Before I begin, I just want to say that something: I swear, cross my heart and hope to die, that I did not write this with “slash-goggles” on or with any bias whatsoever. I wrote all of my analysis posts like this, but I want to make sure that you know that especially for this analysis because this topic has be a source of conflict in this fandom.
Due to this conflict, I originally wasn’t going to touch upon this topic. Besides, I was going to make this one about the reasons why Nate did what he did at the end of Russell’s story. However, I had already answered that question multiple times in my previous posts and I couldn’t think of anything else to write about for Nate.
So here you go. My last analysis post about Nate (unless I can think of more topics). God help me.
***Disclaimer: I do not claim that my interpretations are set in stone or the only right way to see his character. This is just my personal take on him. You are allowed to disagree with me.***
Spoilers under the cut.
SEXUALITY AND ROMANCE
Before I go more in depth on analysing Nate’s sexuality, let’s first rule out all the things we know he’s not:
This leaves the possibility of Nate being Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Pansexual.
Moving on, we already know that Nate has a huge interest in women. The first half of Russell’s story is Nate lewdly talking about women and their bodies. He also makes this comment as well.
Nate: Because… because the hunger a man’s got for a WOMAN is all we got left now. No laws, no jobs, ain’t nothin’ that make us men. But they ain’t eaten all the women yet.
This comment, other than being sexist, almost acts as a major sign that Nate is straight. After all, if he were also interested in men or people who fall outside the gender binary then he wouldn’t have made this his reason as to why he talks about women so bawdily when Russell asks him (It also implies that he didn’t use to talk about woman like this before the apocalypse but based on his current behaviour its hard to believe that. It is possible though).
So if he’s so straight then why is his sexuality being questioned? It’s due to his interactions with Russell. Here are the major points:
Nate: You willin’ to work for it? I got needs. You know what I’m saying.
- He was joking.
Nate: Any tail where you come from? Maybe drop you off and do a double back.
- Despite what this sounds like, “double back” means “to go back in the opposite direction”. What Nate is suggesting is that he drive back to where Russell is from, drop him off so he can get his “tail”, and continue on their way to Statesboro.
Nate: We? You want to sit on my lap?
- Said due to a misunderstanding.
Nate holding Russell’s face and making him look at him.
- Touching the face is usually seen as an intimate gesture.
Nate calling Russell “my boy”
- They barely know each other yet Nate is already using a pet name.
Looking genuinely sad when Russell leaves and genuinely happy when Russell stays
These moments have cause people to start shipping Russell and Nate together, but is it really enough to say that Nate isn’t straight? Honestly, it depends on the person. For some it’s enough, for others it’s not. Personally I think that, based on all the information given to us by the game, that Nate can be one of two things:
1) Nate is straight.
His behaviour towards Russell is due to the fact that, because he is so confident in his sexuality, he doesn’t care or even think about the fact that he might come across as being gay.
It is also safe to say that he doesn’t care that much about the sexuality of others as well. If Russell is hiding beside the dead Carley or Doug’s body, Nate will comment (other than the fact that Russell laying with his girl/boyfriend) that he doesn’t care about what Russell does to whatever corpse he finds. If Nate doesn’t care that Russell might be a necrophiliac, which is doing sexual acts with dead people, then he definitely doesn’t really care if a person isn’t straight.
2) Nate is a closeted bi/pansexual
His constant talk of women isn’t to compensate for liking men, he most likely prefers women over men, but some of his actions towards Russell is due to his bi/pansexualism. Based on the things he says, Nate appears to be a very promiscuous person. Therefore it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that he may have been attracted to Russell.
However, Nate either doesn’t like that he’s bi/pansexual or it isn’t something that he would admit very easily. His comment about how the hunger for a woman makes men imply that not liking women makes you less of a man.
(Actually, regardless of what sexuality he is, he thinks this way about men. He will not hate a man if they’re not straight, but based on this comment he’ll think less of them if they’re anything else. Mind you, he won’t think that much less of them. That’s why I didn’t say that Nate doesn’t care about people’s sexuality “at all”, I only said “that much”. We don’t know, however, if this thought process applies to women as well.)
I digress, if Nate feels this way and is bi/pansexual, then he definitely would closet himself and most likely have self-hate issues because of it. Although, the thought that liking women makes you a man was probably instilled in him from a young age or something that he came to himself after various negative reactions from other people.
In previous posts I have said that Nate is capable of true friendships with other people. His mental issues do not stop him from making emotional connections with others. So it is possible that he can fall in love with someone.
Unless he’s aromantic.
This leads to a problem in trying to find out who he’s capable of falling in love with. We do not have any information at all about what his romantic leanings are. He could be:
We don’t have any proof in favor for any of these. We can’t use his interactions with Russell as an indicator because though Nate may have developed a quick emotional attachment to him and may have had a physical attraction to him, the time that they knew each other was too short for Nate to fall in love with Russell.
Due to this, I can not say if Nate is capable of falling in love or not. But if he isn’t, it will be due to being aromantic and not because of his mental issues.