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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mercury Stardust & buddies elevate tens of millions for gender-affirming care on TikTok, regardless of transphobic trolls

Final yr, amid an unlimited wave of anti-transgender payments sweeping the nation, trans TikTok duo Mercury Stardust (@mercurystardust) and Jory (@alluringskull) set a significant aim of elevating $1 million for gender-affirming healthcare. 

By internet hosting a livestream on Trans Day of Visibility, the creators spent 30 hours entertaining followers, discussing essential LGBTQ+ matters, and racking up donations — which resulted in doubling their aim and elevating $2 million.

All funds went to their nonprofit accomplice Level of Satisfaction, which offers monetary help and direct help to trans people in want of well being and wellness care.

This yr, the duo deliberate to go even additional, saying a fundraising aim of $4 million. This may be finished, once more, by livestreams, over the course of a three-day fundraising marketing campaign on the weekend of March 29, 30, and 31.

A screenshot of a TikTok video posted by Mercury Stardust for the TikTok-A-Thon for Trans Health
Picture courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

However trolls had different plans.

Though Jory and Stardust took to TikTok with nice enthusiasm — and with the help of buddies like Dylan Mulvaney and Below The Desk Information — they have been repeatedly banned from TikTok Reside, following organized reporting and hate campaigns from “trolls.”

Regardless of the setbacks, they have been versatile, transferring to different accounts, persevering with to stream on YouTube and Twitch, and discovering ongoing help by different LGBTQ+ content material creators. However they have been banned over a dozen occasions from a myriad of accounts.

“Don’t permit folks to stifle our voice,” Stardust mentioned in a video when she first bought banned over the weekend. “Don’t permit folks to inform us what we are able to and can’t discuss, or [stop us from] making an attempt to assist trans folks the place they’re at with what we’ve bought.”

These livestreams first began on TDOV in 2022, when Stardust — who calls herself the “Trans Helpful Ma’am” and makes movies about trans visibility and accessible house repairs — raised $120,000 throughout a stream.

However as she and Jory have each gained recognition on the app, they’ve additionally confronted countless harassment. In reality, Jory introduced that this could be her final yr co-hosting the livestream, because of the hate she had acquired on-line.

A screenshot of a TikTok featuring Mercury Stardust and Jory of @alluringskull
Picture courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

Sadly, the duo didn’t attain their $4 million aim by Sunday night — however that has not stopped them from doing a world of fine.

On the time of publication, the fundraiser has reached over $1.6 million, from over 36,000 particular person donors.

Jory and Stardust — and their many TikTok buddies — have continued to livestream when attainable, and Stardust posted an announcement the opposite day, sharing what modifications have been being made to the fundraising marketing campaign.

“We have now determined to concentrate on hitting 2 million {dollars} and hit the identical aim as final yr,” Stardust wrote. “I’ll be on stay till we hit 2 million, irrespective of how lengthy it takes me.”

She took a short break and had some work-related journey plans however mentioned the livestream could be again in motion this upcoming weekend. 

A screenshot of a video posted by Mercury Stardust where she announces that she has raised over $1 million TikTok Live
Picture courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

“From the underside of my coronary heart, it means loads to me. Whether or not [sic] you donated $1 or $5,000. No matter you might give is what you might afford, and that’s such a wonderful factor to see,” Stardust continued.

“It is not the quantity that so many people must be impressed by, however the quantity of people that proceed to imagine on this trigger. Thanks to each single one in all you.”

Equally to how she does all through her livestreams, Stardust made it a precedence to focus on the work of Level of Satisfaction.

Final yr, donations from the livestream resulted within the following milestones for the group

  • Over 300 folks have been in a position to obtain gender-affirming surgical procedure, with 100% of their charges coated by Level of Satisfaction
  • Over 4,000 folks have been in a position to obtain a gender-affirming chest binder or femme shapewear
  • Over 120 folks acquired a free yr of hormone alternative remedy and entry to telehealth
  • Over 190 folks acquired a grant of $1,250 to go in direction of everlasting hair elimination companies

This yr’s donations will go in direction of the identical companies, which Level of Satisfaction says attain recipients who’re “trans youth, people with disabilities, and folk dwelling in rural or un-affirming areas.”

As a lot as Jory and Stardust would have appreciated to succeed in their formidable $4 million aim, supporters took Stardust’s message to coronary heart and stayed optimistic in regards to the outpouring of help that they had acquired within the face of a lot transphobia.

“I’m so happy with you for not giving up,” one supporter wrote in an Instagram caption. “I hope you completely SMASH the brand new aim. And subsequent yr? Even BIGGER.”

“Your dedication and perseverance and talent to pivot regardless of the entire organized hate is really spectacular,” one other commenter mentioned.

One other merely added: “Can’t cease trans pleasure!”

Whereas the subsequent part of the fundraising marketing campaign is not going to be in full swing till this weekend, Stardust made one factor abundantly clear: this yr’s fundraiser continues to be a win.

“We’re making a distinction, and true variations can’t occur in a single day,” she wrote. “It occurs with a constant effort of compassion and dedication to these round us.”

Header photographs courtesy of Mercury Stardust/Instagram and TikTok

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