As the gaming and esports industry at large continues to strive towards equity and representation, we’ve continued to make headway fighting against toxicity and exclusion. That headway comes in large part as a result of the organization and uplifting of underrepresented communities. However, it can sometimes be difficult for broad efforts at inclusion to take into account the nuanced realities of identity and representation. Yes, people are starting to become aware of the importance of supporting gamers who are B.I.P.O.C., or programmers who are female, or content creators who are LGBTQ+, etc… however, when an individual falls under all of these categories at once, their experience is unique, and the support they may find useful will reflect that. Luckily, there exist organizations such as Queer Women of Esports.
The non-profit organization, founded in 2020 by Dr. Lindsey Migilore, has a simple mission laid out plainly on the org’s website: “making competitive gaming a more inclusive and equitable place for the LGBTQIA+ population.” A bit further down on their homepage, this mission is further contextualized: “It’s not an even playing field. Women who identify as queer face even more barriers. So let’s fix it.” An article from The Game Haus.com offers some insight into the folks behind QWE, explaining that the organization is “run by a team of highly trained professionals, with backgrounds ranging from STEM, marketing, and business.” In fact, the wide array of training and experience allows for QWE to provide access to a wealth of support for the “LGBTQIA+ population.”
In terms of support, QWE offers a number of exciting resources. From Esports Networking events streamed on the organization’s Twitch to mentorships with an exciting array of industry pros—folks such as J.T. “Tizza” Vandenbree of Riot Games and Esports host Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, to name a few—QWE is creating opportunities, making connections, and opening doors. All of which are quite exciting for a relatively new organization.
Now that it’s March, it is officially Women’s History Month, a fact that has been embraced by QWE. Throughout the month, each week will feature special programming which will highlight the impact of women in esports and gaming. Every Friday throughout the month, the organization will host “a new panel[s] 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,” according to Game Haus.
Beyond the month of March, the QWE makes resources regarding salary negotiation and archived videos from panels about Marketing and Esports. Furthermore, their next round of mentorships will be starting up in July. The website has information about how to support QWE and following the organization on Twitter and Twitch will allow folks to stay up to date on what the resources and events they will be continuing to make available through their efforts to make esports and gaming a more equitable place.