Legendary performance artist and industrial music pioneer Genesis P-Orridge is raising funds for medical treatment after a recent diagnosis of leukemia.

After a period of ill health, P-Orridge revealed via Facebook in late October that they were beginning chemotherapy.

A Gofundme campaign has already raised over $40,000 to help 67-year-old P-Orridge, who resides in the United States, with medical and living expenses during their illness.

“We cannot possibly thank you all enough,” they said in a Facebook post.

P-Orridge’s health has forced them to cancel their European tour this year, after doctors described their condition as “severe” and “life threatening”.

“We kept hoping we’d be OK but today heard the illness has got worse this week,” P-Orridge wrote on Facebook.

“My sincere, oh so sad apologies for all of you who bought tickets, were excited to share time, space, loving ideas and celebrations with us in all those cities. To postpone was not my first choice by a long way. We are sorry for any disappointment and hope to repair that loss as soon as we can.”

Despite their illness, after receiving treatment P-Orridge still expects to make it to Australia for the upcoming Midsumma Festival.

A festival venue representative said, “For everyone who has been asking, we are in touch with Genesis and they are looking forward to finishing treatment at the end of the year and coming to Australia as planned to perform in Melbourne.”

Star Observer recently caught up with P-Orridge for a Q&A ahead of their appearance at Midsumma.

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What does gender mean to you?

I’m a pandrogyne, a positive androgyne. Trans is the symbol of the ultimate evolution of our species. It should be that we all can be whoever and whatever we want to be, and that is the ultimate expression of spiritual knowledge, the process of becoming.

What is being a non-binary or trans person in the US like?

For me, I’m like a mythical creature, and I’ve got my protective bubble around me. The ones that are really at risk are all the young kids, the ones that are thrown out of home. There’s been an uptick in the murder of trans women, and there’s been a growth of ignorance.

Last year we went on a road trip to Tennessee in the south. While we were driving around, we would stop at gas stations, and every single one had a hand-written note on the toilet that said ‘real women only in here’. That was before the election, and that was really scary.

Nobody, including me, realised how deep-rooted the prejudice and the racial hatred and the fake-Christian extremism really was under the surface down in the south still. I feel one of my responsibilities, having a voice, is to speak up and say what I think is wrong and why.

What do you see happening with LGBTI rights right now?

Over here they’re trying to roll the calendar back and pretend it’s the 1950s again. It’s very dangerous.

In times of darkness, the best strategy is to use the opposite of what they’re using. If they’re being angry and vicious and violent, we have to be kind and gentle and loving. Most of all we have to be compassionate. If we do that, we really can change it.

Are you looking forward to coming back to Australia?

Oh yes. For people in Europe or the US, it’s like saying you’re going to go to Mars. Going to Australia is as unusual as going to another planet, and you’ve got to admit Australia is like another planet when you get there, with strange alien creatures and red soil and the oldest living civilisation on the planet. You’ve got a lot going for you, and we’re happy to come back.

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