Persona 5 has been grilled by its fanbase for its representation of gay people in its story. The concerned players particularly note of the game’s lack of gay romance options. Fans consider this a step back due to the great LGBT examples the series have shown in Persona 2 and Persona 4.
Lack of LGBT Choices
Persona 5 has some LGBT characters. but none of them can be pursued. In fact, no Confidant character is openly gay, bisexual, or lesbian. Due to this setup, LGBT players don’t have any choice but to romance one of the female romantic interests available to the main character.
Burbeting’s thread in the NeoGAF forums points out some bad representations of LGBT characters in Persona 5. One of these is the two predatory gay men that Ryuji and the main character meets in Shinjuku. The pair is seen again during the school trip where they try to chase Ryuji again. The scene is mostly played for laughs but it doesn’t hide that these pair act like sexual predators.
Meanwhile, players don’t have any choice to hint romantic interest in some male Confidants in the playthrough. Fans note a particular scene in the Emperor Confidant where the main character accompanies Yusuke on a boat in Inokashira Park. Once the two got on the boat, someone in the park loudly suggests that Yusuke and the main character could be couples. However, the players aren’t given a chance to confirm their relationship with Yusuke.
The other potential gay scene is with Ryuji during Valentines Day. Ryuji will visit you if you don’t have any available dates in your playthrough. He’ll give you a convenience store chocolate and you can ask him if this is a confession from him. However, Ryuji wholeheartedly refuses the thought which means he’s not even considering a gay relationship.
Previous Entry LGBT Representations
Previous Persona games have definitely pulled off better LGBT representations and choices than Persona 5. Persona 2’s player character, Tatsuya Suou, can choose to romance Jun Kurosu and his teammates will be accepting of the decision.
Persona 4 has tackled the gender issues during the main character arcs of Kanji Tatsumi and Naoto Shirogane. However, some fans are disappointed with Persona 4’s representation as their true orientation has been kept vague after their major arc ended. Kanji and Naoto’s story arcs ended on making peace with their gender issues and carrying on without a change of sexual orientation.
One More Chance
Atlus has registered multiple sites that could potentially be related to Persona spinoffs and titles. The improved Persona 5 re-release with added content could potentially have these LGBT choices that fans are expecting. If not, the possible enhanced edition might simply let players use a female character, like with Persona 3 Portable. Atlus is also considering to develop Persona 6 which could definitely do a better job in exploring LGBT relationships in its character arcs than Persona 5. Stay updated with more gaming news here on The BitBag.