Today, it's somewhat of an old article, but since it's recently been brought to the attention of theRPGsite through a stupid thread I won't bother linking to, I'm going to share the interview Mike Mearls had with The Mary Sue a few months back, on the subject of gender diversity and sexuality in the new edition of D&D.
I'll note (for the record again, as there are always people willing to try to lie about my opinions on this) that I wholeheartedly support what Mike is saying in this interview. I'll venture to say that so do the vast majority of D&D fans. The Outrage Brigade wants to paint regular roleplaying as a toxic culture of misogyny and homophobia/transphobia because it serves their agenda, but that's certainly not been my experience of the vast majority of people who play D&D. The ones who are raising up an idiotic stink about this (as a couple of people did on theRPGsite) are a small minority, a marginal group (I at least haven't heard of a single person of influence in D&D fandom or the OSR or whatever who have taken the side of "we don't approve of the inclusive language in D&D") whose opinion is being resoundingly rejected by most regular gamers (as indeed it was in theRPGsite).
In particular, the idea that gender diversity or a recognition of the full spectrum of sexual orientation is somehow not appropriate for D&D because it's a "family game" is stupid. The "it will harm the impressionable children" thing is bullshit.
First, there are children who are transgender, and gay. While not
necessarily having the words for it at certain ages (in part because the
idiotic notions of society hides those words from them from ill-thought
notions like the ones some have shown in this thread) all the evidence
suggests that these orientations or gender identities are present in
childhood, they don't magically spring up sometime post-adolescence. And kids that are "heteronormative" or "cisgendered" aren't going to suddenly not be that way because of two lines in a D&D rulebook.
Second, most kids are already becoming aware of this in this present
time; if you're a parent, 'not talking about it' is neither going to make things go away nor prevent your kids from hearing about it from other sources. Trying to hide it is not just stupid, it's rapidly becoming
futile. And in fact, I would go further and call it malicious; no kid who isn't transgender is suddenly going to want to become transgender because of a line in an RPG (an argument as stupid as the ones used in the 1980s about D&D and violence or D&D and "satan-worship"), but some kids who are gay, or transgender, just might find some kind of reassurance in a game where they see these things addressed positively.
Finally, for the most part, "the children" are not the ones who give a shit. In my DCC
campaign, it's the 10-year old player who's playing a gender-fluid
character; and he has no problem with it at all. I have no idea if
there's some OOC motivation for it, or if he's just totally comfortable
with roleplaying it because he doesn't see it as any kind of big deal;
but frankly, either way I think that's awesome.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Horn + Gawith's Navy Flake