Project Sepheria is creating Change and Awareness through Health and Media
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What's your story?

 My name is Mason and I am a recently disabled, black, trans man. I know, right? You're probably thinking "What? He doesn't look disabled." Well, this is what disabled looks like. In January, 2017, my life took a sharp left into the danger zone. I went from being able to work 40- 60 hour work weeks, in a warehouse and restaurant (and still hitting the gym once a week) last Summer, to my doctor telling me I needed to stop working and referring me to more specialists than I'd ever seen by Winter. Slowly, I had to stop doing many of the things I loved--most of which involved high functioning motor skills and mobility. I love to cosplay and create, but I no longer had the energy for a full convention; my body only being able to go through one full day at max. I stopped being able to go out and enjoy myself with friends nearly as much. My friends and sister were worried sick. I was 180 in January and had dropped to 150 March. Even though I was (and still am) seeing multiple specialists, every one involved has been grasping at straws and putting out fires. Thankfully I've been blessed enough to have had some of the most competent medical specialists on the east coast (even Ben Carson, before he retired) handling my case, but even then it was proving to not be enough. Many of the medications I needed to take conflicted with each other, I was allergic to, or simply didn't work. My body could no longer tolerate the side effects of over the counter pain medicine, and the weekly IV treatments that I needed had side effects that were very similar to chemotherapy. My days started with waking up at 5am with uncontrollable hiccups along with an inflamed liver and morning sickness. My body was weak. I was lucky enough to get sleep as the excruciating pain would keep my awake for days at a time.

On top of my own internal and physical struggles suddenly I had been categorized into a whole other side of society. No one, and I mean really no one seemed to know how to handle a disabled person. I lost quite a few friends in the process as it seemed to hard to grasp that the same healthy and able Mason that they knew for so long would not be coming back after a few weeks; this wasn't the flu. My disabilities were constantly questioned, the validity of my symptoms doubted because I chose to suffer in privacy and strove to look and be as able passing as possible. It appears to be very difficult for able-bodied individuals to cope with the failures of modern medicine. By that I mean, a stranger would rather believe that you simply must be taking care of yourself incorrectly and not doing enough than to believe that situations such as my own really happen every day. Suddenly all the self reassuring and ableist things said by my peers were now aimed at me and applied to me. Of course, the constant (and often accidental) invalidation began to take a heavy toll on my mental health. Obviously something had to give.

In February I took up herbalism and holistic medicine, starting up an apothecary. Every day, since most days I was bed ridden or confined to my room, was spent researching my symptoms and conditions, consulting with my doctors about supplements and learning how to create basic medicine for myself from scratch. I have been pagan for many years and finally I had a productive reason to pursue wortcunning as well. I changed my diet and habits and soon my health stabilized and some of my symptoms could be temporarily alleviated or even managed by things that I was creating from plants and alcohol. Needless to say my doctors were ecstatic. They were also ecstatic when they found out I had begun smoking cannabis. Cannabis was the most effective plant and medicine.
No really.
Let me give you a list:

  • Complex Migraines <--These bad boys mimic seizures if I get too stressed out
  • Chronic Pain
  • Fibromayalgia
  • PTSD
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Uncontrollable nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Neuropathy
  • Trichotillomania
  • Dermatographia
  • Dizziness
  • Joint Pain and Stiffness
  • Alpha Thalassemia
  • Anemia
  • Insomnia
  • Inflammation
  • a whole lot of other wacky unexplained and debilitating symptoms
I had spent years trying experimental and mainstream pharmaceuticals like Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, and Savella had proved to be completely useless or caused adverse side effects such as allergic reactions. Cannabis aided if not completely alleviated many of the symptoms I dealt with on a daily basis. On top of that, I could make extremely effective herbal medicine for just about any issue out of cannabis and its byproducts.  Now came the biggest issue: The most effective medication available for my conditions, praised by all my doctors, was illegal. Is still illegal in the majority of my home country. My options were very limited until I got the offer from a friend who'd also become recently disabled to come live in Washington State, just outside of Seattle.

Long story short: I took the offer and after a long road trip across America I settled into my new home. Here, my medication isn't illegal, I have proper all encompassing health care. I have the access to some of the best transgender care in the States and specialists that are trained to handle all of my coexisting conditions.

But that's not the end of my story--


I have sh*t to do! And I need your help!

