Star Wars fans launch The Amidala Initiative to support trans youth
A galaxy far, far away may be fictional, but its main messages — and its fans — are very real. At its heart, Star Wars is a story about good standing against evil, fighting hate with the most powerful force of all: love. In response to a recent statement by Texas government officials claiming parents of transgender youth engage in ‘child abuse,’ the Star Wars fan community has come together to support those harmed by the mandate. .
Today a group of Star Wars fans launched The Amidala Initiative, a campaign created to support trans youth and their families through Equality Texas. The initiative is a collaboration between more than 50 fandom creators dedicated to speaking out against anti-trans efforts.
Equality Texas “works to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.” The organization seeks to fight laws that deny members of the LGBTQ community their rights.
The Amidala Initiative, named after Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo, hopes to continue these efforts through fundraising and increased awareness.
“Although she is a fictional character, we felt that she [Padmé] was the appropriate namesake,” Byn McDonald, one of the initiative’s organizers, told Dork Side of the Force. “She represents someone in politics who actually uses her platform to protect and care for disenfranchised people, rather than for her own personal gain.”
Star Wars, its characters, and the stories in which they play a part have impacted the lives of fans for decades. In many cases, his messages have motivated communities to respond to the harm they encounter in the real world.
McDonald continued, “These blatant and alarmist attacks on trans youth and their families by members of the Texas Legislature and Governor Greg Abbott are so heinous that they almost sound like a fictional scenario from a galaxy far, far away. . We think that’s the kind of thing Padmé would fight against relentlessly. We want to channel that as we do our part to help advocacy groups like Equality Texas fend off the growing tide of anti-trans American bills and show solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters and their families.
Letters like the one published last week and their harmful implications only increase the trauma experienced by trans youth and their loved ones. According to The Trevor Project, transgender youth report significantly higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation than cisgender children and adolescents. Family support is a major factor in helping trans youth live safer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Without the help and resources targeted in Governor Abbott’s statement, many young people are more at risk than ever. “Padmé wouldn’t put up with this,” McDonald added. “And neither do we.”
The Amidala Initiative is now online and accepting donations. You can also support the initiative by spreading the word on social media if you are unable to contribute financially.
For more information on transgender youth, visit The Washington Post’s FAQ page. If you or someone you know needs help, resources can be found through the National Center for Transgender Equality. Please consult the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you or someone you know is in crisis.
Visit the Amidala Initiative’s GoFundMe page to learn more and support the cause in any way you can.