Over the past five years, esports has truly taken on a life of its own. With expanding leagues, markets of all different kinds, and an audience that grows every single day, the esports hype train has clearly left the station. Despite the fact that women comprised 46% of gamers in 2019, as well as 30% of esports viewers, there’s still a lack of space, respect and comfort that’s allotted to them. This is even worse for members of the LGBTQ+ community, non-binary people and people of color.
Queer Women of Esports aims to make that change, and allow that space to exist. A nonprofit organization, Queer Women of Esports is run by a team of highly trained professionals, with backgrounds ranging from STEM, marketing, and business. With power, research, and education in their hands, the incredibly talented team of people behind Queer Women of Esports have but one main mission — to give a voice to the voiceless and provide genuine opportunities for people looking to break into this otherwise male-dominated space.
In the past, Queer Women of Esports has collaborated and worked alongside a variety of sports and esports organizations. These efforts help build panels, tournaments, and chances for people who aren’t afforded them otherwise to have a space where they belong. At the forefront, fighting for a more diverse and inclusive esports community is what Queer Women of Esports aims to do.
Their Upcoming Schedule
As 2021 continues on, Queer Women of Esports is happy to present a plethora of remote learning opportunities. With events like Clubhouse Roundtables, Industry Panels, Mentorship Programs, and celebrations during Pride Month, the opportunities to collaborate with Queer Women of Esports are truly never-ending.
Additionally, all throughout March, Queer Women of Esports will be celebrating Women’s History Month. Starting on March 1, a variety of programs are launching to help educate and expand outreach to the entire esports community. Every Friday in March, QWE will host a new panel that highlights trailblazing women in esports and gaming. Every Wednesday in March, there will be streams to highlight female-identifying content creators, and women’s esports teams, in order to give them a spotlight and a platform.
In July, the second wave of the Mentorship Program goes live. The first of its kind in this field, the mentorship program connects professionals with LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC youth. This past year, Queer Women of Esports was able to connect with twenty mentees and give them a chance to boost their career while feeling safe enough to ask questions that no one else is answering.
Providing Education For Everyone
Though the world is still living in a COVID-19 friendly space, that doesn’t stop Queer Women of Esports from providing where they can. The Build-A-PC program works to provide computers and computer parts to marginalized communities. This helps build the gap between those who can participate in esports, and those who can’t due to a variety of financial struggles, or lack of access to top-tier equipment that’s sometimes required to be part of the team. In tandem with the Grant Program they’ve created to fund vital computer parts and accessories, QWE is going above and beyond to help those who need it most.
Monthly, QWE hosts a panel with industry leaders. These panels focus on the instruction of computer parts, how to assemble them, and how to give your own PC a fine-tuning. Alongside providing these parts, Queer Women of Esports has also built a side-by-side educational course. This course helps teach female-identifying LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC youth about the necessary technological skills it takes to assemble a computer. This series is free to access on YouTube.
How To Support QWE
Now, more than ever, this community needs to come together and support everyone that’s involved. Yes, that’s right, everyone. Queer people, people of color, and female-identifying people deserve a space at the table, and Queer Women of Esports is truly taking initiative in providing that space, and making sure it doens’t go away.
To support Queer Women of Esports, consider donating to their cause! As a nonprofit, every cent they make gets put into their programs, their grants, and their resources to ensure that everything they provide is of the best possible quality. If you happen to be a professional in the esports field with a story to tell, collaborate with them on one of their panels. Lend your voice towards the growing power of this cause, and ensure that everyone feels safe where they belong.
To follow and connect with Queer Women of Esports, make sure to follow them on all platforms — Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram — @Queeresports.
The entire event kicks off with an incredible twelve-hour livestream on February 27th, 2021. During this event, Queer Women of Esports will be covering a range of topics throughout the day. From “How to Find your Dream Career in Esports”, to “Extending the Esports Invitation: Creating an Inclusive, Profitable Fan Base”, there’s something for everyone.
Support the LGBTQIA+ community. Uplift the BIPOC community. Listen to marginalized voices, and ensure that the esports community is welcoming for everyone.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Queer Women of Esports Twitter.
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