@MelonGorl, 24 – FUNDED

If you saw @Melongorl’s name and immediately wondered what her favorite melon is, it’s honeydew. As for her favorite games, this BroadcastHER Grant winner leans towards franchises like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy but she plays lots of different things. She started her channel with the hope of encouraging other black women to enjoy gaming — and she has done just that. She is grateful for the community she’s built and the friends made along the way and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to highlight the diversity of the gaming and broadcasting industries. Gaming is a common thread bringing together people of all backgrounds and I’d like to highlight that there is not one “face” to the community.

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

It will allow me to make upgrades to my streaming hardware that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to make. Upgraded computer components and streaming equipment will greatly improve the quality of my streams and drive new traffic to my channel.

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

It has been incredibly inspiring to me. It’s very easy to be your own harshest critic. But it is extremely validating to be recognized by such an esteemed organization as a content creator worth investing in.

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

A major change would be for these industries to acknowledge the women in these fields. Women in gaming, especially professionally, seem to lack the support and infrastructure that others receive. Additionally, in my experience, black women and other women of color are not seen or catered to as game consumers.

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

I would say that the biggest challenge I’ve faced in broadcasting is the racism and harassment I’ve faced while streaming. A lot of people don’t see racist trolling and spam as a true incident of racism and think it’s inevitable to experience it as a streamer. You’re kind of expected to suck it up and ignore it, which can be very discouraging. There’s also not much you can do about harassment on many platforms, but I’ve found that having a strong, positive community can really help combat this.

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

My biggest advice is to go for it! Starting is the biggest hurdle to broadcasting. If you feel it’s something you’re interested in, there’s no harm in giving it a try. If you find that you like it, then it can be incredibly fulfilling.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

Staying motivated is definitely tough and I think most streamers struggle with this. The biggest pitfall is to compare your channel and stats to other streamers you admire. Everyone brings something unique to the table and there’s no one who could replace you as a broadcaster. In my case, I try to remind myself why I started my stream and focus on the love and support of my community. I greatly appreciate them choosing to spend their time with me and they inspire me to stay focused on our collective vision for the channel.