Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Musician/activist fights cancer—and the healthcare system
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Micki Leventhal
2010-03-10

This article shared 5396 times since Wed Mar 10, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Susan Frazier, national sales manager for Goldenrod Music and a well-known and well-loved veteran of the women's music business/movement, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in September 2009. Over the past five months, she has undergone five rounds of chemotherapy. This month she is scheduled for a bone-marrow transplant, a procedure made possible because of a donor match through the national bone-marrow registry.

As a full-time employee at Goldenrod, Frazier was satisfied with the insurance coverage, a high-deductible major medical and hospitalization plan that includes coverage for prescription drugs. But now that the need is critical, the insurance situation is reminiscent of a Michael Moore movie.

Because of the intensive treatment and recovery period after the surgery—treatment that will involve twice-weekly travel between her home base in Lansing, Mich., and the University hospital in Ann Arbor for a year—Frazier will not be able to maintain the 30-hour-per-week work schedule required by the insurance carrier to qualify for the employee group coverage. An individual private-pay option offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield will provide major medical coverage for doctor visits, but the policy has an annual prescription cap of $2600 per year.

Frazier's post-surgical medications are expected to run $2,700 per month. She will also have no income to contribute to the home she shares with bookstore manager Rebecca Huntington, her partner of more than 25 years.

While battling for her life, Frazier, 52, is devoting huge reserves of energy and time to determine how she can live without ruining herself and Huntington. Meeting with lawyers, government bureaucrats and the like, she has learned that Medicaid requires her to spend down her entire pension fund and any assets other than their house, car and $2,000—before qualifying for assistance. The same regulations hold true for Social Security, which would not even begin for five months. "If I live, I won't have anything to live on if I'm unable to work," she said.

An Ohio native and activist in high school and college, Frazier got involved with The Tenth Muse women's collective, which produced the Betsy Rose/Kathy Winter show in 1980. "We were hooked … we sent out letters to all the women's labels at the time—Redwood, Olivia, Pleiades and several more," Frazier explained. Their marketing succeeded and The Tenth Muse produced Holly Near that autumn. "We went from a coffeehouse that at most fit 60-70 people to an auditorium at Kent State. It was quite the leap. We produced many other artists, including Margie Adam, Kate Clinton, Teresa Trull and Barbara Higbie, Toshi Reagon. We partnered with the YMCA to bring Alix Dobkin to our part of the world to do her workshop, 'Women Hating, Racism and Violence in the Top 40.'"

Frazier started her career with Goldenrod when founder and president Terry Grant hired her to sell music at shows around Ohio. "I thought it was a trick question," said Frazier of the job offer. "Get to see all these shows for free and get paid?" She accepted the position, taking on the job of part-time traveling sales rep in addition to her volunteer work as a music producer and full-time employment at the YMCA.

In May 1991 Frazier moved to Lansing to become national sales manager for Goldenrod. In a phone interview, Grant talked about Frazier's ability to connect people from her many networks of friends and her selfless willingness to promote her artists. "I'm just living my life," Frazier said in response, "trying to do whatever I can to fulfill Goldenrod's basic mission, 'keeping women's music alive, well and out there,' and I'm glad that some of what I have done has been helpful."

"Susan is one of the pioneers in Women's Music," said Tret Fure. "Her gifts to our culture are innumerable. She has always had the passion, devotion and dedication to the music that makes us all successful. I always know that when Susan likes one of my songs, it is a good song. Susan has a joy that is contagious and an appreciation for life that is remarkable. She stands alone as one of the most steadfast, hard-working women who have made and kept our culture and our music alive. I love her dearly."

Frazier's network of friends and beloved music artists are working to raise money to help with medical and living expenses. "It was Elizabeth Ziff of BETTY who suggested we donate a song that could be sold digitally through Goldenrod and donate all the proceeds to the Susan F fund," explained Alyson Palmer. "That gave me the idea for a digital album, available online. It would be Goldenrod artists coming together in the beautiful way women in our music community can do. When I thought of a name for it, I laughed to myself about the way Susan signs all her e-mails, 'have a day most swell'. That will be the name of the album: A Day Most Swell." [ For further information on contributing to the Susan F fund, write SusanFsFriends@aol.com . ]

"I believe in the importance of women's music: music by women that speaks to women's lives. Otherwise I wouldn't have spent all of my adult life involved in the industry and movement," said Frazier. While newer artist like Ani Difranco, Ember Swift, Melissa Ferrick and God-des & She "might not feel the need to call themselves 'women's music artists,' they are offering the same thing to their fans that the pioneers did—songs that reflect their fans' lives and empower them.

"The visionary women who started those first women-owned labels, who dared to sing songs about their lives without the filter of the male-dominated recording industry of the 1970s and '80s did pave the way for today's strong, independent women artists. And the world is a much better place for it."

