If there's one game that has had every single minute detail of its events analyzed a hundred times over, both by people smart as a whip, and by those so inhumanly ignorant and intolerant that every sloppy word of their communication is a victory against human culture,* it's Final Fantasy 7. And after a few years of listening to such things, I can say with some confidence that I've heard most of the many criticisms that the latter group of people can levy at it--I've seen people who claim to hate the entire game more than any other they've ever played for reasons including, but not even close to limited to, Cloud's height, Cait Sith's Limit Breaks, the lack of sufficient canonical proof for the "clearly factual" romantic relationship between Vincent and Cid, the fact that the game has violence, and its audacity to include colored people in its cast.** I kid you not on any of these items, and I say with certainty that there are plenty even stupider ones that I just don't remember.
There are, of course, many complaints about the game that come up over and over. Some are valid. Others are most definitely not. Of this second category, though, one of the ones that annoys me the most is how much people complain and whine about the Wall Market scenario--specifically, the fact that Cloud cross dresses.
Now look. I'm not exactly a huge fan of the event myself. It's a rather dull little humor mini-quest that isn't actually funny most of the time, and it takes way, WAY longer than it should even if it WERE entertaining. And the entire thing suffers from an already slightly sub-par translation having to censor the bejeezus out of something like half of the dialogue, which means that a lot of the time what's being said makes no sense whatsoever. It's practically like a practice run for reading the online posts of the people who complain about it,*** it's so bad.
But of course, most of the people who cry out against this scene with such rage aren't mentioning any of the above points. THEY just hate it because it's so "gay," and shout about how it proves that Cloud is gay.****
Putting aside the fact that cross dressing doesn't have any real conclusive link to homosexuality, people just don't fucking THINK about this whole scene. Cloud NEEDS to get into Don Corneo's perverse mansion. Tifa's in there for reasons he doesn't know, and could be (probably is) in danger. The only people who get in there on short notice are girls. So to get in there, he needs to look like one.
Some will point out that Cloud is pretty tough and kills stuff for a living, so he should have just barged in there by force. And yeah, he probably could have. But that would be forcing a conflict with armed guards who could, for all Cloud knows, number in the dozens--it's a mansion; it's got plenty of space to fill with henchmen. It would be stupid to just charge into a fight against unknown odds in unfamiliar ground if (note the "if," I know Cloud does this plenty more times later in the game, but he doesn't have the easy alternative of going incognito in those cases) there's a better alternative. In addition, he doesn't know the status of the person he's trying to rescue--her location, whether she's in immediate danger, and most importantly, whether she will be PUT in immediate danger by him invading Corneo's pad.
It's also not entirely out of character for Cloud, either. No, no, I don't mean the cross dressing--I mean going for tactical stealth over diving headfirst into hostile territory. He has his whole team dress up as Shinra troops later in the game to infiltrate Junon, because sneaking in is a clearly better option than outright attacking. In both situations, disguising himself appropriately makes SENSE.
Along with being annoyed at how short-sighted, ignorant, and intolerant many of the people are who make complaints about this scene, I'm also frankly confused about why the idea of a guy dressing up as a girl to avoid trouble is so shocking to people. I mean, have they never watched a Bugs Bunny cartoon before? Or...well, just about any TV show made in the 60s to early 70s (was there some sort of cross-channel mandate at the time that all shows had to have at least one time when a guy prettied himself up?)? It's not even like it's an unknown to the RPG world. Kyle of Lunar 1 disguised himself as a girl to lure some bad guys, Mike in Startropics does the same to get into an amazon nation, and "Reyna" in Eternal Poison turns out to be a guy pretending to be the real Reyna, and wears his disguise for the entire game. Granted, that last example is from a game that almost everyone will have played after FF7, but the other two came from games released before Cloud ever threw on a dress.
People need to actually THINK. And being less ignorantly prejudiced would be good for them, too.
* Oh, Gaia Online Final Fantasy Subforum, how I loathe thee.
** Oh, Gaia Online Final Fantasy Subforum, how I really loathe thee.
*** Oh, Gaia Online Final Fantasy Subforum, how I just fucking hate thy guts.
**** Oh, Gaia Online Final Fantasy Subforum, how I wish that 90% of your members would die in a fire.