Monday, July 5, 2010

Community Chest!


Thanks to you all, on June 17th I received a bilateral mastectomy with Raleigh, NC surgeon Dr. Keelee MacPhee. I like to think of this new torso as a Community Chest! Friends told me what I might expect, both physically and emotionally, during all phases of this procedure, while reminding me to have and savor my own experience. This was good advice. The staff at Rex Outpatient Surgery has climbed glorious Mount Transgender before – without sherpas I might add – and were present and kind and even hilariously willing to sign on to my nerve-fueled teasing. Dr. MacPhee has done a terrific advocacy job with them. When I came out of anesthesia and saw the dressings on my chest an unanticipated frisson of joy passed through me, a tremor through my body that spread a grin wide open on my face. Frankly, I had not expected to come out of surgery so happy, but damn what a gift! I can’t even begin to articulate the sense of expansion and freedom I felt immediately.

My healing has been fueled by a whole lot of food and videos and books brought by my wonderful work fambly at the ArtsCenter and my community(s) at large. What an incredible bounty. I’m still stunned by the outpouring of nourishments of all varieties, from all corners! This gives me some very important information:
           
a.     There are a lot of kind folks out there who love me.
b.     I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I love them all back.
c.     People WANT TO HELP.
d.     And I bet not just me!

I am ever more convinced that my community (and by community I mean everyone – we have allies everywhere – straight, church, hair stylist, you name it) believes in and supports the health and wellbeing of every person in it.

My fantasy is that I win the lottery, and establish a trust for the health care and wellbeing of our Triangle/NC trans population, including therapy, identification and document change, access to housing and employment, hormones, and of course, surgeries. In my dream we also have a lobbying arm, dedicated to educating our legislators and changing laws so they protect and serve everyone. The fantasy includes a field coordinator to do outreach, in public schools, for media, at churches and for corporations willing to be inclusive and treat everyone with dignity and equality. For today I will settle for fundraising for the next person, same place, same time, in 2011. What this area wants it will tell us, and I have no doubt we will make it happen.

Again, thank you so much. We did it! I look forward to moving more openly, more safely, and with greater freedom and ease of mind in this world. And you thought I just couldn’t get any better. I know you can’t.

With great love and gratitude,
Sam





Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hearty, Heady, Heart-felt THANKS


I cannot wait one minute more – I absolutely must THANK YOU right now! Dan and I ended Chestfest and hit the ground running with end-of-semester tests, projects, and finals, so I apologize for not writing sooner. We’re frizazzled, but not too tired to tell you what an amazing event Chestfest turned out to be. Even our most jaundiced besties remarked that the “outpouring of love was overwhelming.”  Everywhere the eye could land were examples of the kind of work and commitment people brought to the event:  nights spent in rehearsal, knitting, frosting cupcakes, making signs, getting babysitters; days spent painting, creating spread-sheets and web sites, making phone calls, asking for donations. Our friends devoted hours of their evening in bidding wars and silent raffles, consuming cupcakes and beers and sharing hugs and getting moustaches AND
And happen it did. For those of us who were able to be at the ArtsCenter, it was nothing short of magical. And those of you whose generosity and kindness and largesse made it possible – we held you there in spirit.
Thank you all – Danny Depuy, Sarah Washburn, Jessica Blanpied-Larson, Judith Smith. Thanks Lawruh Lindsay, Amelia’s Mechanics, Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes,Terri Phoenix,  Amy-Jae and the Devoted, Shannon Windsor, and Ava Johnson! Bowing now to everybody at the ArtsCenter, to Ali Nickles, to CK Berkowitz and Max Bowman and so many, many more!
Chestfest alone made $3,400. That, coupled with donations brings the total to a hair over $5,200. And by hair, I mean the manly curl of the soon to be flattened chesticle variety.  Because $5200, plus my savings and credit cards, means the total cost of $7500 is totally attainable. Wow. You made that happen. We made it happen.
So thank you. And hang on to your unicorn’s saddle-horn because this ride is just beginning. Those of us interested and invested in our Triangle trans-community will be meeting soon to establish the non-profit devoted to helping our local friends and family meet their medical costs. I can’t wait for my surgery to happen, and neither should somebody else.
With so much love and gratitude,
Sam
Contact samlpeterson@gmail.com or sam@sampeterson.org

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We Have Met The Challenge and For Once We Are Not IT!

