Gears of War developer proudly comes out as trans: ‘I am happier in a way I have not been before’

Kate Rayner

Kate Rayner, studio technical director at The Coalition, has proudly come out as a trans woman.

The Coalition is the developer behind the popular Xbox series Gears of War, exclusive to Microsoft’s platform.

Rayner revealed the news in a Twitter post on 12 February, which has since been liked and shared by thousands.

“This is something I have been carrying inside for many years and am finally ready to tell you,” she said in the Twitter post.

“So here it is: I am transgender. My gender identity is female.”

She continues: “This may come as a big surprise, but I hope you can trust me in my identity and decision to come out.

“My family on all sides have been accepting and supportive, and for that I am so grateful.

“In spite of the challenges you might expect from navigating this, I am happier, internally more at peace, fully present and optimistic in a way I have not been before.”

Rayner also confirmed she will continue in her role at the developer after 20 years of experience in the industry that began with a childhood passion for creating virtual worlds. “I still have that passion and am excited to continue in my role at Microsoft as the studio technical director at The Coalition.” 

Kate Rayner has been congratulated by other Microsoft employees, including head of Xbox Phil Spencer, who responded on Twitter: “Honoured to work alongside you, and working on making gaming an industry where trans people are welcome and belong.”


Aaron Greenberg, general manager of marketing at Xbox, and Lawrence Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live (better known by his Gamertag “Major Nelson”), also shared their congratulations to Kate Rayner.

Gears of War is one of Xbox’s most popular series. Originally created by Epic Games, the games following the original trilogy have been developed by The Coalition following the studios acquisition by Microsoft. Its latest, Gears 5, is the first in the series to feature a woman in the lead protagonist role.