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Team Junkfish Blog

What is the Games Industry like for LGBTQIA+ Game Developers?

Did you know that around 21% of game developers in the UK identify as LGBTQIA+?

Although Junkfish has staff working remotely from all over the world, we meet (and exceed) this industry standard, with around 25% of our staff openly identifying as LGBTQIA+.

This Pride month, we wanted to put together a blog sharing some experiences and thoughts from our queer staff as members of the games industry, and see what changes they would like to see in the future.


Gareth (he/them)

Operations Director

Working in the games industry

"There is strong feeling of representation across the industry in quite a pleasing way. There are still hurdles and hills that we have to get over and up... I guess that my experience from general society has set the bar quite low but it does feel like we are significantly ahead of the curve and on the right side of history in terms of trying to improve things. There are a lot of visibly queer people. It's not just that people fly flags or use labels all over the place but a lot of things that feel culturally queer are just more present in people's behaviours. 

I think I just feel, whatever this word means, 'normal' as a queer person within the industry."

Working at Junkfish

"I often claim that straight people are the minority at Junkfish - I'm not sure if that's true but it feels close! We just have such a culture of openness, transparency, and acceptance that it feels like we're a light for all of the little queer moths out there. It's not about being tolerant, it's about genuine acceptance. We don't want Junkfish to be a mask people wear to survive 40 hours a week so they can pay bills, we want it to be an extension of people's identity which means people get to be openly queer in how they talk, present, and behave. They don't have to tone anything down or hide things because that's an insane thing to want/ask another human to do. 

It's been that way since I joined the company and I think we've spent the past few years trying to create a greater sense of equity for LGBTQIA+ people with success. You can be whoever you are here."

What changes would you like to see in the games industry?

"Within the industry: A greater understanding of equity, allyship, and unconscious bias. Humans are weird on a good day and a lot of people with good intent miss the mark but find it really hard to consider the idea that they're either not supporting people or actively harming people. Having allies and the well intentioned share the effort of education and defence would be a lovely thing to see more of.

Within games: More queer heroes. More queer stories. We can save the planet and win the gunfights and kill aliens and have trauma that we over come too."

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"Be gay. Do crime."


Charlotte (she/her)

Social Media and Community Associate

Working in the games industry

"I’ve been working within the games industry for 3 years now and have played games for considerably longer than that. Being a queer woman who enjoys games can be brutal, especially working in the community side of the industry. People can hurl insults at you just because they didn’t like something you posted or because you beat them in an online game. It’s best to not feed the trolls anyway, but those trolls are so loud in their hunger it’s hard to ignore sometimes!

That being said , I am loving seeing the emerging representation in games in recent years. Whether it be queer coded gameplay or publicly recognised LGBTQIA+ characters, I know that for every 1 person who hates it there is someone out there struggling with their identity and appreciating  seeing someone like them in media they enjoy."

Working at Junkfish

"Many LGBTQIA+ groups within a workplace can feel like a tick box exercise but the Junkfish ERG aka Rainbowfish is such a wholesome uplifting place to be. With big conversations, support and even cute merch sharing it’s so much more than an ERG, it’s a nice little queer safe space. I think a lot of this is because of its founding members, Leif and Gareth, making sure we all know we’re seen and supported wherever we are in our lives.

Outside of the ERG Team Junkfish is full of nice people. Despite being a remote based studio, there hasn’t been a moment where I felt as though I couldn’t be me or I should hide my queer identity. I don’t feel the need to announce myself but I’m also not actively hiding. It’s a good feeling, to just be."

What changes would you like to see in the games industry?

"As many others would say, I’d love the wider game community to progress its views. It’s tiresome to have queer characters blamed for a failure of a game, or a game boycotted because of representation. People often spout that games have got too political and yet don’t see the irony that politics have been in games since the start. Not to mention there is nothing political about people’s identity and seeing that represented in media!"

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"I would love for everyone who doesn’t feel they are “queer enough” to know that they absolutely are. This is something I often struggle with, but your LGBTQIA+ identity is not dependent on your partner, or how others perceive you. Pride month is a month to be proud in your identity, to take up that space.

You entirely deserve to take up that space and be you. You are valid."


Adam (he/him)

Technical Sound Designer

Working in the games industry

"As I'm what I'd still class as recently 'out', I still have a lot of anxiety. Thankfully, the people I've met so far have made my experience a positive one. I feel incredibly privileged that I've not face any major hardships, and it is really nice to see more inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people within the industry."

Working at Junkfish

"Everyone here at Junkfish is so lovely. When I was outed, I didn't know what to do. I lost people in my life who I thought were good people and instead they let bigotry best them. I jumped on a call with Gareth, our Operations Director, about everything. This all happened very early on when I had just joined Junkfish (I was still in my probation period and had that anxiety to deal with too, woohoo!) He helped me more than he'll ever know, after losing so many people it was nice to not be shunned and thrown away - I even remember a jokingly "one of us" chant to help cheer me up.

I also love the Rainbowfish ERG. I'm not very active in most ERG's but its nice to see the support and progression of support within Junkfish."

What changes would you like to see in the games industry?

"At the end of day, the games industry (whilst more progressive than other industries) still has a bigotry problem, but it is much better than it used to be. Stand by your co-workers in the community."

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"The only thing I can say is that I was afraid of myself for a long time, and that drove me into a dark depression. If I had accepted who I was instead of trying to hide it I could've been happier earlier on.

My point is, don't be afraid to accept who you are.  You are who you are, and that's exactly how it should be!"


Eva (she/her)

Game Designer

Working in the games industry

"In my direct personal experience, I've never had any problems with anyone. It's always a bit disheartening watching the same narratives being centred in games (usually male, usually heterosexual, usually cis-gender), with characters who don't even attempt to explore the multiplicity of human experience. Even more disheartening is watching the backlash from certain groups of gamers when games companies do include even the most token attempts at diversity."

Working at Junkfish

"I never announced any identity to anyone at Junkfish, but I also never hid who I am – because I never felt the need to. The environment here has been open and supportive from day one, and I don't feel I've ever been treated any differently because of how I behave or present or identify."

What changes would you like to see in the games industry?

"We absolutely need more diversity among the people who make games, so that in turn more representative and diverse games will get made. People who will point out poor writing, outdated and harmful stereotypes, and bad representation.

Mainstream games have been quite stagnant for years now, with the same narratives and the same gameplay, over and over again. We need new voices and perspectives in the workforce to bring new ideas to the table, new stories and new mechanics and new ways of interacting with the world."


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