Mercury Stardust & friends raise millions for gender-affirming care on TikTok, despite transphobic trolls

Two photos. Left: Mercury Stardust and Jory take a playful selfie in her studio. Right: Jory, Dylan Mulvaney, and Mercury Stardust talk together in a TikTok video

Last year, amid an enormous wave of anti-transgender bills sweeping the nation, trans TikTok duo Mercury Stardust (@mercurystardust) and Jory (@alluringskull) set a major goal of raising $1 million for gender-affirming healthcare. 

By hosting a livestream on Trans Day of Visibility, the creators spent 30 hours entertaining fans, discussing important LGBTQ+ topics, and racking up donations — which resulted in doubling their goal and raising $2 million.

All funds went to their nonprofit partner Point of Pride, which provides financial aid and direct support to trans folks in need of health and wellness care.

This year, the duo planned to go even further, announcing a fundraising goal of $4 million. This would be done, again, through livestreams, over the course of a three-day fundraising campaign on the weekend of March 29, 30, and 31.

A screenshot of a TikTok video posted by Mercury Stardust for the TikTok-A-Thon for Trans Health
Photo courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

But trolls had other plans.

Although Jory and Stardust took to TikTok with great enthusiasm — and with the support of friends like Dylan Mulvaney and Under The Desk News — they were repeatedly banned from TikTok Live, following organized reporting and hate campaigns from “trolls.”

Despite the setbacks, they were flexible, moving to other accounts, continuing to stream on YouTube and Twitch, and finding ongoing support through other LGBTQ+ content creators. But they were banned over a dozen times from a myriad of accounts.

“Do not allow people to stifle our voice,” Stardust said in a video when she first got banned over the weekend. “Do not allow people to tell us what we can and cannot talk about, or [stop us from] trying to help trans people where they’re at with what we’ve got.”

These livestreams first started on TDOV in 2022, when Stardust — who calls herself the “Trans Handy Ma’am” and makes videos about trans visibility and accessible home repairs — raised $120,000 during a stream.

But as she and Jory have both gained popularity on the app, they have also faced endless harassment. In fact, Jory announced that this would be her last year co-hosting the livestream, as a result of the hate she had received online.

A screenshot of a TikTok featuring Mercury Stardust and Jory of @alluringskull
Photo courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

Sadly, the duo did not reach their $4 million goal by Sunday evening — but that has not stopped them from doing a world of good.

At the time of publication, the fundraiser has reached over $1.6 million, from over 36,000 individual donors.

Jory and Stardust — and their many TikTok friends — have continued to livestream when possible, and Stardust posted an announcement the other day, sharing what changes were being made to the fundraising campaign.

“We have decided to focus on hitting 2 million dollars and hit the same goal as last year,” Stardust wrote. “I’ll be on live until we hit 2 million, no matter how long it takes me.”

She took a brief break and had some work-related travel plans but said the livestream would be back in action this upcoming weekend. 

A screenshot of a video posted by Mercury Stardust where she announces that she has raised over $1 million TikTok Live
Photo courtesy of Mercury Stardust/TikTok

“From the bottom of my heart, it means a lot to me. Whether [sic] you donated $1 or $5,000. Whatever you could give is what you could afford, and that is such a beautiful thing to see,” Stardust continued.

“It's not the amount that so many of us should be inspired by, but the number of people who continue to believe in this cause. Thank you to every single one of you.”

Similarly to how she does throughout her livestreams, Stardust made it a priority to highlight the work of Point of Pride.

Last year, donations from the livestream resulted in the following milestones for the organization

  • Over 300 people were able to receive gender-affirming surgery, with 100% of their fees covered by Point of Pride
  • Over 4,000 people were able to receive a gender-affirming chest binder or femme shapewear
  • Over 120 people received a free year of hormone replacement therapy and access to telehealth
  • Over 190 people received a grant of $1,250 to go towards permanent hair removal services

This year’s donations will go towards the same services, which Point of Pride says reach recipients who are “trans youth, folks with disabilities, and folks living in rural or un-affirming regions.”

@mercurystardust We are getting close to hitting 2 million tonight. Join the live and watch it happen!!! #Lgbtqia #trans @Point of Pride ♬ original sound - Mercury Stardust

As much as Jory and Stardust would have liked to reach their ambitious $4 million goal, supporters took Stardust’s message to heart and stayed optimistic about the outpouring of support they had received in the face of so much transphobia.

“I am so proud of you for not giving up,” one supporter wrote in an Instagram caption. “I hope you absolutely SMASH the new goal. And next year? Even BIGGER.”

“Your dedication and perseverance and ability to pivot despite all of the organized hate is truly impressive,” another commenter said.

Another simply added: “Can’t stop trans joy!”

While the next phase of the fundraising campaign will not be in full swing until this weekend, Stardust made one thing abundantly clear: this year’s fundraiser is still a win.

“We are making a difference, and true differences cannot happen overnight,” she wrote. “It happens with a consistent effort of compassion and commitment to those around us.”

Header images courtesy of Mercury Stardust/Instagram and TikTok

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