Three Amoonguss hopping in the forest in the Pokémon anime.
Image via The Pokémon Company

Pokémon community hails ‘Trans Rights icon’ Amoonguss after VGC player’s transphobic comments

The mushroom strikes again.

After a well-known Pokémon VGC player was called out for allegedly making transphobic comments, the community has found a new Trans Rights icon in Amoonguss—the very Pokémon that defeated the player in the Orlando Regionals finals this past weekend.

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On April 15, a screenshot began circulating on X within the Pokémon community in which well-known VGC player Neil Patel allegedly said he “will never support people changing their gender, that’s mental illness.” Prior to the circulation of this transphobic comment, Patel was already being hit with backlash for catfishing while pretending to be a minor. Less than 30 minutes after the transphobic screenshot was posted, the VGC player stated he would be leaving the community.

Pokémon Orlando Regionals finals between Wolfe Glick and Neil Patel.
Glick’s Amoonguss played a huge role in defeating Patel at Orlando Regionals. Screenshot via The Official Pokémon YouTube channel

Patel also happened to be the runner-up at Orlando Regionals (April 13 to 14), losing to former world champ and beloved content creator Wolfe Glick in the finals. Since this was before the transphobic comments surfaced, VGC players considered the set a “legendary finals” between two “amazing community leaders for the scene.” In the final game of the set, Glick’s Amoonguss impressed everyone by taking down Patel’s three Legendary Pokémon: Ogerpon, Chien-Pao, and Urshifu. 

Because of this tiny mushroom’s big achievements and the alleged transphobic comments that followed, the Pokémon community adores Amoonguss even more. “I for one welcome Amoonguss as our new Trans Rights icon,” VGC caster Gabby Snyder tweeted, reposting artwork of Amoonguss with colors from the transgender flag by former senior world champ James Evans.

The community has also made an interesting metaphor, comparing Scarlet and Violet’s Terastallization mechanic to transitioning in the context of Patel’s finals match against Glick. Terastallization allows any Pokémon to change to a different type they were not born with. Patel raised a lot of question marks when he opted to Terastallize his sleeping Chien-Pao to the Stellar Tera Type instead of saving the Tera for his Urshifu. This was not only a huge slip-up, but also fitting to this situation since the Stellar Tera Type uniquely keeps the Pokémon’s original defensive typing unlike all other Tera Types.

Whether Pokémon players are using the Tera metaphor or calling Amoonguss an “LGBTQ ally diva,” the message is clear: “Trans rights are human rights and Pokemon is better off with less bad actors,” as stated by caster Rosemary “Nekkra” Kelley.


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Author
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer based in the Bay Area. She has written about your favorite video games on sites like Dot Esports and TheGamer. When she's not writing, she's playing VALORANT or the latest Pokémon game.