“GayGamer: Speaking of Ellie’s sexuality, online communities everywhere have been debating whether or not the kiss makes these girls gay or not? Some have argued that these girls are young and so their sexuality couldn’t possibly be known to them. Other have said that a kiss between two gal pals is nothing unusual. Others still say they’re just confused because it’s the apocalypse (actual comment I read, btw).
Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us Creative Director: “It is a little strange when I read stuff like “Oh girls are just confused at that stage.” or “They’re still finding themselves.” You could spend your whole life finding yourself.
Again I think it’s weird because if Riley was a boy this debate wouldn’t be happening. No one would say “Oh maybe it’s just a friendly kiss.” No one would question that. I think even if it was two boys I don’t think anybody would question it.
We try to write stuff that’s subtle and that can be open for interpretation, even if I disagree with that interpretation. I always say if there’s nothing in the game that disproves it then it doesn’t matter what I say; the material should speak for itself.”
GayGamer: “Is Ellie gay?”
Neil Druckmann: “Now when I was writing it, I was writing it with the idea that Ellie is gay, and when the actresses were working they were definitely working with the idea that they’re both attracted to each other. That was the subtext and intention that they were playing with from the opening cinematic when they’re holding each other’s hands for too long, or when Riley bites her on the neck; there’s that chemistry there from the get go that was important for us so that we earned that moment when they kissed each other. So that it wasn’t just out of the blue but also wasn’t so overt that you’re like “Oh of course. Just get on with it.”
GayGamer: There’s too much subtle, non-explicit storytelling at work to look at it any other way. From the aforementioned way the characters interact, to the Etta James love song that plays while the girls kiss, to the fact that this title was released on Valentine’s Day. All signs point to gay.
Druckmann doesn’t disagree.
Neil Druckmann: “At the photo booth and the awkward moment there when they almost kiss, the way Riley calls Ellie her ‘girl’, these things could be taken either way but for me the sum of their parts is pretty clear.”
Sal Mottos for GayGamer, "Is Ellie Gay? Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann Weighs In on The Last of Us: Left Behind"