VT Rainbow, a new Vtuber group comprised of LGBTQ+ members, is taking Twitch by storm to inspire other marginalized creators and provide a safe positive space for viewers of all sexual orientations.
Vtubing is a popular subculture of streaming that has skyrocketed in popularity over the past year. At any given time, a viewer can visit the Vtuber tag on Twitch and be met with hundreds of virtual streamers each offering a completely different viewing experience from one another.
A new Vtuber syndicate known as VT Rainbow launched on June 11, and its six members are coming together to spread LGBTQ+ positivity on Twitch and beyond. Dexerto spoke with members Marina, el_xox, tfmjonny, ArtsyVRC, and Makari about what it’s like to be an LGBTQ+ Vtuber and how they plan to use their platforms.
The importance of an LGBTQ+ group
Vtuber groups often consist of the same cisgendered members, like an all-boy/girl pop band. Breaking this norm and providing an example of a proud and successful LGBTQ+ Vtuber group is only one of the many reasons VT Rainbow feels necessary.
“I believe it can be inspirational to lead by example, that we can create our own space if it does not exist yet,” stated Artsy. “Perhaps many more would feel willing to express themselves after seeing us, this is something I’m personally hoping for.”
Tfmjonny answered, “I think there was a need to amplify LGBTQ+ voices in the community. The Vtuber community has shown, through the immediate success of VT Rainbow, that they felt there was a need and a want for this type of representation.”
Some Vtubers have been around since 2020 or longer, but it’s only recently become a mainstream hobby. To this Makari stated, “It’s about time we showed how welcoming and affirming this community is. VT Rainbow will be one of the first to really emphasize the awareness and promotion of the queer community and hopefully help inform and support those who need it.”
Providing a safer space for creators and viewers
Streamers often attempt to create safe envrionment for their audiences, but the content and creator thereof dictates how safe that space can be. And providing a hub of safe spaces is one of VT Rainbow’s main goals.
“Vtubing itself naturally draws in members of the LGBTQ+ community because of the control over one’s appearance and expression,” Marina responded. “People experimenting with gender and expression feel safer doing so with the assistance of an avatar.”
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Member el_xox claims feels Vtubing provides an easier form of self-expression. “I feel like Vtubers can freely express themselves more since you are portraying to others what you want to be seen as, a Vtubing model in this case.”
Makari stated, “When I started Vtubing my character was what let me see myself as who I truly wanted to be and allowed me to accept myself for who I was.” She went on to explain how Vtubing provides a level of expressive freedom and creativity that face cam streams usually don’t.
However, the motive behind choosing what content to consume is different for every viewer, as Artysy pointed out. “In the VTubing community, It’s much easier to express yourself and have conversations with viewers that came in looking for a place to enjoy themselves.”
Facing judgment as an LGBTQ+ group
Some would say creating a family of marginalized content creators would paint a larger target on VT Rainbow’s back, and Dexerto asked how the members would respond to these accusations.
“It’s inevitable whether we are in a group or not. There are people who are going to target us,” stated tfmjonny. “By working together we can both help to protect each other and our community.”
Marina echoed this sentiment adding that – while all streamers deal with hate – LGBTQ+ streamers are heavily targeted. “Ultimately we stand together against hate, bullies, and trolls, and just keep doing what we’re doing. We won’t be silenced.”
Artsy shared her own struggles as an openly trans streamer expecting to be the target of hate, even before VT Rainbow. “Fortunately, because I’m a Vtuber the vast majority of viewers who have interacted with me have been positive. I think if someone were to tell me I shouldn’t paint a target on my back I’d say that: To me, being a streamer is all about self-expression. It’s scary and potentially harmful. Yet I find it much more valuable to be able to live the life I envision for myself.”
El_xox responded, “No matter what, you can’t please everyone and there will always be someone there to tear you down. You might as well make what you do the best of it, if not for others for yourself.”
VT Rainbow’s goals for LGBTQ+ empowerment
The group’s purpose reaches beyond allowing members to boost their platforms by merging communities. VT Rainbow aims to shine a light on creators of different sexual orientations and genders to provide a safer place for marginalized people.
Marina feels that, while they are perfectly capable on their own, working together allows them to better support each other and their communities. “Our main goals are to empower, celebrate, educate and create safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.”
VT Rainbow is a very diverse group of streamers and tfmjonny states, “People seeing themselves represented in this space helps to empower them. It helps the community to grow in what I think is the right direction.” He also explained how his viewers have expressed thanks for giving them the strength to come out to their loved ones.
Makari stated, “We want to use the experience and stories of our team to spread awareness and to show that no matter where on the LGTBQ+ flag you land you have representation and a place that you can find relatable and like-minded people to associate with, all the while hosting events and joining in with the rest of the LGBTQ+ world.”
She continued, “When I came out as Trans, it was the most heartwarming day of my life, and I think that discovering one’s self and the journey that entails is one of the most affirming and needed parts of anyone’s life.” Makari wants to use her platform to help others discover who they are so they can feel as fulfilled as she does.
Artsy, another trans woman in VT Rainbow, shared a similar experience. Since coming out to 1,000 during one of her streams, she has received countless messages from people who were inspired to follow in her footsteps. “I hope to communicate to those who view me that my content was never about how I decided to represent myself, it’s about having the choice to be able to do so. I want to show through example that this is possible in a peaceful way through a healthy community.”
But it’s not just about pride and empowerment. Marina plans to host educational streams where she has conversations with other VT Rainbow members and friends aimed at providing advice and resources for the LGBTQ+ community.
As el_xox put it, “Spreading LGBTQ+ positivity in any way possible will go a long way.” VT Rainbow plans to host events and even runs a Discord server that acts as a safe space for the community.
How you can support LGBTQ+ creators
When viewers think of supporting a streamer, they often assume the only way to support a stream is financial. And while channel subscriptions and donations go a long way, there are many other ways you can support LGBTQ+ creators.
The first way to support creators is by watching their streams and interacting with the community. The members of VT Rainbow agree that one of the most effective ways to support is by being a part of the community. It inspires creators to keep being themselves.
Secondly, viewers should keep an open mind and be taking the time to educate themselves. This applies to allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Treating each other with respect and being open to learning is crucial for continued growth.