Multi-time Evo champion Dominique “SonicFox” McLean kicked down esports’ heteronormative door while accepting the esports player of the year award at the Game Awards with two simple words: “I’m gay.”
Nearly one year later, SonicFox had another statement to make. The LGBTQ hero of the fighting game world identifies as non-binary.
“I’ve been thinking critically about myself these last couple of months, and my entire life perspective on how I look. The more I reflect... the more this makes sense to me… I’m coming out as a Non-Binary Man,” SonicFox unveiled on his Twitter account Tuesday.
According to SonicFox, their exploration of their gender identity started from a familiar place for many gender non-conforming people: societal ideals of masculinity and femininity. “I’ve always found myself enjoying things that were typically considered ‘not masculine,’” they wrote. “I’ve always thought of myself as 50% masc and 50% feminine. But I always felt ridiculed and made fun of for liking the more “feminine” things of life.”
They used clothing as an example of these struggles, explaining that their trademark hoodie and jeans fit was a product of a deeply held fear of expression.
“The mens clothes section just never appealed to me … when I look at myself in the mirror and visualizing the ideal me, I keep seeing myself with this androgynous appearance. I was too nervous and shy to try women or “feminine” clothing … I am ready to conquer this shyness and start trying out new clothes and stuff that really feels like me”
But the power of owning their gender identity gave SonicFox the courage to explore that androgynous desire, and they have some big plans.
“I love the monochrome look and have always had a fascination in cardigans shawls long black leather gloves etc. Hell even makeup! (smokey eyes)… I’m gonna try on jewelry, [I’m gonna] try piercings… the whole nine yards,” they wrote. “I wanna completely overhaul how I generally present myself to the world, and have this new attire that I think feels right. To really express the true me.”
SonicFox’s thread also addressed the fluidity of gender and sexual identity, pointing out that, like many others on the LGBTQ spectrum, their identity could continue to shift.
“In time I could see myself dropping the He/Him pronouns. I cannot tell if I am genderfluid or not, but I feel identifying as a cis-man just isn’t too right… Hell even when I called myself gay for simplicity purposes, something always felt off about that as well. I’ll probably still continue to say I’m gay but in true hindsight, I think I am probably pansexual. Not sure yet. Sexuality and gender is confusing sometimes!”
SonicFox’s self-realization came just over a week after completing a 72-hour charity Twitch stream benefitting The Trevor Project. That broadcast saw a number of LGBTQ figures from the gaming and streaming world join SonicFox in discussing their life experiences, including how they came to understand their gender and sexual identity.
These interactions weren’t the direct catalyst for SonicFox’s announcement, but being surrounded by loving and supportive individuals has a way of empowering people to speak their truth. That same experience unfolded after they came out with copious messages of support flooding SonicFox’s social media.
so many friendly replies im— FOX | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) September 3, 2019
They wrapped up the announcement with a familiar refrain from one SonicFox’s most beloved pieces of media, Steven Universe.
“I don’t need you to respect me, I respect me. I don’t need you to love me, I love me. But I want you to know you could know me, if you changed your mind~”— FOX | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) August 4, 2019
Congratulations to one of esports’ most beloved “theymers.”