4 Years of Being A Twitch Affiliate

In January, I will be celebrating 4 years as a Twitch Affiliate. This is a major milestone for me as Twitch has become the most fulfilling thing in my life. It is where I am THE most alive and myself. I don’t do it for fame, and I don’t do it for money. I do it because it’s the thing in my life that I find satisfaction from. Money DOES help me pay for bills (such as HRT), but it’s not my primary focus.

I have dreams of being a Twitch Partner, an Ambassador, a member of the Women’s Alliance, and even being part of an official Twitch Trans group. All are long-term goals of mine. These goals won’t affect my current love for Twitch but only continue to validate what I’m already doing. Open up new doors and opportunities for me.

I started streaming years ago, actually, though always off and on, back when Justin.tv launched. I had started doing videos in 2006 after having a video of mine make it onto The Screen Savers.

I even was invited out to two conferences run by Jeff Pulver, a pioneer in VoIP, who wanted to show that video on the internet was one of the next big things. I even remember being in his audience as he did a full live stream show on BlogTalkRadio back in 2007. He predicted live streaming would be one of the next big avenues — -and he was not wrong. Just as he said at a keynote that one day people wouldn’t call up by a phone number, but by someone’s name.

I played around with streaming for years, even streaming quite a few PS4 games on Twitch and getting an Elgato Game Capture to stream PS3 games as well back in 2015. (I gave those consoles to my nephew later, so sadly, no PS3/PS4 streams for the time being.)

All of my experiences were why I got into the current degree I’m pursuing in Communications. In 2017 after getting into WoW, I wanted to put my forthcoming degree to use, and I started a podcast with my friends. I loved podcasting (and will be relaunching it in the future once I get more time), but what I REALLY loved was the interaction around doing it live. The shows were fun, but I had so much fun talking with the audience every Thursday evening. So I began again to do game streaming to add more content to what I’m doing.

This continued for a year or two until I decided in October of 2018 to make this a priority in my content production. I was going to work on regularly streaming, so my audience would know when to expect my streams. This started to build a following. I really was enjoying the fact when I was live — I wasn’t feeling lonely. I had begun to find what I really loved to do. Finally putting my video skills to good use.

So one thing that I wasn’t realizing was how I started to change and open up. Opening up parts of myself to others, but I would soon find out that I’d also find myself. I was always working to be authentic, but I’d try to keep things back to “not offend” anyone. I very much would keep myself from controversy. Finally, I began to speak up on issues, though slowly. In 2018/2019, my queerplatonic partner Sascz talked about being trans on my podcast. He was very open with me. Then in February of 2020, I brought my other queerplatonic partner Clara on the podcast, and Clara talked about being polyamorous. Two very controversial subjects, but I enjoyed giving a voice to both on my platform.

I had been promoting Dravvie’s Troll Run for at least two years that supported The Trevor Project. I began to think a lot about my own body and identity while supporting these groups. My story has been said in streams and podcasts, and I’ll expound on it on this blog in the future.

With my audience, I decided to use my platform to be very TRANSparent (SORRY, YOU HAD TO KNOW IT WAS COMING!). Choosing to be representation for someone to explore themselves or to get to understand being trans better. Both have happened many times with individuals coming out or understanding trans individuals better and some even becoming allies for family and friends. I didn’t want to let my platform’s opportunity go to waste.

Becoming vocal on social issues, coming out, and embracing myself has led to some leaving me. Some saying “I don’t want any sexuality or gender discussions when I’m watching a stream.” I was sad and scared at this, but I’ve grown a larger audience. Many of them are straight and/or cisgender, but many are members of the LGBTQIA2U+ and find comfort in my community. This has led people also finally to come out as members as well. If I had to repeat it all over again, I would still come out publicly. I have no regrets now, being over a year later.

Becoming comfortable on stream as a trans woman has helped me become bolder in my real-life situations. If I can go up against hate (and I’ve gotten lots of hate and continue to get hate), then I can deal with hate in the real world. If you’ve watched my content or validated me, then you have done more good for me being trans than you will ever know.

I also was becoming burnt-out on being a creator focused on one game, and I decided to become a variety streamer. This did lead to some people leaving me because I was no longer a creator on their favorite game, but I am now enjoying games again. If I don’t like a game, I don’t play it again or wait to replay it. I’ve met many people who tune into all my streams for the community and me. On the other hand, I’ve met people who only tune into certain games — which is 100% valid. I want you here if you want to be here.

So I’ve taken many risks, made many mistakes, but to quote the song “I did it MYYYYYYYY WAY!!!” I did it, The Frazley Way. What have I learned?

That no one agrees on how to stream, no one has the answers. Every stream is different. If I had the formula for becoming Partner, I’d do it and tell you how to do it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as THE game to play (although there ARE more popular games). You’ve got to have fun. I would encourage you to be authentic, to be yourself. I would encourage you to set up chat protections in your stream as well. But most importantly, have fun streaming. When I’m not having fun, my stream knows it. And I wouldn’t say I like watching streamers who aren’t having fun either. That’s the ONE thing I can say I know from 5 years as a Twitch Affiliate. Do what you are enjoying.

I don’t know where the next year will take me. I hope that I will be able to begin planning my “1 Year as a Twitch Partner” blog in a year, but I won’t crunch myself into a timeframe on my goals. So instead, I will continue to do what I’m doing. Working to make a difference for others. Being a visible Trans Woman on Twitch. Being myself. Being TRANSparent. And…..dying a lot in games. Or accidentally burning down my ship in Sea of Thieves. Or having my Seamoths destroyed in Subnautica. But continuing to be your girl Frazley.

Be yourself. Be you. And remember that you matter, you are valid, and you are loved.

EDIT: The title originally said 5 Years of Being a Twitch Affiliate. Being fully transparent, I got the math wrong. I will have finished 4 years of being a Twitch Affiliate, but I’ve been streaming for 5+ years. Damn it Frazley’s brain. 😆 I counted and counted many times before making this post. Updated the title to reflect this.