SUPPORT LEVI: A Fundraiser for Levi Gammons to re-establish himself after incarceration
In the autumn of 2011, a man’s life was forever changed. A professional counselor with a love of surfing, he gave up everything he had in Florida to move and be with his new wife in Virginia. This woman then turned on him, not being able to bear the stigma of being partnered with a trans person. She completely and utterly abandoned him. The man was convicted of a felony. His crime? Being transgender -- he put an "M" on his marriage certificate. In the state of Virginia in a region known for being the mainstay of Evangelical fundamentalist Jerry Falwell, Levi Gammons was convicted to forgery of a marriage certificate. This was considered a FELONY. Despite having gone through the expensive and emotional process of medical and legal transition, he was still sentenced to five years in jail. His sentence was suspended to one year which he has spent wholly in solitary confinement. This is what happens to people in our community whose mere existence causes them undue harm and institutional oppression and further, become subjected to the prison industrial complex.
Levi writes, “Here in Virginia my [re-entry program] opportunities are very limited because of being trans. In this state I would not be able to enter into the men’s housing or women’s. So where most people can move into half-way house or programs, I am not allowed simply due to my being trans. This is a scary feeling. No home, money, very scary.” When Levi is finally released, he will have spent one full year in solitary confinement and leave literally with the clothes on his back.
This is why Wyatt and Sarah Jenny are coming to you -- to our community -- which is also Levi’s community to --- to ask for your support. Levi put every penny into his move and with his parents long passed and no siblings, he literally has no support system without us. We ask that you be in solidarity with Levi and show him that he has a community to come home to when he gets out.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Donate whatever you can today. Then re-post it to your Facebook, Twitter, and email it to ten friends.
- If you can’t afford to contribute, share it far and wide and ask others do the same and contribute if they can.
- Even $1 can help. If each person on our combined facebook friends donated $1 we would already be at $4556. Imagine if each donated $2!
- If you know of transitional housing opportunities or work opportunities for Levi, he has a masters degree in counseling and is very interested in getting involved in trans activism. He is in need of immediate housing starting on September 23rd. He would also ideally like to live by the ocean.
- Donate goods or services as perks to encourage other folks to contribute financially.
Our goal is to reach at least $5,000 for Levi. Levi has no support after being released, no place to live and no clear idea of where his next job will be, let alone his next meal or even bathroom to use. If you think about it, $5,000 is a small number when you need to relocate and have your basic needs met (food, shelter, clothes, etc.) We plan to be transparent with the money raised here and how it will be sent to him and the fees associated with that. If we can’t help one another, who will? Let’s show Levi that we are out here and that we care.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for passing this on to as many people as you’re able.
In closing, Levi writes, “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I really appreciate it. You have my blessings and thanks to go for it. Put it out there to the whole world.”
We will be adding more and more perks as time goes on. Stay tuned!
if anyone has services they would like to donate for a perk we would love to hear from you. e-mail us at: email@example.com
perks can be location specific!
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About the Organizers
Wyatt Riot and Sarah Jenny are two friends who were first introduced to Levi via Facebook message from a transgender rights attorney. After many months corresponding with him individually, they found out they shared this connection and concern for Levi’s well being during his re-entry process, they asked for his consent to hold a fundraiser to help him upon his release. Both have developed a sincere friendship with this very kind man and are committed to community building and mutual aid.
Sarah Jenny & Wyatt Riot
Community Organizers & Activists