Bee (they/them) and Caitlin (she/they) make up GazeboKids, a queer variety streamer duo with a shared passion for the Spyro franchise.
In our latest Streamer Spotlight, sponsored by Sneak, we got to chat with them, about how they got into streaming, their love of that little purple dragon, and a whole lot more!
How did you get into video games/streaming?
Caitlin: For me playing games was always a communal thing, I played them with my nan and my cousins, playing games like Spyro and Super Mario 64. Streaming kind of captures that same feeling for me, we just stream from our couch so it has a similar vibe.
Bee: I don’t really remember how I got into playing games honestly, my earliest memory of them is playing Spyro with my dad on his PS1, and it all followed from there. We started streaming back in March of 2020, literally the first day the UK went into lockdown, mostly as a way to entertain our friends, and then like Caitlin said, the community aspect is what kept us going.
What is your favorite thing to stream?
Caitlin: I really like to stream games I’m nostalgic for, I’ve been playing the original three Spyro games recently, and it’s been fun going back and fully completing them. It feels good finishing off something you started as a kid! One of my favourite streaming experiences was something that tied into nostalgia, where I played Ocarina of Time for the first time. I didn’t know a huge amount about it, and it felt really special having people coming in and getting to almost re-experience their first time through me.
Bee: I have most fun when we’re playing something that lets us goof off, or build a narrative out of. Earlier this year we played Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and we had this running bit it was just regular, unmodded Sonic (it wasn’t, an Among Us did pop up here and there), and chat helped build that story with us.
What can people expect from your stream?
Caitlin: In terms of what our streams are actually like, cozy is a word I’d rarely use to describe them, more often it’s a bit chaotic. I like to think then when I’m streaming by myself things are quite relaxed, but we just bring out the worst in each other (in an endearing way).
Bee: Honestly, most of our streams really are just us arguing with each other about the most inane things, and chat picking sides, with no one coming out as the winner. It’s never mean though, it’s all for the bit, and we’ve had some really lovely moments where we talk about identity or political issues. It’s a mixed bag.
How has your experience as an out LGBTQ+ streamer been?
Caitlin: I was actually quite nervous about us using the LGBTQIA+ tag on Twitch for a while. Before we started streaming, I didn’t really go on Twitch at all, so I was worried the capital G Gamers were going to harass us. But it’s been really nice finding other queer streamers that like that same games as me, and I’ve made some really good friends. I hope that GazeboKids has become a nice little corner for nervous people like me. Plus it helped me figure out some gender stuff, which I don’t know I would have otherwise.
Bee: It’s been a weird one! I was the one that encouraged us to be more openly queer, because I felt that we could form a nice community that way, and like Caitlin says I hope that we have. Last year I was harassed for a little while, with someone constantly trying to fatshame and misgender me, which I’d been lucky enough to avoid for a long while. We managed to put a stop it though, and it’s been smooth since then. I think streaming has really helped me feel comfortable as a masc non-binary person, because I’ve found a number of people like me, it’s that thing of lack of exposure that can make you feel lonely, but now I don’t feel that as much!
What do you enjoy the most about streaming?
Caitlin: Hanging out with people! Going to school or work makes it pretty easy to socialise, but I’m not in school any more, and in my day job I work on my own, so it’s a really good way to chat with friends more regularly. When we started it was just for our real world friends, but now it’s for friends we’ve made all over the world, which is both really weird and cool.
Bee: I feel pretty much the same as Caitlin! Most of the time we’re not really paying attention to the game we’re playing, it’s just kind of there to keep us occupied, so the thing I love most is being able to spend time goofing off with someone I really care about, and having our little community along with us for the ride.
What have you learned about yourself through streaming?
Caitlin: I mentioned it earlier, but I definitely figured out some gender stuff thanks to streaming. I’d probably describe myself as a non-binary woman, I’m not quite non-binary or agender, but I also don’t feel like I fit into the streotypical box of what a woman is. Being exposed to more gender non-conforming people really opened my eyes as to what gender could be.
Bee: I came out as non-binary a few years before we started streaming, but I think streaming honestly helped me figure out what that really meant. I kind of used to use non-binary as a way of calling myself agender, but that wasn’t right either. Like Caitlin, that exposure to a variety of gender expressions helped me realize that being non-binary to me is an incredibly abstract thing. Think of me as an amorphous blob, simply unknowable.
What’s your main goal as a streamer for the future?
Caitlin: I want GazeboKids to kind of be that thing where you’re with a friend, at your place or theirs, and neither one of you is talking, you’re just doing your own thing but you’re both happy to be together. People can come and say hi in chat but then just lurk the rest of the stream, but that’s ok because we’re both just having a nice time. I want to get that vibe right.
Bee: I’d really like GazeboKids to be bigger than just us, not in the sense that we want to be the next Giant Bomb or whatever, but to form this small, weird little community that uplifts one another. Providing mutual aid where we can, being unabashedly queer, just trying to do cool, fun projects from time to time. I don’t want it to be this massive thing where the people we care about don’t feel welcome any more, just somewhere to rest your hat for a while.
What do you do outside of streaming?
Caitlin: I did art at university, and I’m still trying to figure out what that means for me, but I do really enjoy crafty things like crochet, and I recently did my first cosplay which was a lot of fun to put together. My enjoyment of farming games like Harvest Moon actually got me into gardening last year, it’s been really rewarding eating the things I grew myself.
Bee: I am, for better or worse, a games journalist, so frequently my day to day is writing about that one trailer for that big game, or voicing my opinions on things like how Final Fantasy XIII is good, actually. My dad is a chef so I love to cook, I currently do not have the space for the amount of cookbooks I have, and there’s never enough time to make every recipe, but it’s probably the thing that brings me most joy in life.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
Bee & Caitlin: We’ve been working on a sort of reimagining of what GazeboKids is, developing some lore as silly as that might sound, which should open up to some different projects we’ve been wanting to do. That, and Tears of the Kingdom, we love our non-binary king Link.
To find out more about the GazeboKids, head on over to their Twitch channel.