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MermaidRoyal, also known as Jude Valentin, is an LGBT Twitch streamer and the first in the Pride Month Streamer Spotlight Game Rant interview series.

By Marina DelGreco

Published 4 days ago

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June is Pride Month, making it the perfect time to highlight and celebrate LGBTQIA+ streamers on Twitch. Pride Month is celebrated in June because on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-owned gay bar, was raided by police looking for LGBT people, as LGBT activities and behaviors were criminalized in the 1950s and 60s. Unlike other raids, though, the patrons fought back and overpowered the raiding police. The Stonewall uprising lasted from June 28 to July 3 and was led by POC trans individuals and drag queens. This event spurred the gay rights movement forward, and things would be very different for LGBT people had the Stonewall riots not happened.

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Pride is a time to honor the LGBT individuals who paved the way for future and current generations of LGBT communities. It¨s about celebrating the joy of being in the LGBTQIA+ community and remembering how far the community has come, but also how much work is left to be done. In the spirit of Pride, Game Rant conducted a series of interviews to highlight LGBTQIA+ streamers on Twitch. Jude Valentin, better known online as MermaidRoyal, is an LGBTQ+ variety streamer who has built their community up since November 2019.

RELATED: Twitch is Making Strides in Inclusivity

for your consideration: pic.twitter.com/brMO1czmf6

! jude ? (@MermaidRoyal) May 30, 2021

While MermaidRoyal is Jude¨s current moniker, she did originally have a different username across various platforms. MermaidQueenJude was the name used at the start of their Twitch journey, having been the same username that their old YouTube channel had. All the videos have now been unlisted, but carrying the username from YouTube to Twitch helped Jude not have to start entirely from scratch on the new platform. When asked about the inspiration for her Twitch brand, Jude said:

^So, my original brand for a while was “MermaidQueenJude,” that was just the moniker that had come up. It was because when I was fifteen, almost sixteen, I dyed my hair blue in high school, and so that was the nickname that kind of stuck. It just spread over into the branding on Twitch, and so my online community became the Mermaid Kingdom and it’s all oceanic themed. ̄

As for the rebranding from MermaidQueenJude to MermaidRoyal, Jude remarked:

^When I started making content, I thought I was cis[gender], I thought I was straight; I thought all these things about me that were not true. And although I don’t mind people using “queen” for me as a descriptor, for people who don’t know me and people who don’t know me as non-binary, it does bring a lot of connotation of like, “queens are women” and it was just bringing a lot of uninvited attention that I did not enjoy. ̄

If your only fat rep in media is a) a running gag over their food intake b) jokes about them losing weight or c) them crying over being fat, you have work to do.

! jude ? (@MermaidRoyal) May 31, 2021

Jude has been creating content on the internet for a long time now. They started when they were seventeen, originally doing social justice work like body liberation and body positivity on YouTube. Those videos may be gone, but her dedication to body liberation still remains on her Twitch channel and is ingrained in her community, whether it¨s on Twitch or Discord. Jude pointed out how fatphobic society is, but also how ingrained fatphobic behavior is for some people without even realizing how alienating that can be for some streamers¨ viewers.

They talked about characters like Final Fantasy 7¨s Wedge, who was the only fat character and whose punchlines revolved around food. Another example was Hades in the breakout hit Hades?because?he’s?the only plus size character in the game and also?the villain!another common anti-fat trope is often making the villains fat because it¨s seen as “undesirable” or “bad.” Jude enjoyed both of these games, especially Hades, but it was also important to them to point out the fatphobia and anti-fat bias that can come with the media we consume.

^But the rewarding part about this work is I think the Mermaid Kingdom is a very inclusive space and we’ve built it that way to protect me, but also to protect members of my community. So it’s probably one of the only spaces on Twitch that I feel 100% safe, but it’s because it’s my space, I’ve built it that way. ̄

RELATED: Twitch¨s New Trans Tag Is Great, But Not Enough

Hi! Happy Pride month from your local chaotic bisexual, our Pride Campaign benefitting @LGBTQ_Freedom starts today! Come impact my gameplay as I play some DBD – come make me play a mori, force a No-ED and more pic.twitter.com/RX4cZ6MCZX

! jude ? (@MermaidRoyal) May 31, 2021

For Jude, the best part about being a streamer is the community they¨ve created and gathered together. To them, Twitch is unique because streamers are ^encouraged to hang out with other people who play the games that you do. ̄ Twitch raids are crucial, in her opinion, for helping streamers connect as well as co-mingling different communities together. In addition to streaming, Jude also does video editing commissions to help other streamers have channel trailers and raid videos. According to them, these videos are crucial to helping viewers catch the vibe of a streamer, especially when the streamer is offline.

As for the haters and trolls who inevitably make their way onto Jude¨s pages, they make sure to utilize the tools Twitch has to limit the harassment as much as possible. Jude has fantastic mods who she appreciates, especially because she knows being a mod for her isn¨t exactly easy. They run a tighter ship than a lot of other Twitch streamers, but so far it¨s worked to make an inclusive, safe environment for both Jude and their community.

^It’s a vibe check. You can already tell who’s gonna be crusty, like they’ll come into chat and you’re just like, “Oh no, you’ve got me mistaken. This is not the Krusty Krab, you are in the wrong place.” And my mods are really good at bopping people, like we have a “vibe check” channel in our Discord for the mods to talk about people they think are weird in chat or just not fitting the vibe. ̄

When it comes to the most difficult part of being a streamer, Jude remarked that discoverability on Twitch was one of their biggest difficulties, but hopefully, the new Twitch tags will help alleviate some of that and ^allow us to find the people that are searching for those spaces. ̄ Additionally, ^while Twitch is a platform that rewards go-go-go mentality, you can¨t do anything if you¨re burned out and tired and stressed. ̄ So Jude is still working on their fear of taking a break, but they know it¨s important to have balance in order to continue producing content.

hi! my name’s Jude (they/she), I am a full time content creator, and I create inclusive + fun spaces online ? wanna hang out?

https://t.co/EdvuTlDoms

https://t.co/SHgyQ3lIB2

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https://t.co/9QGph1MS3d

jude@mermaidroyal.com pic.twitter.com/7G6Q564KuO

! jude ? (@MermaidRoyal) June 1, 2021

Jude is a variety streamer, but they tend to fluctuate between two distinct types of games: online ones they can play with their friends, and then cute story-driven games. Online, she¨ll play games like Fortnite, Dead by Daylight, and Apex Legends with her friends. Recently, she streamed a playthrough of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. As long as it¨s a game she can vibe with and have a good time, odds are it¨ll be streamed on her Twitch channel.

In their downtime, Jude likes to play on their Switch, curled up in bed while watching Dimension 20. Games like Pokemon Snap and Cozy Grove are games she gravitates towards in those moments, as they don¨t require a lot of brainpower and aren¨t too action-heavy. Jude has also discovered a love for TTRPGs and has had a blast participating in different campaigns streamed on their Twitch channel.

^I think there’s something so rewarding about TTRPGs as someone who has a background in acting who wasn’t really able to use their degree after they graduated because their fibromyalgia got too bad. It has given me an avenue of expressing myself in that way while also rewarding me with the feeling of ensemble and camaraderie, especially in longer-form campaigns. ̄

Jude can be found on Twitch, Twitter, and TikTok under the username MermaidRoyal. If viewers are looking for an inclusive space to vibe and enjoy some occasional Fire-sign chaos, the Mermaid Kingdom is always looking for new additions!as long as they pass the vibe check.

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About The Author

Marina DelGreco

(265 Articles Published)

Marina DelGreco has been a gamer ever since she can remember. Her earliest memory of any video game was some Tarzan game for her PC that she remembers having a hard time beating. Her gaming wheelhouse is mainly comprised of Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, The Outer Worlds, and The Sims, but she’s always looking to expand her gaming horizons. She even named her betta fish Garrus after the beloved Turian.

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