Halo fans stand with LGBTQ+ gamers after streamer’s anti-trans post: ‘Gaming is for everyone’


Halo players and developers have come together to show support to the LGBTQ+ community after a prominent live streamer refused to allow trans women to participate in practice matches.

Esports caster and Twitch streamer Magick Moonshot came under fire for a Wednesday (13 September) post she made on X, formerly Twitter, stating that a ladies’ weekend scrims for the first-person shooter game would not include trans women.

In esports, a scrim or “scrimmage” refers to unranked practice matches between teams as a way to level up their skills.

In her post, Magick wrote that her Discord server’s scrim would not feature trans players at all due to her Christian beliefs.

“I love and value all people,” she wrote. “and as a Christian, I believed God created people in His image as male and female.

“Therefore, I will not be allowing trans players to participate.”

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Her post was met with resounding backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and Halo players alike, who took the opportunity to voice support for trans gamers everywhere.

“Trans women are women, simple as that,” one user wrote. “Halo is for everyone. Gaming is for everyone.”

Stef Sanjati, a Halo player and trans advocacy expert, told PinkNews that she wasn’t shocked by the post, but that there was a deeply held concern for trans women who play in Halo esports.

“I find it frustrating how individuals can say things like this and think they’re coming from a place of neutrality and love, not understanding what they’re doing to people they might call their friends,” Sanjati said.

“This sort of rhetoric doesn’t occur in a vacuum and can lead to very real consequences for trans people.”

Sanjati added that gaming is already an incredibly toxic space for LGBTQ+ women, saying that, for many years, she felt she needed to “keep to myself in order to have fun”.

“As a young woman, I met my partner Travis who was able to help me bring that wall down brick by brick,” she continued.

“He understood the issues, listened to my concerns and strove to create an environment with our friends that could mend this wound.”

In a post on Thursday (14 September), Sanjati wrote that the outpouring of support is “incredible to see”.

She also thanked voice actor Steve Downes, who plays protagonist Master Chief, for showing support for trans rights in the character’s voice.

“A Spartan’s job is to fight for the rights of all humanity, so with that in mind my friend Ike asked me to pass this along – trans rights are human rights, Master Chief out,” Downes said in the clip.

Content creator and prominent streamer Karim Cheese wrote that the post was “disappointing,” but that Moonshot’s views would do little to impact the support of Halo content creators.

“I was also raised a Christian and God accepts all of his children,” Cheese said. “I’d be damned if I let this slide.”

Sanjati added that the wave of support was great to see, especially in a space where she said marginalised groups have to “beg people to pay attention”.

A split image of trans streamer Stef Sanjati holding a Master Chief helmet.
Stef Sanjati thanked the allies who came out in support of trans people. (Provided/Travis Guy)

“I’ve become so acclimated to this sort of rhetoric that I was not expecting the individual to face any consequences,” she said. “if anything, I expected a tidal wave of exclusionary behaviour towards trans women.

“What we got was the complete opposite.

“I’ve always adored Halo, the IP has always stood out to me in the [first-person shooter] genre,” she continued. “I don’t think I personally realised just how welcoming the community was.

“The biggest thing to come out of this situation for me is gratitude towards that community.”

Several companies in partnership with Magick Moonshot announced they would be ending any association with her following the post, including gaming eyewear company Gamer Advantage, and gaming supplement organisation Advanced, who wrote that her values “do not align with our own”.

Halo broadcasting channel LVT Halo also announced it would be refuting contact with the streamer “indefinitely,” reiterating that “Halo is for everyone”.

However, users noted that the company’s founder, Brandon Perez, had liked and reposted the original post before the statement from the broadcasting company was made.

PinkNews has contacted LVT Halo for comment.

Despite having not played Halo during a live stream in the past, Sanjati told PinkNews that the outpour of support has given her the confidence to play it live.

“I’m excited to share my sincere love for this IP and game tonight on my Twitch channel with my immediate community, the trans community, and the Halo community.”

She announced that a live stream at 7pm Eastern Time on Friday (15 September) would celebrate the LGBTQ+ positivity in the Halo community.

“I cannot understate how this was a prime example of how allyship can be effective and can change the tide.

“Thank you to the individuals in the Halo community that came out in support – we see you, your voices matter, your allyship matters and you did an incredible job.”

Halo streamer says Ladies’ scrim is for ‘biological women’ in response post

In a response thread on X several days after the backlash began, Magick Moonshot wrote that she wanted to “clarify my position”.

She explained that the decision to make the ladies’ scrim trans-exclusionary had been made after she created a user tag on a private server of the gaming forum site Discord.

“My goal with the ladies’ scrim event was to create a space for biological women to compete in Halo as something supplementary to open competitions, not in replacement of other platforms for Halo competition,” Moonshot wrote.

“When I started building out a section of my Discord for these women’s scrims I created a category and role called ‘Lady Spartans’. This is when I made the decision to host the events for biological women only.”

Magick continued that she has “no issue” interacting with transgender people, but does not believe they are valid in their gender identity due to her religious beliefs.

Because of my beliefs I felt it was dishonest for me to put the Discord tag ‘Lady Spartan’ on a person that isn’t a biological woman.

“If I have to leave the gaming space behind, I’m willing to do that. But, if God gives me a path forward in this space, I will follow it.”

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