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Big GAY Dreams, Big Capitalist Obstacles
$425 raised
21% of $2k goal
8 contributors
4 Years running
Hello friends. I’m seeking support in getting ReInvent The Wheel—my diesel Mercedes parts & cars business—off the ground. I've reached a bottleneck: on this side I'm scratching in the dirt for pennies; on the other I'm in a golden field of abundance.

            Hello friends. I’m writing to you today to seek support in what has been a very challenging path. The past two years has been a bumpy ride trying to get ReInvent The Wheel—my diesel Mercedes parts & cars business—off the ground, and I’m now at a critical point, I have four car sales looming in the next two months and am nearing the completion of an epic business plan that I will soon be pitching to investors. In the meantime, our projects have been grossly pushed back by a recent snowstorm and illness, and as a result I’m struggling to pay bills and don’t have enough funds to purchase the parts needed to finish these projects. I’ve been trying to secure loan financing to no avail and am now reaching out to the community for support.

            Surviving as a trans woman is no easy task; I started hustling junk on eBay when I was 16 in expectation of a lifetime of limited employment opportunities. I’ve had a huge host of experiences along the way that have prepared me to run this business today, and I can feel success looming on the near horizon. I know that this business can not only provide a sustainable source for me, but can be a vital cornerstone in a growing rural queer community in SW Oregon. It has already provided employment opportunities for a small handful of queer folks in the area, and plans for expansion include being able to offer many such opportunities in the near future. As such, it is one of many projects I am working on and supporting to help nurture self-sustaining creative queer community with leadership from the margins.


            Through my many years of community organizing I have felt the huge inevitable challenge of fundraising for community projects. The ideas, dreams and people that I believe in the most are always the ones who are most marginalized in both their own communities and larger society. As a result, projects organized from these margins are always inherently the most underfunded. Part of my dream with ReInvent The Wheel is to be able to finance projects and visions from the margins of the margins of queer community. I know that this business has an enormous profit potential—every corner I turn continues to show me that. After years of surviving off of a miniscule amount of money, I have no desire to be “living large”. I do have some long-neglected expenses that will take precedence, like taking care of my health (which I have rarely been able to do properly), funding long-awaited costs of physical transition, and paying off debts (accumulated while managing the Big GAY Warehouse), however I don’t expect these to consume my entire income, and I’m planning to use the money I make to fund community projects and help support other marginalized queers in their struggle to thrive.

            The primary community project I’m engaged in these days is the Big GAY Trailer Park, a transitional housing solution for queer folks moving to the country (specifically in the Siskiyous). I’ve been scheming and visioning this project for a year and a half now, and dream of buying land by the end of 2014. In addition to many hours of my own time, I’ve already spent about $1200 of my own money to purchase three trailers (with a total value about twice their cost) that will be used for this project. The resources available to me through my business—namely experienced mechanics and abundant storage space—have been vital to the acquisition of these trailers.

            The trailers are also a research and development project associated with ReInvent the Wheel. I see the restoration/rebuilding of vintage trailers for sale as another potential employment opportunity for rural queers. I’ve also invested another $1200 into biodiesel processing equipment, with plans to form a biodiesel co-op and provide alternative fuel solutions in the area.

            I still have many heartstrings tying me to the Bay Area, and as my business expands it will enable me to visit more often and engage in community projects there. I’m now on the board at Raven’s Crossing, a queer land project in Marin, and hope that my increased presence can help that project rebuild after some much needed rest. After two and a half years of tossing the idea around, plans to start a Big GAY Warehouse in Oakland are finally being seriously considered. This project is obviously very dear to me and I plan to offer as much support as I am able to ensure its success, as well as basking in the wonders which it will produce.

            To conclude, dear friends, even more than I don’t like fundraising for community projects from people that are financially marginalized by capitalism, I really don’t enjoy fundraising for myself. Know that I do not ask for support lightly, but my need at this time is great. Know further that I am not asking for support for my own benefit, but because I have so much to give in the years to come, and have given so much already. To truly move forward on a good foot with my business, I need $6,000 in the next week or two. However, I’m looking into other options and am very resourceful with moving things around. So, I’m seeking $2,000 in community support to help me get through this one last rough patch before I reach the golden fields of abundance. Any amount of money or non-financial encouragement that you are able to give is extremely helpful. Spread the word, share the link, send me love. Also, if anyone is able and interested in offering a short-term loan, or may be interested in a longer-term investment, please contact me.


With Big GAY Love,

                        Alix P. Shedd


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