David Wichman with Heather Ebert


David Wichman with Heather Ebert sign "Every Grain of Sand." A blackout alcoholic and drug addict, David takes to sex work to survive, finding support in transgender street workers, gay hustlers, drug dealers, hookers, and misfits of all kinds. He seeks refuge in homeless shelters and stands in food lines at local churches, occasionally finding temporary office jobs, only to return to his squalid hotel room on San Francisco’s Skid Row. He tries repeatedly to escape the snares of crystal meth addiction, only to end up relapsing again and again, finally resorting to white-collar crime to pay for his habit. After a stint in jail, his life pivots sharply in September of 2004, and he finds his way to freedom from addiction. His spiritual journey gifts him with inner peace and an abiding gratitude for the wonder of his own existence. David’s story is not merely about recovery from addiction—it’s for anyone trapped in loneliness and limiting beliefs about their worthiness. His story illuminates the shame and self-loathing that plagues communities across all demographics and socioeconomic lines and seeks to liberate our minds and hearts to give and receive love. Everyone needs freedom from shame—especially the self-destructive and often deadly shame of complex sexual experiences, traumas, and desires. The essence of every individual is whole, pure, and beloved. When we wake up from the illusion that we’re broken and begin to live from this incorruptible place of being, we heal, we find peace, and we begin to live out our purpose.

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friends of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation

Key Sponsors

Arizona Party Rental Companies
Arizona Wholesale Supply
Early Childhood Learning is Essential
Marshall Foundation
Tucson Electric Power Co.

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