Microsoft suspends man's account because he lives in Fort Gay, West Virginia

Microsoft is in damage control mode after it suspended a 26-year-old gamer's Xbox Live account because he used an "offensive" name for his home town. That offensive name was "Fort Gay." Where he lives. In fact, West Virginia also contains cities named Gay and Mount Gay. We're all for combating homophobia on Xbox Live, but a little fact checking might help with the efforts.

Above: It took about 10 seconds to see that Fort Gay is indeed a city. And look, this very story is already reported! The hivemind is fast

When Josh Moore, the owner of the account, called Xbox customer service and tried to explain, no one believed that the city's name was real, and he was refused help. Moore said he was even told that if he put "Fort Gay" back into his profile, they'd completely ban his account and keep all of his prepaid Xbox Live Gold membership money.

Moore told the Associated Press, "At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad... it makes me feel like they hate gay people."

This isn't Microsoft's only misguided attempt to keep the masses from being offended - the company used to ban any name that included the word 'gay,' 'lesbian,' 'bi,' 'transgender,' or 'straight.' It revoked that policy earlier this year. But apparently living in a city named "gay" is a no-no. Facepalm.

Above: And yet MS doesn't mind "The Ballad of Gay Tony" on the Xbox Live Marketplace... maybe it should ban Rockstar? 

We're fine with MS suspending people who say they're from GiantPenisville or BouncyTits Town, but Fort Gay isn't even funny. It actually sounds like a plausible name. Do your research, Microsoft. In fact, we'll do it for you. Here are a few more US cities you may want to recognize the existence of:

Gay, Georgia
Mount Gay, West Virginia
Gay, West Virginia
Gaylord, Michigan
Middlesex, New Jersey
Straight River, Minnesota
Bi-Lo Center, South Carolina

If you happen to live in one of the above cities and your name is something like, say, Richard Gaywood, you're really gonna have a tough time keeping your Xbox Live account. It was only after being contacted by media outlets and the mayor of Fort Gay himself that Microsoft finally admitted, "In this very, very specific case, a mistake was made." 

Meanwhile, it doesn't seem that Sony has dealt with any of these "very, very specific" cases, and your identity on the Wii is something like "7372893375598374," so no chance of anything "offensive" there. Unless maybe your number includes "80085."
Sep 8, 2010

It's okay to be gay
Sexual orientation can now be expressed in Gamertags and profiles on Xbox Live



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  • Nolidusk - September 24, 2010 4:40 a.m.

    @batmanboy11 dude wtf? change your pic!! xD btw cool pick!!
  • bloodweaver - September 11, 2010 4:59 a.m.

    well microsoft is a money whore probably trying to save server space
  • Ravenbom - September 11, 2010 3:25 a.m.

    Wow, I'm lucky I didn't get banned for living in the Gaylord Apartments in the neighborhood of Koreatown in Los Angeles.
  • D0CCON - September 10, 2010 noon

    I was playing Halo 3 last night and one of the people I was pitted against was named Mexicantitties7. MS allows that but doesn't allow you to live in Fort Gay? That's f-ed up.
  • SincualaS - September 10, 2010 8:39 a.m.

    The Norwegian King of Names screwed people in Minneapolis since proclaiming it "shall henceforth be known as Bonertown.”
  • therawski - September 10, 2010 4:46 a.m.

    In Disney's ATV racing game pure you can't name your quad "Beaver" like I tried, why not? Isn't that an awesome name, there are several other words that are totally fine that you can't use, it totally boggles my mind!
  • Peloun - September 9, 2010 9:52 p.m.

    funny and sad at the same time
  • LordPwnge18 - September 9, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    Pathetic, Microsoft. Simply, utterly, pathetic.
  • Swinub - September 9, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    My cousin lives in Gaylord, has an Xbox Live account, and i think she has that as her location. So does she get banned? I know a guy whose last name is just "Gay". So does he get a suspensions for writing his ACTUAL NAME???? Oh and btw i loled hard at the huge Ballad of Gay Tony logo, for obvious reasons.
  • oz997 - September 9, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    What about Gaylordsville Connecticut
  • EdDeRs1 - September 9, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    Violate, i expect the reason microsoft dosent get involved (an stop me if im being racist) is cos the 10 year olds lipping off on Halo r all yanks who think cos they r american they r better than us brits, hell the only way to stop them is to kick there arse so good they go crying to there parents (i once did that!) and say, "You lost just like in Veietnam" as microsoft may think we r the ones being arsewipescos they r all yanks as well and dont belive there children could say things like that!
  • Lionzest7 - September 9, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    lol, an employee screwed up and didn't check the location (incompetence isn't a new idea). If there is only record of something silly like this happening once it's fine, but one employee doesn't warrant MS's fault. Maybe they could've handled it better by unbanning his account faster though.
  • Tispower - September 9, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    Middlesex used to be a flipping county in the UK! Still has one of the best county cricket teams, not that anyone in the US is even aware of cricket...
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 9, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    MS needs to stop the homophobia and start the XBLA ban wars. People like "NIGA_23545" and "LOlWhitePPlSux" need to be given a nice helping of BANHAMMER.
  • pin316 - September 9, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    @BoltActionRevolver What you say holds true for individuals - if they see certain words appearing it could be natural for them to assume it's a joke name/potential insult etc. However, Microsoft isn't an individual - it's one of the world's biggest corporations that provides the xbl service world wide and has made a big deal about it's prvacy/safety policy regarding offensive language. It's perfectly understandable (if not potentially a little OTT) that an automatic word filter could pick up the word 'gay' and flag it as a potential branch of the plocy. What is not acceptable or understandable is them a) automatically suspending the account without checking it out, and b) not checking out the guy's claim that it is a real place when he complained, and instead threatening him with ban and withholding of account funds... MS are rolling in it, they have call centres and help centres all over the world...the following should be the procedure: 1) automatically flag potential offences 2) automatically email the account of the potential offender, explaining the reason for the flag and requesting contact to confirm the details within x days. 3) if not response received within 7 days, then suspend the account until contact is made 4) And at any point if someone phones up, then do them the couresty of actually checking it out.
  • Clovin64 - September 9, 2010 10:24 a.m.

    You would think that Microsoft would have at least taken the simple 10 seconds it takes to type Fort Gay into Wikipedia or Google after that poor man tried to tell them it was in fact a real town. Is Microsoft homophobic, or just overly sensitive? To cut them some slack, Microsoft probably has to deal with homophobia and racism on Xbox Live on a regular basis, so I guess I can understand, but when the customer tried to explain to them it was a real town, they really should have done a little research.
  • ShaneCedt - September 9, 2010 7:13 a.m.

    Microsoft: "Burn the Kuran? Ah, that's fine. But nobody says that they are from a legimate town. You hear me, Harry Gaylord? That ain't a real name!"
  • paganpoet - September 9, 2010 4:16 a.m.

    Would people stop talking about how "gay" means "happy?" No, it doesn't, and it hasn't for like 50+ damn years. It means homosexual in modern colloquial English.
  • Imgema - September 9, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    For the love of god, or any other imaginary deity, Microsoft you are so stupid.
  • BlindMarksman - September 9, 2010 3:59 a.m.

    The list you cited didn´t even contain the word "Homo" or "Homosexual", But "Gay"(which means happy) gets banned...

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