Londyn Bradshaw celebrates after becoming the first Black drag partner on Twitch: ‘We made history’
Londyn Bradshaw was made Twitch Partner this Pride month, making them the first ever Black drag Partner on the platform.
That means they can continue their impressive work of supporting the wider LGBT+ and drag communities on Twitch, as the Twitch Partnership Program is a level up from Affiliate. Partners also get to keep a 70% cut of their subscription costs
We spoke to Londyn about what this achievement means to them, their chaotic stream, their drag style, and, er, how to eat a cheese string.
How does it feel to be the first Black drag Partner on Twitch?
It’s exciting, I didn’t know that I was gonna get it after I applied so many times. I got on stream this week and I was like, oh, there’s a check mark, and people are still telling me congratulations. I feel like it’s shocking to me in my career that I didn’t realise that we would make such a huge impact on the Twitch platform, because when I shared my posts that I got the first Black drag partner, it skyrocketed through Twitter. We made history on Twitch, which is cool. It’s a little bumming, though that it’s 2021 and I’m the first one. We should have more. I feel like we should support more POC content creators on Twitch. If we want to see that happen, instead of saying that we should see it happen, we should make it happen.
When did you first start streaming and what made you decide to start?
I streamed last year right when the pandemic hit. My friends and I played Dungeons and Dragons, it’s called Queens of Adventure, and our DM (Dungeon Master) told me about Deere and Twitch. So then we were trying to make our Queens of Adventure more well known. We were streaming through [the DM’s] Twitch channel and I was like, maybe I’ll start my own Twitch channel. I was streaming off a MacBook, I was shooting off my phone and doing makeup and stuff like that. I kept watching Deere and realised that you have to network. Then I joined Stream Queens and I got into the queer community’s number one game Dead by Daylight, and just kept moving forward. Someone was like if you became Partner you’d be the first Black drag Partner. I was like, oh, that’s a cool goal to reach. So let’s get there. And along with that we’ve got to make sure that we are making space and a platform for other content creators of colour, so let’s not forget that. I really wanted to be Partnered in Black History Month. It didn’t happen but Pride Month is just as good
What can people expect from your stream?
Chaos – in a good way! Open dialogue and safe spaces. I am trying to make sure that safe spaces are for everyone who comes by, whether you’re lurking or not. If you have something you want to talk about let’s not dump trauma into the stream but if something needs to be talked about make sure that there are trigger warnings. You don’t know what you’re gonna get or what’s gonna happen during that stream or what we talk about. I bit into a string cheese the other day when I was supposed to string it and that turned into chaos!
I’m shocked! So what kind of games do you prefer to stream?
I tried a variety out, but I’m a Dead by Daylight main. I’m a survivor main so you’ll find a lot of cool perks and lessons on survivor sides of things. I try not to play killer because I’ve experienced name calling, racial slurs and stuff like that. And I don’t want that to come into my chat. Because even if I can handle that, maybe someone else in chat is not ready for it. So I don’t want that to come in.
What got you into drag?
I did a charity event called Closet Ball, it was an event where if you’ve never done drag before, you will get into drag by a drag queen and you perform for charity. I met a person who got me into drag, and they’re like, I think you can really do something with this. And I was like, no, I never want to do drag, it’s not for me, I’m from a small town. And then I was like, this is kind of fun. And I just continued on and became a really good performer and then once the pandemic hit I really took time with my makeup.
How would you describe your style of drag?
It’s all over the place, that goes along with the chaos! I’m a very dancey performer. I’m into the comedy. But I’m really into 60s mod looks, so the big hair, the plaid outfits. And I’m really into rock music and so anything that has to do with leather jackets, flicking a cigarette and getting on a motorcycle, mohawks and braids, stuff like that. I like being a punk rock Black girl. That’s really cool to me. And I love doing Marilyn Manson and really heavy metal kind of music sometimes. Being Black, I think that people assume that you’re just gonna do some dancing, kicking and flipping around things like that. But that’s not the music that I 100% like. Does it make me money when I perform? Yes. Does it make me happy to do it all the time? Not so much.
Are you looking forward to getting back to performing live in front of an audience?
Yeah, but you have to remember that people aren’t totally comfortable with coming back out yet. So the crowds are not going to be as big as they were, which is totally okay. It’s just really exciting to go back. But also prepare yourself because I’ve been performing for a while and then I went back after not performing for a year and it’s exhausting. It’s like a full workout!
🏳️🌈Happy Pride month 🏳️🌈
👑Black is King 👑
Thank you to all who put up with me and continuously believe in me.
Twitch’s first black drag partner
— Londyn Bradshaw (@BradshawLondyn) June 16, 2021
You’re known for being part of the Stream Queens team, why is it important to support your fellow streamers?
It’s not hard to help one another because someone gave me the opportunity to get where I am today. So maybe a little bit of help from someone else may push someone into a direction that you never know that they could achieve. Plus, it can always come back to you in a positive way. So be nice to people. Deere guided me to where I needed to be to apply for Partnership, and I got it. You can’t be selfish on Twitch. You never know what people are going to do for you in walks of life. So help them if they need it, instead of letting them drown and figure things out on their own.
What advice would you give to people who are looking to start streaming?
Ask for help and figure out your vibe. Make sure you have a fine line of how you want your community to run. But make sure you have a safe community for someone to vibe in whether you agree or not with the situation. People only come back for safe spaces and the streamer themselves. So if you’re providing that space, then people will come to your space. I think the most important thing is asking for help if you need to. And don’t be afraid to. I get that it’s tough to ask for help sometimes. And I think the biggest thing is say thank you to people, whether it’s your community, whether it’s your moderators, whether it’s someone who raided you because small things count in people’s lives. I could literally bend over backwards for someone and be exhausted for 24 hours. But if you said thank you, then that makes me feel like hey, you acknowledge what I did.
What’s your main goal for the future?
I would like to create a team, which is in the works right now. I want to make sure that the rules are laid out and things like that. And that the team gets noticed, because the point of me being a Partner was not only for myself to grow as a person but to make that space. So I want to make sure that if we do make it, we make it correct. It’s gonna be for everybody who’s a person of colour, whether you’re from LatinX descent, or API descent, or African American descent, but know that it’s run by a person who is queer, so please respect that. For my personal self, I’d love to be a Twitch ambassador one day. Hopefully we can make that happen, because that’d be really cool on top of already being the first Black drag Partner.
You can follow Londyn Bradshaw on Twitch.
Related topics: LGBT gaming