Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, has tweeted some good news this morning.
A change to the XBL code of conduct will now allow you to express your sexual orientation in profiles and Gamertags.
According to the new policy, you can start using the terms Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, and Straight in your Gamertags and profiles.
However, you still may not use these terms to insult, berate, harass or use them in a debasing manner.
Upon typing in the approved terms into your profile, you should find that they are not blocked. The updated code of conduct page can be found through here. Be aware though, that Microsoft is still “sweeping the system” for variations of the words – so it might be for a few days before all spellings, phrases, etc are acceptable within the service.
Toulouse says that if you have issues with getting the term to go through, contact support.
Marc Whitten, general manager of XBL has a letter on the official site, chatting about the changes, here is a snippet:
I truly believe that our diversity is what makes us strong: diversity in gaming and entertainment options, and diversity in the people that make up this amazing community. I look forward to seeing you on LIVE soon.
In April of last year, Microsoft met with Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) to discuss how the company could improve relations with the gay community, and allow members of XBL to show their sexual orientation within the service without becoming a banner for harassment.
Then, in July, EA hosted a panel on homophobia in videogame culture sponsored by GLAAD, and attendees included the Entertainment Software Association, GayGamer.net, Linden Labs, and Microsoft.
Bravo Microsoft. Bravo.