@annieisnotokayy, 19 – FUNDED

It’s the AnnFam on @annieisnotokayy’s stream, where she plays a lot of Animal Crossing. But, what this BroadcastHER Grant winner is really about is far greater — she aspires to inspire; to create meaningful relationships within her community; and to incite change and create goodness in the world.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

I want to share my story and let people know that, no matter what happens to them, they will be okay — as long as they get back up. I want to be a leader and a motivator, and I want to share my experiences and knowledge of the world with those who need it.

How will the BroadcastHER Grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

I hope it will let people know that I am serious about what I do and that my community is worth it!

What does being the recipient of the BroadcastHER Grant mean to you?

I am so grateful for this experience and to have my name alongside some of Twitch’s greatest content creators on the platform. I am so thankful for the motivation and inspiration this opportunity has given me.

Women are underrepresented in gaming, broadcasting, and e-sports. What can we do to change this?

We need to get rid of the stigma that the girls who play video games “aren’t like other girls.” We also need to get rid of the stigma that some games aren’t real games. Mostly, we need to come together and be proud of what we do. A lot of young girls aren’t even aware that there is this entire industry they could be a part of — simply because it typically isn’t offered to them.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

From being a queer child, to my parents signing me over to the state, to becoming homeless at 17, I’ve had to overcome so many obstacles to reach my dreams. I will never forget my hardships in life because they push me to be a greater version of myself every single day. I am so thankful for those who believed in me and held their hand out to me when I needed it most. I am so tired of hearing that things are easier for me because I am a girl, because that statement has never been true when I was on the streets, or in shelters, or in foster care. I was seen as an object, a nuisance. I was seen as a person who had it easier, so I got it worse.

What advice do you have for women who want to start broadcasting?

You hear this a thousand times, but be yourself. Don’t put on a mask when you hit Go Live. Be completely and 100% true to yourself and you will be 100% comfortable in your own space — that’s how it should be.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

There is definitely a lot of planning and scheduling that has made my life 1,000 times easier. You will feel so much better about hitting your goals if it’s a goal you actually set out to achieve and have written down.