GTA 5: Lead gender and sexuality

By Daniel Chubb - Dec 27, 2011

Theories and rumors since the release of GTA 5’s trailer have been frequent over the last two months, and while the numbers on the pavement could mean an earlier 2012 release date, it’s the story and characters that have really caused debate.

We’ve seen a few blogs talk about the lead gender and sexuality of GTA 5 characters, and the idea of playing as a women or man has mixed feelings by fans, although we’re sure both will move the same way. Some male gamers have issues with relating to a female lead character, and if the next Grand Theft Auto game features just that, it seems some players never worry about such things and others just don’t get it.

Do you feel the need to relate to the characters you play in games? It’s our view that there is no need to relate to playable characters in games, unless this is a main point of the game with customizable options, because how do you relate to Sonic the Hedgehog, Spiderman, and characters that use magic anyway?

This article has taken a look at the idea of a lady hero in GTA 5, and the author feels that it’s time for just that. As long as this goes with the story and vision of the game, then we’d love to see a change of gender.

Some males might be surprised at the number of females playing games today, and what’s really interesting is that it’s now accepted that there are many male, female and different sexuality gamers, although it has been this way for as long as games have existed.

Were you disappointed that the Grand Theft Auto V trailer didn’t feature a female protagonist? We still can’t rule out a playable female character, although no GTA has done that yet. Do you see problems with creating a female gangster in an open world crime game like GTA? The game is one of the most violent and lawless you can play on the PS3 and Xbox 360, so female elements from Kill Bill would be a good background to start with for GTA 5. Let us know your thoughts below, and you can also watch the trailer again.

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Also See: GTA Online Halloween update 2017 with Vigilante price

  • Linsey Kellog

    As a girl, no I do not think GTA V must have a female lead. If we want games to be taken as seriously as movies and books as an art, we cannot be telling developers who and what cannot be put in a game what role they must fill.

    On the flip side, equally as valid, I do not think we should be telling Square, EA or Crystal Dynamics that they MUST include a optional male role.

    You see the game is narratively driven and as such, presumably all three characters will have a role serviced by the plot. We’re this a game like Mass Effect or Skyrim, I would totally understand your point (and agree!) but not for a narratively driven game.

    After all we don’t go telling Suzanne Collins she must come out with a male version of the hunger games or tell JK Rowling that she must make a version of Harry Potter with a female lead do we?

  • Even as a female gamer I do not feel GTA 5 would be able to have even remotely the same story “feel” to previous games. The dynamics of gender change everything. Sure you could argue until blue in the face over equality of sex gender but it would change the story entirely all the same. How do you interact with a man opposed to a woman? How do you form relationships based on sex gender? GTA will most likely continue using a male character. I haven’t played any of these games very much, and have yet to really enjoy one. This one actually spurrs some excitement… Anyways, that’s my two cents after browsing the possibility of a female character in GTA. ^o^

  • :)

    I think a female character would be great! It’s a good change and even if she isn’t in GTA V she could still be in the episodes after it like ‘Lost and Damed, or Ballad of Gay Tony’ !

  • jason

    in my opinion i would prefer to play as a male character although it would be interesting to play as a women.

  • Stephen

    A female character sounds cool better than playing as a fat balding mel Gibson look alike like the dude in the trailer character creation’s where its at then people could make any bloody character the player desires…

  • Stephen

    A female character sounds cool better than playing as a fat balding mel Gibson look alike like the dude in the trailer character creation’s where its at then people could make any bloody character the player desires…

  • Adam_dukovan

    well im sure if you give the player a choice like saints row 2 did ….people would be very happy,that way both genders can relate cause ive seen gangster girls belive me there out there

    • Because they can’t put a female character into the same position as a male character. It’d take two different storylines to fulfill both gender roles, and I’m not sure R* will be doing that, since they’ve spent about 3-4 years working on the current game, there’d be almost double that amount of time to implement a fully working, in depth, and intriguing story and background for the both the male, and female.

      • LegionScifi

        Why not, they could easily put a female character in the same position, Mass Effect did it, Saints Row did it, KOTOR did it it. I do agree that they would not be able to do it for this game though as they have already started making it and are probably nearly finished. 🙂

        • Only around 70% of the story would match up with a female, there’s probably that last 30% which is testosterone filled. I agree they should add a female character but only if they have a viable story solution for it. 

          KOTOR sucked! :P.

        • LegionScifi

          Not true, females can do almost anything a male could do. They should really just allow players to play as both sexes.

          Plus KOTOR was awsome! :P.

