A galaxy far, far away may be fictional, but its core messages — and its fans — are very real. At its heart, Star Wars is a story about good standing up against evil, fighting hate with the most powerful force of all: love. In response to a recent statement from Texas government officials claiming parents of transgender youth are engaging 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 over 50 fandom creators dedicated to speaking out against anti-trans efforts.
Equality Texas “works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.” The organization seeks to fight against laws that withhold the rights of members of the LGBTQ community.
The Amidala Initiative, named after Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo, hopes to further 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 they play a part in have impacted fans’ lives for decades. In many cases, its messages have motivated communities to respond to the evil they encounter in the real world.
McDonald continued: “These blatant, fear-mongering attacks on trans youth and their families by members of Texas legislature and Governor Greg Abbott are so heinous that they almost feel like a fictional storyline from a galaxy far, far away. We feel that this is the sort of thing that Padmé would tirelessly fight against. We want to channel that as we do our part to help advocacy groups like Equality Texas push back against the ever-rising tide of American anti-trans bills and show solidarity with our trans siblings and their families.”
Letters like the one released last week and their harmful implications only increase the trauma experienced by trans youth and their loved ones. According to The Trevor Project, trans youth report significantly higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation than cisgender children and teens. Support from family is a major factor in helping trans youth live safer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Without the help and resources targeted in Governor Abbott’s statement, many young people are in more danger than ever before. “Padmé wouldn’t stand for this,” McDonald added. “And neither will we.”
The Amidala Initiative is now live 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 is in need of support, resources can be found via 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 are able.