The Flak over Fl4k and what it cost

I am not a scholar nor am i some great wordsmith of the ages. What i am, however, is a concerned individual who actually gives two dimes about other people. That however does not mean, concede without question. It is because that i give two dimes about those of you in and outside of the forums that i write this post. I am not perfect, nor will i ever claim to be. I do not understand all issues regarding gender and race nor will i claim it, however that does not deny access to the topic. Let’s get this show on the road. If i offend you, please reply. Let’s talk about it. To sit and stew in ignorance as well as to scuff and point the finger and write someone off without discussion is to be just as “evil” as you claim others to be. The floor is yours just as much as it is mine. Let’s utilize it. This is a General Dscussion after all.

What does it cost you? That has been the question of the year. What does it cost you to change your pronouns. I will answer that while keeping it in the realm of borderlands 3 for relevance.

Fl4k, being a robot with lore is just that. A robot with lore for the game. With that said you might wonder where all the fire…pitchforks…side remarks…bans…flags come from. I believe it comes from the cost of championing something that knows absolutely zero of said cause. Fl4k is but a robot with lore for the game. It is those on the outside of said game world that have placed Fl4k in the chains of polically correct terms and have shielded said robot with non gender roles because of how THEY feel…not Fl4k. After all Fl4k is just a robot with lore for the game. When someone says “Fl4k is a really cool dude, i like the way he works”. It works against Fl4k to what degree? None. However it clearly has an effect on other people when said act is done. Yet the question is why. Why is that. No one on this planet is Fl4k. The people who do not conform to a specific gender may see themselves in Fl4k but that is entirely on them…a decision that they make if said choice is chosen. A choice being the keyword…for it is not Fl4k in the least bit saying here i am, non gender based hear me roar. It’s a robot with lore who’s going to shoot things and people in a game.

But let’s get to something that really is quite concerning. The phrase “what does it cost you to change your pronouns” and it leading to a ban on the forums. Calling Fl4k a dude does not champion a cause for hate. Someone will read that and feel otherwise. Someone will read or hear someone call Fl4k a dude and feel hurt over THEIR own life and the way that they are. Somehow someone will see Fl4k being misgendered and feel attacked on their own livelihoods. The cost is your escapism. The cost is your personal lore that you place on YOUR copy of the game. The cost is your place in the forums because someone else feels hurt over Fl4k, a robot with lore in the game, being misgendered. The cost is walking on eggshells that shouldn’t be there, especially when said victims were never the subject of such phrases. The cost is the authority meant to keep the peace misusing the intended position to punch down while championing…causes that do not pertain nor correlate. Multiple accounts have been stabbed because of how YOU feel about Fl4k…a robot with lore in the game. The murder we will commit in the game is negligible, yet calling Fl4k a guy is worse than pulling the trigger 1000 times or more. Explain that.


I’ve been non-binary (agender) and living gender neutrally for the past five years. I’ve been using they/them for the past five years. If you’re looking for someone to answer questions, I can do that.

I am particularly concerned with why you think I can “choose” which characters I identify with. A man relates to men, women relate to women, and yet, you think I can choose whether or not I relate to FL4K? When I heard about their gender, the first thing I thought was “just like me.” It cannot be undone. I can’t unchoose it, even if I wanted to.

It isn’t about FL4K, it never was. It’s about the real people like me, who see others assigning gender to this robot, and think “well, if they assign gender to this non-binary character, they would do it to me.” And maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe they would treat me gender neutrally. But they’ve lost the benefit of the doubt by gendering a robot, haven’t they?


That’s pretty shallow thinking and is not always true. People can relate to a character that they don’t share a gender with.

I’m honestly not sure how you come to that conclusion. You’re a real person, you have rights and feelings. Flak… doesn’t. Flak, for all intents and purposes, presents pretty masculine, so people are going to default to masculine pronouns, especially in languages which either naturally have gendered words or where singular gender neutral pronouns are rarely used for a single, known individual. The fact that people who use masculine pronouns for flak, to you, means that they don’t deserve the “benefit of the doubt” with regards to how they would treat real, living people is… a bit much, to say the least.


Let’s take a second dial this back.

Assuming the worst case scenario of a ban, getting banned from a game forum for repeated and intentional misuse of the pronoun is not going to really hurt anyone. Its a forum, if you’re waiting for the Steam release you’ve got 2 or 3 others to choose from.

Onto your question, it feels kind of pedantic to say that Fl4k is just a robot and people aren’t meant to identify with them. If Fl4k wasn’t wearing a non-binary pride flag on their coat, I wouldn’t be writing this comment. But at this point, the devs are basically screaming at us that yes, this is meant to be something people attach to. Maybe Fl4k has multiple AIs, maybe they just don’t understand human gender. Whatever the case, it just seems that GB means for this be something we understand and acknowledge about Fl4k’s character.

