For those of you in a hurry: We need to raise money to pay for relocation expenses so we can be together. Click the button to support our love!
For those of you with a minute to spare: Read on. It's a good story.
"In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that within me there lay
an invincible summer."
You are invited to participate in this love story. The queer Nora Ephron-esque flick of your dreams, where you get to identify with the two main characters: radical queer artists who fall in love despite the miles, despite hardships of health, finances, internal stories and histories that would keep them apart if not for a deep belief in the possibility of wholeness, and a deep recognition of that possibility in each other. This is a story that wants to put its hands on your heart so you can feel that reckless abandon of love’s truth, that transformative story that pulses through all of us...
However. We aren’t asking you to fund that "story," the book, fairy tale, or movie. This is the true experience of new love manifested, the raw and comforting feeling of holding and being held. Despite a winter of struggle. Despite miles. We are here saying not only do we believe that we each deserve to be loved and nurtured individually, but that we have found that in each other. We are Lisa Ganser (Minneapolis, MN) and Nomy Lamm (San Francisco, CA), and we have fallen bravely, sweetly, expansively into a love that has quickly turned both of our lives around and saturated us with possibility. Much of it played out publicly on Facebook (there are good things that happen with social media). If you believe for even half a second that those sappy songs, those sonnets, those movies, those cheesy musicals have any truth in them... Well enable us. Enable what we are in, this romantic comedy that is our life. Love is not just for the most privileged amongst us! You don’t have to be rich and straight and skinny and able bodied to be the main character. You don’t have to wait until you are able to get married. You can be a radical queer fat activist crazy person on disability, someone who would always rather give to your community than ask for help, and you can say: We want to be together, and we need support to make this happen. Please open up your heart, your pocket, your coin purse, your fanny pack for us, to help make this dream a reality.
How did this happen? What began as facebook banter in December or January (depending upon who you ask) soon revealed a magnet between us that kept drawing us closer. (See timeline below for details.) There was SO MUCH to say! When we talked on the phone for the first time on January 13, our minds painted a picture together: Nomy flew to Lisa on her broom, hovering at the window, wondering how to get in. We realized she could fly right through the glass and into the room. Lisa moved over on the bed to make room for Nomy to sit, just before Nomy asked if that spot was for her. She sat and laid her head on Lisa's shoulder. We took a breath together. As soon as we got off the phone, Lisa wrote her first love poem for Nomy. It ends like this: "i know we just got here. but you make my life better."
And now, just a few months later, we are doing it. Making the choice to be together. What we have between us feels like home, so we have decided to make it our home. Together, on June 1, we plan to UHAUL (snail home on our backs) our glorious way across the country from Minneapolis to San Francisco, to the House of Sunshine, a beautiful old Victorian in the Mission district, which will now be the home of Nomy and Jezebel (cat), Lisa and Kingston (dog) and our roommates miss Jukie Sunshine (human) and Maybelline (cat).
We know that this move is generative, that the creativity that flows through both of us will only be amplified by the interdependence and reciprocity that we are offering ourselves as evidence for. And, it takes a lot from both of us. Psychicly, emotionally, financially, this is a big leap. Your donations will help Lisa catch up on bills that have accrued after a long bout with clinical depression. Also you will support Nomy to come to Minneapolis for two weeks to help Lisa organize, pack, and say goodbye to her long term home and community. Your donations will help us get to a place of balance together, and will pay for everything necessary to get us back to San Francisco (moving truck, gas, hotels and food on the road). And, your donations will help us when we get to our shared home, to get us set up together, buy a bed, and hopefully pay for the first month’s rent. We are looking for people who believe in love, who believe in us, you, to contribute to our goal of raising $5000. We are survivors, advocates, loud and proud. We will make this happen no matter what, but with your support the move can be less of a fight and more of a celebration. Every dollar counts. Thank you for believing in love. For supporting us.
