Borderlands franchise

Two feminine figures stand behind a text overlay, which reads, 'Scooter, this is my girlfriend, Athena.'
  • Developer: Gearbox Software 2K Telltale Games
  • Publisher: 2K Games Telltale Games
  • Year: 2009 – 2015
  • Genre: Shooter Adventure
  • Platform/s: Various

The Borderlands franchise is filled with all sorts of excellent sexuality representation. In Borderlands, Moxxi is very vocal about her bisexuality, and continues to discuss her boyfriends and girlfriends in the later titles of the series. Borderlands 2 features all sorts of diverse sexuality representation, such as: Sir Hammerlock and his ex-boyfriends; Tiny Tina and her interest in Maya and Moxxi; Mr. Torgue's bisexuality; and Maya's asexuality. The representation of asexuality in Borderlands is particularly important to Nico W, who wrote about it here. Axton, another playable character, is also bisexual.

The importance of these representations was highlighted by many respondents to the Queer Representation (2016) survey, with some of the longest responses being written about the Borderlands series. People were excited to see themselves within a game, as well as experience a game environment that is vibrant and diverse with identities they don't necessarily personally identify with.

Although some of these are only hinted at in the games themselves, they have been confirmed by developers via interviews and Twitter. Some missions or dialogue make reference to diverse sexualities, such as a mission to help Sir Hammerlock and his boyfriend, a mission to help Professor Nakayama woo Handsome Jack, or dialogue with Moxxi mentioning her ex-girlfriend. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! takes a more explicit approach, with girlfriends Athena and Janey together shamelessly; this relationship also features in the related Telltale game, Tales from the Borderlands.

It is also notable that Zer0, although going by he/him pronouns, is considered to have quite an ambiguous gender and this representation has been deemed important by a number of nonbinary fans of the Borderlands series. A nonbinary interpretation of Zer0's gender may have stemmed from this discussion of the character by Randy Pitchford (CEO of Gearbox); in this interview, Randy refers to Zer0 with gender neutral pronouns and explains why.