Hope is Like the Sun

By Emily

A cast member of the Disney + series The Mandalorian has recently expressed harmful views that support transphobia. It’s made for a dark few days. However, the sun is shining again, as three members of the Star Wars community have started a fundraiser to support our trans family in the fandom. 

Per their press release, Maggie Lovitt of the Star Wars Friends Podcast and Your Money Geek, with the assistance of Eric Eilersen of Youtini and The Living Force Podcast and Candace Kaw of The Geeky Waffle have launched a fundraiser called Trans Rights are Human Rights: This is the Way

The GoFundMe page launched on Sunday, Sept 13 and as of this writing has already surpassed $6,000 raised.  The Star Wars fandom has a long history of giving to charitable causes, with a fundraiser in support of Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose Tico raising $8,100 for cyberbullying, and one for Adam Driver’s foundation Art in the Armed Forces raised a total of $90, 324. 

100% of the proceeds of this fundraiser will go to the Transgender Law Center. TLC, according to their website, 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.” 

When asked why TLC was chosen, Maggie Lovitt said, “After fielding through about a dozen non-profits (there are so many wonderful ones!) I chose Transgender Law Center because of their diverse board of directors, their dedicated program for the Black Trans community, and their mission/vision/belief statements.” 

Lovitt said that the idea for the fundraiser came to her after discussion with her best friend: “Yesterday morning I was texting with my best friend and fielding some snarky tweet ideas with her. My best friend cautioned me against tweeting what I had planned to tweet and it made me think. As an ally it’s easy to sit here and send tweets and be angry, but being an ally also means putting advocacy into action. Instead of sending a snarky tweet, I ended up tweeting out a request to see if anyone else wanted to spearhead this (because I didn’t want to be the sole person leading the campaign). I was super fortunate that Eric and Candace reached out almost instantly and here we are.” 

Kaw also launched a TeePublic page of her artwork with 100% of those proceeds also going to support the TLC. Law said that “this is a difficult time and to see such positivity is uplifting. We truly know there are more of us. We aren’t alone.” 

Star Wars has always been about family, friends, and hope for me. I’ve held onto a particular quote from The Last Jedi ever since I saw the film and I feel like it in our current geo-political climate it’s extremely relevant (“Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it, you’ll never make it through the night.”). It’s so easy for us to get stuck in the night, but we can be the light and forge forward to a better tomorrow together,” Lovitt said. 

She continued, discussing the importance of pronoun use, saying, “I think at the very least we can work to normalize the use of pronouns in public spaces, as well as normalizing the use of “they” in casual conversations (because “they” is singular!).”

Lovitt also reminds us to ”stay on top of your elected officials and vote in those that will usher in positive changes that protect our LGBTQ+ community. But we also need to be active advocates, not passive advocates.” 

The campaign currently does not have a set end date, and as more is donated, small goals are expanded. The organizers want the momentum of this moment to guide the campaign. 

To support this campaign, visit their page here!

You can also get Kaw’s artwork on shirts and more here!

 

You can find everyone on Twitter, too!

Maggie: @maggieofthetown

The Geeky Waffle: @Geeky_Waffle

Eric: @EricEilersen