What could I possibly need to do? Everything under the sun. I am in a unique position. My illnesses are debilitating, however I have the privilege of keeping a lot of my skills, talents and passions and I intend to use them to help not just myself but my communities as well. In my home state I did a lot of activist and advocacy work, planning grassroots projects involving fighting ableism, racism, and classism. I unfortunately had to leave some of it behind, but I'm determined to hit the ground running here in Seattle and it's surrounding areas. If we can get Project Sepheria to be self sustaining, these dreams will no doubt become reality.

  • I had been working with others to set up funding for community gardens that would contain medicinal herbs and free instructive classes teaching the general public how to make simple and effective medicine for just a couple of dollars--especially in low income areas. I dream of a world where people can grow a months supply of their own medicine in their kitchen for a max of $10, instead of choosing between paying rent or affording their $150 anti-inflammatory. I intend to team up with other local and eventually national organizations to do as much in my power to make that from an improbable dream to a practical reality.

  • Blogging. Yes that's right, blogging. It's the most efficient way to communicate, network, and create a solid platform for my projects in the 21st century. I will be putting some of the patron donations towards maintaining a blog/website that will not only keep track of my projects and videos, but will be an extensive resource of information for QUILTBAG, PoC, and disabled individuals as well as our allies. No one truly wants to believe that their loved ones that don't understand their illness simply don't care, but unlearning ignorance takes work and accessible resources.

  • I'm a digital and traditional artist. There are many up and coming activism groups and concepts that literally need illustrating. I plan to team up with other artists to produce art that lends visibility to marginalized communities. My, as well as the rest of the artists that I recruit's, creations will be available in reward tiers. I don't plan to just stop there. Soon, after my health is stabilized I will be returning to University to continue my education in Psychology and Media. My goal is to gain the means to create the kind of emotional and cathartic connections as well as provide the type of groundbreaking representation for minorities, mental illness, and disabilities that we're beginning to see more often in series' like The Walking Dead, The OA, and Sense8. I intend to gather a team of individuals like myself in order to make the difference we never thought we could in this world. There are many people like me that are not privileged enough to be able-passing or whose voices are silenced by the louder, more able majority. I am going to amplify those voices with your help. 

  • While I was on the East coast I took part in a monthly Japanese style host club known as "Red Royal Lounge" as a host. I'm into harajuku street fashion. I do fairy kei, V kei, decora, ouji, lolita, gyaru/o, and host. This may surprise you but the cosplay and fashion community has been a haven for marginalized groups for a very long time. The Red Royal lounge, however, specifically employed those marginalized groups, shining the spotlight on some of the most beautiful and talented people you've ever met while bringing awareness at the same time. Now that I'm on the West Coast, I intend to work with conventions such as Sakura Con to start a sister club to Red Royal with a QUILTBAG/disabled staff.  A portion of the proceeds will go towards supporting the club as well as the staffs efforts to raise the public awareness of intersectionality. All of the updates and promotional artwork will be posted here, and the hosts, along with myself will be posting videos here for our patrons.  

  • Cooking is one of my biggest passions. Along with making medicine, I am also learning and crafting healthy and medicinal recipes that I want to share with the world. Herbal medicine does not just come in the form of tinctures and teas. You can turn candies, dessert, and dinner into part of your health regimen just by changing some ingredients and it'll still taste great. Chances are it'll probably taste better. A portion of the proceeds will go towards culinary research and the eventual publication of a recipe book that features vegetarian, vegan, and allergy sensitive options as well. I will also be releasing recipes here for my patrons, even creating recipes for specific patrons that hit a certain reward tier, and sending off those completed products to those at higher reward tiers. 

  • Along with a cook book, I will be working on a recipe book for potions, tonics, tinctures, poultices and more to be eventually published. My patrons, of course, will have first access to regularly released recipes and instructive videos. A portion of the proceeds will be going towards the research and travel for this project as well as eventually getting the proper equipment to produce high quality videos and content(which would be a blessing I can't even fathom). 

  • Living? Another portion of the proceeds from this patreon will be going towards supporting my efforts to thrive in spite of my conditions on a daily basis. I will be using that portion for the prescribed treatments and medications I need(such as testosterone for instance) to keep myself going and dedicate myself to these causes. Unfortunately I'm still fighting the government for Social Security and I'm on round two with them so I've yet to receive federal aid and benefits. 

A quick lesson on some of the terms I've used above:

What Is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is a sociological theory about how an individual can face multiple threats of discrimination when their identities overlap a number of minority classes, such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, health and other characteristics.