        • LegionScifi

          Plus a female character could easily pull of ‘testosterone’ stuff like car chases and shoot out. Even punch ups. Girls can be tuff aswell lol

  • LegionScifi

    Why dont they just allow players have the choice to play as either a male or female protaganists. This will please all players!

    Also while i would loved to see how GTA would look with a female protaganist i believe it has already been comfirmed as a male.


  • hahaha

    they should just bring the game out already

  • hahaha

    they should just bring the game out already

  • random person

    hey rockstar i believe you should go with what u think is best but make sure that we all will love it, its your game and its how the story and the charter is in the game that makes it great, not the gender.

  • random person

    hey rockstar i believe you should go with what u think is best but make sure that we all will love it, its your game and its how the story and the charter is in the game that makes it great, not the gender.

  • Devilman1169

    will we be able to customiza cars ?

  • Kendall

    Just let everyone choose.  You can have a male protagonist story or you could select a female protagonist and let it have it’s own story.  I love the game!  I never related to any of the main characters in the GTA Series but i’ve still played as them.  Nothing wrong with a change of gender…but bring back the planes!  Let there be different kinds of planes like the ones at airports, and let the big jets be flyable.  Also be able to drive big ships.

  • Emcjason138

    Makes no difference male/female. Bring back what was left out of 4. Rampage missions, garages, planes, property and business to buy

  • hahaha

    new years day

  • hahaha

    it should come out on new years eve

  • SomecallmeTim

    I feel that you don’t need to relate to the protaganist, look at the Saints Row games, any gender you want and they’re still really good games, I don’t feel i related to Niko, but he was still an awsome protaganist.

  • Devilman1169

    can u customize cars in it???

  • Kyle

    you could be a woman in the first gta

  • Person

    who cares what gender the character is?  its still gta.  no, we don’t need to relate to the character.  i can’t relate to a mute, an 80s guy in miami, a black guy from the hood, or an eastern european imigrant, but gta is still my absolute favorite series.  this article is a complete waste of time.  find a real story to report daniel.  in fact, pick a new career; any idiot can pull crap like this out of his ass.

  • hahaha

    you no what they should do have the car customization of midnight club 

  • hahaha

    just let it have a character creation so everybody is happy

  • Justin

    No, No. I prefer GTA to be realistic and serious. When was the last time you seen a woman running a big criminal organization? Or carjacking someone? Or committing mass shooting sprees? Or  illegal car racing? Or in a drug gang?… When was the last time you seen a woman in a shoot-out with the Cops? Please Rockstar, keep it realistic.. Any radical change could possibly affect the success of the game.

    If you want mulit-gender characters and unrealistic gameplay, than Saints Row is your game.

    • Alex

      “Realistic and serious?” You’re kidding, right? Killing people on the street and walking through wads of money to pick then up? Walking into mob boss meetings? Stealing sports cars?

      Okay, bro. If that’s your prime reality, you probably won’t have much time to play this game anyway. And since you seem to be the expert on urban crime statistics and gender roles spanning socioeconomic levels, why are you posting on gaming websites anyway?

      Additionally, check your grammar. It’s a bit off. You might want to get a proofreader before you publish your sociological masterpiece.

      By the way, I’m a female. And I run the creative department at a major record label. One that represents several artists frat urged on the GTA soundtracks. So next time you want to try and discredit women, consider this: more than half of college students today are women, and women are getting hired more often than men out of college.

      What I’m really trying to say is, when the game comes out, be sure to really enjoy those scenes with the prostitutes. It’s probably as close as you’ll get to a woman for a long time with an attitude like that.

      • Polly

        “So next time you want to try and discredit women, consider this: more
        than half of college students today are women, and women are getting
        hired more often than men out of college.”

        Well, yeah, doesn’t that just prove his point that it’s men who are the ones more likely to get into trouble with the law because of a lack of priority on higher education? After all, I wasn’t aware that people with college education in general were more prone to commit violent crimes, if that’s what your insinuating.

        As someone who enjoys playing as both male and female Commander Shepard (I’m a male), I say it’s about time GTA, a game known for free world roaming, implements a character creation system.

  • Clara

    I was hyped when i heard about GTA V. Then i realised that every GTA game forces a character on you. I am a biological male but i prefer playing a female avatar and roleplay. 

  • guest

    They should make it so there is a male and a female charicter to choose and a different storyline for each

  • I just can’t get behind a female lead who can kick a 6 ft. muscle bound henchmans arse. It’s not realistic at all. Some may call me sexist, but I prefer realist.

