Tell Me Why Studio Dontnod Strives to Tell Transgender Story Not “Rooted in Pain or Trauma”

Tell Me Why Studio Dontnod Strives to Tell Transgender Story Not “Rooted in Pain or Trauma”

Dontnod, the studio behind the upcoming Tell Me Why, details more about their transgender protagonist Tyler and the story they wanted to tell.

During last year’s Inside Xbox at X019 Dontnod Entertainment, the studio behind Life is Strange, revealed a brand new title called Tell Me Why. The studio recently released a FAQ answering some common and important questions concerning game events and especially concerning one of the twins, Tyler, a transgender man.

(Warning for some character and story spoilers ahead.)

The studio confirms that he is never deadnamed in the story and is treated respectfully by the narrative and by most of the characters, with a few exceptions in chapter one by family friends who knew him in childhood. One of the questions in particular addresses the reason for Tyler transitioning and that it was not due to childhood trauma: “The idea that being transgender is caused by trauma is a stereotype that has no basis in fact, and it plays no role in Tyler’s story.”

Another question involves Tyler’s possible endings and whether he will have any “bad” endings and Dontnod responded with the following: “Each of Tell Me Why’s endings will include an optimistic future for Tyler. What may change based on a player’s choices is Tyler’s relationship with his twin sister Alyson, where his journeys take him after the events of the game, and much more. Because so many mainstream narratives about trans people are rooted in pain or trauma, it was important to our team to tell a different, more multi-dimensional story with Tyler.”

It’s wonderful to see such an important narrative being told in a sensitive and positive, without leaning on baseless stereotypes and pointless trauma. Chapter one of Tell Me Why launches on August 27th and tells the story of twins who reunite for the first time in ten years after their mother’s death. Upon returning to their childhood home in rural Alaska, the Ronans realize that their shared past may not be as they remember it.

Watch the launch trailer for chapter one of Tell Me Why below: