A marvelous May to you!
Thanks to your support, our pilot grantees are out in the world doing fabulous sex-positive work! That said, I realized the other day that I'm not sure I've done a very good job of sharing their stories. What are these Effing resources actually doing?
Take, for example, our pilot grant to the Adipositivity Project by Substantia Jones. As Substantia says, she's "a fat woman and [her] photo-activism campaign serves people marginalized due to their size, gender, race, sexual expression, physical ability, and otherwise non-conforming bodies." In recent years, her photographs have been exhibited all over the world, including a solo exhibition at the Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North, New Zealand; and as part of group exhibitions Graz, Austria; Sardinia, Italy; and at the Tate Modern in London.
(Cute couple captured by Substantia thanks to the Effing Foundation!)
When we invited Substantia to apply for a grant from the Foundation, she'd been running the Adipositivity Project on a shoestring budget for over ten years. She launched a Patreon page to help defray some of her expenses, but it wasn't enough to cover travel. Being based in New York meant that Substantia didn't have any way to reach many of the models who wanted to work with her, particularly people on the West Coast.
That's where we (and you!) came in. Effing grant funding (made up of donor dollars!) paid for Substantia to do photo shoots in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Here's a message we received last month as Substantia started sharing photos from her trip:
I wanted to personally thank you for your support of the Adipositivity Project. I was an Adiposer a few years ago and it was one of the most rewarding and important things I’ve ever done in my life. Seeing my body reclining among hundreds of images of other bodies like mine has been so empowering and validating, it helped me come to terms with my disability and inspired me to make a space for myself as I am today. When [Substantia] came to Los Angeles, we were able to host her here at our house and I invited many of my fat friends to be photographed by her. Almost all of them struggle with depression and anxiety and hold so much shame about their bodies but seeing them free and happy and shining for her lens, to be able to pay forward the gift I was given meant the world to me. My husband and I will be regular donors to your foundation so you can help others like us celebrate our existence...
Xoxoxo, Marina Hayes (shared with permission)
I teared up as I read that. We're making a difference! Because of our grant to the Adipositivity Project, Marina was able to share a wonderful experience with her friends, and now thousands of other people can see themselves reflected in Substantia's photographs. The work of the Effing Foundation that you've supported—as friends, volunteers, and donors—is having a concrete, positive impact on people's lives. I can't say "Thank You" enough.
Let me close this newsletter with a few other updates & events from our pilot grantees:
- More Than No will celebrate the third birthday of Cabaret Consensual on May 12 in Los Angeles.
- Dirty Lola will host the next Sex Ed A Go Go show on May 26 in New York.
- The Survivor Theatre Project will present their latest production, "The Survivor's Village: Reclaiming the Body as Home" on May 27 in Boston.
- Ruby Bouie Johnson, LCSW, LCDC, of PolyDallas Millennium will receive the 2018 Professional Standard of Excellence award at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists (AASECT) annual conference in June.
- Substantia Jones of The Adipositivity Project will be a keynote speaker at the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDH) annual conference in August. She plans to use some of her Effing Foundation grant funding towards more photoshoots while she's in the Pacific Northwest.
Thank you again for supporting the Effing Foundation and our amazing group of sex-positive grantees!
Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director