Lisa’s story: Moving is very difficult for me. Transitions are hard. I moved a lot as a kid, once even losing everything we owned. I inadvertently invited that chaos into my adult life and even made moves across the country that were definitely fueled by running away not running to. I am proud to say, though, that the longest I ever lived at the same address, from birth, was as an adult in the Stevens Square neighborhood of Minneapolis. In that environment, I really experienced some tranformative years. I was able to have a dog, my best friend, Kingston, who continues to make me grateful every day. The stability of home gave me room to breathe, put that energy into other things, like my ongoing mental health challenges which were at the root of my unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I'm grateful for that time, and proud I was living alone then, independence is as important to me as stability. And yet, I have had so many addresses since then. I've done well thought moves, planned out to the most ridiculous of details, highly curated moves,which still only led to a handful of temporary situations which were sucking the life out of me. Depression had me, I was barely able to function. That brought me to this Winter, which has been one of the most difficult, I have barely worked, spending most of it bed ridden.
Nomy says she saw my struggle in December before we contacted each other via Facebook. When I hear her say that, I feel her presence long before this winter. I've been saying that this is the longest relationship I've ever been in, it's just at it's beginning parts. Since falling in love with Nomy, everything has become brighter, warmer, more hopeful. This warmth even extends into (new) old memories of some dark things that happened to me when I was a child. These "movies in my mind" that play out, that I have been working on coming to terms with for many years, now include Nomy. I feel her there, I see her too, as this winged hand drawn character from her zines, this sort of queer guardian anti-angel that is there to (un)dis my abilities. I see her above me, looking down, sprinkling to me some magic dust that would later become tools to cope with what I was experiencing. As quick as she's there, she flies off, spreading magic wherever the seeds of healing are needed. I didn't put her there, and she wasn't there before. Now she just is, and those terrible things that happened to me as a kid have less of a grip on me. For that, I will be forever grateful. Nomy has a way with me that opens doors and encourages me to be brave enough to not run away and to stay present in many things, the most precious being my own body. She asks for things she needs. She accepts my love and offers hers. She gives her love freely in the world unconditionally. She shares her struggles. Her triumphs. She is warm, caring and humble. She is a healer and is open to healing, in fact she asks for it. She honors my requests. She negotiates boundaries. She recognizes birds by their song. Nomy paints with words (is an accomplished writer) and has stories in her head she shares with me as radio shows and even movies that have my tail wagging so hard I knock dents in the cars parked outside down on the street. I knew I loved her when she astral projected into my room. In our first week of connecting on the phone, our calls were so long, it was super engaging, even overwhelming. Nomy asked for a little break, she didn't want to lose herself, I didn't totally understand, but I trusted her, and consent is something I strive to be in a constant state of. As in never take anything for granted. Only yes means yes. We negotiated some intentional down time, we called it a text break. I watched what she did with her time, it was there on public Facebook, where we first connected. She got herself an audition for a tv show, was promoting and fundraising for that, among many other things. That's what I mean when I say "she had me at goodbye". This is a person with a full life independent of me, and I of her, which when brought together enable and support the other and bring a whole new world of possibilities. Offering belong, opening doors, envisioning walls as water and extending hands through. Creating intentional space for pieces of each other that need more than just acknowledging. Our love is so inspiring to me. I fuckin love Nomy. With all my heart. I've never been more sure of anything in all my life. ((holding)) ((held))
Nomy’s story: I am not an impulsive person. I generally know where I will be in six months, I have a well-mapped life trajectory that puts my long-term vision at the center, and asks other people to adjust to my plan. For a while now though I have had a sense of something big coming, a planet that would crash into mine and change everything. I have longed for partnership that connects in a place of passionate creativity, that makes the world feel more inspired and possible, that allows for a deep merging of vision. I have been preparing for that possibility in my psyche, heart, body and spirit, and wondering whether it really exists for me. When Lisa and I first started connecting this winter, I was fresh out of a breakup and I told her that I was in no position to bend the center of my world for anyone else. She liked that. As we continued to get to know each other and realize how big this love is, we realized that we were going to want to be together, that astral projection would only take us so far, that we want to live our lives in concert. We told each other we would both consider moving to the other person’s city, and I did consider Minneapolis, but before I could even go visit there, a vision coalesced and a space opened. I live in a beautiful house in San Francisco, it’s affordable, centrally located, we have an awesome landlord, the weather is beautiful year round, you can sit in the back yard and see hummingbirds and mourning doves, and my room is connected to another by french doors, perfect for couples. Just as I admitted to myself that I was fantasizing about Lisa living here with me, one of my roommates gave notice that they’re moving out. In June. Much sooner than I even dreamed of living with Lisa. While the safety-oriented aspects of my mind wanted to say no, I’m not ready, too soon, let me plan more, let me get it all perfect, my heart has opened and opened and opened, saying June is just right, I don’t want to wait another minute, let’s get this started. And so. Here we go.
We are brave. We both like food, and art, and home. We love our friends, our animals, our communities, and we are proud to receive love and support from them. We could talk or not talk forever. We want to do this in the same home, from the same platform. You can be our witnesses.
December 19: Nomy posts a photo on facebook of bathroom graffiti that says “YER CUTE EVEN WHEN YER POOPIN” and Lisa comments “I’m sure it’s true.” (Lisa had a brave moment).
January 8: Lisa posts on facebook: “identical cousins wtf” to which Nomy respondl “all the way,” quoting the theme song from the Patty Duke show. Lisa says “Nomy Lamm come over.” Nomy responds “Ok, I’m here let me in.”
January 9: First inside joke-type-reference: cute with a q. Super qute.
January 13: Our first phone date. We like each other’s voices. We like each other’s minds. We make each other laugh. We astral project to be together. Lisa writes her first love poem for Nomy.
January 17: Lisa writes her second love poem for Nomy, titled “A Mop for a Broom,” and publishes it on Wordpress as a blog. Later posts it on facebook, where it is under "notes." here's a link, i think. https://www.facebook.com/notes/lisa-ganser/a-mop-for-a-broom-lisa-ganser/10151874722284199
January 23: Nomy writes her first snail mail to Lisa. Lisa, who collects letters, especially hand drawn lettering and loves fonts finally has found her favorite font (until now there were a few), and it's Nomy's.
February 14: We book Lisa a plane ticket to visit San Francisco, sponsored by our friend Holly Hessinger’s frequent flyer miles.
February 24: Nomy picks Lisa up from the airport in San Francisco. We smile so big and put our faces so close before we kiss for the first time. We both say ‘oh my god.’ One of us whispers ‘holy crap.’ What a relief to finally be in each others’ presence.
February 25, 26, 27, ...: Photobooths and hot sex and hot dog spaghetti and video shoots and picnics in the park and popsicles and dog parks and back scrubbing and spooning and love notes and love songs and musical theater and new friendships and ... being together makes the world feel better, and easier, and more possible.
February 28: We go to our first couple’s therapy session, not because anything is wrong, but to build a foundation so we can handle whatever comes up.
March 4: Lisa flies home to Minnesota, watching video she captured of Nomy singing a Cyndi Lauper song, crying the whole way. Upon returning home, Lisa has friends tellinhg her they are so happy for her. The photos posted from SF of Nomy & Lisa tell it all. As one friend put it, "You can't photoshop love."
March 7: Nomy changes relationship status on facebook to “In an Open Relationship with Lisa Ganser.”
March 9: We begin planning for future trips and projects, including playing shows, teaching workshops, and shooting porn.
March 15: Nomy writes a List of Ten things she loves about Lisa, in Lisa's favorite font. Sends it in the mail.
March 22: The “Nomy sings Lauper with Kiss” video that Lisa made plays at “Vanity Cinema” screening in London, Ontario. In exchange, the curators offer some cash to help Nomy and Lisa see each other!
April 1: After telling a close friend, Lisa announces via public facebook that she is moving to San Francisco. People believe her and are not surprised.
April 9: Nomy convinces Lisa that a fundraising page is the way to go to fund the transition of Lisa moving to SF from MPLS. Lisa comes to a place of acceptance with that. Agrees that a well funded move with intention and Nomy at her side is the most solid safe way to go.