Sick Theories Accessibility Fund
Sick Theories is a trans-disciplinary conference by and for those who identify as sick, disabled, and mad. Over the course of two days we'll be bringing together activists, academics, writers, artists, and educators to discuss the relationship between sickness and sexuality. November 8-9th, we'll gather for panels, workshops, a keynote, an art exhibition, and artist roundtable.
Unfortunately, the world we live in is deeply inaccessible. As a student-led initiative, Sick Theories has been dependent on grants from the University of Toronto. But the grants that we've successfully applied for do not begin to cover the costs of providing adequate ASL interpretation or the costs of CART (communications access realtime translation) -- well exceeding what we'd budgeted for. Because we understand that poverty and disability go hand in hand, and that money is an accessibility barrier, we've made Sick Theories a free event for those participating and attending. But in doing so, we've lost a source of revenue that most conferences depend on.
With this Go Fund Me, we want to ensure that everyone in the disabled and sick community can be present and comfortable throughout Sick Theories. Your donation will help us pay $1600 for CART, $300 for audio description, and the rest will be used for open captioning and travel stipends for those who are coming from afar. Anything we make above our goal will be donated to the Audre Lorde Project.
Sick Theories Origin Story
The idea for Sick Theories came after Margeaux, one of the conference organizers, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For months, Margeaux struggled to get to campus, where she teaches and works, as the pain and fatigue she experienced made it difficult -- if not impossible -- to get out of bed. Feeling isolated and alone, she did what any graduate student would do and got her hands on any book discussing autoimmunity and chronic illnesses. These books made her feel a little less alone, but it's kind of hard to have a conversation with two hundred pages of paper. With her passion for community-building, Margeaux decided to use the skills and resources she had as graduate student to create Sick Theories. Long admiring the work of her friend, Lauren Fournier, she asked the artist, academic, and activist if she'd like to collaborate on Sick Theories.
The interest in Sick Theories has exceeded what Margeaux and Lauren could have thought possible. Sick Theories received close to 100 submissions and was able to select 40 participants. Within 2 hours of taking registration public, there were no more tickets left. With 100 people registered and 90 (and growing) on the waitlist, it's clear that this is a subject that speaks to so many. Because of the topic of the conference, and those involved, it's of the utmost importance to ensure the event be as accessible as possible.
A NOTE ON RECEIVING THANK YOU'S: Go Fund me does not share your email address with me. We will send you a Thank You note via Go Fund Me asking for your email so we can contact you after the conference and the Thank You into your hands.
We can't begin to express our gratitude for any amount that you're able to offer to support us in achieving this goal. Many members of our community have offered these Thank You's to our supporters:
$10-19: Receive a 5x7 "I don't feel good" postcard made by Brianne Burnell
$20-39: Receive a Sick Theories tote bag (limited to a run of 25). Illustration by Sabrina Scott
$40-74: Receive a limited-edition screen print (size 11x14) by Lee D'Angelo, aka @rat666tat from Outcast Club/TKVO (limited run of 12) or when we sell out, the Sick Theories tote bag and two zines!
PLEAES NOTE: WE'RE NOW SOLD OUT OF LEE'S PRINT.
$75-99: Receive a "Sick Babe" necklace made especially for Sick Theories by Fierce Deer (made with a 14k gold-filled chain) AND a Sick Theories tote bag.
OR: Get in touch with your intuition and see things from a different perspective with this three-month “tarot subscription” from Jodie Layne Tarot . Each month you’ll receive a digital reading emailed to you with a spread customized to your needs, an analysis of the reading, and some questions for further introspection and reflection. ONLY 3 AVAILABLE!!!
Donate $100 or more: Receive 1 of 5 book bundles, which includes a signed copy of Johanna Hedva's "On Hell," Hana Shafi's poetry collection "It Begins With the Body," and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's book of essays, "Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice."
OR: Receive 1 of 5 zine bundles, which includes "You Care Too Much" by With/out Pretend, "Forest Fires" written by Margeaux Feldman and published by The Vault, Milkweed Zine Issue 4: Fantasyland, Invisibilities Zine: Issue 1: Chronic Illness, and Clementine Morrigan's "Fucking Magic".
When book and zine bundles run out, OR if you'd prefer: "Sick Babe Necklace," Sick Theories tote bag, and "I don't feel good" postcard
A NOTE ON RECEIVING THANK YOU'S (AGAIN): Go Fund me does not share your email address with me. In order to ensure that you receive your Thank You, please look out for a message from us asking for your email address.
To learn more about the conference, visit sicktheories.com
But we still have a little ways to go before we reach our goal. With 91 people now on our waitlist, we want to make sure that we can secure the funds we need to book a larger venue. The magic of community is real and we want everyone to be able to be in the same room together.
If you haven't done so already, we'd love for you to share our Go Fund Me with folks in your life.