I think LGBTQ+ creators are able to take that intensity and turn it into some hilarious, incredibly unique content.  

--

 
Alice: The characters have been a blank enough slate that we can project ourselves into them. For a very long time, that was all we had in a lot of media. Projection and subtext. Also, it’s not hard to have sympathy for the bad guy due to growing up with a lot of queer coded villains. We’ve also managed to avoid including Killers that contain outright homophobic and/or transphobic tropes. 

--

Elix: There are many people who love to watch Dead by Daylight (on Twitch) in the LGBTQIA2+ community. I think its just exciting - you’re watching people go through the emotions – on top of that there’s so many drag queens now! I remember when I started, I was like the only drag queen doing DbD. Part of what makes me stay is now people say, “You inspired me to do drag and stream.” That has made me resilient to the drama that comes with content creation. 

--


 

What do you wish to see change in the gaming world for LGBTQIA2S+ people?  

 
Barbie: I want us to feel included, accepted and welcomed. I think that's all we ever want as a community. Every day of our lives we walk around with a target on our back, we live in fear every single day and it shouldn't feel that way when we sit down to escape the real world and just enjoy ourselves for a bit. 

--
 
Meg: MORE representation, MORE discoverability - the addition of the trans tag that Twitch just announced is an amazing step in the right direction - let's keep that momentum going! 

--
 
Alice: I want game developers to walk the walk. I want them to include queer stories in their game, treated no different than anyone else. I want there to be more of an awareness of how much we can help people. I can’t describe how much being able to romance Liara as a female Shepard (in Mass Effect) helped me come to terms with myself as a teen. I want to be able to help other people feel the same way.   

--

Elix: There was Youtuber who made content by targeting people through the LGBTQIA2+ tag on Twitch. He found my stream. I was in full drag in this gorgeous brown wig and gorgeous red dress, screaming because Huntress was chasing me or something. He sent 300 people to my chat saying the most disgusting things. The day after I learned he was taking donations while doing that. I reached out to YouTube and put a DMCA strike on him. Unbeknownst to me when I did that, he could see my legal name and other personal info. He started stalking me and my partner, sending us threats. We went to the police, they found him, and he stopped.  
 
That gave me fear. But I also thought “I love to do this, I’m not going to let anyone, especially this bigot, dim my light.” As hard as it was, I kept streaming Dead by Daylight and getting into drag and showing him, ‘you’re not going to change me or intimidate me.’ 
 
Content creators heavily influence the success of certain games, I think we need to start holding content creators accountable for their bigotry and racism. I also want to see a lot more LGBTQIA2+ in games. But we’re headed in a great direction. 

--


 

What does Pride mean to you? How do you like to celebrate? 

Barbie: Pride means everything to me, having the courage to just stand up for yourself and be who you are is breathtaking. Especially if who you are isn't accepted by most of today's society. Pride has and will continue to grow, that's something people just have to live with. We're queer, and we're proud of it. 

--

Meg: To me, Pride is a chance to be joyful of the steps we've taken to be not just accepted but loved for who we are, but it's also a time to acknowledge where change needs to happen and what we can do to move forward. I think it's an important time to call ourselves to action and to fundraise for those organizations who are making that change happen.  

--
 
Alice: Pride to me is living life openly, without shame. It’s being able to hold hands with my girlfriend down the street on our way to get ice cream and sharing sweet kisses. It’s being able to talk about her at work with no one batting an eye (and I made sure to bring her up in my interview!) As for how I celebrate, well, I’ve never been one for parties but I like to think that just living and enjoying life is celebration enough.   

--

Elix: I like to celebrate through content creation – I feel like if you’re a content creator especially when you’re in a marginalized groups you need to speak on things. I like to celebrate by saying “These are the beautiful things I’ve accomplished and this is how I fell on my face.” You might be helping someone who’s going through something you went through as well. Write a book, blog about it, do a stream about it - hardships and successes, girl you’re helping someone.  

--
 

Happy Pride Month everyone!

- The Dead by Daylight Team

Artwork by Hunnybear
 

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