@PopNoTarts, 26 – FUNDED

Meet Siri a.k.a. @PopNoTarts! She is a sweets-loving, anime enthusiast, piano-playing gamer who also happens to be a Ph.D. student pursuing her music degree. She has no problem choosing favorites when it comes to gaming; you can always get this BroadcastHER Grant winner talking Sonic the Hedgehog and Yakuza.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to empower and inspire other Black and Brown women gamers through broadcasting and gaming.

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

I needed better technology to stream and for music production. Unfortunately, I never had enough funds to put towards it. The grant will help me purchase the equipment I need to help empower and inspire other Black and Brown women. It will also help me connect with my community more and assist with producing copyright-free tunes for my stream and other broadcasters.

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

I am so grateful to be a recipient of this grant. It means that people believe in me to make a difference in gaming and streaming, which is a big deal for me.

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

Continue to create more opportunities. Hold people and platforms accountable for how they treat women in the industry. 1,000 Dreams Fund is one of the first to take the steps needed to bring more opportunities to women. More organizations like 1,000 Dreams Fund can help us stick together and provide more opportunities for women in the industry.

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

Like many women in this field, I have experienced sexism and sexual harassment. As a Black woman, I have also received racist messages filled with so much hate. Instead of giving up, I stopped using a face cam during my broadcasts. The love and support of my community kept me going.

Along with external challenges, I’ve had internal challenges, as well. It took me a long time to be comfortable with myself as a broadcaster — to be less critical of how I sound; how I speak; if I use AAVE; and the games that I love. I know that somewhere out there is someone who is experiencing something similar. I feel determined to let other women — especially Black and Brown women — know that there IS a place for them in this industry.

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

You don’t need all the fancy gadgets to get started. Just start! Be yourself, make new friends, network with other women broadcasters, and learn how to market yourself. I have made friendships through broadcasting that I would not trade for the world! My community is a home away from home online and every time I’m live it’s a good time. It’s possible to do anything as long as you’re passionate about it.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I stick to my schedule. I’m also a part of the communities Black Girl Gamers (BGG) and Brown Girl Gamer Code (BGGC), and I’m also the founder of a new community Brown Girls Love Yakuza (BGLY). Each community is full of INCREDIBLE people who support each other and their goals. I’m also a strong believer that what I do will eventually influence someone else. Surrounding myself with a group of like-minded people, especially people who I am glad to call my friends, keeps me going.