A Skyrim modder called XilaMonstrr has sent a letter to Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Media and Microsoft regarding an alleged issue with adding LGBTQ words to console mods.
The problem supposedly stems from the terms of service employed by Bethesda.net, which seemingly prevents words including “Lesbian and Queer" from featuring in titles or descriptions.
According to the description of XilaMonstrr’s mod “Dear Bethesda - A Demand Letter for PRIDE”, which adds a copy of the letter into Skyrim itself, the publisher is already “working on addressing this issue”.
Work Already Being Done to Rectify LGBTQ Mod Terms of Service Issues
Despite Bethesda’s alleged acknowledgement of the problem, XilaMonstrr has stated their intention to keep the modded version of the letter, which calls on Bethesda to change its policy regarding restricted language, live on Nexus Mods until the issue “is fully resolved.”
“I am a queer lesbian modder. This policy has directly impacted my ability to release content that speaks to queer people and allies.” states XilaMonstrr in the letter.
They also add: “The mods I have released on Bethesda.net with queer content are some of the most popular mods that I have published. There is a huge demand to fix the glaring lack of queer characters and content in the original games. But, without being able to properly designate mods with the language that LGBTQ people use as important signifiers, this content is inherently suppressed.”
The letter also cites the policy as being contrary to ZeniMax’s public diversity statement on its website, which states: “We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do – from recruiting for our studios, publishing and operations to fostering safe and respectful workplaces that encourage collaboration. Our culture is based on principles of respect, inclusion, and fair treatment and we welcome anyone into our family without regard to race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.”
Naturally, due to being specific to Bethesda.net, this issue is mainly affecting console mods, which use the service as a hub from which users can download and install content.
The letter has garnered some support on Reddit, with many users in the subreddit r/SkyrimModsXbox reacting positively to the news that the company is working to address it.
If you want to read it for yourself, the aforementioned mod posted to Nexus Mods by XilaMonstrr includes it in its description, as well as adding an in-game copy to a table in Dragonsreach if you choose to install it.
XilaMonstrr also pledges in the description that any money the mod generates will be donated to the charity Trans Lifeline.
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