We sat down virtually with Frazley, a trans variety streamer, former ballet dancer, and lover of the 2002 cult classic, Ghost Ship! (Okay, okay, it’s only a cult classic to us! But it has some merits!)
MonsterThoughts: You’re super vocal about being trans, about loving oneself, especially trans individuals loving themselves which we love. What’s been the most challenging thing about being unapologetically yourself in online spaces?
Frazleytastic: One of the biggest challenges was the fact I was going to lose some of my followers for being vocal. Which DID happen. Some of them leave me because they don’t want to hear me talking about being trans all the time. Some don’t agree with me being trans, and left me as well. It’s a challenge because sometimes you worry if people are tired of hearing about you being trans all the time or are they going to think you are doing it for attention. Like, “We know, we know Frazley, you are trans, enough already.” This adds to the fact many people want to try and attack me for being so openly vocal. The countless replies and DMs and emails I get. I had to turn off DMs because of that. There’s still a BIG amount of bigotry in the online space towards trans individuals. I have had to become good at being my own cheerleader and advocate. There’s a big thing in gaming spaces of “Gaming only” sometimes, and “no-politics” which being trans isn’t political, but some still see it as such.
Monster Thoughts: I’m so sorry you have to deal bigotry in any capacity online or off. No one should. To kinda segue into my next question, in what ways do you feel Twitch can openly support trans individuals?
FT: I feel that Twitch can improve the protections for trans individuals by continuing to increase their protections which we are starting to see with phone verification. They can work to promote trans individuals, ESPECIALLY BIPOC trans individuals who face some of the greatest levels of erasure and bigotry. I think in addition to the Women’s Alliance, creating a Trans Alliance would be a great step similar to Bungie’s Trans group they’ve made. There’s a lot Twitch can do to try and improve things for individuals, and I hope we start to see a shift. I would love to see a trans individual in the top 100 Streamers one day.
MT: Those are all really great suggestions and I hope Twitch incorporates any and all of them one day. As a variety streamer, what are your favorite kinds of games to play for stream, and what games have you noticed your community enjoying, if different? Why do you/your community enjoy those games?
FT: I really enjoy story-based games, platformers, and games that you can explore. I do occasionally play MMOs, but they are no longer one of my top-favored games. My community enjoys the games where we get to experience things together. These games allow me to interact with chat the most. Those are the games that get the most engagement and views, but also the games that make me light up with passion.
MT: Why do you/your community enjoy those games?
FT: I think it’s fun to see me learning, but also fun to be able to explore things together. The chat interaction is why they come back. Even with coop streams, I always work to talk with chat during the session. I dabble into FPS multiplayer shooters sometimes, but they aren’t my preferred game.
MT: I enjoy a good platformer and story-based game as well. Interacting with chat is key no matter what game you play, I agree. What advice can you give to trans streamers who want to dip their toes into streaming? What should they be prepared for/lookout for, seek to avoid?
FT: Be prepared for bigotry. I hate to say it, but we are in the crosshairs of society’s hate. The times I get a bigot coming into my chat trying to say, “You are a man,” are uncountable. Turn on the phone verification and email verification settings based on your needs. Add in extra bot protections. Get mods if you can. Then also embrace who you are. You DON’T need to be a trans advocate to stream. You will get questions, but you only need to be an advocate if you have the bandwidth. Embrace who you are. Stream with the identity tags. Get involved in communities that can encourage you during down moments. I am here via DM (if mutuals) or by email (on my Twitch bio) if you’d like to talk. Find people who will be there for you on your bad days. It’s OK to be not on a webcam if it makes you comfortable. Being a trans streamer is hard and will take longer than someone who is cisgender, but you don’t know who will see you and be encouraged. I get people who have come out because of seeing me be a trans representative. Have fun too, but please also use protections in your community.
MT: Amazingly well said succinct advice, Frazley. I agree with everything, especially as a Black woman who is bi, but I find I don’t get a lot of heat for me being bi as opposed to my trans, gay, asexual, pansexual, and lesbian peers in the streaming world. It’s so important to ensure you have those protections set up, but to still have fun. On a lighter note, what’s your favorite horror movie?
FT: I love Ghost Ship. It is a HORRIBLE movie, but also I have just always loved the idea of nautical horror.
MT: Okay, I love this movie too, but for those who don’t get our love for nautical horror, why Ghost Ship?
FT: I find it fascinating to think about a cruise ship at sea when everything goes wrong. This floating paradise becomes a floating casket. The contrast of the luxury of the ship with the rotting nature of time taking its toll. I just have a fondness for old, abandoned places. I would love this concept to be returned to with a better plot.
MT: You nailed it! The creepy factor of abandoned places will never not be excellent horror fodder. Lastly, what’s your preferred way to wind down after a stream?
FT: After streams I typically will watch a movie/tv show for a bit before falling asleep at my desk or going to bed. This is just a way to relax, eat food and chill out. I watch movies over MANY MANY MANY nights.
MT: Well Frazley I want to thank you for wanting tot be part of this project and we look forward to what you have to share with us down the line!
Frazley is a Trans Woman (She/Her) who has been streaming for over 5+ years. She is a variety streamer who works to create a safe and inclusive community. She is also a HUGE nerd and loves to geek out on tech. She was a ballroom dancer for 12+ years and now spends her days dancing to the rhythm of her life on Twitch. She is known for her puns and for trying to help people be seen for who they are.
You can find Frazley at any of her links below!