What is QUILTBAG?
QUILTBAG is a more encompassing alternative to the acronym LGBT. It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.

What is Ableism?

"Ableism is a neologism (a new word) of United States coinage used to describe effective discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not disabled. An ableist society is said to be one that treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of ‘normal living’, which results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, thereby inherently excluding those with various disabilities."  -via Stop Ableism

Thank you so much for reading my story. Even if you aren't able to contribute monetarily, spreading the word is a huge help and show of support. 

If you're interested in joining my team:

Please contact me either through Patreon or through my project email, [email protected], to inquire about the host club, or any of the other parts of Project Sepheria listed.



Tiers
Become A Patron
$1 or more per month
Unlock exclusive content and join my community of patrons. Thank you!
  • Access to patron-only content
  • Connect with other patrons
  • Plus all previous rewards
Early Access
$5 or more per month
Access to my Activity Feed, Tutorials, Recipes, and Videos sooner than the public!
Apothecary Access
$10 or more per month
A monthly sample of one of the Apothercary products of your choice.
Artwork Tier 1
$10 or more per month
You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $10 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag.
Artwork Tier 2
$15 or more per month
 You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $15 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag. 
Ask the Cards
$15 or more per month
A monthly detailed tarot reading. I may choose to publish some, but I will keep them anonymous unless otherwise instructed. 
Artwork Tier 3
$20 or more per month
 You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $20 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag. 
Cauldron Bubble
$20 or more per month
A medium sized monthly shipment of an apothecary product of your choice or equal value.
So You Never Run Out
$30 or more per month
A large monthly shipment of an Apothecary item of your choice or equal value.
Personalized Video Message
$50 or more per month
I'll record a video message, just for you and publish it to my page. Any questions sent to me will be answered as priority.
What the Doctor Ordered
$50 or more per month
Together, you and I will create a new apothecary item that specifically suits your needs. You get to name that item, if you wish, and it will be featured in the Apothecary. (Please remember to always consult with a licensed medical professional whenever taking or planning to take any herbal supplement or medication.)
Goals
$0 of $100 per month
I'll release a thank you video addressing every patron directly for their help and support.
1 of 4
What's your story?

 My name is Mason and I am a recently disabled, black, trans man. I know, right? You're probably thinking "What? He doesn't look disabled." Well, this is what disabled looks like. In January, 2017, my life took a sharp left into the danger zone. I went from being able to work 40- 60 hour work weeks, in a warehouse and restaurant (and still hitting the gym once a week) last Summer, to my doctor telling me I needed to stop working and referring me to more specialists than I'd ever seen by Winter. Slowly, I had to stop doing many of the things I loved--most of which involved high functioning motor skills and mobility. I love to cosplay and create, but I no longer had the energy for a full convention; my body only being able to go through one full day at max. I stopped being able to go out and enjoy myself with friends nearly as much. My friends and sister were worried sick. I was 180 in January and had dropped to 150 March. Even though I was (and still am) seeing multiple specialists, every one involved has been grasping at straws and putting out fires. Thankfully I've been blessed enough to have had some of the most competent medical specialists on the east coast (even Ben Carson, before he retired) handling my case, but even then it was proving to not be enough. Many of the medications I needed to take conflicted with each other, I was allergic to, or simply didn't work. My body could no longer tolerate the side effects of over the counter pain medicine, and the weekly IV treatments that I needed had side effects that were very similar to chemotherapy. My days started with waking up at 5am with uncontrollable hiccups along with an inflamed liver and morning sickness. My body was weak. I was lucky enough to get sleep as the excruciating pain would keep my awake for days at a time.

On top of my own internal and physical struggles suddenly I had been categorized into a whole other side of society. No one, and I mean really no one seemed to know how to handle a disabled person. I lost quite a few friends in the process as it seemed to hard to grasp that the same healthy and able Mason that they knew for so long would not be coming back after a few weeks; this wasn't the flu. My disabilities were constantly questioned, the validity of my symptoms doubted because I chose to suffer in privacy and strove to look and be as able passing as possible. It appears to be very difficult for able-bodied individuals to cope with the failures of modern medicine. By that I mean, a stranger would rather believe that you simply must be taking care of yourself incorrectly and not doing enough than to believe that situations such as my own really happen every day. Suddenly all the self reassuring and ableist things said by my peers were now aimed at me and applied to me. Of course, the constant (and often accidental) invalidation began to take a heavy toll on my mental health. Obviously something had to give.