As mentioned below, our dear friend Sarah Washburn issued a "Non-Trans Ally Matching Grant" recently.  Well, thanks to our non-trans friends (oh, they're still sexy) Gigi, Bill and Nancy, Michael B, Caroline P, and Ruth B, not to mention our beloved near-mascot Jessica D - WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL!!! $500 became $!000!  That's what's UP!!! That's trans-math, by the way, or trans-alchemy: sweet friend x love/ transguy in need = twice the muthalovin money. Yup. So thanks, EVERYBODY. It means the world to me.

We've still got plenty to raise, kids, so don't stop the love now. I love you all very very much.
xo Sam

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Straight Allies can support Transguys! The Sarah Washburn Challenge!

I have the best friends in the world. I know, yours are fantastic, but seriously - check this out. My friend Sarah has initiated a $500 Matching Grant for our Non-Trans allies! Sarah believes (and we know) our non-trans friends will donate up to $500, which she has promised to match! That's right, kids: every dollar you donate UP TO $500, Sarah will MATCH. That's the kind of friends I HAVE.

Please hit the DONATE button, and send your money and a note saying it's part of the Sarah Washburn Matching Grant. Anything counts. Write a check to KELLI DEPUY (our $ keeper) and send it to Depuy, 712 Gomains ave. Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Hand over some cash. You just spent $12 on a double latte and an US Weekly, I know because I was behind you getting chapstick (my lips are falling off, people). So c'mon, help a transguy out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Raising Money and Hope For a Transguy's Chest, One Band at a Time


Dear Friend:
After my health care providers made it clear they wouldn't help cover the cost of my chest reconstruction, my partner Danny and I debated what to do.
We decided we'd host a concert - we have dear friends who are genius awesome musicians and artists, and we love the space over at the Arts Center in Carrboro. Danny said "we should film it and make the video available for other people who need to fund raise!" 
It occurred to us we might take advantage of our "disadvantage" and raise awareness, and hopefully funds, for other transpeoples' medical costs as well! While this particular ChestFest will be for my surgery, we intend to create a site and some regular events to help our friends and families.
So, on to the juice....
On April 24th, we'll be hosting ChestFest 2010 at the fabulous Art Center in Carrboro, featuring my dear friends Amelia’s Mechanics  fresh from their cd release of “North-South” produced by Jim Avett.
They describe themselves as “an all-female, Americana trio whose instrumentation and vocal harmonies traverse classical, country, and jazz genres resulting in a sound best described as vintage country with a moonshine concerto.”  I’m super excited to introduce them to you and blown away by their generosity.

We're also hot to announce the addition of Miss Mary Wanna, Burlesque Tease extraordinaire, members of The Devoted bellydance collective, and emcee Ava J. rockin the mic!
You may know this already: Gender Identity Disorder is a medical diagnosis. This diagnosis by a mental health care professional gives us access to hormone therapy and surgery – we cannot get this care without medical consent and yet most insurance companies will not cover our care.  
Join me in this journey that I must make with your support. I’m one of the lucky onesmy employers have kept me on my jobs, my friends and family are on my side, and I have a home and a beautiful partnership.
I may not be the first, and I guarantee I won’t be the only transperson in your life. Help me, and let me help others, achieve this goal of alignment.
Please peruse for ways you can participate!
Sincerely, and love,
Sam

YES! I want to help Sam get his surgery, and help others too!!! I’m gonna
·        Write a check! Payable to Kelli DePuy. Mail to Sam Peterson/ChestFest 712 Gomains St. Chapel Hill, 27516
·        Pay on this site (up, right, button "donate") on secure PayPal!


·        Pre-reserve at table for “ChestFest,” featuring the mellifluous and soulful sounds of Amelia’s Mechanics, at the Arts Center, April 24th.  See sponsorship levels below.

·        Make an in-kind donation to our Silent Auction or Raffle of goods, services, art, etc. Advertise your business – we’ll have a slide display of all our sponsors’ names or logos before the show.
·        Attend the event! Ticket sales will start soon, through me, my friends, and the Arts Center, and will be totally affordable. Your presence at this event means the world to me!

BE A PRESENCE AT CHESTFEST!
$$$SPONSORSHIP$$$ -
·        SOUL PATCH $150   2 tickets to ChestFest 2010, your company mentioned on website and on pre-show slide.
·        GOATEE  $300  4 tickets to ChestFest 2010, company logo on website and on pre-show slide.
·        ROYALE $500+ (cash or in-kind) reserved front row table at ChestFest 2010, company logo on website and on pre-show slide, marketing presence at pre-show Silent Auction.
All funds go to support Sam’s surgery. Any monies collected beyond $6,000 will go into a designated trust, and a board will be established to distribute funds to other transpeople in need.         
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME, YOUR FRIEND, SAM AND CHESTFEST 2010!!!