Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty


Raiden Image credit

Raiden first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2.

He has been read as a potentially gay character, as he is described as effeminate and Vamp flirts with him. The fact that Raiden has a girlfriend and child, however, are used to demonstrate his heterosexuality (see here, for example). Some have also argued that Raikov, an explicitly gay character, is meant to be a parody of Raiden. An extended analysis of this is provided by John Brindle here. While Raiden may certainly be a character than can be queerly read (Youngblood, 2013), there isn’t enough evidence to classify him as implicitly gay.

LGBTQ References in this series:

Metal Gear Solid (1998): Ocelot; Otacon

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001): Vamp; Scott Dolph; Raiden

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004): Raikov and Volgin

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010): Strangelove; Kaz


  1. Brindle, J. (2013, April 6). How does it taste? The sexual politics of how Metal Gear Solid 3 treats Raiden. The Brindle Brothers.
  2. Fruit Brute. (2006, July 12). Top 20 Gayest Video Game Characters – #14 – Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov – Metal Gear Solid
  3. Raiden. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Is Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 depicted as gay in Metal Gear Solid 3? (n.d.)
  5. Youngblod, J. (2013). Is Metal Gear’s Rectum a Digital Grave?: Queer Trauma and Failure in the Metal Gear Solid Series. Queerness & Games Conference. University of Berkeley. October, 24-26.