When I played Kingdom Hearts Union X Cross (then called Unchained X) for the first time in 2016, I felt pressured to play as my assigned gender (female), due to the lack of options for both Black female video game characters and non-binary characters. As someone who was still exploring their gender identity and expression, this was extremely stifling.
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Kingdom Hearts’s cast and audience may have grown up, but its tired “boy saves girl” gender politics remain just as outdated as they were when the franchise first launched.
Kingdom Hearts is mostly known for two key reasons: the increasingly convoluted mess of a timeline, and the LGBTQ-skewing elements of the characters and their relationships. Kingdom Hearts is really gay, and the fans definitely seem to know it.