Get Samantha a Home
I want to be truly transparent here. I need your help and it is difficult for me to ask for help.
Beginning in early 2009 I have been suffering debilitating physical pain and depression due to Interstitial Cystitis, a rare bladder condition that is both extremely painful and difficult to treat. Over the next 2 years I physically improved, and the pain lessened, but the depression remained.
My doctor declared me 100% disabled in November 2010. In January 2011 I was hospitalized for 8 days for suicidal ideation, ironically due to a side effect of one of the anti-depressants I was taking. Although I am still seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist, it has been a difficult struggle for me to recover from the depression.
On top of that there have been a number of other illnesses and physical challenges; one requiring sinus surgery in 2012, and most recently an 8 month odyssey to repair the severely degenerated congenital hip dysplasia in my right hip. In January after months of worsening pain, and the inability to walk more than a few steps, I had a successful total hip replacement. While the pain is almost completely gone, and my mobility is greatly improved, it is still impossible for me to work until my recovery is complete.
So, as you see, life has been challenging for me over the past 4 years.
The most recent challenge is that I have totally run out of money and lost my apartment. My vision is to get into a stable living situation and complete my recovery, so I can get back to work and once again become an active member of my community.
At this time I need financial help to get back on my feet and into an apartment. Only then can I continue my recovery from the hip surgery and the depression. To that end I am trying to raise enough money to cover my living and medical expenses for about 3 months.
While I have no money, what I do have is friends; friends who are helping me put together this fundraiser and who have already contributed to my survival in one way or another.
Please read what they have to say about my struggles, and about me.
I have a full-time job in Santa Clara. I started working 7 months ago. Soon after I returned from a 3 month visit to New Jersey where I was helping my siblings while my mother was ill until she died in January. It has been a tough and emotional time for me. And I have had such tremendous support from my community and many long time friends.
You all got me through an extremely difficult time. I will never be able to express the depth of my gratitude. As a way of giving back I am willing to help others who need to raise funds for themselves or their cause.
In fact I am hoping to do another evening at Center for Sex & Culture as a fundraiser for sexworkers' rights. No date is set. Let me know if you are interested and want more details.
My campaign was to get me a home. Thanks to Kathleen Diohep and Roger Gregory I had a home to live in, in San Leandro. And the help I received from my general community, kept me from needing to move back East. Now I am living in Santa Clara very near to where I work and I am living and working with friends once again. I am healthy and happy again.
Many, Many THANKS to everyone of you!
Sam and I, along with others, were on the planning committee for NFNC Spring Camp 2012. For the most part, it was Sam's hard work to get people registered for the event and her taking the lead in being the liaison with the conference site.
After Spring Camp, Sam's health started to fail even further. With her hip pain, she could barely walk for months on end. This left her bed-ridden, dependent on friends, while she worked to get her son Dodson into college in Atlanta. I really don't know how she has managed everything and she has done it without complaint. Lately, due to her illness and being unable to work, she lost her apartment. I love Sam so much and she is very loved by our community!! I really want to help Sam get back on her feet and I hope you will join with me in that mission!
I met Samantha Miller in 1990, thanks to an introduction from Carol Queen. Sam and I were both in our 30's and much to our surprise, living in the same apartment complex. Since we were separated by only one floor, we spent a lot of time hanging out in her apartment. Sam's place was the place to be! She was always entertaining interesting people. I met so many icons from the world of sex thanks to Samantha's amazing network of friends and colleagues. People like Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle and Veronica Vera have long called Samantha a close friend. It was a fun, exciting and dynamic time in our lives and out of our association with each other, the sex worker rights movement experienced a rebirth in San Francisco. I had been attending a small political group for sex worker activists in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, before I met Sam. Then I started attending Samantha's informal support group for sexually empowered women in the Marina district of San Francisco. It occurred to me that these two groups might be able to accomplish more if they merged and while the prospects of such a coalition might have seemed absurd to some, Samantha was completely open to the idea. Her ability to relate to people from all walks of life combined with her passion for sexual freedom and empowerment came together beautifully in that historical moment and not long after COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) was reborn! After securing the use of the COYOTE name, Samantha established a mailing address and phone number for its second incarnation and soon the media was beating a path to our proverbial door! Thanks to Samantha, not only did COYOTE find itself in the news again, but eventually the original founder, Margo Saint James, was able to parlay that publicity into a short lived bid for political office which also led to the founding of the Saint James Infirmary. I think the world of Sam. She has been a social hub and catalyzing force for so many activists, authors and original thinkers. I credit her in no small way for my own high profile professional path. Samantha has had the courage to take a stand for that which is loving in a sex negative culture. And through it all, she has retained her infectious sense of humor and her down to earth demeanor which invites all of us to put our judgments aside and look for the ways we can work together for the common good. Veronica Monet, ACS, CAM host of The Shame Free Zone
Having watched Sam struggle with multiple health issues these last 4 years I am constantly amazed at how she continues to put her energy into helping others, being a great mother, and generally being a force for good in our world. She has done so much, for so long, with so little, while dealing with so much pain, that her genial spirit and just plain goodness are nothing short of miraculous. But now, when she is so close to being fully healthy for the first time in years, to see her lose her apartment, and the security of her own space, is heartbreaking. She just needs some infrastructure support to get her over the hump and back into life in a full and complete way. 3-6 months will give her the opportunity to finish her healing, re-establish her career, and return to the full participation in life, and in the lives of her friends and family, restoring that magic that makes her such a special person, and such a blessing in all our lives. Together we can do this. We can give her the support she needs. No one succeeds in life without the help and support of others. It is our turn to pay it forward. Sam has been there so often, for so many people, for so long, I ask you to be there for her now. Please, join me, and help Sam get back on her feet.