Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helps raise more than £200,000 for UK trans charity Mermaids

‘We’re overwhelmed by all the love being felt for Mermaids, trans kids and the trans community tonight’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helps raise money for transgender charity Mermaids by dropping in on Donkey Kong 64 Twitch livestream

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has helped raise more than £200,000 money for a charity supporting the trans community by making a surprise appearance during a livestream of a Donkey Kong Twitch session.

On 14 January 2019, British YouTuber Harry Brewis, otherwise known as Hbomberguy, announced that he was going to attempt to complete the entire ”Donkey Kong 64” game, a video game that was originally released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64 console.

Brewis’ efforts were livestreamed on video platform Twitch, all the while raising money for Leeds-based charity Mermaids.

Since being founded in 1995, Mermaids has provided support for gender-diverse children, young people and their families by raising awareness of gender identity issues.

Ocasio-Cortez, who became the youngest woman to ever serve in the US Congress when she was elected in January 2019, tweeted a link to the livestream while it was taking place, explaining to her two and a half million followers that it was a “good moment to support the queer community”.

Much to the delight of the livestream’s viewers, the congresswoman then joined the stream to discuss what she remembers of the Nintendo 64 console, which was first released in 1996.

“I never owned an N64, but I do think it’s probably the best system out of all of them,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The politician then went on to speak about the discrimination members of the trans community continue to face, explaining that it’s a “core reason” for economic instability.

“The added layer of discrimination, it makes these issues much more acute in their crises than they usually are on average for other people,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

“So it’s important that we do talk about these issues in the economic frame, but not let go of the fact that discrimination is a core reason for economic hardship.”

Following the livestream, Mermaids revealed on Twitter that more than $275,000 (£213,000) had been raised for the charity, thanks in part to Ocasio-Cortez’s involvement.

“We’re overwhelmed by all the love being felt for Mermaids, trans kids and the trans community tonight,” the organisation tweeted.

“Thank you @Hbomberguy for making this happen. You are a hero! #LoveWins.”

Numerous people have praised Ocasio-Cortez for raising awareness of trans issues and for the positive impact her participation in the livestream had on the fundraising efforts for Mermaids.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“YES! Thank you @AOC! Over the past few years @Mermaids_Gender has been subject to relentless harassment by the right wing press in the UK, as has the entire trans community,” tweeted columnist Paris Lees.

“Your support will make a difference, and provide a boost to so many of the families Mermaids are helping.”

“Thank you so much for supporting trans kids, Alex ,” another person tweeted.

“Just read this story and saw your name come up and thought wow, how much more can I admire this person.”

You can contact the free Mermaids helpline by calling 080 801 0400. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, although opening times may vary on bank holidays.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in