I am so thrilled to be signed up for AIDS/Lifecycle 2022, and hope to be riding across the finish line next June into a whole new world of strength, hope, and freedom from the cloud of fear the pandemic has brought.
This year, more than ever, the need for resources to help those struggling to stay healthy, dealing with HIV/AIDS, addiction and aging, is bigger than ever, and my goal for now is to raise $5,000, no, $10,000, no, $15,000, but I can't do it alone! Please join me in my goal and donate whatever you can. $18, $25 or more. We love those multiples of 18, because in Hebrew, the word for "life" is symbolized by the number 18. How about $58, for my 58th birthday September 30, 2022?
This might be my last ride for a few years, as I'll be heading to law school in the Fall. Yes, that's right. Why? In large part, because of what I've learned as a participant on AIDS/LifeCycle, the lessons of kindness, tolerance, appreciation for others and the need to fight for social, racial and gender justice is greater than ever. So, I am really trying to up my game and raise as much as I can this year. With your funds, we can do a lot of good and so far we are CRUSHING it!
I was infected with HIV in 1983, and tested positive for it in 1987. I moved to San Francisco in 1990 and started taking AZT in the end of that year. By 1992, though, it felt wrong in my bones to take such a toxic drug, so I went off it. Later came years with no medications at all, or experimental ones like Compound-Q (I was in a clinical trial for it, and it was awful, giving me flu like symptoms for days after the infusion), Ozone Rectal Insufflation (don't ask, or do...), Beet Crystals, Yoga, Applied Kinesiology, Loving Myself (Louise Hay & the Hayrides), Marianne Williamson, Radiant Light Ministries, The Healing Circle, Retreats, Ma Jaya & Hinduism -- all of that before and with the oncoming drug "cocktails" that ended up saving my life.
So, by 2022, I will have had HIV for almost 40 years, Gee Whiz! And I turned 57 September 30th, 2021, so that means I've lived with HIV a lot longer than without. By a lot!
I am and have been extremely fortunate to have had access, for the most part, to excellent medical care and medication. There were years when I would have to hide my condition in order to not have my HIV infection deemed a "pre-existing" condition. So much has changed, so much good has happened, and so much ignorance has been healed along with the repair of so many immune systems. But much work remains. I am counting on you to help in this vital task of fixing access to medical care & fixing ignorance. Please give and give generously.
I will be riding with a beautiful bottle around my neck, filled with the names of loved ones who have died from AIDS, and will also be remembering and honoring those names that YOU tell me about. Linwood Detharidge, my first lover, Scott Fowler, my funny and wonderful dear friend. Michael Young, roommate and hilarious personality, Kali Das, who I had such a crush on. Morris, Philip, Tom, and so many others. Dear Ricky Nana, a pillar of the sober community in Palm Springs, and the sweetest kindest man with Jiminy Cricket on his leg. Stuart, Shay & Carol's dear cousin. Tommy's beloved brother Jimmy. I will be riding to honor and celebrate our dead.
I will be riding on Day 4 up the Evil Twins first wearing the team jersey and bib shorts of our team Desert Roadrunners. The Evil Twins are a set of hills which are not all that evil but are definitely a climb. The top of the second hill marks the halfway point of our journey from SF to LA. At the top, I will take pictures with the team and then change into a different jersey, one emblazoned with names honoring our dead. I will cherish and hold their memories as I make my way up that climb AGAIN to the peak. I will raise my bike over my head at the top, triumphant in having made it that far, not alone, but with all of you and all those people's names and memories in my heart. I am riding that second climb for all of them, because they can't ride, and for the gift of life that I share with all of you.
Please help honor them by making a donation and sending me your names and who they are to you. And THANK YOU for trusting me and allowing me to carry them in my heart.
What have we got ourselves into?
From June 5th to 11th, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, I’ll be one of them! My participation number is 1286.
Tax Breaks Info:
AIDS/LifeCycle benefits, and is jointly produced by, San Francisco AIDS Foundation (Tax ID # 94-2927405) and the Los Angeles LGBT Center
What your donation does:
• $10,000 helps provide counseling services for more than 250 clients.
• $5,000 helps keep the HIV testing RV rolling for one year.
• $2,500 helps four HIV-positive people receive stable housing for one month.
• $1,000 helps provide two Community Education Forums where 150 individuals can learn more about HIV.
• $250 helps provide ten rapid HIV antibody tests at a testing site.
• $175 helps provide case management for 15 HIV-positive clients who are homeless.
• $150 helps provide 1,000 syringes through the street-based Syringe Access Services.
• $100 helps provide the travel cost for a Treatment Advocacy Coordinator to attend the medical appointments of 25 clients, provide moral support, and help clients advocate for themselves.
• $25 helps a financial benefits counselor assist one person in navigating the private and public benefits systems.
• $10 helps provide 143 condoms to the SFAF and LA LGBT Center's service sites.
Ride love live is a wonderful motto to live by, ride by, and love by. XOXO,