24-hour gaming stream raises over £7000 for LGBT rights organisation passing their initial goal of £500 in just ten minutes.
The duo raised £7235 by the end of the stream while playing the game Hollow Night. Twitch streamer and gamer Connor Cloughley (Aye for Scotland) and fellow Twitch streamer, Skye Blacke (a stage name) set up the stream together for the Equality Network, on the 26th of February after a month of planning.
The reason for the timing of the stream seemed to be that it came as somewhat as a display of solidarity with those in the Trans community in Scotland. On this matter Skye felt that their community has been let down from the SNP after an increase of complaints about Transphobia in the party recently. They said: “Back at the start of February I think, we and most of the people in Scotland became acutely aware of the shocking nature of trans representation specifically in the country throughout the media or the government or twitter”.
To add to this Connor said: “There was also this desire to have a display of solidarity more than anything with the community because things online in particular have been terrible recently”.
LGBT history month made a perfect time for a stream aimed at donating to an organisation who provide individual support to members of the LGBT community. Connor said: “Obviously, we wanted to raise money for a group and an organisation that was providing support in a lot of these areas. Whether it was support to individuals directly or it was doing work on the legislative side of campaigning on the likes of the Gender Recognition Act and all the rest of it.”
The issue of being inclusive to the Trans people in everyday life, sports, public bathrooms etc still an issue of contention for a lot of people in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Skye said “Focusing on what the actual issue is often we hear about the bathroom conversation, which is ‘where would Trans people use public bathrooms’ and every speaker we talked to about it and I think there was 20 in total all had the same agreement that it’s a non – issue.”
Trans people in Scotland still have not currently got the right to Self-Identify, which would allow Trans people to be recognised as their gender without having to provide medical reports etc. Self ID processes are currently in place in countries such as Ireland (2015), Malta (2015), Norway (2016), Portugal (2018) and Belgium (2017).
In regards to getting the Gender Recognition Act reformed to allow for a process of self – ID in the future Connor said: “From a legislative side and I think it was touched on by a number of our speakers and I think Mhairi Black said the priority was getting GRA reform through. I think that would be a strong area to start. Obviously, there is a lot of things to do regarding Trans healthcare and a host of other things”.
A few of the speakers were from the ‘End Conversion Therapy campaign’. A group focused on ending conversion therapy in all its forms across Scotland. The End Conversion Therapy group is urging the current list of Holyrood Candidates to sign up to their pledge of support to end all forms of conversion therapy in Scotland.
They listed off guests like Mhairi Black, Twitch streamer Casey Explosion and actor David Paisley. Skye said for them the feedback from their audience after hearing from particularly inspiring guests like Becky Kaufman from the Scottish Trans Alliance severed as a standout moment. Skye said: “I got lot of personal messages from people being like ‘hearing these stories means so much to me’. We concluded with Becky from the Scottish Trans Alliance and hearing from what we would refer to an elder, talk about their experiences also meant a lot to people”. They believed hearing from someone like Becky was important as she represent what is known in the community as an ‘elder’ (anyone past the age of 30).
Skye and Connor confirmed they intend to participate in a similar charity stream in the future. However, they agreed it would need to be spread out and they would not have a clear idea of what charity they would donate to yet.
While it is important that doing amazing charity work like this for example is recognised and celebrated, I understand and agree with something Skye said during the interview: “we are working towards a world where we don’t need to. We don’t need to do massive fundraisers for charities because people should have the support in place by governmental entities by societal entities”.
It is only logical that we see charity as an emergency bandage over a problem not the final solution. However, in the same spirit we should all keep doing what we can to help them while campaigning for practical solutions to address the problems on legislative basis.
By Chloe Duffy – Student Journalist.
Find their blog at https://offtherecord880.wordpress.com