Overwatch Short Story “Bastet” Confirms That Soldier: 76 is Gay

Overwatch Short Story “Bastet” Confirms That Soldier: 76 is Gay

Through an Ana-focused written short story, Soldier: 76 is confirmed to be a queer character, having previously had a boyfriend.

Almost three years after the launch of Overwatch, Blizzard has confirmed a second canonically queer Hero in the game’s universe. Joining Tracer, Soldier: 76 has been revealed as a gay character in the Overwatch fiction in the short story “Bastet.”

Usually, additional Overwatch lore comes in the form of short films, with the latest video being a light one featuring Reaper and Tracer fighting over cookies. More than often, we’ll get something a little more intense or action-packed like the McCree short film that introduced Ashe. The revelation of Tracer having a girlfriend came from a December 2016 comic.

This time, lore came in the form of a written short story that centered around Ana, the healing sniper who is also Pharah’s mother. Written by Michael Chu, “Bastet” features a reunion between Ana and Jack Morrison, who players know as Soldier: 76. It is the first time the two have seen each other since the initial fall of the Overwatch organization.

At one point in the story, aided by an illustration from artist Arnold Tsang, Morrison laments about a man he was previously in a relationship with named Vincent.

“Vincent… I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said. “Still keeping a candle lit for him?”
Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,” Ana said.
Jack glared at her.
“Okay, touchy subject.”
Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”

“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”
“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?” Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.

As with the Tracer reveal, praise and criticism should be expected—praise for LGBTQ+ representation in a major multiplayer game, with some homophobic pushback on the other end (those damn SJWs!). At the same time, some queer fans may find this tidbit to be too little and too late, with the revelation coming three years later and through a short story that is easy to miss rather than anything in the proper Overwatch game.

Speaking as a queer person in tune with the discourse online, it may come across to some as J.K. Rowling making her character of Albus Dumbledore gay outside the actual Harry Potter text. Even more cynically, it may seem like a way that Blizzard thinks it can utilize to be back in the graces of some of their fans after the Overwatch minor league reportedly lost a female player due to harassment and subsequent stories reported that player “Ellie” was a “social experiment.”

Long story short, everything Overwatch at Blizzard is a mess, but at least everyone’s favorite grizzled soldier once had a boyfriend.