Mortal Kombat X confirms new gay character

One of the developers of the recently released video game Mortal Kombat X has confirmed that new character Kung Jin is gay.  The character joins a relatively short list of fighting game characters who have been confirmed as LGBT.

In a tweet on Tuesday, NetherRealm Studios Cinematic Director Dominic Cianciolo confirmed what many fans had suspected after viewing Kung Jin's flashback scene in the game's story mode.  In that scene, Jin is confronted by Raiden - one of the series' first characters - about his self-loathing and urged to join the Shaolin monks.  Jin replies that they won't accept him, to which Raiden responds, "They care only about what is in your heart.  Not whom your heart desires."  Watch the scene below.

In response to fans asking if this meant Jin was gay, Cianciolo tweeted:

The Mortal Kombat series first premiered in 1992, and immediately became a lightning rod for controversy due to it's over-the-top depictions of violence.  Mortal Kombat X marks the tenth game in the series and its popularity with fans seems to have held fast, with creator Ed Boon calling X's launch the biggest in the series' history.  Though it's just as violent as ever (possibly more so), Jin's inclusion also seems in keeping with the series' maturation in X, which also features greater character diversity, less outlandish character design (particularly among the female characters), and deeper characterization.  Jin is also one of several new characters with family ties to staple series characters; he is the cousin of fan-favorite Kung Lao.

Among other fighting games, the most famous LGBT character is probably Poison who appeared most recently in the Street Fighter series.  Developer Capcom confirmed that she was a transgender woman in 2011, and worked with GLAAD on English language translations of in-game dialogue focused on the character to ensure she was depicted respectfully.  The less well-known Guilty Gear series has also featured LGBT characters. 

Kung Jin and Mortal Kombat X make a welcome addition to the growing list of blockbuster game releases that have featured LGBT characters in recent years, including Mass Effect, Borderlands, The Last of Us, and the GLAAD Media Award Honoree Dragon Age.