Welcome to a new Streamer Spotlight where this time, the spotlight falls on BlizzB3ar!
BlizzB3ar, or Blizz, is a queer black streamer who plays games that are either chilled out or completely chaotic! He is well known to create a warm and comfortable community around his streaming. He’s only been streaming a year, but has already become Partnered on Twitch.
I got to chat with Blizz about his work as a streamer and how he achieved his meteoric rise along with creating that wholesome community.
Hey Blizz, when and why did you start streaming?
I seriously started streaming in June 2020 and only began because I was “bored in the house and I’m in the house bored”, but also one of my friends decided to push for affiliate status and I wanted to see if I could do so as well. I also wanted a sense of community with some queer and BIPOC gamer spaces since I was lacking that in my own life. Basically, I was lonely and looking for people who had similar experiences in life to me.
What’s cool is that I started streaming directly from my XboxOne and saved up all the money from Twitch to build my very own PC in August. Since then, I have been trying to learn how to use a keyboard, but it has been fun every step of the way.
What games do you prefer to stream?
I enjoy cozy games that make you tear up a bit. One of my go-to comfort games is Stardew Valley and it’s actually how I started my Twitch career. I also enjoy playing games with friends like Among Us, Fortnite, and Dead by Daylight. I just like to vibe on stream and play something that allows me to just have fun with my community!
What can people expect from your stream?
They can expect a comfortable space where you are validated in being your true, authentic self. Where it’s okay to learn and take time to test out your identity. Sometimes I have people come into chat wanting to test out new pronouns or identify as a different sexuality, which is extremely amazing to hear. This is also a space where we can goof around one second and discuss racial inequality and human rights the next. But most importantly, this is a space where you can vibe out and have fun!
You’re well known for creating a cosy and chill atmosphere on stream, why do you think that’s so important?
I think with the start of the pandemic, people needed a place to escape the fire that was happening in our world, so I created a space. Funny thing is, I also needed a place to escape from the fire. A lot is happening these days and sometimes you need a mental reminder to take a step back and breathe, but also a space where you can be comfortable with who you are.
How do you deal with any drama in your community and on stream?
I like to talk to individuals directly offline. Try to come to some sort of understanding/compromise and see how we can move forward from there. If the person is being straight up disrespectful, I will just ask them to leave the community or channel. I have no time for people to be butts and causing negative energy in a place I consider my getaway. This is a community all about respect and understanding.
How do you find being an out LGBTQ BIPOC streamer?
I find it to be an interesting and positive experience. Before streaming, I didn’t really have many queer BIPOC friends and since then, I have been able to meet so many amazing human beings who want nothing, but to uplift each other. I feel kind of at home being in this space.
There are some drawbacks though. Believe it or not, I do get some hate from trolls because they hate the fact that I am proudly black and/or queer. A lot of the time they comment racial and homophobic slurs, but my mods are always on it. I just think they are jealous of my confidence and my community, haha!
Are you happy about the belated arrival of the expanded Twitch tags?
Oh my god, yes! Although it’s a little late, it makes me extremely happy to see a “black” and “bisexual” tag. When they were released, I remember choosing to raid someone within the bisexual tag that night and my heart was full. These identities are important to us and I am happy that Twitch is finally realizing it. AND THANK GOD WE FINALLY HAVE A TRANS TAG!
What more can the industry be doing to support diverse streamers?
Specifically with Twitch, I think they can offer more protection for marginalized streamers they put up on the forefront. A lot of us are prone to getting hate and negative comments when we are just trying to live our best lives and make a difference in this world. I have had to teach myself racist/homophobic terms in different languages so I know when a troll is being disrespectful. I shouldn’t have to work five times as hard as a cis white male to exist on a platform. Although Twitch has caught some of these terms, it’s not all. If I was a different type of person with a different type of mentality, this would be brutal for me.
What advice would you have for a young LGBTQ person wanting to start out streaming?
The trolls are gonna come, but do not let that stop you from moving forward. Haters are going to come your way when you are being authentically you. Keep your light, protect your energy, and keep making a difference. Also you can decide how you would like to create your community by watching/studying what other queer streamers do! That is how I did it!
What’s your main goal as a streamer for the future?
I would love to be a Twitch Ambassador! I wanna get some more experience under my belt, but once I feel ready, I would love to give it a shot. I also wanna continue to explore new content. As a variety streamer, the sky’s the limit. I started doing Vibe & Crime Tuesdays where we sit down as a community and explore some crime cases. Trying new content is tricky, but most of the time the community is there to see you and some of the content.
What do you enjoy the most about streaming?
Engaging with chat. My community is named the Blizzbies and they are a funny bunch. They constantly make me laugh and constantly have me learning new information. What I like about them the most is that they enter into the space with understanding and wanting to learn new things. We are human and we don’t know everything, but we can take the time to learn together!
What have you learned about yourself through streaming?
I have learned to become more comfortable with setting boundaries for myself. If people can’t respect your boundaries, those aren’t people you want to interact with. I also learned to be unapologetically myself and to never be afraid to speak up for what is right. If people do not want to interact with you because you are outspoken and refuse to let negativity affect your light, then don’t interact. I somehow managed to balance being wholesome and unapologetically loud and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.
What’s the game that defined your childhood?
It was actually two games, Pokemon Crystal and Kingdom Hearts! Funny story, I accidentally deleted my sister’s file on the PS2 and felt so bad that I learned how to play the game and get to the point she was at before. But then I just ended up continuing to play and fully beating the game. With Pokemon, I really enjoyed how generation 2 brough all the cute baby pokemon.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
I am looking forward to working with some pretty cool organizations and providing a queer black voice on the scene. There are some things I can’t talk about just yet, but I am excited to show the world what I have been working on behind the scenes. Also, by the time this comes out, I will finally be moving into my new place, which has a room dedicated to streaming and I am excited for that!
To find out more about BlizzB3ar, head on over to their Twitch channel.