And really, it’ll more than likely end up like Hammerlock’s homosexuality. Something that you know is there, but is just part of a whole badass package. If GB is purposefully putting all these clues in front of my face, my assumption is there is something they want to teach me. And if I sat through Jack’s psychopathy, claptrap’s depression, and Tina’s mental breakdown, I can sit through this too. Hopefully we all can.


Honestly, I’m just happy to see so many people who’ve made “I WONT SAY THEY” so integral to their identities that this is the level they jump to. Makes me feel like I’ve got my ■■■■ together, and that’s pretty rare for me. This has been a pretty nice night for me.


My standing opinion on the entire gender debate is this: I don’t care if you identify as male, female, neutral, non-binary or cardboard box. I’ll refer to you as you wish and ignore the naysayers.


Behave! We can’t have every Fl4k discussion closed now can we?:joy::rofl::joy::thinking:


I’m here for a civil discussion, to answer questions that people might have about people like me.

When I say that women relate to women, and men relate to men, I of course mean that in the general sense. Obviously, plenty of women are fans of Luke Skywalker. But did you see the female response to Rey? It is very different, because people need characters they can see themselves in.

They would lose the benefit of the doubt, because robots are machines they are not usually assigned a gender at birth. It should be easy as pie to not gender a robot. But people are going out of their way to do so. Citing things like FL4K’s appearance and voice. Disregarding female people who have broad shoulders and deep voices. They intentionally look for things that they can base a gender on. Who’s to say they wouldn’t do that to me? Look at build and my voice and assign a gender based on that? Of course they would, they would do it to a machine.


Thank you for your reply charleychibi i really appreciate it.

I feel like it’s a choice as well as a problem because Fl4k is a robot without gender. That being in common with you being the sole reason is why it’s so puzzling for this to be such a large deal. If we really get down too it…Fl4k is not you. Fl4k has not been living gender neutral for the past 5 years. Fl4k is not a robot trying to figure out what side of the house they fit in, nor is Fl4k attempting to live out a wonderful life while dodging a gender labal. That is something you yourself experience and something i honestly hope doesn’t cause you much trouble in this day in age where we’re trying to teach tolerance and acecptance.

If it stopped at it simplying being a worry or a question of “If they would label Fl4k a dude wouldn’t they do it to me”. It would be one thing. But it doesn’t just stop there…it has been taken further. The finger has been pointed. The guiliton dropped on those that dare attempt to assign Fl4k a role regardless of it being incorrect, because incorrect is what you can not be in 2019 without losing a social limb. It is the fact that it does not matter if me personally or someone else would never call YOU a guy but would call Fl4k a guy. It does not matter that there are people who would treat you humanly while treating Fl4k as masculine. The concern that i carry comes from the fact that the ban hammer can be hammered down over the sheer notion of your worries and fears without true confirmation of acts of “evil” or persecution. The corcern i have comes fromthe persecution of accounts over the -potential- for others to treat people terribly because of how they label Fl4k. You have the right to be treated well and loved just as much as anyone else that deems themsevles “normal”. That is a fact.


You can relate to a character for different reasons other than gender you know?


See? It’s not hard. But you see. Principles. And um… free speech. And um… other stuff. 1984!

Oh c’mon. Somebody here has to make a 1984 reference to prove they read a book once in high school.

It’s like the only thing I lack for 3 different rows on my ■■■■■■■ bingo card.


Of course. But FL4K is non-binary and so am I. So I relate to that.


Why are people so obsessed with gendering FL4K? If you find the answer to this, you might find the reason why they are being banned. It’s not about the pronouns, but why they are doing it.


I know no non-binary people in real life. I really don’t know a lot about it in general. All I know is that Fl4k is basically my dream BL character, and if GB is making this a part of their character, then I accept it wholeheartedly. It doesn’t change how hyped I am for them one way or another.

It does make me sad that so many threads devolve into arguments about it though. It’s not like GB is going to change FL4k’s gender at this point. We each have the responsibility to find ways to discuss this character with each other without turning things into a mudslinging contest.


Its not about giving him a specific gender its about calling a fictional character whatever we want he doesn’t have feelings yet we get banned for it.


Your last thread was literally titled “fl4k is more a guy than a girl”.


Maybe BL 4 should be an all robot cast :rofl:


Aren’t you the person who said they would misgender me in real life?

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I said “Name a consequence for me calling you a he/her in person in America.” because you said “You don’t have the right to use any pronouns with me, actually. My pronouns are part of my gender identity and protected under hate speech laws. And even if they weren’t, you are not protected from consequences. And there would be consequences.”


You said “But I have the right to use any pronouns I want with you.”

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