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Michael Cashman calls on LGB people to ‘stand in the shoes’ of their trans siblings at evening of queer fundraising

Josh Milton November 2, 2020
British Labour Party politician Michael Cashman

British Labour Party politician Michael Cashman speaks at the annual Labour Party Conference in Manchester, on September 30, 2012. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty)

Michael Cashman rallied for the LGB community to support their trans siblings at the second annual City for LGBT+ crowdfunding event which raised more than £22,000 for queer non-profits.

Lord Cashman shared a fireside chat with the Liberal Democrat peer Liz Barker at City for LGBT+ 2020, the UK’s only live crowdfunding event in support of LGBT+ causes, which took place on the evening of October 14.

As anti-trans groups seek to drive a wedge between the LGB and T communities, inflaming faultlines with misinformation and freewheeling statements, Lord Cashman gave a sober forecast for a community divided.

Speaking at the virtual fundraiser, he said: “What is happening to the trans community in this country, the attacks on them by some LGB people, in particular, is unforgivable.

“Because if we don’t learn from the pain, and the battles, and we try to inflict the pain on others, what, what hope is there?”

Lord Cashman and Baroness Barker’s chat kicked off this year’s City for LGBT+, which was organised by the Funding Network, Britain’s top charity crowd funder, in collaboration with GiveOut and Consortium.

The event raised thousands for four LGBT+ charities: BLKOUT, a space for queer Black men to dismantle and discuss the challenges they face; L’Union Féministe Libre, an intersectional women’s rights group in Morocco; UHAI Eashri, an LGBT+ rights group working in Eastern Africa; and Opening Doors London, which provides support for queer elders.

Hosts Macquarie Group, an investment banking company, chipped in an additional £2,000 to each charity.

The Funding Network’s sister charity in Australia also held a virtual fundraiser through Crowdcast.

Michael Cashman: ‘We achieve together.’

During his chat with Baroness Barker, Lord Cashman, a Stonewall co-founder, urged for empathy among the queer community to one another.

“Stand in their shoes,” he pleaded, “and imagine that it was you and if you would not want it to happen to you, support them to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else.

“That way we connect. My mantra is: ‘We achieve together’.”

He stressed that the work of the four charities involved in the event show the LGBT+ community’s shared struggles unites them.

“It brings us back to connecting with, like the four groups tonight, facing battles and challenges that only we can imagine,” he mused.

In raising crucial cash for the four charities, City for LGBT+ 2020 was designed to plug the sprawling gap in financial support for LGBT+ charities and service providers, organisers said.

Research from Consortium, the largest network of LGBT+ groups and projects in Britain, found that just a slither of annual philanthropic funding actually goes to queer causes – 0.04 per cent.

“There have been occasions when I have described my sexuality to people who then look at me with pity,” said BLKOUT organiser Rob Berkeley said.

“We will use these funds to help take us from a category to a community.”

More: BLKOUT, City for LGBT+ 2020, L'Union Féministe Libre, Michael Cashman, opening doors london, UHAI Eashri

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