‘Hold The Fort’ Fortnite tournament to support trans charities with top streamers

Epic Games

A new tournament called Hold The Fort will be held in the popular battle royale Fortnite, with 100 streamers joining forces to raise money for transgender charities.

With anti-transgender bills being proposed (and passed) across the United States and hate towards LGBTQ+ people on the rise, a charity tournament called Hold The Fort is hoping to raise money to support trans and non-binary people.

A total of 100 streamers including Blaustoise, Ro Ramdin, Will Neff, and Caroline Kwan are expected to board Fortnite’s Battle Bus for the charity tournament. It will be streamed live on April 8, 2023 at 12PM PST / 3PM EST / 8PM BST, so everyone can tune in and show their support.

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A poster for Hold The Fort tournament in FortniteHold The Fort

“The rise of legislation codifying the elimination of transgender people was the biggest motivating factor for me in organizing this event,” said Emma, director for Hold The Fort.

“Seeing bills being passed to criminalize gender-affirming care or to take trans children away from supportive parents makes me scared for my transgender, non-binary, and LGBTQ+ friends. Legislation like the bills being passed takes lives.”

When asked why Fortnite was the game chosen for this charity tournament, Emma told us it was partly because the game allows 100 players at a time, and partly because the game is “fairly user-friendly and free to download” which makes it easier for streamers to participate.

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It won’t just be LGBTQ+ streamers taking part in the tournament; there will also be allies showing their support – something that Emma hopes will bring more attention to the issues currently being faced by trans and non-binary people.

“Having allies involved helps get the conversation around trans rights started in spaces that aren’t as aware of the current risks to LGBTQ+ rights,” they explained.

A poster for the Rainbow Royale event in FortniteEpic Games
Rainbow Royale was a Fortnite event celebrating Pride held in 2022.

One streamer lending their time to the tournament is Caroline Kwan, who said that while she “may not know anything about Fortnite”, she does know “how important it is to fight for trans rights”.

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“With the spiking assaults on the liberties and lives of transgender people, now is as important a time as ever to raise money and awareness in order to protect a vulnerable population under attack,” she said.

“I, along with all those participating in Hold the Fort, stand with the trans community in solidarity.”

With hate raids – where trolls target a streamer because of their identity – being an ever-present concern for members of the LGBTQ+ community, Emma says there are preparations in place just in case this happens during the event.

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“Hate raids and abuse against LGBTQ+ streamers have been seriously considered in the planning of Hold the Fort. We have a team of fantastic mods from much larger communities working to prepare anyone streaming this event and ensure their safety on the day of,” they explained.

“Thankfully, Twitch has also put in place new tools to help minimize the frequency and damages of these hate raids, and we encourage other platforms to follow suit as quickly as possible.”

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All money raised from the tournament will go to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, which helps trans and non-binary people access pro-bono legal help for name changes, challenges legislation threatening trans lives, and works to educate trans people on their rights.

Although this tournament isn’t endorsed or sponsored by Epic Games, Fortnite does have a decent history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community. As well as hosting an annual Pride event called Rainbow Royale, they previously released a skin based on Dreamer, the trans superhero from DC’s television series Supergirl.

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The Hold The Fort tournament is expected to take place on April 8, 2023, at 12PM PST / 3PM EST / 8PM BST. You can find out more information or donate by visiting their website.

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