Singer/songwriter Ellis, now in her mid-30s, first met Frazier in 1999. "Susan was the one who agreed to put my music in bookstores around the country, and because Goldenrod carried my CDs, I was able to book a fairly national tour, performing at those same bookstores," said Ellis. "The women I met on that tour have become my most ardent and devoted supporters, and I credit Susan with helping to make those connections. ... Her recommendations have opened countless doors for me. I absolutely would not be where I am today without Susan's support and encouragement.

"Susan is such a dedicated supporter of women's music and is one of those connectors—a person who is actively building community wherever she goes... She is so optimistic, encouraging and funny that even when we visited recently and she shared details about her health, she shared in such a way that built even more connections between us. I feel inspired to learn more about bone marrow transplant—not just for her, but for others. That's the thing—she cares not just about her situation but also about everyone else... and that is just who Susan is. She is an active participant not just in the women's community, but in the community that is all people—and that is a wonderful gift to everyone who has the privilege to know her."

Going into her surgery, Frazier's greatest concern was that this article help spread the word about the bone-marrow registry ( www.marrow.org ) : "They especially need minority and mixed-race folks to join, because with bone-marrow stuff, race and ethnicity matter more than blood type, and without this organization, I would not have a match, so I'm liking them a lot these days!" And, of course, she wants everyone to "have a day most swell!"


This article shared 5396 times since Wed Mar 10, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actor Ezra Miler seeking treatment for mental-health issues 2022-08-16
- After troubling behavior that has included charges of harassment and felony burglary, as well as allegations of assault and abuse, non-binary actor Ezra Miller (Justice League; The Perks of Being a Wallflower), said they are seeking ...


Gay News

WORLD Vietnam's pro-LGBTQ+ move, Grindr kidnappings, Taiwan event 2022-08-14
Video below - Vietnam took a major step forward in the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights with the country's Ministry of Health stating that being gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease and urging medical practitioners to end discrimination ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Conn. candidate, trans study, D.C. attacks, Palm Springs Pride 2022-08-14
- LGBTQ Victory Fund-endorsed candidate Erick Russell won the Democratic primary election for Connecticut state treasurer, according to an organizational press release. With this victory, he is on track to become the first out Black LGBTQ+ person ...


Gay News

COVID CDC 'streamlines guidance'; new info for immunocompromised 2022-08-13
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement saying it is "streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if ...


Gay News

Cook County officials discuss MPV timelines 2022-08-12
- Members of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee gathered Aug. 8 to hear details from local health officials on the monkeypox virus' (MPV's) impact on both suburban Cook County and Chicago, and their planned responses. ...


Gay News

Monkeypox vaccine events being held Aug. 13-14 2022-08-12
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), along with City Colleges, will be holding monkeypox (MPV) vaccination events. The two events will be held at Malcolm X College on the West Side and Kennedy-King College on ...


Gay News

Young LGBQ adults experience more psychological distress than older LGBQ people 2022-08-11
-- From a Williams Institute press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological distress than older LGBQ people. Researchers examined a representative sample of LGBQ people ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health employees win union election 2022-08-11
- More than 470 employees at Chicago-based Howard Brown Health clinics, Broadway Youth Center and Brown Elephant retail locations announced Aug. 10 that they have won their union election, with 97% of the votes cast. This is ...


Gay News

Big Cities Health Coalition holds monkeypox virus briefing 2022-08-11
- Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) held a virtual monkeypox virus briefing Aug. 10 fthat ocused on local public health activities in Chicago. Speakers included BCHC Executive Director Chrissie Juliano and BCHC member and Chicago Department of ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted hosting monkeypox vaccine clinics 2022-08-10
- Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., continues its monkeypox vaccine clinics through August. These clinics are for first-dose vaccinations only. Online registration for each clinic opens at 10 a.m. each Wednesday prior to that respective ...


Gay News

Dance for Life 2022 taking place Aug. 13 at the Auditorium Theatre 2022-08-09
-- From a press release - Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, presents seven companies and a world premiere finale for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022. The event takes place ...


Gay News

Montreal Pride Parade is canceled 2022-08-08
- Citing security concerns, the organizers of the Fierte Montreal Pride Parade abruptly canceled the Aug. 7 event at the last minute, The Washington Blade reported. The other events scheduled at the Esplanade of the Olympic Park—T-Dance ...


Gay News

CDPH, community partners provide monkeypox update as Market Days nears 2022-08-05
- With the event known as Northalsted Market Days happening Aug. 6-7—and with tens of thousands of people expected to attend—the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and community partners held a press conference Aug. 4 about ...


Gay News

Sinema plans to sign on Senate Democrats' climate, health and tax bill 2022-08-05
- U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) announced Aug. 4 that she will "move forward" with Democrats' massive climate, prescription drug and spending bill, after fellow party members appeared to reach an agreement about her concerns with the ...


Gay News

Cook County Commissioner Morrison calls for hearing to address monkeypox outbreak 2022-08-04
-- From a press release - SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Aug, 4, 2022 —Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison (District 15) has introduced a resolution calling for a public hearing in the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee that will convene Monday, Aug. 8, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.