EVO 2022 came with an assortment of hype moments over the weekend, including the most incredible “Cell Yell” I’ve heard since Dragon Ball FighterZ’s first season in 2018. Sprinkled throughout the tournament were a few announcements, too, such as the welcome reveal of rollback netcode for more fighting games. But perhaps most exciting was news that classic fighter Bridget is the next DLC character coming to Guilty Gear Strive. What’s more, in the day or so since, arcade mode footage revealed that Bridget has come out as a trans girl. Talk about a based W!
Bridget was first introduced in 2002’s Guilty Gear XX, presenting as a very cute boy who instantly stole the hearts of fans. Though born as one of two twin boys to a multi-billionaire couple, Bridget’s gender presentation was decidedly feminine despite their use of masculine pronouns. (Official reason: convoluted anime bullshit.) However, with Bridget’s official return as a playable character in Strive as part of the game’s $25 Season Pass 2, ArcSys has given them a “come out” moment where they announce they do, in fact, identify as a girl.
An adept yo-yo user, Bridget’s dialogue in Strive shows her becoming comfortable in expressing her trans identity, telling deuteragonist Ky Kisuke and U.S. Secretary of Defense (lol) Goldlewis Dickinson that, “[calling me] Cowgirl is fine. Because…I’m a girl!”
Yas, Queen, live your truth! We love to see it. In fact, plenty of folks online celebrated the reveal with fan art and memes. Someone even created a mod for Bridget that sees them donning the blue, pink, and white colors of the Trans pride flag. It’s cool!
Not everyone was thrilled about Bridget’s trans-ness, though, which shouldn’t come as a surprise in this space. Ready to dismiss their identity wholesale, there are plenty of gross tweets decrying ArcSys giving us an actual trans character in Strive. While there’s some nuance to the idea that the studio could be “erasing a character’s previous identity,” as one tweeter put it, most of the negative discourse oscillating around Bridget is framed as bad-faith arguments over grooming.
Kotaku has reached out to Arc System Works for comment.
The negative response toward Bridget’s coming out is disconcerting to say the least. At a time when the U.S. government is penning legislation aimed at attacking the queer experience, getting representation in media—especially in games—should be seen as a boon. It reassures folks in our community that it’s OK to be who you are, and how you identify is both accepted and loved. As a nonbinary individual who sees a bit of themselves in the elegant “grim reaper” Testament, Strive’s first enby character, I’m absolutely living for Bridget coming into her own.