LGBTQIA+ Gamers Who Are Blazing a Trail On and Offline

Thursday November 26, 2020

Many of the figures on this list have embraced the power of online streaming
Many of the figures on this list have embraced the power of online streaming  (Source:Getty Images)

The world of online gaming is blowing up at the moment with everyone from professional eSports players to live gaming streamers growing in stature as mainstream entertainers and athletes.

For one reason or another, this online space tends to be geared towards straight men. This is perhaps due to the nature of many popular online games such as Call of Duty and PUBG, which rely on raging battles designed by testosterone-fueled game development houses.

But fortunately, there is a small group of gay gaming trailblazers who are showing that gaming can and should be for everyone.

Here are some of the gay gamers who are gaining widespread recognition, be it in the official sphere of eSports tournaments and pro teams, or on live streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming. Who knows, perhaps a new LGBTQIA+ gaming platform could work alongside those for movies and music soon.


Mikecheb

Gaming streamers are the new online trendsetters, with some able to accrue tens of thousands of viewers at any given time.

This sort of fame gives them huge sway with game developers and publishers alike, with many racking up lucrative sponsorship deals and positions as brand ambassadors.

Of course, none of this would be possible without platforms like Twitch, so who better than Twitch's own engineer Mikecheb to start a popular channel.

The community of fellow streamers and viewers who follow Mike's gaming exploits are some of the most positive people you are likely to find online, with the chat all about positivity and helping people. That's a nice change from other slightly more toxic chat sections.


Ryan Laplante

While Mikecheb has not given up his day job to pursue his gaming dream, the same cannot be said for American Ryan Laplante, who is one of the very few openly gay poker professionals in the world.

A regular at all the major live and online tournaments, Laplante has also been outspoken about the need for more prominent players to come out.
When he isn't advocating for positive societal change, he is crushing Texas Hold'em tournaments all around the globe, with his schedule for the rest of 2020 taking him as far afield as Europe and Taiwan.

Laplante now also runs his very own poker tutorial and training website, which for a monthly fee provides excellent tips and guidance to those intermediate and advanced players. Those who are just starting their poker journey would be well advised to head elsewhere to learn the basics first, such as the differences between starting hands and grasping the fundamental rules and terminology before going to a more advanced level.
There is no doubt that more gay players will soon follow Laplante's example and set up their own learning platforms, and forums where people can congregate online.

Gay pro gamers are increasingly more likely to come out these days, which is a boon for everyone involved in the industry  (Source: Getty images)

Dominique "Sonic Fox" McLean

So far we have covered a popular streamer and a pro gamer, but what of eSports? Are there prominent gay eSports stars out there doing their thing?

The answer is most certainly yes, and perhaps the most popular of them all is Dominique "Sonic Fox" McLean, who in 2018 was named The Game Awards' Best eSports Player of the Year. He collected the prize in his trademark giant blue fox costume.

McLean's specialty is Mortal Kombat, although he can turn his hand to almost any 1-on-1 combat game. He currently plies his trade for the Seattle based Evil Geniuses eSports team.


Nikatine

Last but by no means least we have Nikatine, whose stream is a bolt from the blue, providing excellent gaming content while also being a safe online space for the trans community.

When she is not playing games, she can be found just chatting with her fans, which makes her one of the most followed Twitch streamers in the "Just Chatting" category. And she's only one of the popular streamers in this niche, so get ready for some online searching and you'll find the right crowd.

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