  • Platinum

    you see the true gta fans probably wouldnt care if its male or female as long as we can relate to the character so GTA V is still going to be awsome female or male.

    PS. dont put some dbag reply about how they make characters so you can wanna be like them which is complete bs 😛

  • What do you mean “Connect to the charter?” Uh news flash, but chances are that if you are in the position to play GTA IV then you have just as much of a chance relating to a FEMALE charter as Niko Bellic. I mean what dose the AVERAGE American male gamer have in common with Niko. or any other of the charters with GTA IV. 

    What immerses ME into any game I play is realism. The fact that Liberty City could have taken place in a real city and the fact that all the charters (regardless of how trivial they might seem) had flushed out back stories and the like is what makes me want to pick up the controller and play GTA again and again. Every time you play GTA, or at least when I do, you hear something new. I’ve played it ten times now and it seems that each time I find something new. I can’t wait for what rockstar has planned for GTA5 

    • Deez Nutz

      In response to: “…Uh news flash, but chances are that if you are in the position to play GTA IV then you have just as much of a chance relating to a FEMALE charter as Niko Bellic…”

      Niko Bellic, as well as Tommy Vercetti or CJ, all embodied what the average male gamer wish they were like in real life. A gangster… a bad ass… making your way thru the ranks of the seedy criminal underworld and making money. Now, how would a female evoke the same response? In real life, those women are called lesbians. How many men do you think would honestly have a hard on to play as a lesbian thug? 

      There might be a female as a lead in GTA someday, but GTA hasn’t burned people out enough yet for that to happen.

      • Kaid 2

        It doesn’t mean she’s a lesbian at all? She could be doing it for revenge!

  • M Lawson

    please at least come out with a release date people

  • Roxsorto88

    Personally, i like playing as woman because I’m one…. It would be nice
    If GTA 5 could make that change… I like playing Saints Row 2 and 3 because it gives me
    the option to play as woman…I still love playing the GTA series, but it would be better if it can offer that option..

  • Hank

    I expected to read an article about GTA5. Instead we get a big waste of reading about “what if there could be a female lead in gta”. I love women, but everyone knows the lead will be male. You hear him speak in the trailor.  His name is Albert…not Alexa or Alexis.

  • Honda_phile

    A female lead would be a cool twist. It has worked just fine for many other great titles… like FFXIII (though you could argue it was a dual lead with a female and male), FFX, Metroid (though you don’t realize it is a she at first. Granted these games are a much different genre that GTA, but i see no problem with playing as a female, in fact, in game like Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls, I sometimes choose to be female just for a change of pace. If anyone remembers it, Parasite Eve had a badass female lead, and was a great game, but once again, much different genre. Maybe there aren’t too many women who play GTA, but i find that a rather racist point of view, and more and more females are becoming gamers, where it used to be dominated by male players. So I would love to see a game like GTA feature a female lead… just my 3 cents.

    • Hank

      @Honda_phile You find it a racist point of view? You do know females are not a race right?

    • Theblaze14

      don’t you mean “sexist” point of view?

  • Yayayayahoohoohoo

    can you please pass the cranberry ?

  • Nsnarayan10

    plz dont mind me but this article made no sense,i think gender does play a key role in this lawless and violent game.For more fun u need a male gangster and regarding female gangster i would say collaboration would be better and male gangster has to take the lead.i want to see a different gta 5 as we did with gta 4 which was significantly different than the rest released before.

  • YouDontGetToKnowMyName

    this article has no merit what-so-ever, the author is bias.

  • GTA_soon_prease

    If there aren’t gang wars in this one imma be pissed! But this game is gonna kick as.s anyway. By the way anyone see there are license plates with real numbers and letters not just Liberty or Los Santos? Pretty cool.

  • Kinda annoying having to try to relate to white characters all the time as a black gamer. To the point where I won’t even buy most games when they come out. Wanna experience something different. Not the typical “white guy single handedly saves the world once again” theme that seems to be over used in majority of today’s video games.

    • Flames

      You had San Andreas to be black in.

    • Honda_freak

      GTA 4 was a guy from around russia or something thereabouts. hardly what i would consider “white”. I had no problem playing as a black guy in san andreas… are you racist or something? no offense i am just trying to make a point. Would i be ok if it was a black woman?

      • Niko is white… It’s not a culture, it’s a colour.. ¬_¬.

