Self Identity, an Evaluation


Reggie is a non-binary, queer person of colour, who studies Youth Work at RMIT University, works two jobs and lives alone in their apartment with their adorable cat in South Melbourne. Reggie’s main identity markers are Queer, Gaymer and Lives with a Disability.

In this paper, Reggie will include both a combination of written text, as well as photographs to complement this assessment. The photographs will be relevant to the sections of the paper as anchor points to provide context.

Location: Online communities (Discord)

Discord is a community of like-minded gamers; it allows the forging of friendships over both voice and text channels within the discord servers. Reggie first started using Discord in 2016 and has joined many online Discord servers in that time. Discord has millions of localised servers that the community has created, each with its own unique set of people, and individual opportunities and challenges.

Identity Marker: Queer

The word queer would often raise eyebrows when mentioned in the community, queer has a history of being a bias, a confrontational and derogatory term to refer to the LGBTIQA+ community. The word reminds people of all ages the negativity around homophobia and oppression towards the homosexual community. Queer however, has been reclaimed to represent all of the people who fall under the LGBTIQA+ umbrella (Walks M 2014).

Reggie feels strongly about the term Queer and identifies as queer as an identity marker. Reggie is non-binary, attracted to the same gender, is a person of colour, and most other common terms cannot describe Reggie in this context.

Identity Marker: Gaymer

Reggie enjoys spending their evenings playing video games with their friends on an online community via the social media platform Discord. On the platform Discord, Reggie often joins in voice calls with their close friends and plays the video game Overwatch, throughout the evening. Whilst in the voice calls, Reggie will communicate in-game strategies to their friends and teammates, as well as talk about what’s happened in their day and any news they can share about their future, like the weekend or the next day.

Online Gamer communities provide a form team building, as well as provide the inhabitants a network of other likeminded people the opportunity to connect and socialise for entertainment. Diverse genders and sexualities can often be an afterthought in the gamer community (Omori J. M. 2017). Whilst Reggie’s own gender and sexuality does not affect their ability to join in on voice calls with their friends, the platform Discord has plenty of other servers, that Reggie may join to engage with the queer Gaymer community.

Identity Marker: Lives with a disability

Reggie is autistic, has ADHD and lives with a psychosocial disability. There have been many times where Reggie’s disability has been a barrier to accessing services and engaging in social circles. In an ideal world, people living with a disability should not face hardships when trying to engage in day-to-day life, however we live in an era of digital engagement, and online communities provide solace and an opportunity to connect where the real world does not suffice.

In a study about empowering autistic adults to engage with online communities and video games, out-of-box thinking is required to inspire video game development and target the neurodiverse community to focus more on individual strengths rather than weaknesses (Politis et al. 2019). In the real world, neurodiverse adults are often faced with challenges that inundate us based off sensory markers that make it very difficult to engage in the day to day living.

Creating Opportunities and Challenges

The main discord servers Reggie usually partakes in is the LOES (League of Extraordinary Subs), and the AGN (Australian Gaymers Network). Over the years, LOES has provided a platform for Reggie to connect with other likeminded Gamers from all over the world and Australia to play the video game Overwatch. Reggie being an extroverted person, has been able to forge solid friendships with some key people within this scene. There are people from Hong Kong, Amsterdam and from most states of Australia including, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne.

The opportunities that online Discord servers produce are solid friendships and networks across a vast space continuum, in a sense most people can be thousands of kilometres apart, however, still chat to each other within the same space with minimal delay, and it feels like you’re together. Reggie has tried to connect and coordinate a catch up recently in Sydney, where their core group of friends on the LOES discord server, all caught up to have an enjoyable meal at a restaurant in Sydney. There were online gamers from Melbourne, Sydney and even Amsterdam, all in the same location having a meal at a restaurant, this would not have happened if these people did not know each other, and they all met via the online gaming community chat, Discord server LOES. This is just one example of an opportunity that wouldn’t exist without the social media platform, Discord, nor would this have happened without the LOES server being created.

Online communities like Discord can often face malicious behaviours like harassment and hate speech, and many volunteers of the discord community volunteer their time to provide moderation on these problems daily (Jiang et al. 2019). Discord is a community run social media platform, and because of this, there are often challenges like people not getting along. Queer Gaymer discords where both identity markers of Queer and Gaymer collide often have significant issues arise where there is a difference in personality, or arguments between different topics of discussion. A prime example is the AGN, where Reggie is currently an Admin of the Discord server, an Admin being a person of an authority that moderates the community. As Discord is predominantly a community run initiative of volunteers, moderating a community of 2000 people can often be a challenging task, as the server is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without much down time, and because of this, should people have a disagreement over the platform, it may invertedly involve the moderators and admins of the discord server, which is a sudden pause to whatever you’re doing in your current life and honing your attention to the online community that you’ve volunteered to assist in. This is a major challenge as these types of issues can occur daily, and often when the moderators are either asleep or at work, which may be a major inconvenience.

Another benefit of online spaces like Discord is the ability to share art or parts of your lives you normally wouldn’t share to your friends in the real world. Kerry Freedman (2017) argues that young adults learn about interpersonal relationships and form significant social communities as a mix of the different experiences with the digital arts culture. As a result, Discord communities provide ample opportunities for young people and young adults to engage in developing personal relationships with other people online and this provides a platform for them to engage freely in their communities.

There are challenges often with engaging in online spaces like Discord, and living with a psychosocial disability, there is however an openness about the struggles of mental health that’s often not disclosed on other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, the reality of living in a world connected but disconnected from the struggles of disability is an issue that Reggie has often run into. In a recent study undertaken to explore utilisation of Discord as a mental health recovery resource through Frontier’s Overwatch project, there has been significant discoveries in how Discord can play a role in engaging with users all around the world on mental health recovery strategies, an example is crisis intervention staffed by community volunteers that help moderate the discord server (Carras et al. (2021).


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Omori, J.M. 2017, I am Queer. I am a Gamer. I am a Gaymer.: Phenomenology of In/Exclusion of Gaymer Communities, Arizona State University. < > <Accessed 07 November 2022>

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Walks, M. (2014). “We’re Here and We’re Queer?”: An Introduction to Studies in Queer Anthropology. Anthropologica56(1), 13–16. <Accessed 7 Nov. 2022>

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Colder Carras, M., Bergendahl, M., & Labrique, A. B. (2021). ‘Community Case Study: Stack Up’s Overwatch Program, an Online Suicide Prevention and Peer Support Program for Video Gamers.’ Frontiers in Psychology12, 575224–. (accessed 14/11/2022) DOI: