I’m riding again because this shit ain’t over yet.
Frankly, 2018 AIDS LifeCycle was incredibly hard. It was so emotionally and physically hard that I didn’t really consider the 2019 ride, so I’m asking you to send all the good vibes my way for 2020. There was a moment on the 2018 ride that honestly changed everything. It was day seven of the ride, 530 miles down, 15 miles to go, and my bike tire very dramatically tore. I instantly started crying- dirty, sweaty, sunscreen filled tears. I hadn’t biked so far to be thwarted at the home stretch. At this point on the ride, the only option was to be picked up by an AIDS LifeCycle van and be driven to the finish line. I just couldn't bear it. I picked-up my phone and called Michael, captain of Team FUBAR, a guy that I had known for seven days, and explained what happened. He immediately responded with “where are you? I’m on my way.” He tried everything. He tried to find me a new tire, he tried to patch the tire twice, he tried a dollar bill patch, and nothing worked. Eventually, he took my bike, gave me his bike, and rode two miles off course on my messed-up tire to a bike shop. He sprinted like a madman to and from the bike shop, we met up two miles from the finish line, swapped bikes again, where all of Team FUBAR gloriously rode across the finish line together. I could not believe my luck. When I tried to thank him, he in turn thanked me. He thanked me for fundraising and riding. He thanked me because several years before, the money raised for the Los Angeles LGBT Center by AIDS LifeCycle saved his life. A huge portions of services provided by the Los Angeles LGBT Center are under threat due to funding cuts.
Help me make sure that others like Michael find the resources they need. Because guess what? Michael is kicking ass and taking names. FUBAR aims to be the first ALC team to raise a million dollars in one season. The question is . . . are you going to help us get there?
Why I started to ride -
In the early hours of July 18th, 1991, four of the most beautiful people I know became parents. A lesbian couple, Kristina and Jill, and a gay couple, Drew and Danny, decided to have a baby when there was always someone telling them they couldn’t and shouldn’t. My soon-to-be-parents marched into the LDS Hospital at 12am to go through three nurses who refused to welcome me into this world. It didn’t matter because they had fallen in love the only way true friends do and had a baby.
From the moment I was born, I was scooped up by the LGBTQ community (shout out to my Queerspawn family!). Throughout my entire life, we have exchanged hugs and tears for all the wins and all the losses. We reach each other through all the bullshit, the bias laws, the hate crimes, the dirty looks, and we see the strength and perseverance of our community. My life has never been short of endless love and support from this family.
Our community has and continues to lose too much to HIV/AIDS. A couple of years after I was born, Danny tested positive for HIV. He received treatment, and continued to fill our lives with laughs and incessant pranks. He passed away when I was 14. I am forever grateful for every year I got with Danny. Without the medication he received, I probably wouldn't have known him at all.
My chosen-family includes my dad’s best friend Blair, and to me Uncle Blair. There was an undeniable grace and magnetism about his presence. Every moment you shared with Blair, it lit up, warming you to your bones. Blair tested positive for AIDS at the end of 2009, and died January 27th, 2010. He never received treatment. His death was swift and devastating.
I want to ride to create awareness. Stigma stops us from coming out, stops us from loving. Stigma can stop people from seeking life saving medication. I’m riding to end stigma.
I’m riding for Blair.
I’m riding for Danny.
June 3rd - June 9th, 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!
The services provided as a result of this event mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me.
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today?