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It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too

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Today the online community Bulbagarden, one of the most comprehensive resources for all things Pokemon, enacted new anti-discriminatory policies in support of its LGBTQ members. Wonderful news for the queer Pokemon fans out there, and a step forward for the gay community at large when it comes to the very real issue of cyber-bullying. But of course, what would a move towards progress be without somebody voicing their disagreement. A group of users, likely the ones whose behavior this new policy aims to combat, argue that the admins of the site should not be taking political stances.

Not to let the naysayers win the day, Bulbagarden vice-webmaster Evil Figment had this to say:

Webmaster Archaic of Bulbagarden announced today a new policy against discrimination, hatred and intolerance toward lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, queers and questioning members of the Bulbagarden community. Many people, even among those who support gay rights, may feel that this is out of place and that Bulbagarden, as a Pokémon fansite; shouldn't be taking stance on political issues.

But our new policy isn't about politics.

Our new policy is about the teenagers and young adults who begin to realize they're "different". The ones who are afraid anyone will find out what they are, because they live in a place where being what they are can get them shrugged, beaten, and even killed. The ones who have already lost their family, or fear they will lose their family. The ones who can't bear to go to school anymore. The far too many who have been driven to end their lives because of this intolerance.

The policy is about the hundreds of Pokémon fans who experience this everyday, or who experienced it in their past, and who come online to enjoy their favorite games, only to find that even here, they cannot escape being mocked, attacked, condemned and told they don't deserve equal rights. To find that even here, trying to play the games or watch the anime they love, what they identify as is being used as an insult.

Saying those fans deserve to enjoy Bulbagarden as much as any other fans is not politics. Saying that they won't be able to enjoy Bulbagarden as much as any other fan, if we tolerate people saying homosexuality is a disease, or immoral, is not politics. It's being humane.

Going out of your way, on a Pokémon forum, to hound teenagers who are struggling with who they are to tell them they are going to hell; that they shouldn't be able to marry; that they suffer from a disease? That's not about being who you are, it's not about trying to live your life - it's about trying to tell others who they have a right to be, and how they should live their lives. That is politics. Letting it happen is politics. And it's the bare truth that this sort of politics doesn't belong on a Pokémon fansite.

At the end of the day, we don't feel that choosing between these two sides is playing politics.

Who would have thought that one of the most poignant, beautifully articulated, and concise statements on cyber-bullying and LGBTQ rights would come out of a Pokemon forum of all places?

Kudos, Bulbapedia staff! From all of us here at gaygamer.net, Pokemon fans the lot of us, thank you! And keep up the great work.

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7 Comments

Kevin (Ket) said:

Haven't played Pokemon in a while. Suddenly, I have the urge to get Black/White 2 and get back into it. (b'-')b

Last year I played Platinum and I was always coming back to the Bulbapedia for information. It is wonderful not just know they support us, but also the third paragraph moved me a lot, even though I never used the forums.

Thanks a lot to these guys!

Michael said:

That really was just beautifully put. Like poetry. I have never gone to the bulbagarden site, but if just half the world acted as they did, our world would be so much more a wonderful place to live. I applaud you good people at bulbagarden! :D

Craig W.K. said:

It makes me sad to think that even though the article is absolutely true, there are going to be ignorant people who read it, and drop an F-bomb.

wohdin said:

Love you Pokémon community. Stay awesome.

I love that this is so concise, you can practically turn it into an ad-lib stock post by replacing all references to Pokemon/Bulbagarden to [fandom] and [fandom-oriented website].

toonhead said:

I cannot believe anyone is trying to label using consideration and respect around other people "political." Oh wait, of course I can. :(

Yay Bulbapedia for taking a stand!

Mercurywater said:

This is beautiful. Thank you Bulbapedia for realizing that tolerating bigotry and irrational hatred is not "politics." It has nothing to do with politics. Every day of my life I am told to shut up for voicing my opposition to hate speech and this makes me so so happy. I feel vindicated now-I can't belive a Pokemon site of all things is more mature than...well nearly everyone I know.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Mercurywater on It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too: This is beautiful. Thank you Bulbapedia for realizing that tolerating bigotry and irrational hatred is not "politics." It has nothing...

toonhead on It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too: I cannot believe anyone is trying to label using consideration and respect around other people "political." Oh wait, of course...

wohdin on It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too: Love you Pokémon community. Stay awesome. I love that this is so concise, you can practically turn it into an...

Craig W.K. on It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too: It makes me sad to think that even though the article is absolutely true, there are going to be ignorant...

Michael on It Gets Better For Pokemon Trainers Too: That really was just beautifully put. Like poetry. I have never gone to the bulbagarden site, but if just half...

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