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For QTCinderella, events are a way to ease the toxicity of the internet

‘I so desperately wish I could be understood. But you’ll never be understood on the internet’

A still captured from a stream. There are three people in the camera shot: QTCinderella, Ludwig, and Maya Higa. QTCinderella is all dressed up and Ludwig is wearing a banana costume. Maya makes a flat face at the camera. Image: QTCinderella/YouTube
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

The Gala for Good, a charity event featuring many of Twitch’s top celebrities, has a secret second use: helping streamers get along. Blaire, who goes by QTCinderella online, organized the live charity event. In the end, it raised over $250,000 for organizations dedicated to rainforest preservation work. But the event didn’t just raise money; it also served to build community among creators, which has always been a focus of the popular streamer’s work.

“I love bringing people together. I love seeing everyone. It feels like a family reunion whenever you get everyone in the same room,” she told Polygon via voice chat.

For Blaire, the event is just another notch in a growing list of events that bring streamers together. In spring 2023, she organized the second annual Streamer Awards, and she has planned other events, like Shitcamp. Blaire spoke with Polygon following TwitchCon about her charity work, building community among streamers, and the constant pressures that come with being an internet figure.

Prior to The Gala for Good, Blaire had a goal to organize two larger events a year. She’d already run The Streamer Awards, but that meant an entire year would pass until the community got together again. So she considered options for another event. A self-described “pathological people-pleaser,” she read comments online that pointed out the extravagant lifestyles of creators and questioned how these creators give back. She thought about what she could do, and landed on an idea for a gala.

“I thought, Something I’m really good at is getting people together. And so if I could get people together and make it a special event or charity, then that’s what I wanted to do,” Blaire said.

The event quickly drummed up buzz, as it brought together a who’s who of the streaming world. Top creators like Hasan Piker, Ludwig Ahgren, and others shared their platforms and contributed donations to the event. Blaire helped auction off items like dates with streamers and a graded copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time signed by Ahgren. The event itself waffled between the pomp and circumstance of fancy rainforest-inspired outfits and the more casual antics that come with a group of friends hanging out. In one notable moment, Ahgren showed up dressed up in a giant banana costume and MSCHF Crocs.

For Blaire, events like these serve to build a community when internet controversy often makes it challenging to bring people together.

“It reestablishes relationships. I think that’s so important in this industry, when people are very often pitted against each other, unbeknownst to them. It’s not survival of the fittest. That’s not what streaming is. That’s not what it should be. We were all on the same team here. And that’s what I hope I represent as a streamer.”

Being a popular creator is a perfect cocktail for controversy. Many of these personalities have massive followings in the millions. The parasocial relationships fans have with these creators has a tendency to embolden fans to make meaning of events without knowing the proper context.

“It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. I so desperately wish I could be understood. But you’ll never be understood on the internet. Everyone decides to make their own narratives. How you can be understood is with the people you surround yourself with. It’s so incredible sometimes to see, like, Oh, I thought so-and-so hated so-and-so but then they’re at lunch together the day after the streamer awards. No, they didn’t. You guys made that up like that never existed.

“It’s definitely something that I didn’t expect,” she added. “I thought it was so simple. Like, if I say this, then that’s what I mean. Like, if I say, ‘I like the color blue,’ then I like the color blue. But no, no. That means I don’t like the color purple. What? What? What? It’s very silly, but you just have to — I go to a lot of therapy and I’m proud of that.”

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