June 1 marks the beginning of Pride Month, a 30-day celebration and remembrance for LGBTQ+ identifying people. Built on the riots of Stonewall in New York City, Pride Month has become a staple for queer people to celebrate their history, and show their love and support for their community. For the past two years, the Overwatch League has hosted a Pride Weekend at the Blizzard Arena, in Los Angeles. However, with times being tough and the League moving online, it’s a little harder to come together and celebrate such a momentous occasion.
Fans may still be stuck inside, but there’s plenty of ways to celebrate, give and support LGBTQ+ people in these trying times. From charities, to events, to collaborating with queer content creators in the community, here are a few things that the Overwatch League could do to represent and show up for the fans that love it so.
Most importantly, teams and players can and should donate to various LGBTQ+ causes around the world. Some bigger name organizations, such as The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign, have paved the way for so many organizations to sprout. In fact, most Overwatch League teams can find a local charity to support. The Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Atlanta Coalition for LGBT Youth and The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project are just a few possible causes based in North America that teams could easily help support.
Additionally, in especially trying times, teams could collaborate with queer content creators in their community to raise money of their own. Whether that be through charity streams, contests with featured queer artwork or inner competition with donates being matched across the board. There are so many ways that pride can be taken to a virtual and higher level. With the amount of support that the League has shown previously, there’s no reason for them not to go above and beyond.
Speaking to queer content creators is essential when it comes to planning events. If teams want to get involved, they should certainly look to people in their communities first and foremost. With LGBTQ+ people making up such a large margin of the OWL community, there’s truly no shortage of people to talk to and collaborate with. Whether that be with popular queer streamers, such as EeveeA_ or Angelxo, teams can find a way to spread awareness while making sure the microphone is given to those who need it most.
Creating Charitable Merch
Last year, every team came out with a Pride t-shirt. The shirts changed out the city names and stated that “Toronto Is Love”, complete with rainbow lettering. This merchandise is nice, of course, but only does half the work of what pride merchandise could be. The League should be creating these designs with the mindset of donating their earnings to a LGBTQ+ cause. These causes can be local, per the team’s discretion. Or, the League could pledge their earnings of these products to a company overall, such as GLSEN or PFLAG. Either way, the money made from products like this should be going back towards the people and the community that are being celebrated.
Recognize that there’s many people who fit under the umbrella of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Those people are the voices that should be amplified during times like this. There’s so many charities, so many funds that could use an extra boost of support. The Overwatch League, as a League that’s implemented the beginnings of a pride celebration, can and should hold itself to a higher standard.
Take care of the community and the people that support and love this League endlessly. Twitch hosts an annual #StreamWithPride event every year, highlighting LGBTQ+ streamers and creators and giving them the platform they need. If the League can match that energy, June could certainly be full of pride.
Pride month lasts through the entirety of June. As a queer content creator, this article can hopefully be a catalyst for a larger conversation. Please, reach out to The Game Haus with any questions or concerns. Hopefully, the right direction and the right conclusion can be found together.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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