A Las Vegas drag queen and Twitch streamer was met by several police officers pointing guns at her after a vile troll falsely accused her of murder.
Elix, a member of the Twitch drag collective Stream Queens, was streaming on the evening of 9 November when police arrived at their property and demanded they come outside.
When they walked out the front door, they emerged to find four guns being pointed at them and saw several Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers surrounding their home.
Elix told NBC News that she was told that dispatch received a call accusing her of murdering her brother and was about to kill herself too.
But after speaking with police, it was revealed that Elix was the victim of a horrific swatting prank – a term used when someone calls law enforcement to report a serious crime or situation, leading to officers arriving at the target’s home. In 2017, a swatting prank led to the death of a Kansas man, Andrew Finch.
Elix told NBC News they were “shook” by the incident, but they weren’t “scared” because they knew “my community is waiting for me”. After the swatting attack, they said they went back inside their home and continued to stream on Twitch.
“I want people to know I’m not going to stop doing what I love,” she explained. “And I’m not going to stop inspiring people and being who I am.”
I am the 5th drag queen to be swatted within the month. What do we all have in common? We all fall under the LGBT umbrella and play DBD on Twitch.
There are no protections for streamers that go through this, or help.
We only have each other, stay safe. pic.twitter.com/i7LiLzbzjR
— Elix 🇲🇽 (@Elix_9) November 12, 2021
Elix told Insider that many people “don’t speak when they are swatted”, and they were “not the only queen this has happened to”.
“We’re not even huge streamers,” Elix added. “Like we just go on there we mind our business, we make people happy and people are attacking us for that.”
Sadly, Elix is one of six queens who have been swatted since September, according to NBC News.
Mia E Z’Lay, who is also a drag performer who streams on Twitch, told the outlet that she reported to local police in Connecticut that she was worried she could be swatted after trolls posted her address and phone number in her stream in October. She said the local police “didn’t listen” to her concerns because “the next day it got bad”.
During a livestream, E Z’Lay said police arrived at her home and demanded she come outside. She recalled at least 13 officers with guns drawn attending her residence and being handcuffed as police searched her property.
E Z’Lay told NBC News that her followers could hear the officers raiding her home as she was still mid-broadcast when police arrived.
She said members of Stream Queens have tried to circulate helpful information and warn other members about the signs of possible swatters. But she warned that advice could only go so far to protect members of the drag collective from the vicious attacks.
“When this stuff happened to me, there’s a safety channel we had, and I said ‘This is what happened to me. Y’all gotta watch yourselves’,” E Z’Lay said.
Elix told Insider that she believed livestreaming platforms like Twitch need to do a better job of helping users protect their identity and privacy as well as offer guides on what to do if someone is doxxed or swatted.
“It’s happening more and more often now, especially within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella,” Elix said. “I wish Twitch spoke out on it, so the silence is disappointing.”
They added: “I’m going to be as loud as I can and let people know this is still happening and lives are in danger.”
Attacks against the LGBT+ community on Twitch are sadly all too frequent. In September, creators and viewers on Twitch participated in “A Day Off Twitch” to protest against a tidal wave of hate raids.
The boycott followed a viral campaign titled “#TwitchDoBetter” which aimed to raise awareness and find a solution to a rise in racism, transphobia and abuse on the streaming platform.
A Twitch spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News that “hate and harassment are unacceptable” on the platform and are “prohibited by our community guidelines.”
They added that Twitch is “always gathering community feedback” to develop tools and guides to ensure members “have access to vital information that keeps them safe”.