There’s always space BetweenTwoGays! That cushion is where you’ll find Twitch’s most highly curated community born between two dueling, but equally yoked, personalities.
The two lovebirds behind the channel, Ryan Adams and Jayce Mulligan, began their streaming journey on a whim. Now, the duo hopes to continue their work in making Twitch a more hospitable place for deep conversations and diverse creators.
“Why is it that our voices are the quiet ones? We need to make space for ourselves, and in doing so, we make space for other people,” Adams said in a phone interview with Lifewire. “Being able to carve out space so other folks can take more and be able to continue that process of building has always felt really important to do.”
- Names: Ryan Adams & Jayce Mulligan
- Ages: 28 (Adams) & 31 (Mulligan)
- Located: Central North Carolina
- Random Delight: Community unity! They describe their audience as connected yet fractured. Adams loves a creative building experience via Animal Crossing or The Sims, but Mulligan enjoys a single-player, story-driven game. This has led to the formation of three simultaneous communities: his, theirs, and ours.
A Meeting With Fate
Their unlikely journey began in 2018 when they met on an online dating app after Mulligan moved from Texas to North Carolina to start a coveted Ph.D. program in music. It was love at first swipe.
Both grew up in different flavors of conservative families. Mulligan was the grandson of an enterprising Republican congressman attending private Catholic schools, while Adams was raised in the Southern Baptist faith. Both of their identities as queer people isolated them in one way or another from their respective communities; however, it was exactly what would bring them together.
A whirlwind romance ensued, but the pandemic upended things. Adams, an independent practitioner operating their own massage therapy practice, had to shelve their business. Meanwhile, Mulligan, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award-winning musician and composer, found his work on indefinite pause. Stuck at home with few prospects in sight, the pair found a glimpse of hope in the world of streaming.
“There were some growing pains…I was in a really raw space, which made it hard,” Adams said. “Working with clients for years to be introduced to an entirely new audience… there was a lot of emotional stuff going on, making it hard to engage with people in general.”
Adams’ job centered around creating space for marginalized people. Their practice centered on providing services and a support base to LGBTQ+ people and the chronically ill. They wanted to continue that mission in the digital space, and Mulligan agreed.
We have to grow as people in order to make the world a better place, and I think we try to do that a little bit, one day at a time.
“From a social standpoint, this seemed like something that was important to do being an (assigned male at birth) trans person who is nonbinary. There weren’t a lot of people who looked like me in visible ways,” Adams shared about delving into content creation.
Two Is Better Than One
One benefit of having two personalities on one channel is the duo can serve as an inherent support system and complement one another. Mulligan is the self-admitted business brain, while Adams tackles the community operations. Where one fails, the other prevails.
Networking and building relationships are an intimate part of being a professional musician. Mulligan was able to take the skills he nurtured in his profession and apply them to content creation to varying degrees of success.
"[When talking to a bigger streamer] I'm like, I've studied with a Pulitzer Prize winner for two years. You don't scare me," he laughed.
Leveraging their individual talents has proved fruitful. Mulligan now dedicates a portion of his time to influencer management and marketing while Adam focuses on their Betweener community. Like cultivating a garden, the two have thoughtfully pruned this community to be a space of open dialogue and education.
"One thing about our space is it's really about highlighting the goal of trying to grow with our community. We want people to be a better version of themselves than they were when they came in," Mulligan said.
The realities of existing on Twitch as a visibly queer-branded channel come with a collection of difficulties. However, it was a challenge the two were poised to meet. Along with their community, which they describe as a collection of thoughtful queer people with the occasional straight guy, the pair blends content with purpose.
"It's about balance. I love that we have a space where we can have tough conversations, but also where we can detach for a while and just talk about Capybaras," Adams said, talking about their shared goals. "We have to grow as people in order to make the world a better place, and I think we try to do that a little bit, one day at a time."