      • Auvnschund

        I think Nico was greek

    • Hank

      They have Gta San Andreas where you play as a black guy.  I am sure we will see a black guy as protaganist in GTA again. Things are going alot better for blacks than you think. In todays world everyone loves blacks, it’s almost taboo not to like them for some white people. In highschool they are worshipped by all the white kids, and they are getting alot of media and mainstreem support. We may get to play as a black in DLC for the gta 5…Wake up brother a new age is here where black and white does not matter at all

    • More than a little racist there. I personally loved playing as a black guy in SA, and I equally enjoyed playing all the other different cultures from the rest of the games. Still pissed about the cotton fields? Get over it, you have a black president now and maybe that should tell you something. (The world has changed, imagine that.)

      • Jstn_ratleff

        The President is not Black jerkoff..

        He’s 50/50

        • ¬_¬. I’m sure he calls himself black. Black people call him black. So he’s not black? Are you black? Am I black? I’m not black.

        • ¬_¬. I’m sure he calls himself black. Black people call him black. So he’s not black? Are you black? Am I black? I’m not black.

  • Ooh! ooh! Enough geek talk. Just release game. Me want play! Oooh Ooh! Me want kidnap spoiled women and throw barrels at greasy Italian men.

    • Honda_phile

      and there you go again, imac, i would hardly consider italian white either

      • Hank

        Hate to break it to you but Italian IS white.

  • Deez Nutz

    There should be a female protagonist in GTA, but as a side character, not the the main. There’s just some things that men do better, and vice versa. Someone like Elizabeta from GTA IV would be ideal, but there’s just not enough razorback dykes in the world for her to be a lead. I think most female gamers are more comfortable playing as a guy. That’s why women’s basketball isn’t very popular. Men’s basketball is just more interesting. Just the way it is.

    • Honda_phile

      that is a very close minded and somewhat sexist way to look at it in my opinion. women can be just as ruthless (sometimes more so) than men. just think…. once a month your character could gain “super powers” so to speak (listen to me… being sexist too… but just making a point) there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t when you’re talking about guns…. now driving is a different story… jk 🙂

      • Deez Nutz

        Maybe you should go back and read my comment. Your reply made no sense in regard to what I said. I never said that a woman isn’t capable of pulling a trigger. What I said was that most people would prefer to see a guy as a lead character doing it in GTA. GTA is a satirical parody of real life. And as such, a male protagonist is more appropriate, unlike games like Tomb Raider, Perfect Dark or Metroid, which are submerged in the realm of fantasy, a female lead is more acceptable. Dig?

      • Auvnschund

        Just imagine it…a huge crime boss getting b!tch slapped, I’d love to see that.

  • common sense

    And that guy saying they don’t show the main character is a dumb ass too. Gta is a very “movie” like series. Rockstar likes to completely make up the character and his story line. And they are really good at it too. So why would they ever change that? Customization is one thing, but I can gladly and safely say that no gta still ever have that feature, and I’m proud of rockstar for that. Not to mention you do see the main character like 3 times in the trailer…

  • common sense

    This author is a complete idiot. Saying people can’t relate to Spiderman? Through his powers, you are correct. But that’s not how people look to relate to something, dumb ass. People would relate to Peter Parkers personal life. And I have to agree with everyone else. I would have no problems with a female character, but I female character would be out of place in the crime driven madness that is gta. Look at sr3. That female in it. She isn’t even playable, and it already feels like she doesn’t belong. If anything, I would make gta’s female character the extra in Co-op campaign. That way the die hards can be satisfied, and people who have an open mind on it could check it out. Might also be a ‘test’ to see if rockstar wanted to create a female orientated title in the future?

  • Hank

     We know that the main protagonist is Alber Desilva. Females who play GTA 5 most likely wont be upset about playing as a male character because everyone knows a female protagonist in GTA would not feel right.

  • Jeremy

    I think the author is a freaking idiot. How do you compare a woman to Spiderman using Magic? Spiderman was not magical. And if we’re taking notes from the trailer, and are going to assume things, based on this trailer, where the Hell do you see a woman? The voice, a man. All the damn people running around, men. It showed the prostitutes and everything. I’m not saying I would mind a woman, wouldn’t mind it at all. But you make no sense, and this has me livid.

  • Poeticdevastation

    Ok I think playing as a women would completely be out of the ordinary and unrealistic. Honeslty name one women that has shot off a rocket launcher after highjacking a car, while getting head from a prostitute while talking to her homeboy on the phone about drug shipments. Its unethical. Dont get me wrong i love women. oh so i do, but in the real world women are the nice ones with the heart not to kill a puppy. Honestly look at those videos on youtube with the kittens and puppies. There posted by women. Women arent the type to run and gun. there the type to think about falling in love one day every day while painting there nails and getting there hair done. They have common sense and us men we thrive off of adrenaline. All im saying is keep the women in the movies and dont bring them to GTA.

    • RedGaurd

      yea… youve probably never been in skyrim then….

      • Honda_phile

        in skyrim, with some of the races, the females are actually physically stronger than their male counterparts, wood elves i think are one of them. enough said…

    • Burial

      Name one MAN whose done that, yeah, you cant. Its a game, and i think having the option to AT LEAST play as a female character would be awesome. Im a female and yes stuff is cute but id blow the head off that puppy and shove it down your throat because of all the nonsense your saying. Dont categorize us women. Also, id run and gun your ass down anyday of the week, *gameworld speakin ofcourse* -.-

      • RKO

        Oh I will name one man! Carl Johnson!

      • Blackadder92894

        even thou im a guy i totally agree with what your saying 

      • Honda_phile

        EXACTLY, thank you burial

    • Blackadder92894

      That is complete  bs explain saints row to me then huh i think there should be a female character im getting tired of games being sexist i mean im a dude but in any game where you have the opinion to be a woman i choose that and if i have to play as a guy so be it but remember no game is REALISTIC but they can try

    • Blackadder92894

      Your a sexist and playing as a female in games is so much more fun then as a guy it gets boring

      • Justin

        How is it sexist? Because he doesn’t support your view? So we should all forget about the quality and realism of the game so you can feel accepted? Please, most women are not even going to play this game. 

    • Honda_phile

      give me a break… women have just as much ability to be cold hearted killers as men, though i will grant you that statistically it is not as common. don’t be so sexist. it seems that all these post are by sexist guys who have never met a strong woman. my girl has kicked the ass of a few guys, which is saying a lot considering she is about 120 lbs to their well over 200. women know how to fight dirty, give them a gun and show them how to use it and they are just as deadly as a man. you guys need to broaden your horizons, maybe you just need to get off the couch once in a while and head to the ghetto so you can see the hookers, fight with their pimps on the street. it’s scary. i don’t know why i am even bothering though, guys like you think all girls are soft and gentle. (it is a scientific fact that women are tougher and can handle more pain than men, think child birth…) come on… think a little, if these games haven’t rotted you brains too much that is. 

  • Dekerontarj

    to bad it isnt a chick of course we all know its a guy like usual

  • Me

    Only bums play this

  • Raj ghool

    Dildo’s for everybody!!!!!!!

  • it wouldnt bother me or be a deal breaker , but as a chick who plays games I always like gta for having males only as the playable character, even with open world games like saints row, where it gives you an option for gender, I always pick the guy.

  • Justthatlad

    Women are for cooking, sewing, romance, etc. Men are for violence, action, guns, etc. Lets keep it that way..

    Moving on..

    • douche bag below!

      Phaha cooking ( not all women cook my man does that 😉 ) sewing LOL who the feck does that idiot and romance jesus u need to get out more there is a world beond gaming!

    • Canadian

      In other words men are for useless things and being sperm donors……..

      Moving on….

    • Honda_phile

      guys like you should be castrated so you won’t pass your genes on… i bet you even like to hit girls too, “tough guy”. guys like you make me sick and give our gender a bad name. moving on…

      • Alju_Rivi

        Man hard to see you struggle trying to combat all these sexist idiots, dont even bother they wont change, i really know why they say we men only have two braincells… it is true in some cases…And it s ridiculous. Glad to see someone like you who actually respects women and men equally

  • BlackFlag569

    that would be so badass for the protagonist to be a chick.

  • Rasec143

    The reason they don’t show one main character in the trailer is because they’ll finally give you the option to make your own main character like Saints Row did/does. 

  • Kyle286

    But a women’s brain is much smaller than a man’s? Kidding, but should be a guy. A fully customisable guy like San Andreas, GTA IV was boring, same boring hair style and boring cloths throughout the whole game.  There needs to be loads of different cloths shops throughout the game.
    San Andreas has been the best GTA by far in my opinion, then Vice City, then Liberty City Stories on PSP then GTA IV and so on after that.

  • Thomasnbryant1998

    I feel that gta should have playable female characters it shouldnt always be men it should be a unisex game.  players should have the choice to play either as a male  or female character.

    • Blackadder92894

      you are soo right thats why i like games where they do that like fable call of duty needs playable female characters as well even thou im more of a gta fan