By Mark Kemp
Tarrah Segal is the kind of friend, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and aunt that fiction writers base superhuman characters on. She has a radiant smile, infectious laugh, unlimited creative energy, and a commitment to family and friends that make people in her circle feel unconditionally loved. And isn’t that the barest essence of life? We all want to feel loved and protected. I know I do. That’s why I married Tarrah Segal. Though our paths would part after we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I never stopped loving Tarrah and never felt anything but love back from her. Now, Tarrah needs all of the love and protection she can get – from as many people possible – because Tarrah is literally fighting for her life.
In April, Tarrah was diagnosed with Stage IV cervical cancer and her medical bills are exorbitant. As of June, she was able to work from home as a part-time accountant, but each round of chemotherapy has made working more and more difficult for her. Her friends and family have set up a GoFundMe account (www.gofundme.com/teamtarrah) to help raise money so that she doesn’t have to work during this difficult time. We’ve also organized #TunesForTarrah, a benefit concert at the Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC, featuring a range of mostly Charlotte-based artists who have generously donated their time to help Tarrah.
One of the non-Charlotte artists who will be performing – the terrific singer-songwriter Nathan Bell – is traveling from Tennessee just to help Tarrah. Another artist, Ani DiFranco, one of Tarrah’s all-time favorites, couldn’t perform at the concert but sent Tarrah a love package. Other non-local artists have made video messages and performances that will be shown during the concert. This is how much love Tarrah has spread in her journeys across this country.
But most of the artists are those who live and work in the epicenter of Tarrah’s love: Charlotte. There aren’t enough thanks in the world to give to singer-songwriter Grey Revell (who performed at our wedding) and his David Bowie tribute band Loving the Alien. Or to Greensboro-based singer-songwriter Annecy Thornton Kenny, whose artistic vision Tarrah and I saw blossom in Peaches Christ’s drag production The Wizard of Odd at San Francisco’s legendary Castro Theater. Or to singer-songwriter LeAnna Eden, rapper Quent, and Americana duo Sinners and Saints.
Speaking of sinners and saints: Tarrah and I attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, while in North Carolina, and the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, in California. Unitarian Universalists make no distinctions about whom to love; love has not boundaries. The UU slogan is the all-inclusive “Standing on the Side of Love.” Tarrah has always stood on the side of love. Please come out to the #TunesForTarrah benefit at the Evening Muse on Sunday, July 24, and stand on the side of love with and for her.
The concert begins at 3 p.m.
- 3pm Annecy Thornton Kenny (keyboards-based singer-songwriter)
- 4pm Grey Revell (acoustic singer-songwriter)
- 5pm LeAnna Eden (acoustic singer-songwriter)
- 6pm Loving the Alien (Bowie tribute band)
- 7pm Quent (jazz-based rapper)
- 8pm Saints & Sinners (Americana band)
- 9pm Nathan Bell (acoustic singer-songwriter)