The Star Wars fandom may get a bad rap sometimes due to the toxic corners of the internet, but the fandom has a tremendous gift for giving back. In 2020 alone the fandom has rallied around numerous fundraisers — raising $90,000 for Arts in the Armed Forces, over $15,500 for Book Industry Charitable Foundation, $8,000 for the Cybersmile Foundation, and over $6,000 for The GEANCO Foundation.
Star Wars Fans Raise Over $10,000 For Transgender Law Center
This past week a trio of Twitter friends banded together to rally the fandom into action to raise funds for the Transgender Law Center, as a positive action against harmful rhetoric which had circled around a cast member of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
“Being an ally also means putting advocacy into action.” Maggie Lovitt, of the Star Wars Friends Podcast and Your Money Geek said in an interview with Dorkside this week. That’s exactly what happened when Lovitt teamed up with Eric Eilersen of Youtini and The Living Force Podcast and Candace Kaw of The Geeky Waffle to spearhead the GoFundMe.
Lovitt carefully researched various non-profits, seeking out an organization that not only focused on the transgender community, but one that had dedicated programs dedicated to the BIPOC transgender community. In an article recently published by TransEquality, the National Center for Transgender Equality reported that twenty-eight transgender people have been murdered already in 2020. The majority of these individuals are Black and Latina transgender women, which is why it was paramount that the non-profit chosen for the fundraiser had established programs to protect and uplift this at-risk community.
The Transgender Law Center’s website states that the organization “is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.”
Within an hour of the fundraiser’s launch on Sunday, September 13th, the first goal of $1000 had been met. The total continued to rise, reaching $4000 by the end of the day. By Thursday, the fundraiser had soared past $10,000 with the help of Star Wars fans and creatives alike. In fact, it was Shelby Young, the voice of Princess Leia in Forces of Destiny that pushed the fundraiser past the $10,000 goal. Lucasfilm employees voiced support for the campaign on social media, as well as donations, including support from Leslye Headland, showrunner for the upcoming Untitled Star Wars Disney+ series.
“It’s been intensely gratifying and humbling to witness this community come together not to argue, not to hate, but to help. While it has been so encouraging to see the continued advances Star Wars has made toward LGBTQ+ representation over the past years, there’s nothing like seeing fans and creators alike literally putting their money where their mouth is to support trans lives.” Eilersen said in a statement for this article.
Kaw also launched a merch store through TeePublic selling LGBT+ themed Star Wars merch, featuring fan made designs, including a stunning Mandalorian design donated by the Serving Pink Milk podcast. “Watching Star Wars at a young age taught me to fight for justice. And in real life stars like Carrie [Fisher] and John [Boyega] continue to inspire me.” Kaw said about her involvement in the campaign.
In a press release from the campaign, the team noted that true to George Lucas’ philosophy the focus of the fundraising campaign is to, “Love people. That's basically all Star Wars is.” As a loving, inclusive Star Wars community, the team encourages everyone who is looking forward to the upcoming adventures of Mando and The Child to help out our neighbors in the trans community by supporting the Transgender Law Center.