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:
- Brindle, J. (2013, April 6). How does it taste? The sexual politics of how Metal Gear Solid 3 treats Raiden. The Brindle Brothers. http://brindlebrothers.blogspot.com/2013/04/dress-up-games-with-naked-snake.html
- Fruit Brute. (2006, July 12). Top 20 Gayest Video Game Characters – #14 – Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov – Metal Gear Solid
- Raiden. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Raiden.
- Is Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 depicted as gay in Metal Gear Solid 3? (n.d.) https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091206111844AA5avwK
- 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.