THE arts scene is rallying around to help one of their own to raise the money for much-needed surgery.
Transgender artist Samo White has a date booked in for a double-mastectomy in July, but needs £12,000 to pay for it.
Local charity Tonic Music For Mental Health is hosting the night, dubbed Trans Mission, at The Wedgewood Rooms on Albert Road, Southsea, to help raise the cash.
Samo, who runs tattooists and street art gallery Play Dead on Highland Road, Southsea, had hoped to undergo the surgery through the NHS.
‘Now the physical implications that wearing a binder to strap down my chest are taking their toll, not just on my physical body – bruising, lung problems, ribs – but also on my mental health and body dysmorphia.’
The gig will feature sets from El Morgan And The Divers, and Angela Morgan followed by Queer Disco. There will also be a raffle with prizes donated by Strong island, Pie & Vinyl, Southsea Coffee among others.
Samo said the response to his appeal has left him feeling ‘overwhelmed.
‘It makes me feel so lucky. I’ve never felt such a part of a community from anyone or anything before.
‘Everyone has supported me and encouraged me, and it’s not only that – people want to educate themselves as well and learn more about it.
‘It’s allowed me to feel vulnerable, to put myself out there and talk about this – and not everyone in my position can do that because they feel lonely and isolated.
‘I’m surrounded by all these amazing people, and because of that, I can open up and talk about it.
‘I feel I’m in such a privileged position that it’s almost like my duty to talk about it.’
The disco after the gig has the theme of ‘fabulous you!’ and people are invited to dress up. Samo adds: ‘We want people to express their own identity, however that comes.’
The next show at Play Dead, which is due to open on May 26, will also be called Trans Mission and sees more than 30 street artists donate work to be sold for the cause.
Artists who have donated work include internationally renowned names such as My Dog Sighs, M-One, Korp, Midge and many more.
The 31-year-old added: ‘I’ve done some research into it, and I think this will be the first street art show celebrating the LGBTQ community.
‘My friends wanted to do this amazing thing for me, but it’s also highlighting the community.’
For the gig, doors open tomorrow at 8pm, tickets £10. Go to musicglue.com/the-wedgewood-rooms.