Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the first game in the series where all clothing is general-neutral and players as well as villagers are able to wear any outfit regardless of the gender that they choose at the beginning of the game. These changes along with gender-neutral face options for the player make it possible for a variety of gender expressions throughout the game. However, the game still requires the player to choose between binary Male and Female options during character creation. Some fans have noted that despite this limitation, Animal Crossing has been largely progressive regarding gender and gender discourse compared to other large franchise titles. Additionally, in-game villagers like the one in the image above seem to be accepting of non-traditional gender expression.
Crossdressing and non-traditional gender expression can be seen in later entries as well, such as with multiple players’ gift of a maid outfit to a new villager in New Horizons, Raymond.
LGBTQ References in this game series:
- Caoili, E. (2013, June 10). Crossing a Line: Gender Identity in Animal Crossing. Retrieved April 16, 2020, from https://tinycartridge.com/post/52624986197/crossing-a-line-gender-identity-in-animal
- Hernandez, P. (2020, March 30). Animal Crossing’s Raymond and his maid outfit tear up the internet. Retrieved from https://www.polygon.com/2020/3/30/21199697/animal-crossing-new-horizons-raymond-maid-outfit-fandom-nintendo-switch-move-in
- HowManyPrincesses?. (2013, June 9). Gender Expression and Race in Animal Crossing. How Many Princesses (Video Game Cultural Criticism Blog). Retrieved from https://howmanyprincesses.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/gender-expression-and-race-in-animal-crossing/
- Lee, C. (2013, June 16). Behind the Rainbow Screen – Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Retrieved from https://chancelee.com/2013/06/16/behind-the-rainbow-screen-animal-crossing-new-leaf/
- Various. (n.d). Animal Crossing Trope: Wholesome Crossdresser. TV Tropes Wiki. Retrieved from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/AnimalCrossing
- Various. (n.d.). Clothes (Animal Crossing series). Animal Crossing Wiki. Retrieved from http://animalcrossing.wikia.com/wiki/Clothes
- Various. (2013, July 23). Is AC: New Leaf reinforcing outdated stereotypes?. Golden Deer Pub (Gaming Community Forum). Retrieved from http://www.intothelabyrinth.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1906