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Xbox Allows Gay Gamer Identities


Microsoft reversed course Friday and announced that it would allow gay Xbox LIVE users to identify themselves as such in their nicknames, or Gamertags.

The decision arrived after two years of pressure on the company, which maintained that the prohibition against gay nicknames was designed to prevent the words "gay," "straight," "lesbian," "bi," and "transgender" from being used in a derogatory way. Under the new policy, only those five words can be used for terminology related to sexual orientation.

According to PC World, Xbox LIVE general manager Marc Whitten explained Microsoft's reasoning in an open letter.

"Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs," said Whitten. "However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community."

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