In February I took up herbalism and holistic medicine, starting up an apothecary. Every day, since most days I was bed ridden or confined to my room, was spent researching my symptoms and conditions, consulting with my doctors about supplements and learning how to create basic medicine for myself from scratch. I have been pagan for many years and finally I had a productive reason to pursue wortcunning as well. I changed my diet and habits and soon my health stabilized and some of my symptoms could be temporarily alleviated or even managed by things that I was creating from plants and alcohol. Needless to say my doctors were ecstatic. They were also ecstatic when they found out I had begun smoking cannabis. Cannabis was the most effective plant and medicine.
No really.
Let me give you a list:

  • Complex Migraines <--These bad boys mimic seizures if I get too stressed out
  • Chronic Pain
  • Fibromayalgia
  • PTSD
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Uncontrollable nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Neuropathy
  • Trichotillomania
  • Dermatographia
  • Dizziness
  • Joint Pain and Stiffness
  • Alpha Thalassemia
  • Anemia
  • Insomnia
  • Inflammation
  • a whole lot of other wacky unexplained and debilitating symptoms
I had spent years trying experimental and mainstream pharmaceuticals like Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, and Savella had proved to be completely useless or caused adverse side effects such as allergic reactions. Cannabis aided if not completely alleviated many of the symptoms I dealt with on a daily basis. On top of that, I could make extremely effective herbal medicine for just about any issue out of cannabis and its byproducts.  Now came the biggest issue: The most effective medication available for my conditions, praised by all my doctors, was illegal. Is still illegal in the majority of my home country. My options were very limited until I got the offer from a friend who'd also become recently disabled to come live in Washington State, just outside of Seattle.

Long story short: I took the offer and after a long road trip across America I settled into my new home. Here, my medication isn't illegal, I have proper all encompassing health care. I have the access to some of the best transgender care in the States and specialists that are trained to handle all of my coexisting conditions.

But that's not the end of my story--


I have sh*t to do! And I need your help!

What could I possibly need to do? Everything under the sun. I am in a unique position. My illnesses are debilitating, however I have the privilege of keeping a lot of my skills, talents and passions and I intend to use them to help not just myself but my communities as well. In my home state I did a lot of activist and advocacy work, planning grassroots projects involving fighting ableism, racism, and classism. I unfortunately had to leave some of it behind, but I'm determined to hit the ground running here in Seattle and it's surrounding areas. If we can get Project Sepheria to be self sustaining, these dreams will no doubt become reality.

  • I had been working with others to set up funding for community gardens that would contain medicinal herbs and free instructive classes teaching the general public how to make simple and effective medicine for just a couple of dollars--especially in low income areas. I dream of a world where people can grow a months supply of their own medicine in their kitchen for a max of $10, instead of choosing between paying rent or affording their $150 anti-inflammatory. I intend to team up with other local and eventually national organizations to do as much in my power to make that from an improbable dream to a practical reality.

  • Blogging. Yes that's right, blogging. It's the most efficient way to communicate, network, and create a solid platform for my projects in the 21st century. I will be putting some of the patron donations towards maintaining a blog/website that will not only keep track of my projects and videos, but will be an extensive resource of information for QUILTBAG, PoC, and disabled individuals as well as our allies. No one truly wants to believe that their loved ones that don't understand their illness simply don't care, but unlearning ignorance takes work and accessible resources.

  • I'm a digital and traditional artist. There are many up and coming activism groups and concepts that literally need illustrating. I plan to team up with other artists to produce art that lends visibility to marginalized communities. My, as well as the rest of the artists that I recruit's, creations will be available in reward tiers. I don't plan to just stop there. Soon, after my health is stabilized I will be returning to University to continue my education in Psychology and Media. My goal is to gain the means to create the kind of emotional and cathartic connections as well as provide the type of groundbreaking representation for minorities, mental illness, and disabilities that we're beginning to see more often in series' like The Walking Dead, The OA, and Sense8. I intend to gather a team of individuals like myself in order to make the difference we never thought we could in this world. There are many people like me that are not privileged enough to be able-passing or whose voices are silenced by the louder, more able majority. I am going to amplify those voices with your help. 

