Anti-Gay Group Accidentally Raises Thousands for LGBT Charity Event
Let's say you're an anti-gay group whose mission statement is to stop a school program designed to teach sexual orientation and transgender issues to kids. What's the one thing you shouldn't do? If you said "exist," well, yes—that would be a good place to start! But if you said "inadvertently raise a whole bunch of money for an LGBT charity event," then also yes.
Except that's exactly what STOP SAFE Schools Coalition did.
When the Australia-based anti-gay group—whose Facebook page has 772 "likes" and a header image featuring a stick-figure family blocking a cascading rainbow with an umbrella (subtle!)—discovered that youth organization Minus18 was selling tickets to a dance for LGBT youths, the group decided to act. International Business Times UK has the story:
The Same Sex Gender Diverse Formal is organized for teenagers who don't identify as straight, allowing them a safe space to express themselves in Melbourne, Australia. Those attending are encouraged to dress however they want and bring whomever they want with them. Conservative group STOP SAFE Schools Coalition took offense to the formal (dance hall event) and engaged in attempts to ensure that no teens attended the event.
Writing on Facebook, the coalition urged its 700 Facebook followers to "purchase as many tickets to this event as possible" to ensure that "youth will not be able to attend." The admin of the Facebook page wrote: "Stop this madness before it consumes every area of education and all your child gets at school is indoctrination, not education."
A diabolical plan indeed! But there was a catch. Minus18 wasn't selling tickets to the event—it was crowdfunding it. Every "ticket" sold was actually a donation that went directly to the charity event, allowing it to provide entry to teenagers who couldn't otherwise afford admission. Minus18 set an initial fundraising target of AU$18,000, but when it caught wind of STOP SAFE Schools Coalition's efforts, it raised its goal. By the following day, it had raised AU$45,000—all of it nonrefundable.
"We've had 500 tickets now sponsored, thank you so much for all the amazing support," wrote Minus18 on its fundraising page, according to International Business Times UK. "We won't let hate win! Keep sharing and letting LGBTI youth know they're loved [and] supported, and deserve an amazing night to be themselves."
Minus18 now plans to move the event to a larger venue to accommodate more attendees, reported Metro UK.
But that's not all. The organization updated its event page with a proverbial mic drop: "Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community donors, tickets to the 2016 formal are now free!"
Incredible generosity of our community donors. Savage.