After coming out, Biofrost seeks to support others in LGBTQIA+ community

by Sage Datuin

Rainbow flags and jovial people flood the streets of Santa Monica Boulevard on a picture-perfect sunny day in Southern California for Pride Weekend 2022. A remixed version of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” brightens the already joyful weekend while floats pass slowly through the streets as the crowd cheers on the various celebrities and personalities passing by.

Amid all the action and festivities was Dignitas support Vincent “Biofrost” Wang, who was experiencing his very first Pride Weekend. For Biofrost, a self-proclaimed “homebody” who rarely goes outside, the thunderous roars of various tunes blaring throughout Santa Monica Boulevard could be overwhelming, but there was one word that stood out to him when asked about what it was like to be at Pride 2022, “surreal.”

Photo credit: Quachwatch via Instagram

Every June, the world celebrates LQBTQIA+ Pride Month to honor the Stonewall uprising in Manhattan that took place on June 28, 1969. Now, exactly 53 years after that moment, support for the LQBTQIA+ community continues to grow as millions across the world come together to celebrate.

However, while the LQBTQIA+ community continues to grow, problems of acceptance still remain prevalent to this day. For Biofrost, that manifested itself into uncomfortable years growing up.

Biofrost’s experiences growing up

Biofrost’s experiences throughout his early years took a negative toll on his mental health. Born in China, he moved to Vancouver, Canada, with his parents when he was 3 years old. However, when he was 6 years old, his parents needed to move back to China for work. As a result, Biofrost lived in a number of homestays growing up. His first two homestays from the ages of 5 to 6 were fine, but it was his final and longest one where he experienced homophobic comments.

“I experienced a lot of homophobic comments that I referred to in my initial coming out post,” Biofrost recalled.

On May 7, 2022, Biofrost came out as gay to the League of Legends community. In a tweet, he detailed his struggles with his “personal identity” throughout his life. At this specific homestay, he remembered being asked, “Why are you acting like a girl?” and to stop being “gay” throughout his four years there.

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“Growing up, the families I was around were not accepting,” Biofrost said about his early years in that homestay. “That was the message I got from people of that generation.”

This was something that he felt throughout a lot of life, both in school and in esports.

“I still didn’t really feel accepted,” Biofrost said. “A lot of people in and outside of my friend group would make comments all the time as well. I only went to college for two years where I didn’t really talk to anybody before I got into esports where things didn’t really change.”

Biofrost’s first feelings of acceptance didn’t come until very late in his life at 22 years when he came out to his parents, a conversation that he had the strength to have because of his career in esports.

“I had a stable job and had already moved out, so I figured, ‘OK,’” Biofrost paused for a brief second before continuing on. “‘If I tell them and they are not accepting of it, that’s all right,’” Biofrost said.

Ultimately, it was a positive conversation where, for the first time, Biofrost felt a mix of relief, joy and acceptance.

“It felt like a huge burden lifted off my shoulders,” Biofrost openly shared when asked about when he first felt accepted. “It felt very relieving that my parents were not like other people and supported me in full.”

That first bout of strength and courage to open up about something hidden for years has now snowballed into a wave of more love and acceptance. For Biofrost, it was everything he had hoped for when he made his initial coming-out post.

Read more: How esports orgs are supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month

“I’ve had a lot of people message me privately about their own experiences and how that resonated with them, whether that be in the gaming industry or not.” Biofrost explained. “That made me feel good because that was what the post was for.”

Biofrost explained that he grew up seeing a gaming industry lacking LGBTQIA+ representation or people that were publicly out. True to his role in League of Legends, his initial post to the community never was meant to be about himself, but to help support others in the gaming community who identify as LGBTQIA+.

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“That representation matters a lot,” Biofrost firmly stated. “It matters so much for people that are young, in the gaming industry or anyone in general. You would think it doesn’t matter, but it makes a whole lot of a difference.”

Those extra steps to be a role model and representative of the LGBTQIA+ community have been evident through his initiatives during Pride Month, like attending Pride 2022 with Riot Games.

“I don’t really go outside,” Biofrost shared in a deadpan tone. “But I feel like it was really important for me to go with Riot this year, and I had a really good time and the vibes were great.”

How people can be better allies to the LGBTQIA+ community

Now, Biofrost intends to use his platform and reach to inspire people in the gaming industry to make a change toward acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community. For Biofrost, the first step is culture change.

“It’s a culture thing, especially in gaming where it feels very fraternized, and a lot of times, we use words that we might not really know what they really mean, and these are things that can easily be fixed,” Biofrost said. “People sometimes don’t understand the magnitude of their words, and I think that all comes down to awareness.”

He detailed how “conventional” jobs include diversity training in the onboarding processes to make a work environment inclusive to everyone. However, there “isn’t much” in esports, something that Biofrost believes would help a lot in this cultural change.

“We have so many different people coming from everywhere around the world that have different perspectives on things, and it would make people like myself feel a lot more accepted,” Biofrost said. “I’m not asking for a lot, I just want there to be a good environment where people aren’t using words that can be discriminatory.”

Lead photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games via ESPAT

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