Foregen at San Francisco Pride
By Peter Benson
Life changing is the only way to describe our Foregen booth experience at SF PRIDE. Celebrating the recent Supreme Court victory, the city was buzzing with a vitality reinforced by the notion that anything is possible. After all, that is why Foregen is here. We seek to open doors previously sealed with permanence and give people back a greater sense of self-dignity, choice, and satisfaction. Likewise, the limitlessness derived from medical regeneration was the most consistent point of amazement for passersby, especially as it pertains to the body part most culturally synonymous with irreversibility, the Foreskin. Our task was to bring people to the booth, showing them that together we can achieve the impossible.
The public’s mental gears conspicuously turned in real time at the prospect of foreskin regrowth. Visible from afar was our call to action: “CUT But Not Asked to Be? We Will Grow IT Back!” A host of reactions were witnessed when confronting such a penile paradox, very few of which were indifference. Crowds consistently formed around the booth with lots of people doing double-takes. Men displayed the most diverse range of behavior. Many were visibly confronting aspects of their sexuality they have resigned to the fate of someone else’s decision, their facial expressions almost saying: “So would I want this? How do I feel about this?” But for as many slow and careful approaches, incognito snap-shots, and sheepish smiles, we got just as many proud photo-ops and Q&A sessions from ardent lovers of all things sex and science. The most rewarding times were seeing so many people confidently run straight up to the booth, excitedly blurting out: “Okay, so how do you do it?!” Being as pumped as the crowd, the Foregen team could barely contain our own enthusiasm as we gleefully explained our mission, the foreskin, and our process.
Foregen at Toronto Pride
By Ollie Wardle
On June 26th, at Canada’s largest Pride festival, I stood at a small table displaying Foregen pamphlets and a banner. I was slightly nervous, honestly wondering if people would take an interest in my set-up. Within minutes of being there I had the interest of many, most of them curious about what Foregen really was. After about an hour I became less surprised by the amount of people I was talking to, but rather the amount of people who took a genuine interest in the topic. I was talking with people just as enthusiastic about Foregen as I. Not only men, but women as well. Over the course of the weekend I talked to about as many women as men.
The weather over the course of the weekend was a battle. It rained torrentially on Saturday. Unfortunately the wind started picking up and we were unable to keep our materials dry, let alone the tent on the ground. We packed up early, but still headed out on Sunday (which was significantly better, but still raining). Despite the weather, we talked to hundreds of people. Some of them were just stopping in for shelter, but upon asking about our organization, many ended up leaving their email address and walking away with a pamphlet.
It is quite humbling to talk to real people, especially when you start realizing how many people are affected by circumcision. Through the internet, you don’t get a clear picture of public interest in Foregen. With social media we wait for people to discover us for themselves. Being able to talk to people face to face awakened me to how prevalent this issue is in our society. That being said, it is truly rewarding to show someone that in the near future there may be a solution.
I am proud to be a part of something so important. In a sense I was a little naive in that I did not expect to get as much interest at Pride Toronto as we did. Since I discovered Foregen I have understood that it is an important cause. What I discovered at pride was how important Foregen is to far more people than I had ever thought. I learned so much from this experience. I look forward to doing this again, and to the future of Foregen.