Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) helped raise money for transgender youth by appearing on a video game live stream on Twitch last Sunday.
British YouTuber and gamer Harry Brewis (a.k.a Hbomberguy) raised over $340,000 for Mermaids, a charity that supports transgender children, with a little help from New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cher, and Chelsea Manning.
Brewis told viewers in a video: “I chose to support [Mermaids] because as a person living in Britain, I find the media discussion around this issue to be woefully misinformed, and I’d like to do my bit to help support the people who do the hard work of contributing to people’s thinking on an issue.”
After tweeting in support of Brewis, Ocasio-Cortez joined the Twitch stream as he entered his 50th hour of playing Donkey Kong 64 to a live audience of about 17,000 viewers.
“Trans rights [are] a no brainer. Trans rights are civil rights are human rights,” she said, adding, “We mean equal rights for all, no asterisks, no fine print, no nothing.”
She also said of the housing and healthcare issues faced by the trans community: “When you have the added layer of discrimination, it makes these issues much more acute in their crises than they usually are on average for other people. It’s important that we do talk about these issues in an economic frame, but not let go of the fact that discrimination is a core reason for the economic hardship.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 20, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez made the appearance shortly after responding to director Aaron Sorkin saying he believes young Democratic freshmen in Congress should “stop acting like young people.”
Sorkin said he believes Democrats should say the party is “not just about transgender bathrooms, that that’s a Republican talking point they’re trying to distract you with.”
“We wouldn’t need to talk about bathrooms at all if we acted like adults, washed our hands + minded our own business instead of trying to clock others,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote after a thread about Sorkin’s comments. “Going by track record, I’d feel safer in a bathroom w/ a trans woman than a powerful male executive any day of the week.”
Mermaids CEO Susie Green told Broadly: “The money raised is astonishing, however the love and support that has been generated by this wonderful human being is the real win, as transgender children and young people have seen this and know that they are not alone. Transgender people have faced unprecedented hostility over the last few years, it is a welcome change to see the narrative reversed. We were completely shocked and awed to see a personal endorsement by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez followed by her coming online to talk to Harris, and global celebrities such as Cher getting behind the stream.”