  • While I was on the East coast I took part in a monthly Japanese style host club known as "Red Royal Lounge" as a host. I'm into harajuku street fashion. I do fairy kei, V kei, decora, ouji, lolita, gyaru/o, and host. This may surprise you but the cosplay and fashion community has been a haven for marginalized groups for a very long time. The Red Royal lounge, however, specifically employed those marginalized groups, shining the spotlight on some of the most beautiful and talented people you've ever met while bringing awareness at the same time. Now that I'm on the West Coast, I intend to work with conventions such as Sakura Con to start a sister club to Red Royal with a QUILTBAG/disabled staff.  A portion of the proceeds will go towards supporting the club as well as the staffs efforts to raise the public awareness of intersectionality. All of the updates and promotional artwork will be posted here, and the hosts, along with myself will be posting videos here for our patrons.  

  • Cooking is one of my biggest passions. Along with making medicine, I am also learning and crafting healthy and medicinal recipes that I want to share with the world. Herbal medicine does not just come in the form of tinctures and teas. You can turn candies, dessert, and dinner into part of your health regimen just by changing some ingredients and it'll still taste great. Chances are it'll probably taste better. A portion of the proceeds will go towards culinary research and the eventual publication of a recipe book that features vegetarian, vegan, and allergy sensitive options as well. I will also be releasing recipes here for my patrons, even creating recipes for specific patrons that hit a certain reward tier, and sending off those completed products to those at higher reward tiers. 

  • Along with a cook book, I will be working on a recipe book for potions, tonics, tinctures, poultices and more to be eventually published. My patrons, of course, will have first access to regularly released recipes and instructive videos. A portion of the proceeds will be going towards the research and travel for this project as well as eventually getting the proper equipment to produce high quality videos and content(which would be a blessing I can't even fathom). 

  • Living? Another portion of the proceeds from this patreon will be going towards supporting my efforts to thrive in spite of my conditions on a daily basis. I will be using that portion for the prescribed treatments and medications I need(such as testosterone for instance) to keep myself going and dedicate myself to these causes. Unfortunately I'm still fighting the government for Social Security and I'm on round two with them so I've yet to receive federal aid and benefits. 

A quick lesson on some of the terms I've used above:

What Is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is a sociological theory about how an individual can face multiple threats of discrimination when their identities overlap a number of minority classes, such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, health and other characteristics.

What is QUILTBAG?
QUILTBAG is a more encompassing alternative to the acronym LGBT. It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.

What is Ableism?

"Ableism is a neologism (a new word) of United States coinage used to describe effective discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not disabled. An ableist society is said to be one that treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of ‘normal living’, which results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, thereby inherently excluding those with various disabilities."  -via Stop Ableism

Thank you so much for reading my story. Even if you aren't able to contribute monetarily, spreading the word is a huge help and show of support. 

If you're interested in joining my team:

Please contact me either through Patreon or through my project email, [email protected], to inquire about the host club, or any of the other parts of Project Sepheria listed.



Recent posts by Project Sepheria

Tiers
Become A Patron
$1 or more per month
Unlock exclusive content and join my community of patrons. Thank you!
  • Access to patron-only content
  • Connect with other patrons
  • Plus all previous rewards
Early Access
$5 or more per month
Access to my Activity Feed, Tutorials, Recipes, and Videos sooner than the public!
Apothecary Access
$10 or more per month
A monthly sample of one of the Apothercary products of your choice.
Artwork Tier 1
$10 or more per month
You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $10 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag.
Artwork Tier 2
$15 or more per month
 You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $15 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag. 
Ask the Cards
$15 or more per month
A monthly detailed tarot reading. I may choose to publish some, but I will keep them anonymous unless otherwise instructed. 
Artwork Tier 3
$20 or more per month
 You will be able to choose one of the teams artist of your choice to create a piece of artwork on their $20 level. Each artist will have their own tier posts featured on the activity feed found under the "artist" tag. 
Cauldron Bubble
$20 or more per month
A medium sized monthly shipment of an apothecary product of your choice or equal value.
So You Never Run Out
$30 or more per month
A large monthly shipment of an Apothecary item of your choice or equal value.
Personalized Video Message
$50 or more per month
I'll record a video message, just for you and publish it to my page. Any questions sent to me will be answered as priority.
What the Doctor Ordered
$50 or more per month
Together, you and I will create a new apothecary item that specifically suits your needs. You get to name that item, if you wish, and it will be featured in the Apothecary. (Please remember to always consult with a licensed medical professional whenever taking or planning to take any herbal supplement or medication.)