See My Heart is a photography and oral history project culminating in an artist book. I met Morgan Ruzzo when I was working as a barista at Pinhole Coffee in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. I soon realized that my new friend was exceptional in myriad ways, and I became interested in helping to share her incredible life stories with the public-- with my own creative twist.
Morgan has performed comedic autobiographical storytelling since the 80s, and has a successful woodcrafts business called morgancandoit.com . While she has entertained countless audiences with vulnerable (and hilariously rendered) stories of her gender transition from male to female, See My Heart explores the stories which haven’t made it onto the stage. This book offers a glimpse beyond Morgan's gender and into the untold personal experiences of a talented woodworker, an important community member, and a cherished friend.
See My Heart is also the story of a friendship between two queer people of different generations (I'm 33 and Morgan is almost 70!) who've come together to ensure that her stories of adventure, survival, addiction, recovery, transition, love, loss, and triumph are not lost to history. Rather, we want to uplift and amplify these unique memories and present them in the timeless, fine-art medium of an artist book. To see a sneak peak of the images, please visit my website .
Any donated funds will go directly towards the creation, publishing, and distribution of the book. Anything left over will be used to create a kick-ass comedy show/party/book launch/ fundraiser in San Francisco when it is all done.
While I do not have a set deadline, my goal is to have See My Heart in your gorgeous hands by next summer. By then we will all be vaccinated and ready to party and laugh together (and cry, because the stories can be heartbreaking, but then laugh again because they are life-affirming)!
This project was born in the tight-knit community of Bernal Heights and represents the power of sharing our stories across generations. You, our wonderful community, will have a direct part in venerating Morgan's unforgettable life and the courage it takes to share her memories. Contributing to See My Heart will allow you to support the arts, both Morgan and my livelihoods, and will champion transgender visibility.
Read on for some specifics about what you can expect after donation. Any amount is helpful but even sharing the project with a friend would be so appreciated.
With Heartfelt Thanks,
Emma Maile Shore Norman
Rewards for Donating:
$5-$20 You will receive a personal invitation to the signing/ comedy show/ party when that happens- this event will happen in the future, not for at least a year (maybe more- the creative process can take a long time!) but when it does happen, it will be both IRL and available streaming.
You will also receive a handwritten note of thanks, from me. Hey, my autograph may be worth money one day ya never know.
$40 counts towards a pre-order of the artist book, plus domestic shipping. And a note of thanks from me.
$60 for an 8x12 or 8x8 limited edition fine art print of your choice from the See My Heart photograph collection- you can see the available images on my website over the next few months, and I will contact you when the options are finalized.
$100 counts towards a pre-order of the artist book AND a print.
If you contribute over $150, you will receive a signed copy of the artist book, a photographic print, a note of thanks from me, as well as mention in the book itself.
*I will update this page with more rewards as things progress. Stay tuned while I enlist my vast community of talented artists, craftspeople, makers of all kinds to contribute unique rewards over the next several months.*