All forms of art are a lens through which we can view society. While some detractors will claim that video games aren’t art, they obviously haven’t played a single Metal Gear or Bubsy title. Games are invaluable tools that help us understand the world around us. From the Israel-Palestine conflict to the subprime mortgage crisis, video games have plenty to teach us. They also have a lot to teach us about LGBT experiences (especially the T). If you, or anyone you know, has trouble understanding trans people, then I suggest you go no further than Final Fantasy III.
One of the core innovations of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy III was the job system, which allows you to change your character’s class (job) at will. Any character can fulfill any role on your team. Do you need more healing? Then change someone’s job to white mage! Do you want to win the game? Then change someone’s job to onion knight and pump them full of XP. No characters are assigned intrinsic roles, they can change their abilities and skills at the drop of a hat. Hopefully you can already see how this applies to the experiences of trans people. I don’t think I need to elaborate any further.
But I will anyway. Changing your gender is functionally indistinct from changing your class. Men, women, and everyone in between are no different from summoners, geomancers, and the elusive red mage. There’s literally no difference. This is an easily understood, perfectly one-to-one comparison. So if anyone is still transphobic after knowing about the job system in Final Fantasy III, they’re simply clinging to their bigotry and there’s no helping them. Spells are like pronouns.
Classes aren’t innate parts of each character in FF3’s being, but rather, they are a social expression of the way they feel inside, and what role would be optimal for their stats. If you are willing to accept that someone can switch from being a white mage to a black mage, but you aren’t willing to accept someone can change from a man into a woman, then it might be time to change the class of your heart.
But if you stick with freelancer, you’re dogshit and your gender is trash.