As most of you know, for 50 years, I’ve been a part of the New York City Downtown Queer Arts and Activist community. Artists, performers, writers, painters, dancers are my chosen family; I have supported them, been part of their work, and promoted them because I treasure their tremendous talent. I’ve been an activist since the 60’s and now more than ever I’m back in the streets with groups like Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns to defeat the gun lobby and this fascist president.
From my early days at The Village Voice, and Details Magazine, to my new endeavors on social media, I’ve used every platform to highlight and promote the art and activism of the community I care about. I’m a promoter, and there’s nothing I love more than finding something or someone new to promote while continuing to support and nurture those I adore.
I’ve always believed in the power of community. Coming together to celebrate our lives, the hope we inspire, and to mourn our collective losses, continues to make me grateful to be a part of this brave and courageous tribe. This community has given me a place in the world. It has been my life and my joy.
A few years ago, I was gifted a digital camera by La Mama, because they felt my documenting of the goings on around New York is vital to a cultural history of downtown. I take this honor very seriously and was equally thrilled when I received the Acker Award as a photographic chronicler and outstanding member of the Avant Garde community.
Why I’m Asking for Help:
Over the last few years a series of physical health issues have made mobility harder for me, and while I soldier through, it’s coming at a terrible cost. Besides cataracts I have developed heart, nerve and vascular problems and because of limited funds I have not been taking the proper care. Recently my doctors have told me that I need to take treatment actions to prevent things from getting worse and /or irreversible.
My Social Security barely covers my basic living expenses but it is just high enough to make me ineligible for Medicaid, leaving me with a level of Medicare that carries prohibitive co-pays. My attempts to find a job over the past two years have not worked out and I have gone thru what savings I had and continuously found myself deeper in a financial hole.
It is hard to ask for help when I know there are people in worse circumstances but when I feel my life being diminished, depression sets in and all my problems which are by themselves serious begin to seem insurmountable. I sought to raise $20,000 for medical expenses to get me the recuperative treatments I need. It now appears I will need more. Frankly I was too embarrassed and uncomfortable to ask for more but having reached that original goal so quickly I feel more comfident to try for the rest. I am keeping this page up, with an updated goal of $40,000 and hope you will continue to share and donate.
It sounds like a lot, and it is. But I know it’s possible. I’ve seen miracles happen when our community comes together, and I’m hoping for one here… for me. I’ve seen the power of community to heal. And so I’m asking you to help me heal.
Let me just add that doing this -- having to ask for money in this way -- has thrown me about as far out of my comfort zone as I have ever been. But then last night at Howl, Jane Friedman looked at me and said “Jackie, this is what a community does. We help each other.” So, I’m taking this step. I’m asking you to help me by giving what you can, and getting the word out to others. Any donation is tremendously appreciated. Sharing this on social media also goes a long way toward reaching my goal.
Thank you in advance… every one of you, for helping me get well.
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