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Cuddlecakes Champions #1: Chronically Badass Stream Team - Cuddlecakes Kawaii Shop

Cuddlecakes Champions #1: Chronically Badass Stream Team - Cuddlecakes Kawaii Shop

Cuddlecakes Champions is a weekly column where we honor content creators, entrepreneurs, or just anyone we find impressive and engaging in the chronic illness and disability community. Our first Cuddlecake Champions are the Chronically Badass Stream Team, a stream team on Twitch made up of badass streamers with chronic illnesses and disabilities. 

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Truly in the vein of their mission for inclusivity, Chronically Badass is currently made up of a total of 26 team members of various nationalities. Its current members are Twitch users BRUISES, Staceyofgotham, ItsMiaHere, RadderssGaming, LunapKitty, Astreigha, JAZMANIAN_DEVIL, lunamoonnotts, Chronicfunsyndrome, ElphieMcDork, harley_themad, Adufresne99, the_MerMae, Pegsicle, Nitebytes, reminem, LittleMoTAC, BergdisNorth, SeanPlaysVideoGames, Eldalleth, blackapple_uk, Lucanaii, RavenQuinzel, BlindButtonMasher, Lady_ZebraPlays, and MouseWasTaken. 

In 2015, Stacey Rebecca, perhaps better known by her Twitch handle Staceyofgotham, was interviewed by The Guardian in a piece about disabled gamers on Twitch. Originally known for her talent as a cosplayer, Stacey streams from her home in Croydon, England, where she presumably spends much of her time as a sufferer of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition which causes persistent back pain that prevents her from leaving the house unassisted. When asked about what makes Twitch a unique platform, she explained, "Getting to witness silly and cool things happen live makes it more interesting than YouTube to me." 

In the interview, Stacey also spoke out about the toxic hate raids marginalized creators continue to face, even years after the interview took place. In reference to these hate rates, she opined, "[I]t's copy-and-paste stuff. Because I've already done the cosplay stuff, I've heard pretty much every insult. Very often it's not personal. They're just looking to get a reaction, and if they don't, they get bored." Well said, Stacey. Still, some kind of mitigation from Twitch is long overdue - but that's a post for another day. 

Stacey also talked about how her community on Twitch provides her with much-needed companionship, even if it's taking place through a screen. "Twitch gives me that feeling of being less isolated," quipped Stacey, a sentiment that many of us who have tried streaming can relate to. "I have a lot of regulars, and it's nice to have that kind of friendly group that I can essentially hand out with each day without having to leave the house. And because I've been open about my mental health problems, I attract a lot of viewers who are experiencing anxiety. It helps us both feel less isolated. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement."

Talk about ahead of her time - since this interview, Twitch has added personally identifying tags for streamers to apply to their streams. They include a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations as well as mental health conditions and neurotypes, plus a general Chronic Illness tag.

Do you think Twitch should add tags for specific conditions as well? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

A big Thank You to Chronically Badass for existing. It can be hard to find people who understand what we go through, and it's inspiring to see a whole team of people who have found something that they love to do and that works for their body and mind. For us Spoonies, keeping an upbeat attitude on stream or sharing our vulnerabilities is a lot more challenging than most, and these streamers do a wonderful job with both.  

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