After learning that Israel Folau’s fundraising campaign had reignited, and had racked up $1.5m in misguided donations, I felt disheartened. The message this sends is loud and clear: “Show love and compassion – but only to those with the exact same beliefs as me.”
Like many, I am frustrated by this whole debacle, because it shines a light on the massive hypocrisy that some Australians seem to harbour. I can only imagine how damaging it must be for those in the LGBTQI community to bear witness to it.
This morning, however, my frown turned upside down. Browsing my social media feed, I noticed a post from Celebrity Kind – a social platform run by a friend of mine, Nehal, which is dedicated to reporting on only positive celeb news.
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“This page is about how people in positions of power and influence are making the world a better place, not worse,” Nehal wrote.
The fundraising effort, which was started in an effort to channel our frustration and intent somewhere positive, has a target of $500,000.
“We are gonna try and show a better way,” Magda shares. “A group of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, straight, LGBTQI friends have come together to start a GoFundMe campaign… Let’s show that there are many of us who wish to use faith – or even no faith – to unite us rather than divide.”
Ninety percent of funds raised will go to the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and the other 10% will go to Twenty10 to support LGBTQI youth who’ve been kicked out of home.
At time of writing it had already received donations of $147,000.
What a perfect opportunity this is. There are some of us who believe that Folau’s rights have been infringed, and they are quite welcome to support him in his fight against Rugby Australia.
For the rest of us, we too can now literally put our money where our mouth is and rally support around causes that genuinely need our support; at least, their need is much greater than an employable, fit, healthy, multi-millionaire professional athlete.