The Mandatory Performative Pride Month Post, pt. 2: Sexuality in Borderlands

While the movie is still under post-production having been shot last year, and weirdly does not have a release date, I don’t think it will be as explicitly queer as the games. Oh boy, are they liberated in this sense.

While there are these little moments one might see as homophobic, but could also be argued are more about self-realization in some cases (there’s a recording in the Pre-Sequel about a boss called RedBelly, who is actually two people, Red and Belly, which implies that Red is infatuated with Belly, but avoids the discussion on this, but that could be read in many different ways and with the franchise in general being what it is, I would give it the benefit of the doubt), being on the Kinsey scale outside of 0 is seen as totally normal and in general doesn’t even need an explanation of any sort, though it should be noted that while the game is generally open to homosexuality, out of the 20 playable characters, none of the males are gay.

Still, the game has been very good about the way it approaches inclusivity and in general doesn’t give a shit about possible player prejudices. I hope 2K as the new owners of Gearbox aren’t going to change this. There is so much more to talk about the progressive approach this franchise takes to many things, but this is for Pride. So, here’s a list of all the playable characters and their sexuality as far as I know it (since the games are not about sex, you don’t always find out), as well as some key NPCs, who are not strictly straight.

I will present evidence where available and I will try to explain things to those not familiar with the franchise or a specific game. One general evidence on the inclusivity of the game is that in general, when there are voicelines regarding sexual interest, they are not gender specific. For example, Grandma Flexington suggests dating Captain Scarlett (a woman) to all PC independent of their gender.


They emphasized progressive ideals in a different way in this one, but the sexuality wasn’t really a thing here. Roland and Lilith are straight, as they were in a relationship, Mordecai is straight as he was in a relationship with Moxxi, and we don’t really know about Brick, except that Anthony Burch, the writer of the first two games, did not list him when listing straight people from the games in a tweet. Mordecai and Brick do form a sort of platonic hetero life partner situation in the second game, when they decide to raise Tiny Tina.

Borderlands 2

Okay, here it starts to get interesting.

Axton: Male and accidentally bi. He was supposed to be straight (he has an estranged wife), but when he had a flirty line when reviving allies, they decided to just keep that for all allies independent of their gender.

Zer0: Uses male pronouns, but isn’t really a male in the traditional sense. In the third game, he is infatuated by Lorelei, who has actually transitioned into being Lor by New Tales from the Borderlands. We don’t know what happened to their relationship, but this would imply that Zer0 is at least biromantic.

Maya: There’s a recording in Wam Bam Island, where Tannis, a major NPC throughout the franchise, says she finds Maya attractive. This comes as a surprise to Maya, who apparently has not paid much attention to such things, which would imply she is asexual. She does have a platonic relationship with Kried, which would imply that she is not aromantic.

Salvador: We don’t really know, but straight according to Burch.

Gaige: Straight. Has a teen crush on Hammerlock (whom we’ll cover later) and as an adult is interested in Eista, both males.

Krieg: Has a weird platonic relationship with Maya and apparently had a family that was murdered by Hyperion Company.


Athena: She is in a relationship with another woman, Janey, so a lesbian.

Wilhelm: No idea based on the game, but straight according to Burch and finds robots hot.

Nisha: Girlfriend of Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2, so straight.

Frag-Trap: Uses a lot of womanizing language in the other games, so straight

Jack: Note for those not familiar with the franchise: Known as a clone of Handsome Jack, but is actually a decoy, with a lot of modifications to fit the role. Straight. Like so, so many other characters, has a crush on Moxxi (whom we’ll cover later).

Aurelia: Straight. Has a fling of some sort with Troy, a major bad guy in Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3

Moze: Lesbian. There’s not much conclusive evidence on this, but there’s a small hint in one of the latter DLCs, where she makes a mental note to buy the Siren’s Call, which is a porn mag. Of course, straight women can also enjoy porn, but as Sirens are always women (with the exception of the aforementioned Troy, but that gets complicated, as he is a twin of Tyreen, a siren), the implication is at least strong enough to make this canon in my mind until further details. Although, to be honest, there’s a chance that this magazine is written erotica, but the line describing the content is sort of vague and I’m not sure the person saying this line would be very interested in written content.

Amara: No idea.

Zane: Probably straight based on comments regarding a past with Moxxi, which Moxxi doesn’t seem to remember.

Fl4k: Nonbinary and seems to be pansexual, although as a robot, their sexual interests are probably limited, even though they seem to have a very strong pararomantic relationship with Death, whatever they think that is.

A note on Wonderlands: The playable characters are much more customizable and don’t have distinct readily designed personalities, like the PCs from the other games.


While the playable characters tip their toes into experiences outside of heterosexuality, the NPCs go all the way, but I’m only going to cover the LGBTQ+ characters here.

Moxxi: Also known as Mad Moxxi when her capability for violence is brought up, but in general she is just an older woman every has a crush on. She is very promiscuous and while she apparently has had more relationships with men, she has had her fair share of relationships and sexual encounters with women as well. I would classify her as pansexual.

Her daughter, Ellie: Pretty much a bigger version of her mother. Also flirts with everyone.

Janey: Is very into women and ends up in a relationship with aforementioned Athena.

Hammerlock: There’s a hint of bicuriosity (there’s a voiceline in which he mentions having made out with Lilith), but even if it wasn’t obvious before from Gaige’s voicelines (which imply she is disappointed in having no chance with him), he marries a man in the second DLC for BL3.

Wainwright Jacobs: The husband of the aforementioned.

Lor: Formerly Lorelei, a transitioned man, also played by nonbinary actor. We meet him before the transition as he couldn’t do it when the war was raging on his planet. Also, the same actor plays a part of Paladin Mike in Wonderlands, a character implied to have been designed by Lor.

Tiny Tina: Later Tina. A teenager, who has weird ideas regarding sexuality and romanticism as she has been living on her own in the middle of hostile territory. Has a huge crush on Moxxi, but has also had boyfriends in the past. I would consider her pansexual.

Tannis: Bisexual or more like pansexual. Has expressed sexual interest in Maya and Moxxi (might have even had a fling with her), as well as seems to promote a very liberated stance on sexuality among other scientists like herself. She has also expressed interest in things like the items around her (like her chairs), although that’s a whole different discussion for another day

Captain Scarlett: Lesbian. There’s a running joke in the game, where various NPCs ask you whether Moxxi has mentioned them. Scarlett fits this bill.

Mister Torgue: Bisexual. Finds all PCs attractive and this was actually confirmed by the writer, Anthony Burch.

Mr. Shands: Bisexual. Formerly a husband of Moxxi, but when we meet him, he feels the need to deny it, but he is in a somewhat toxic relationship with another man.

Those are the ones that come to mind of the major NPCs. There’s sidequests, where the questgiver refers to a partner of the same gender, there’s recording of people who make similar references and so forth. Your main giveaway on this should be that if you are looking for an inclusive and fun game, this could be it. Sure, some elements are kind of stupid and the violence is not for everyone, but at the same time, the way they approach certain real world issues is also just great. (They have also had good takes on capitalism, colonialism, environmental issues, mental health issues, and so forth.)

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