Ariana Grande has partnered with Pledge – a charity-centric fundraising platform – to launch the Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund, which the singer and actress says was founded “to support organizations providing direct services and advocating for the rights of trans youth”.
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The fund was launched on Thursday (March 31), which marked this year’s International Transgender Day Of Visibility. It aims to fight back against a growing onslaught of transphobic legislation in the US, such as bills launched in Arizona and Texas to impede on the rights of transgender children.
“Right now,” Grande said in a statement announcing the Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund, “there hundreds of bills pending in state legislatures across the United States that target trans youth and aim to curb their rights. The impact of fighting these anti-trans bills and policies is felt all year by trans people, their families and loved ones.
“Please join me in donating to this fundraiser which will provide critical funds to organizations advocating for the rates of trans youth in states currently targeted by anti-trans policies.”
Grande will be matching donations made to the fund, up to a total of $1.5million (£1.14million). 100 per cent of the funds raised through the initiative will be split between 19 organisations, many of which offer specialised services to queer and trans people in individual states (such as Equality Florida, One Iowa, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance and the Tennessee Equality Project).
You can donate to the Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund here, or, if you’re in the US, by texting ‘PLEDGE’ to 707070. At the time of writing, the effort has raised just shy of $500,000 (£381,000).
The effort comes as the latest in a sprawling list Grande’s philanthropic ventures. Last year, for example, she gave away $6million (£4.6million) in free therapy – $1million (£762,300) in June, then a further $5million (£3.8million) in October – and raised over $3.5million (£2.7million) for the First Responders Children’s Foundation through her collaborative single with Justin Bieber, ‘Stuck With U’.
Grande has long been a champion of the LGBTQ+ community; she regularly centres queer storylines in her song lyrics and music videos, and has been vocal in her support for various charities and organisations serving the community.
In 2015, she linked up with Miley Cyrus to perform for her Backyards Sessions series, all profits from which were routed to Cyrus’ queer-centric Happy Hippie Foundation. Later that year, she headlined New York’s Dance On The Pier festival, which tied into the city’s LGBT Pride Week. Last June, she was one of over 300 artists that joined forces to support the US Senate’s HR5 bill, also known as the Equality Act.