Trans rights are an aspect of equality the UK is behind on. H.Bomberguy and many others attempt to change the conversation through the power of Donkey Kong
Prominent leftist YouTuber and media critic H.Bomberguy just wanted to play some Donkey Kong 64 to annoy noted anti-trans activist Graham Linehan. What resulted was something far, far beyond what could possibly have been expected. Hundreds of thousands of dollars raised. Celebrity endorsements. Positivity in a Twitch chat. Dozens of hours. All from the humble beginnings of one guy getting on stream to do a ridiculous challenge.
Mermaids is a charity that supports transgender young people and their families, doing important work campaigning for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and raising awareness of trans issues across the UK. This charity saves lives. They also got their national lottery funding reviewed due to the actions of Graham Linehan and a group of followers bombarding the lottery fund with emails detailing ‘concerns’ with the charity’s work. Out of spite, H.Bomberguy set up his stream with a donation link, and it absolutely exploded. Tens of thousands of people watched the stream at once, and an enormous host of guests both filling in whilst the main man slept and helping his excruciatingly slow progression in the Kong family’s quest through the Rare’s most painful and tiresome game. It’s impossible to name every single notable person who went on stream. Some highlights include all sorts of other YouTube personalities such as Lindsey Ellis and ContraPoints, legends of the games industry like Josh Sawyer and John Romero, and even political figures and worst-fears-of-the-establishment like Chelsea Manning and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The best part of the stream, though, was the huge range of amazing trans folks who went on to discuss their lives, talk about trans issues, and just chill with a group of friendly folks. A brilliant show of solidarity for a community that’s so often maligned and attacked.
Moderated tirelessly by a small team including Casey Explosion, Shaun, Dan Olson, DogStrong, and Shannon Strucci, this stream is a groundbreaking show of positivity and proof of the potential of human kindness and positivity. The news and occurrences on the stream happened faster than it’s possible to record coherently, and this event will be talked about for a long time yet. They even got Grant Kirkhope – the voice of Donkey Kong in DK64 – to say ‘trans rights’ in that voice. The stream raised over $340,000, and will be available to watch in full after the dust has settled.
Trans rights are human rights. As the stream ended, 57 hours in, played out fittingly by Left At London’s Revolution Lover, it serves as a reminder that we can, and should, all do our part. Don’t let it be a one-day thing – continue 2019 as it started and make something happen. To everyone who donated and watched, to the amazing bunch of stream guests, particularly the many trans folks who told their stories, and to everyone standing up for trans rights: thank you. The money raised for Mermaids is only part of the story – trans folks sharing their personal stories were able to raise fantastic amounts of money for a variety of trans causes. The twitter hashtag #transcrowdfund hosts a huge number of people in need who could do with your help if you’re able. Be there for your trans friends, help however you can, and keep doing amazing things. This stream is a testament to what we can achieve when we all band together, even if we initially banded together to annoy a past-his-prime comedy writer (which worked – he was tweeting his transphobic lies non-stop throughout the stream). It’s kind of emblematic of our time. Beauty and togetherness blossoming from a place of spite.
Mermaids’ helpline number is 0808 801 0400, for young trans or gender-questioning people who need someone to listen and support.