@BlondeAvocado, 30 – FUNDED

She’s a child and youth counselor by day and a gamer by night, so you could say that variety streamer @BlondeAvocado has her hands full. But, this BroadcastHER Grant winner from the Great White North — Canada — makes time for other things she loves like traveling, eating delicious food, cooking, and watching all manner of BBC shows. She’s also a dog mom to Seymour, her schnauzer.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

I want to create an inclusive, kind, progressive community on Twitch as well as inspire and empower other chronically ill and/or disabled gamers and streamers to pursue their goals. There are many barriers in this industry for those of us with disabilities and my dream is to help create a platform and gaming world that is accessible to everyone.

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

This grant will help me with a much-needed capture card upgrade and will also go into savings for future conventions or in-person events. I have not yet had a chance to attend a convention, and COVID-19 put a damper on that. But, in the future, this grant will help make that dream come true! By meeting other creators and viewers in person, I can develop connections and relationships that are paramount to reaching my goals.

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

It means SO much to me. Having an organization such as 1,000 Dreams Fund see potential in me as a creator gives me confidence in my own ability and creativity. In this industry, growth and progress can appear to be slow at times and this grant has reminded me that things ARE possible when you reach out and go for them. The relief of a financial constraint means that I can go for a dream in a way that I couldn’t before and no price tag can be placed on that.

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

The stigma surrounding women in games themselves and women playing games is huge. Representation is absolutely critical, in my opinion. Developers should no longer leave strong female protagonists out of video games because they fear the game won’t sell as well. The statistics are showing that it’s not true. Platforms such as Twitch and YouTube should promote women who broadcast and carve out a place for us in those top spots. Finally, I believe that on a societal level women need to be supported in reaching their goals and going for their dreams. With so many barriers in the way, it can feel impossible. But, more and more women are kicking ass in the streaming game and proving that there IS, without a doubt, a place for us in gaming.

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

Working full-time, going to school full-time, and streaming has been, at times, incredibly overwhelming. With so much going on, it is sometimes hard to find the time to really commit myself. But with a good, consistent schedule in place, I have been able to overcome this.

There have also been physical barriers; there’s nothing more frustrating for me than being too sick to stream. Over time, I have learned to listen to what my body needs and rest when it’s most necessary. I think anyone with a disability or chronic illness can 100% empathize with this. Finally, and probably most importantly, I have struggled with faith in myself and with comparing myself to others. There have been moments where I nearly gave up, but I am SO glad I never did. I am happy with where my channel is now and even happier with the friends and connections I have made on Twitch.

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

Go for it. You don’t need the fanciest equipment or the newest games to get into it. Use what you have and slowly build if you fall in love with broadcasting like I did. Also, don’t get in the way of yourself. We have a habit in our society to consistently compare ourselves to those we view as successful. Each broadcaster is unique in her own way. We need more badass, interesting, creative women on Twitch, and that could be you. There is room for all of us to do great things.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I have struggled with this from time to time, I won’t lie. What has helped me the most is having a healthy balance between broadcasting and other hobbies. Having time to myself to unwind brought back the spark when I thought I had lost it. The “grind” mentality is so hard on people and draining. Also, making real connections with other streamers and community members is so important. Making my stream a place where I genuinely want to be all time, with people I want to be around, has made my experience so excellent.