@MistressTentacles, 23 – FUNDED

Ashlee O’Connor goes by MistressTentacles on Twitch, and this BroadcastHER Grant recipient has a powerful message of self-acceptance and self-love. Gaming has been a positive outlet for her, and because of that, she hopes to be an example for others — especially those in the LGBTQ+ and neurologically divergent community who want to start streaming.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to involve and inspire other LBGTQ+ and neurologically divergent people to get involved in both broadcasting and the game industry in general.

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

It will help me buy a computer to stream with.

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

This means the world to me to help diversify this industry.

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

Things like this grant help lay the groundwork. But, the only way to create real change is to inspire other people by showing that they are represented in this industry.

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

Growing up as a neuro-divergent, closeted queer person led to a lot of setbacks, breakdowns, and harm to myself and others before I was able to accept myself as the woman I am. I changed schools regularly and graduated four years late. All of this taught me the importance of self-Improvement and acceptance.

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

Just start streaming — you only get better though practice. If you can’t stream, practice performing and playing games. Skill takes time and work to acquire, and the sooner you start the better.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and games saved me from a dark point in my life when I saw no way out. The lessons I’ve learned from these mistakes, and my passion for games as a medium, are what drive me to want to be an example to others and help LGBTQ+ and neurologically divergent people feel represented in this industry that I owe so much to.