@Ashlinaa, 29 – FUNDED

“Aspire to inspire; spread love and kindness; and open your heart and live an adventurous life — all while playing video games!” That’s the motto of @Ashlinaa, a chronically ill, LGBTQ+, Latinx variety streamer. Twitch has been this BroadcastHER Grant recipient’s home since 2013 and she has been streaming since 2015, covering everything from SFX makeup, to baking, to RPG/adventure story-driven games. She also loves indies and will occasionally play a horror or FPS game, too!

But, she also loves focusing her content on raising money for multiple charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Extra Life, AFSP, Stack Up, and many others.

(Oh, and she’s always up for talking about horror movies, too!)

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to inspire more individuals from the Latinx community to enter the space. As it is, the Latinx community only makes up approximately 2% of the gaming community. I aim to change that. I want to improve the streaming space and help make it a safe space for my fellow Latinx content creators. I want to be a voice.

In addition, I want to inspire the Latinx community to be their own bosses and entrepreneurs. I want them to feel comfortable entering the space and feel that they can succeed. I want to work with companies and organizations that believe we deserve a seat at the “table” when it comes to making decisions while showing the Latinx community that we deserve to occupy these spaces.

I also aim to raise awareness on mental health, chronic illnesses, the LGBTQIA+ community (especially the asexual spectrum), charities/charity organizations, and what it means to be a woman in this space. I want to break the stigmas and help my fellow broadcasters in any way that I can.

Lastly, I want to continue to foster a community that believes in these values while supporting the Latinx community to doing multiple charity fundraisers throughout the year — and much, much more!

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

If I want to continue to foster a community in the way that I need to, I will need the equipment to do so. I want to use this grant to get a new computer, or graphics card, so that I can continue to stream and make whatever difference I can. Having a better computer will give me access to the one space where I am able to reach different people — from different time zones and different races — all at the same time while making the connections possible to make my goals a reality.

What does being a recipient mean to you?

It has given me the confidence that I’ve needed to keep creating and existing in this space. It also gives me extreme happiness to know that I — a chronically ill, Latina woman — was offered an opportunity like this. It gives me the encouragement to keep going towards my goals and aiming for the many missions I have in this space. I hope that this will give other Latinx individuals the courage to apply so that they, too, can succeed in this space. I want other individuals like me to know that organizations like 1,000 Dreams Fund support us.

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

You have already done so much for this space; however, I believe we need to keep highlighting the women who are a part of marginalized groups so that everyone understands all the perspectives. All of us have been shaped in different ways and it’s important that we hear those perspectives. We deserve to take up space and be a part of the endless opportunities that content creation has to offer.

I also think it’s important that we continue to break the stigmas behind women in this space by encouraging sex positivity, body positivity/body love, and confidence. A lot of times women’s success is in direct correlation to how we dress, act, and our confidence level. We *need* to break those stigmas.

Lastly, we need to talk about how women are treated in this space. People need and deserve to know the things we go through; light needs to be shed on those issues.

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

It has been a very unique balance for me in this space. I do consider myself “white-passing” and, with that, comes a level of privilege. I have learned to use that privilege to help where and when I can, especially in moments where human rights are being questioned. On the other hand, I also find importance in making it known that I am indeed Latina/Indigenous so that I can speak from that perspective, and so that people understand that perspective.

Being a woman in content creation comes with many challenges — from sexist lobbies in video games to chat trolls coming into my channel thinking that my success is because of my body or looks. Not a lot of people see all the work I do behind the scenes — from owning a home, paying bills, being a pet mom, owning my own Etsy business, modeling, raising awareness, and so much more. Women are doing so much in this space, and we deserve that recognition.

Lastly, being chronically ill comes with many challenges in and of itself. I hope I can continue raising awareness as a content creator while fighting an illness 24/7/365.

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

I will always encourage women to get involved in broadcasting. We are needed in this space so that we can end the sexism and the internal misogyny that exists. For so long, video games have been viewed as a hobby meant only for men, but that is not the case. Women who enjoy video games and entertainment exist and we are here to stay. We bring a fresh perspective to the space while also standing our ground. It is time for the outdated “women are inferior to men” thoughts to end. NOW!

Also, I encourage women to enter this space because, with more women, we form bonds that are unbreakable. I think another important point to make is that certain sponsorship opportunities wouldn’t exist without us.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I come from a family who started with nothing when they came to this country. They have always stuck by my side, and I want to show them what I can do. From raising money for charity to being a voice for the Latinx community, I want to make my mark here. They are already so proud of me for my accomplishments and that means the world to me.

In addition, my community keeps me going, too. They are such a wonderful support system and have encouraged me to keep creating. I want to continue to be a space where individuals can go when they need a smile, a laugh, or a serious, much-needed conversation — where others can feel free to be themselves and hear about mental health, chronic illnesses, and being a Latina in this space.

I want to show everyone that I deserve to be in this space and I will work hard in order to be heard and seen.