For a full week in June, I'm going to join over 3,000 others for 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.
I believe the end of HIV and AIDS can be achieved in my lifetime. Real progress is being made, even in spite of our current administration's eagerness to push us back. Treatment and prevention, especially in communities of color, remain expensive, stigmatized and out of reach. We know the path forward. We know what works. This is an exciting time to be involved, and I hope you'll join me.
If you've never heard LifeCycle, I hadn't either until last year. No judgement. I watched as my boyfriend Clarence rode across the finish line, his fist in the air and pride on his face and I've been wondering if I'm capable of joining ever since. I was shocked at how many participants are willing to take this challenge and how much money they raise (over $16M during last year's ride).
If you know me, you probably know my story. By the time finally I came out a few years ago, contracting HIV was not an automatic death sentence, PrEP was available and I was met with open arms by my community in California. I think a lot about the historical struggles of the LGBTQ+ community, the strength and courage of the folks who have been in this fight for longer than I've been alive and how I can leverage my own skills, successes and privilages to push forward these life-saving causes.
This is my way of giving back.
The organizations this ride supports do great work. It would mean the world to me and to the people these organizations help if you'd donate and follow along.
As of now, I don't even own a bike (if you're a cyclist, feel free to make suggestions!)... so yeah... there's a lot to do. But this is happening. Please join me.