As the country honors Transgender Day of Visibility – and legislators simultaneously debate access to life-saving treatments(Opens in a new tab) — TikTokkers have put their money where their mouths are, raising more than $1 million for trans healthcare(Opens in a new tab) services in less than six hours.
The donations came through a social media livestream takeover by Mercury Stardust(Opens in a new tab), also known as TikTok’s “Trans Handy Ma’am”(Opens in a new tab), and creator and advocate Jory (known as @AlluringSkull(Opens in a new tab)). This is the second annual “TikTok-A-Thon for Trans Healthcare” led by Stardust, who raised $120,000 last year in a 24-hour livestream(Opens in a new tab).
What was initiated as an elongated 30-hour livestream running Thursday through Friday night and once again benefiting nonprofit Point of Pride(Opens in a new tab) — an organization created by former trans apparel brand Point 5cc(Opens in a new tab) to fund gender-affirming clothes, treatments, and surgeries for trans folks around the country — turned into an astonishingly speedy, mutual aid fundraising project.
The livestream hosts, accompanied by Point of Pride president and co-founder Aydian Dowling(Opens in a new tab), had met their first $250,000 goal before the event even kicked off. “We raised 50k in one hour during a test stream last night! This money will provide help to 11k Trans ppl who can’t access it otherwise! Thank you to everyone who has supported this already,” Stardust wrote in an Instagram post(Opens in a new tab) days prior to the livestream.
By 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the fundraiser had collected $930,000. In the five minutes it took the group to spot a spider floating in frame and concoct a plan to move it outside, the fundraiser has gained another $5,000.
According to the fundraiser’s Point of Pride donation page(Opens in a new tab), all proceeds will go to the organization’s Gender Affirming Care Access fund, part of a series of scholarship and grant-giving opportunities hosted by Point of Pride to provide Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)(Opens in a new tab) and other gender affirming surgeries(Opens in a new tab) and treatments(Opens in a new tab). The TikTok funds will provide one year of free HRT access for at least 100 applicants and additional services for another 250 recipients. Additional funds will support donations of chest binders and femme shapewear to more than 3,000 recipients, with the potential to help 11,000 trans people.
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Upon hitting the $1 million mark(Opens in a new tab), under a shower of confetti, Dowling popped in frame to make a statement. “The amount of beauty and joy that this is going to bring… This couldn’t have come at a better time.”
“If you take away our healthcare, we will find a way to support each other,” Stardust told the livestream viewers. “Like we always have. Mutual aid at its finest.”
The TikTok-A-Thon, which has increased its goal to $2 million(Opens in a new tab), will run until 11 p.m. EST on March 31. Tune in on TikTok or Instagram(Opens in a new tab), or text “STARDUST” to 44-321 for more information.