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The typical online gamer may be a young, straight male, but this isn’t representative of the community as a whole. The emergence of a group of drag queen gamers, brilliantly named the Stream Queens, is evidence that gaming is just as much a part of life for queer young people as it is for the rest of their generation.
The Stream Queens are a group of drag artists who play games together while dressed in drag, and stream them live on Twitch. The group was formed by a queen called Deere, who was the first ever drag queen Twitch Partner in the US, entitling her to earn revenue from her streams. She wanted to bring together the queens already building a following on the platform, and to bring more LGBTQ representation to the existing range of gaming teams. Forming the group also enables the queens to support each other against the anti-LGBTQ trolling they regularly receive, and defiantly demonstrate to young queer people that they are welcome in the gaming world.
The Stream Queens are a fun combination of two major youth trends: a love of drag queens (especially those from the TV series, Ru Paul’s Drag Race) and online game streaming via platforms such as Twitch. Through trends from the country-rap crossover to gender fluid clothing, Gen Z continuously show a disregard for arbitrary boundaries and preconceptions. They form unique identities inspired by the wide range of cultural influences they soak up by growing up online, which means combining interests like drag queens and gaming feels totally natural.
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