@KairiConti, 27 – FUNDED
As a community and tournament organizer, @KairiConti knows all about the importance of making the world of gaming and e-sports as friendly as possible — for everyone, including transgender individuals like her. Originally from central New Jersey, the BroadcastHER Grant recipient recently relocated to Philadelphia and also streams and produces content on Facebook Gaming — that is, when she’s not making random song parodies as a hobby.
What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?
My dream is to get more people into gaming and e-sports and to make the community as welcoming and friendly as possible for all walks of life. I also want to be the best I can be as a tournament and community organizer and player.
How will the BroadcastHER Grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?
I’m at a standstill for getting a better camera for my e-sports media as well as my own personal gaming PC, so this will help me get closer to those two product goals.
What does being the recipient of the BroadcastHER Grant mean to you?
I was very surprised. I never win anything when it comes to sweepstakes, giveaways, or competitions online. It means a lot that 1DF acknowledged me and is giving me this opportunity. I am going to continue doing everything in my power to help the e-sports and gaming communities that I am a part of.
Women are underrepresented in gaming, broadcasting, and e-sports. What can we do to change this?
Women will feel more at home in gaming if there are more of us in the community who have each other’s backs. Helping encourage the more casual streamers and the newcomers is a huge building block for our communities. I’m actually teaming up with #ComboQueens to help their #FGC Women learn and get into #SmashBros in the future. It would be incredible to see other organizations similar to ComboQueens and SmashSisters form for other gaming scenes out there.
What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?
The start of my career in e-sports and gaming was very rough. I was in a horrible living situation when I started officially hosting events. I became homeless and dealt with many struggles including finding a new home, being robbed, losing my job and my car, and a bunch of other bad things. During all of these shortcomings, I was still able to host these events and make something really special happen thanks to my friends and others who supported me. Despite the darkness in my life, e-sports and gaming were the lights that guided me through it all.
Fast forward a bit, I realized there was still one more major thing that I needed to change about myself. I had hidden my personal battle with my gender identity for awhile; I hated myself as a male and never liked the thought process of an average male and the things society expected of me as one. I saw in the Super Smash Bros. community that LBGTQ people were accepted and respected, and I saw others prosper in their decision to be themselves. I realized that I needed to transition from male to female if I ever was going to find true happiness in my life. I came out a day before one of my Smash events and people were really kind and nice to me. It was a little weird and I honestly looked horrible, but the community reminded me that they support me no matter what.
Last summer, I had an incident with sexual harassment at a location where I was supposed to be working in e-sports and it really destroyed my spirit. I honestly was very depressed and was about to give up on e-sports and gaming. But, an opportunity arose for me to join SectorX [an e-sports team that’s building a VRcade in the Philadelphia area] and now I have started a whole new life in Philly to do events with them. I just started up my SectorX Smash series at a hobby shop and things have been getting a lot better.
What advice do you have for women who want to start broadcasting?
Be yourself. Don’t do it for the views; do it for fun. Don’t expect results or be upset if you aren’t pro or performing well; just play your game and keep it positive.
How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?
I remember my entire journey and stay motivated, positive, and determined. I remember to do what makes me happy and to chase my passion, and I encourage the same for everyone.
Watch @KairiConti’s BroadcastHER Introduction from 1000dreamsfund on www.twitch.tv