Young YouTube star Ashley Mardell is putting her fame and know-how to work, raising money and awareness for social-causes. Mardell is best known for The ABCs of LGBT series, is planning to turn her educational videos into a book, which will be available for purchase as a hard copy and as a free PDF download. Marfell has amassed 218,000 subscribers and more than 10 million views. She works collaboratively with other gender diversity experts, activists, and sex educators to teach both cis/heterosexual allies and LGBTQ+ people who are interested in learning about gender diversity and sexual orientation.
Mardell has promised to cut off her hair the same week she reached her $15,000 goal, and now has promised her fiance Grace will dye her hair any color voted on by subscribers if she can reach $20,000. It’s a simple gesture to get her fans excited about donating money towards what could be a fantastic series for her young readers.
When asked about her GoFundMe campaign’s progress, Mardell said, “It’s good. I just hit $15,000, and I’m pretty pumped. I exceeded the first two fundraising goals and the next goal is $20,000. I’m pretty nervous but excited.”
The video series, current campaign and subsequent book is bringing awareness and support to under-represented gender and sexual identities. It’s a subject very personal to Mardell and through making The ABC’s of LGBT series, she has found that there are many people who feel that their identity isn’t understood. She has also been wanting to cut off her long hair for a long time to better embrace her gender identity but she’s been hesitant and insecure about the change. This campaign is giving Mardell the push she needs to finally make it happen. She also plans to donate her long hair after its cut.
The funding raised through the campaign will help to support the book’s publication. Mardell would like to hire professional and credited LGBTQIA+ people to edit the book’s content for accuracy, produce the book, and possibly launch a small book tour after its release to meet her donors and followers. She’d also like to send free copies of the book to high schools’ gay-straight alliances. The book will be an educational resource for anyone interested in learning about sexual orientation and gender diversity
Any money raised that surpasses Mardell’s goal will be donated to Gender Spectrum, a nonprofit organization focused on creating gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens. To learn more about the campaign and donate, visit Ashley Mardell’s GoFundMe campaign.