Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay contest announces finalists, features transfetishism

Posted on October 19, 2020

Alright, I’m throwing up a Content Warning before we get into this. Trans guys, Trans gals, and Enby pals, if depictions of our community as a fetish sour your mood like it does mine, then please practice self-care and don’t read this article about Cyberpunk 2077. It’s been a long and taxing year. A lot of us are still in lockdown, some are seeing their rights revoked, others are being attacked by people who wouldn’t know the meaning of feminism if it bit them. So take care of yourself and maybe give this one a miss.

Cyberpunk 2077 just held the finale for their global cosplay contest. While it was full of amazing costumes, one finalist stood out for all the wrong reasons. Cosplayer and cis woman, Yugoro, has cosplayed as the Chromantacore Mix It Up model; you know, the one from the poster that CD Projekt Red had to apologise for.

The costume comes complete with glowing blue phallus and a heaping helping of transphobia. The blue dong only shows up briefly in the official finale video but is featured prominently in Yugoro’s entry. The choice to name this costume as a finalist has many people speculating if CD Projekt Red still stands by the original poster and their previous transphobic behavior. Some are even wondering if the apology they gave last year was at all genuine. That may be the case seeing as they went back on their statement about crunch on Cyberpunk 2077 earlier in the year, after numerous delays.

I don’t even know where to start with this. This feels like the highest level of cis nonsense. It’s a cis woman wearing a hypersexualised trans person as a costume. And when you go to the comment section, on the tweets or the video, the cosplayer is being called ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’ by more than some. Worse still, any trans person who even attempts to point out that this is wrong and gross becomes susceptible to a ton of abuse. Sadly, that’s pretty much mainstream trans representation in a nutshell. Cis people get to profit off our image and experience, while trans people are forced to absorb all the abuse in the noise.

This isn’t just cosplay, it’s transphobia. Its Eddie Redmayne starring in The Dutch Girl and then defending J.K. Rowling. It’s Scarjo saying she can play anyone she likes. It’s every shitty trans panic joke from the 90’s to today. It’s saying our existence, our lived experience, our very being, is a costume. One that’s easily put on and taken off as one would a jacket. It feels like it’s saying that trans people are playing pretend. That we are disingenuous. That we aren’t real. That everything that every transphobe says about us is true. And by being named a finalist in their contest, it’s got CD Projekt Red’s full endorsement.

The worst part is that we’re seeing a whole heap of big names in gaming get behind Cyberpunk 2077. And as time goes on, and CDPR drops the mask more and more, it’s becoming harder and harder to not see these big-name endorsements as also being endorsements of CDPR’s behavior and their transphobic, fetishising, gross attitude. And it’s all just making me so very tired.