Twitch.tv is a platform that allows individuals to stream video game play and interact with viewers worldwide via chat. Predominantly populated by teens and young adults, the content and language can sometimes seem toxic to those of more sensitive dispositions. When I came across a streamer named A_Jaxx, I had no reason to think he would be different.
I saw a 24-year-old U.S. army veteran who was the embodiment of the good-looking, athletic, popular stereotype. In my mind, I wondered if he would end up being a jerk, intolerant, and homophobic – and his viewers, too. That is what I’ve come to expect, both in life and especially on Twitch. The good news is, I could not have been more wrong.
This amazing young man, who could not be more “straight”, will go out of his way to make sure everyone feels welcome, make sure that homophobia is not tolerated in his stream, and that his younger viewers are aware of his philosophy: Love is love and everyone deserves it, and deserves respect.
In the world of gaming, it is often difficult to find an ally as genuine and kind as this streamer. The influence he is having on his audience is invaluable. I can only hope that it becomes the new norm.
Recently accepted into Twitch’s exclusive partner program, A_Jaxx made a promise to his community. Earlier in his streaming career, he obtained an in-game item that was rainbow-colored. In fact, he obtained that item on the same day that same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 states. He promised his community that he would dye his hair rainbow once he became a full Twitch Partner.
A_Jaxx lived up to that promise. But more importantly, he lives up to a bigger promise every single day: the promise that the world is becoming a better place, and that anyone struggling with coming to terms with who they are can find an ally, even in the most unlikely place.