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Attitude Pride Awards: The gamer who raised hundreds of thousands for an under-fire trans youth charity

Harry Brewis raised more than $330,000 (£258,000) for Mermaids by playing 'Donkey Kong' for 60 hours straight.

By Steve Brown

Harry Brewis has been honoured with an Attitude Pride Award after raising more than $330,000 for British transgender charity Mermaids.

The comedy gamer runs the HBomberGuy channel on YouTube where he often talks about politics and social issues and back in February this year, Harry became a hero for young trans people when he went out of his way to show his support.

“Luckily, we live in an age where people are pretty understanding now at least of different sexualities,” he says. “But then we come to issues of gender identity and it is still completely… people have no idea.

“It was realising that there are people who have different approaches to these things and it affects their entire lives, not because it’s especially difficult being that thing but because of how other people treat you for being that thing.”

Harry started a charity ‘slow-run’ of the classic Donkey Kong game after waiting for the right cause to support, and that came in the way of trans charity Mermaids.

However, actor and notorious transphobe Graham Linehan – of Father Ted fame – called for users on Mumsnet to complain to the National Lottery Fund about a £500,000 grant that was set to be given to the charity.

“A former comedy writer decided to throw their weight behind basically trying to get funding pulled from Mermaids, which is a charity that helps kids with gender dysphoria,” he continues.

“It’s the same thing every time, it’s quote unquote ‘concern’, it’s ‘Oh well, we don’t really know enough about this.’

“And it’s just people trying to do their best to speak their bigotry in a way that a company will be receptive towards.

“If I do a charity thing off the back of that then all of a sudden more people will know about it than before. That was my hope at least.”

During a 24-hour long live stream last year, Harry raised around £2,000 but this time he aimed for £3,000. But things did not get off to a good start when he overslept and struggled to get on the game.

He says: “Before I was done apologising for technical difficulties, we’d raised $500 and I thought, ‘Oh well, that’s cool’ but I guess they had just turned up to say hi and then they will be gone and that’s it.

“I was trying to lower my expectations to prepare myself for the 60 hours that would come.”incredibly upsetting for Linehan”.

“He wouldn’t stop telling everyone about this thing that was happening that he was annoyed by and it was probably the greatest free advertising I have ever got.”

During the live stream he garnered support from trans activists, friends, politicians and many others who all showed their support.

“For reasons, I’m still not entirely sure, somehow word got to Chelsea Manning that the stream was happening and she should go on,” he adds. “Having her on and just talking about her story was just really kind of amazing.”

Money flooded in and Harry ended up raising more than $330,000 (£258,000).

Listen to Harry’s story below: