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@KiaraStrings, 30 – FUNDED

@KiaraStrings is a trans woman YouTuber and Twitch streamer who you’ll generally find playing Fallout and Skyrim. Although this BroadcastHER Grant winner struggles with self-doubt, she prioritizes lifting others up by encouraging them and supporting their channels — and she is grateful to have people around her who have done the same and picked her up when she has fallen down.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to create what I feel — whether that’s playing games or just being on camera and talking.

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

I hope it will help me with improving my streaming setup — from a better PC to better mics. I want to improve so I can get myself out there and do what I want to do — from gaming, to music, and even just chatting.

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

It has surprised me. It felt unreal to me, and it still does. I’m glad for this chance.

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

There are amazing women on Twitch who I look up to, and I always love supporting them through shoutouts, raids, and hosts. I feel that we are not represented as much as we should be, but we have people who share an audience and love supporting us. When I see someone who I love dearly end up on Twitch’s front page, I’m really glad and proud because I see someone I love being watched. I hope we all can continue to help each other out.

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

Depression and self-doubt… both at the same time. Honestly, it has hindered me at times. When I got the email about this grant, I was shocked but then it turned into worry. I thought I didn’t deserve it. I was worried someone would look into my past and call me out. I was worried because I’m trans. I still doubt myself and it hurts. I am someone who self-sabotages and who can’t understand why good things happen to me.

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

Don’t worry about your audience. They will come. Focus on you first.

Also, just go for it. I started with a crappy microphone, not-so-great internet, and no camera. Everyone starts somewhere. There are streamers who don’t have mics and are still entertaining and I keep coming back to support them. Keep a consistent schedule — unless emergencies occur — and take a break if you have to. Don’t rush anything; learn what works and what doesn’t.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

The love for what I do… music, streaming, gaming. I just like talking.