Throughout June, we are spotlighting LGBTQIA+ Streamers. We caught up with variety streamer Sassypants1996 (he/him). Streamlabs had the pleasure of hosting Sassypants1996 on our Twitch channel this month and we look forward to supporting him in the future. Catch up with Sassypants1996 on Twitter and Instagram so you won’t miss his next stream.
Can you provide some background on your channel and how you got started? How long have you been streaming and what do you typically like to stream?
I’ve been wanting to stream/create content for the longest time, but I never knew where/how to start and could not afford a setup. I finally got pushed into creating a Twitch account by my best friend in March 2021, then decided to take the plunge in June. I used some savings and a tax refund to buy a mid-range PC and started streaming on July 6, 2021. (it's going to be a year soon!).
I’ve always been very self-conscious about my appearance, so I figured not using a cam initially would be a good way to start, build some confidence and then switch over. I started calling myself a faceless streamer because it sounded cool - and then it just took a life of its own. Someone asked me when I would do a face reveal and I panicked and said “10,000 subs” because it's an outrageous number. I didn’t expect people to take it at face value and for it to actually become a “thing.” But here we are, almost a year later and I’m still faceless. I’ve started leaning into it now - I have a raid message ready to go when I introduce myself. It goes something like this - “I stay faceless because webcams are really expensive, I can stream without any pants on, and because apparently, I am so attractive I don’t want to give anybody an inferiority complex, so I stay hidden because why mess with people like that.” It's become a meme and I love it.
I’m a variety streamer, so I usually play anything I can get my hands on - Assassin’s Creed, Minecraft, Hades, and Back 4 Blood to name a few. I also do a lot of karaoke streams, play the guitar sometimes, do regular mental health sessions and check-ins as well as fundraise for charity. We just wrapped up a large-scale week-long charity event to help raise funds for Lambda Legal and raised $1069!
What was it about streaming that initially interested you and inspired you to give it a try?
I don’t really know for sure where it started. I’ve been watching the YouTube OGs since as long as I’ve had internet access (I was 15). I love how much effort they would put into their craft and how they managed to build and sustain a community around it, and always wanted to do it myself. I’ve been writing since I was 16 and I had this short-lived TV show and movie review blog (do not look for it, it's cringe) and considered turning some of my writing into long-form YouTube content, but it never really happened. When I finally joined Twitch last year, I was introduced to Dylan_SaysHi, and watching the love in his community inspired me to finally do it. I’m sorry, I know I ramble a lot, but the tl;dr is community, and being a part of something bigger than myself is why I was drawn to streaming because everyone knows I suck at actual gameplay.
I never had a lot of friends growing up. I was always on the outside looking in. It still feels like that sometimes on this platform, but this community - this family that I have built over the last year brings my gay little heart so much joy. We care about each other, rally behind a cause, and support each other when needed. I am so proud. Baby Steve would be so proud.
Are there other LGBTQIA + streamers that you are inspired by?
Where do I even start? I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many amazing LGBTQIA+ in the last year—my best friend Zero who is the platonic love of my life and the real reason why I started streaming, the amazing Jazzadelegames and whatapun, my fellow Sidequesties like Aselynn, LauraK483, Cloud and Jambo, and RoseMaryShorn . There are so many incredible people I want to shout out here—if I kept going I’d fill up a whole page.
Do you have any tips for new streamers entering the space?
The numbers do not f#cking matter. I apologize for the swearing and this is a bit of a cliche but it's true. It doesn’t matter if you average 1 or 3 or 5 or 7 or whatever else, if you’re not enjoying what you do, it's useless. Turn the view count off, focus on doing what you enjoy and you will have the time of your life.
Reach out to that creator you want to collaborate with. It doesn’t matter how big or small. The worst they’ll do is say no. So what? You reach out to someone else and be better out of spite. (That last phrase is a joke, please do not take it seriously).
Do not “grind hours”. There is a lot of misinformation about this, and people assume you have to keep streaming to get good numbers or whatever. Don’t do that. This is not me saying don’t stream for 8 hours, on the contrary, I’m saying stream for as long as you want, as long as you’re doing it because you want to, not because that’s what someone said you should do.
Go back and watch your VODs! I know that is a lot of content, and I don’t always have time myself, but watching your content will give you an understanding of what you like and what you don’t and you can switch things up.
People will sit through sh!tty video, but not sh!tty audio. Make sure your mic and headset setup is done well, use the built-in mic filters on OBS or Streamlabs Desktop, or if your GPU can run it, get NVIDIA Broadcast.
Make sure you diversify your content. Put your clips up on YouTube! Try out Insta or Hover or TikTok or whatever else. Make sure you have a Twitter to engage with “Streamer Twitter” but don’t get sucked into drama.
Don’t forget to have fun. Streaming is not easy. The people who make it look easy have been doing it forever. You will get tired and/or burnt out a lot quicker if you’re not having fun.
I went on a bit of a rant again, you’ll realize I do that a lot. But I wish someone had sat me down and given me all these tips. I would be a lot happier and content with where I am in my own journey.
In your opinion, what makes a good/engaging live stream for viewers?
This might seem obvious, but responding to chat! Somebody comes in and says hi, don’t just say hi back! Ask them about their day, about what’s going on in their life. I go to streams to have fun, but also to make a connection. If the streamer just says “hi” and goes back to the game, then it doesn’t do anything for me.
I mentioned this earlier—have fun! Viewers can almost always tell when you’re not enjoying yourself (that is a lesson I learned the hard way) and they will respond accordingly. No matter how good you think you are at hiding it, people can always tell.
What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of streaming and creating content?
I love to write, I’ve been writing since I was 16. I also play basketball and spend time teaching my sister the ins and outs as she wants to get better. Watching TV shows and movies are my favorite way to spend time. I recently started rewatching Fringe and I am having a blast with it.
How do you avoid burnout and stay motivated as a creator?
Oof, this is a tough one. It's one of the things I struggle with most—it's gotten to a point where I feel it coming before it even happens. The most cliche answer to this would be to take that break you know you need. The funny thing is, it actually works! I usually feel a dip in energy after a big event like our June charity fundraiser. It sounds hypocritical coming from me—I promised I would take a break but I was live less than 24 hours after the event ended. You need to know your own limits, and what drives you. I was feeling vulnerable and lonely and I didn’t like it, so I decided to go live and have a good time with my community instead.
What is the most important thing to you about being an LGBTQIA+ streamer?
It’s funny how out of all the interesting questions, this is the one that I had to leave until the end because I couldn’t think of a response. I’m so proud of my identity and my decision to come out. I’m pansexual for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that anywhere else on here. That’s my “gay identity.”
What matters to me is using the platform that I have to help uplift other people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and ensure they have a safe space where they can freely be themselves regardless of their gender, orientation, religion or identity. I have had to make tough decisions for the welfare of my community, but at the end of the day it has made it that much safer. That is all I want. A space for us to be ourselves without worrying about hate raids or death threats or being outed by the media.
Also, a little bit of variety also goes a long way! I know some people have a few games they enjoy and stick with, and that’s okay! But you can always switch things up by changing your sound alerts, adding new and different channel points etc.
Anything else you want to share with Streamlabs readers?
If you’re thinking about streaming, don’t overthink it, just do it! A basic setup is more than enough for more games. You don’t even have to game! Just Chatting is slowly taking over the platform. Figure out what you love and share that love with us. There is a whole community here waiting to get to know you.