Metal Gear Pop: A Fundraiser for the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund

tl;dr: From July 1-4, I’m hosting a Twitch fundraiser in support of mental health services for Black trans people. Watch me play the Metal Gear Solid series while I sing opera and crack jokes for a good cause. (twitch.tv/aztechMagic)

Logistics Update (6/28/20):
— — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Daily Itinerary:

- 11:30am to 12pm/Noon (PST)— Pre-Game Warmup, Discussion/Music/Chat
- 12pm/Noon until we beat the game (PST) — the day’s Metal Gear Solid title

Goals:

- We are starting off small with a target of $500
- If we meet our goal, we will choose an even larger one and keep moving the goal posts as needed until the end of the entire event.

Important Links:

Please consider donating your time and money towards a good cause!

— — — — — — — — — — — —

Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth is a celebration of when we all became more free. More importantly, it is a reminder of how important it is to struggle against the evils of our history, past and present.

2020 has visited upon us a grotesque carnival of human suffering. Recent events have made it abundantly clear that the people who claim to protect and serve are chiefly serving terror within marginalized communities, and closing ranks to protect only themselves. The images on the news lately have made me gasp, weep, and feel no small amount of rage. It’s put a lot of things into perspective for me, particularly the fact that I'm bolstered by an abundance of privilege: I'm a straight, cis man, born into more than comfortable circumstances. I'm well-educated, employed, food-secure, and (usually) white-passing. Though I'm extremely stressed during encounters with the police, I know I'm far less likely to endure abuse at their hands.

Meanwhile, BIPOC suffer an experience that is crueler and more traumatizing by orders of magnitude. The horrifying stories I've heard from friends and family—ranging from an era where bars typically had signs saying "No Dogs, Negroes, or Mexicans" to the present day—have always felt like experiences distanced from me by a few degrees. Not because I don't care, but because I 'pass' and because I'm not Black.

It's no secret that Black people are the victims of the highest amount of police brutality and systemic racism. Trans people also endure a high level of scrutiny, disdain, and vulnerability within society, making Black trans people in critical need of support right now. As cushioned by privilege as I am, I’ve lost a lot of sleep lately; I can only imagine how hard it is for the Black and trans people literally fighting for their lives.

The collective outrage that has swept the world and led the public to demand justice and public safety reform is inspiring, cathartic, and validating. While I’m unable to participate in these protests for various reasons, I can’t just watch the news and hope for the best. So I've decided to throw a fundraiser for the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund, an initiative started by the Okra Project to help Black trans people receive therapy sessions.

From Wednesday, July 1st through Saturday, July 4th, I will begin streaming a playthrough of the Metal Gear Solid series. MGS is a stealth-action espionage series with a storyline fusing magical realism, history, and insights about the military-industrial complex’s impact on culture and politics. Each night, I will play through one of the mainline entries of the series while singing and talking about the finer details of the story, fielding questions about the Nina Pop MHR Fund, opera, coding, and whatever you—the viewers—bring up! There will be music, costumes, and several surprises.

Please stop by at twitch.tv/aztechmagic and lend a helping hand to some of the most vulnerable members of our human family.

The Okra Project: https://www.theokraproject.com/

The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund: https://tinyurl.com/ycbrcwke