Kotaku continues their return jaunt through Fallout: New Vegas, though this time they take a turn for the progressive by exploring homosexuality and the way it has been handled throughout the Fallout series from the very beginning. An insightful read:
Character-building-wise, you're free to take up the confirmed bachelor or cherchez la femme perks. These allow you to pursue aggressive same-sex special options in dialogue and combat the results of which make these perks a fan favorite.
Once out in the world, you meet a number of people who are gay, bisexual or more on the 'sexually liberated' side. JE Sawyer, lead gameplay designer of New Vegas, once went on record regarding the inclusion of such characters, "Represent marginalized groups when sensible. Diversity helps broaden the appeal of our media, can add interesting dimensions to thematic exploration, and in some cases may even generate themes that would otherwise go unexplored." Sawyer wrote this on his blog following the ruckus game websites made about Arcade Gannon one of the recruitable companions, a doctor that you find aiding the Followers of the Apocalypse. A doctor who happens to be gay.
The argument was that Arcade was a great gay character because of how downplayed the "gay aspect" of his personality is. When depictions of gay characters in media likes to err toward the exaggerated, it becomes easy to commend Obsidian for how Arcade handles himself in the game. At best, you have just a few lines that give a nod about his sexuality, and they're not particularly explicit.
But as Sawyer wrote on this blog, it's difficult to nail characters like Arcade. You can't make everyone happy. Some people criticized the idea that the only good gay was one that wasn't in your face about it. Perhaps the best we can do is to make sure these characters are written by people who identify with the backgrounds depicted because beyond that, what the hell are a bunch of straight people doing arguing about how to write a gay character? Or, more applicably to everyone, how can we possibly postulate the idea of a "correct" way to depict a gay person? Like they're all the same or something? Uh, no.
This stuff is complicated, but that's identity politics for you.
Arcade overshadowed the other companions who also weren't heterosexual Veronica and Cass. I never met the former during my playthroughs (somehow), but her background story revolves around her sexuality. Being a Brotherhood of Steel member meant that her attraction to women wasn't welcome the BoS is scarce, and they frown upon relationships that don't allow for procreation. Veronica's lover ended up leaving the Brotherhood as a result, while Veronica was shunned by the community.