'Thanks, but no thanks': Charity rejects $5k donation raised through gay porn

·News Reporter

A Perth personal trainer who fundraised $5000 through homemade gay porn has questioned an Australian charity’s decision to reject his donations.

When David Marshall’s father took his own life in February 2016 following a long battle with depression, he saw an avenue to do some good for Beyond Blue – a charity that focuses on suicide prevention.

“My father always had a ‘harden the f*** up attitude’… he would never speak about what he was going through,” Mr Marshall told Yahoo7 News.

“It is a lot harder to take that attitude out of that generation and that’s how dad was.

“That was the real reason to go for a depression and suicide charity… at the end of the day, I did this for dad.”

David Marshall, a personal trainer and amateur wrestler, was told by Beyond Blue that they couldn’t accept his $5000 donation. Images: Supplied
David Marshall, a personal trainer and amateur wrestler, was told by Beyond Blue that they couldn’t accept his $5000 donation. Images: Supplied

With the support of his then-partner, the 29-year-old started to upload pornographic content to subscription-based social media platform OnlyFans, where his followers paid to see his content.

What started out as photographs eventually evolved into “fully explicit videos”, Mr Marshall explained.

It was unfamiliar territory for the amateur wrestler, who four years earlier ended his engagement to his long-term girlfriend and came out to his family and friends. He also quit his job in sales to pursue a career in fitness as a personal trainer.

As the money started to roll in, Mr Marshall began to transfer the money to the charity, eventually making eight donations totalling $5000.

He said he received no correspondence from the charity until they were made aware of his fundraising methods.

“At no point did I get a letter or an email thanking me or asking where the money was coming from,” he said.

The 29-year-old wanted to raise money for a suicide prevention charity after his father took his life in 2016. Image: Supplied
The 29-year-old wanted to raise money for a suicide prevention charity after his father took his life in 2016. Image: Supplied

He said he was eventually contacted by a Beyond Blue spokesperson who explained that their policy meant they could not accept his donations.

“They basically just called up and said ‘thanks but no thanks’… he explained.

“Why does it matter where the money is coming from if it’s going to such a good cause?”

A spokesperson for the charity confirmed to Yahoo7 News that they were unaware at the time they had accepted funds that had been derived from the sale of pornography.

“Beyond Blue’s fundraising policy says we will not accept proceeds from certain activities, including from the sale of pornography,” the spokesperson said.

“We expressed our sincere gratitude to Mr Marshall for his support of people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide and offered to refund his donations.

“We respect that some people will not agree with our policy, but we stand by our long and continuing track record supporting the [LGBTI] community.”

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Despite his disappointment, Mr Marshall said he has no bad blood towards the charity and the fantastic work they do.

“I’m not out there to attack Beyond Blue… it’s just unfortunate that they pick and choose where their money comes from,” he added.

“I don’t think this is a profession that should be looked down upon.”

Determined to make sure the money still went to a cause that focuses on depression and anxiety, he got in contact with officials at Black Dog who were happy to accept the $5000. He continues to fundraise for that group.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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