Kongregate Developers Blog

Meet Pez: Embracing Authenticity During Pride Month

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Pride month holds a special place in my heart. It's an opportunity to reflect on my journey, embrace my identity, and contribute to creating a more inclusive world.

I remember attending my first Pride event in my small town in Chile back in 2012. Although it wasn't as grand as the ones I saw on TV, it was a significant step for me. Originally I had some apprehension about going - I might get recognized among the smaller crowd, and people may not understand who I am and my identity. But I knew I needed to be brave and visible. I knew I needed to go - not only for myself but for other people who were struggling to be their true selves.

Since then, Pride month has always been a time for me to celebrate my true self and to find a sense of belonging. I commemorate not only the years I've lived, but the undeniable strength it takes to exist authentically and unapologetically, as my true self.

Pride month is a time to be with my friends and my community.

It’s also a time to celebrate being alive.

My personal exploration of my identity wasn't easy, especially in a society where non-binary visibility was limited.

In 2017, Chile experienced a feminist awakening, primarily in universities and colleges. This wave of empowerment paved the way for greater diversity and visibility within the LGBTQ+ community. While we have made progress, there is still work to be done. Hate crimes and discrimination persist, reminding us that the fight for equality is ongoing.

When it comes to the gaming industry, I initially held reservations about encountering homophobia and sexism. Yet, I have been pleasantly surprised by the gaming community's welcoming and respectful nature. Gamers and game developers alike are genuinely concerned about human rights and fostering an inclusive environment. It's refreshing to witness the positive changes happening within the industry.

To make the gaming industry even better, it's crucial for us to continue to amplify diverse voices and create games that authentically represent the LGBTQ+ community. It's time to move beyond tokenism and understand that diversity is a natural aspect of life. By making space for diverse perspectives and stories, we can create games that reflect the vibrant mosaic of human experiences.

Throughout my career, I have strived to tell my story and challenge stereotypes within the gaming industry. Whether through small projects, collaborations with universities, or game development teams, I have pushed for greater authenticity and representation. It's not just about adding a gay or transgender character; it's about creators feeling safe to tell their stories and creating games that genuinely resonate with diverse players.

In my role at Kongregate, I have found a supportive and inclusive environment. Working with a company that values diversity has been a rewarding experience. I've been able to bring my authentic self to the table, contribute to meaningful projects, and foster positive change within the gaming industry.
By sharing our experiences, we can continue building a more inclusive and diverse gaming community. Together, let's make every year better than the last so that every person can feel comfortable being their true selves.

Pez is the lead artist for Bit Heroes Quest. They have been working at Kongregate for three years and love sharing photos of cats!

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