Game developer Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that popular Overwatch character Soldier: 76 identifies as gay.
In a new short story called “Bastet,” published to the official Overwatch Twitter account, an image and brief exchange between heroes Ana and Soldier: 76 reveal quite a bit about the character.
Soldier: 76’s real name is Jack Morrison, and he’s a secondary character in “Bastet,” which primarily revolves around the former sniper Ana. She happens upon the wounded Jack while out in the streets of Cairo and brings him to her home. The two begin chatting a bit later while Jack pores over some photos. One depicts him and a dark-haired man.
This snippet from the story introduces a man named Vincent (shown in the photograph) and reveals a bit about how Jack feels about him.
“Vincent…I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said. “Still keeping a candle lit for him?”
Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,” Ana said.
Jack glared at her.
“Okay, touchy subject.”
Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”
“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”
“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?” Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.
It appears to have been planned for Jack to be a queer character for some time. Thanks to Polygon, we know he was found looking at the same photo as far back as two years ago, when the “Reflections” Overwatch comic debuted. In the same comic, Blizzard revealed that fan-favorite Tracer was in a relationship with a woman.
Despite implications, the new short story doesn’t outright state that Soldier: 76 is gay. But Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu put all doubts to rest when he made a statement on Twitter.
“Jack and Vincent were in a romantic relationship many years ago,” Chu wrote. “Both identify as gay.”
Thanks for all the messages about “Bastet”!
Jack and Vincent were in a romantic relationship many years ago. Both identify as gay. ❤️
— Michael Chu (@westofhouse) January 7, 2019
On Twitter, fans voiced their thoughts and appreciation of Jack’s sexuality.
— mafuyu (@novaspunch) January 7, 2019
— Sera 🐝 (@TheSweetestBees) January 7, 2019
— aѕн ☾☆ (@dagothurs) January 7, 2019
— Lisa (@_QwibQwib) January 7, 2019
— Jesse (Peachi) (@Peachiree) January 7, 2019
Thank you so much oh my god
— vic regis ✨ (@TheDamnThinGuy) January 7, 2019
THANK YOU SO MUCH I CRIED READING THIS. IM A TRANSGIRL AND I NEEDED THIS THANK YOU.
— Ember (@Enby_Genji) January 7, 2019
— dae (@aweirdintrovert) January 7, 2019
Unexpected and good to know. I always enjoy more character lore.
— G. W. Wolflord (@Trapper_920) January 7, 2019
The overwhelming outpouring of support for Jack isn’t surprising, but fans are eager to know more about Vincent, when the couple dated, and other general details. Fingers crossed that Blizzard will eventually deliver in that regard.
For now, it looks like fans are pleased enough to learn more about this mainstay character and everything he stands for as Overwatch welcomes its second official LGBTQ hero.