Hi friends and family:
Right this moment, more than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV. So I am taking on a very personal, very big challenge to help in the fight to end HIV:
In June, I will join more than 3,000 other cyclists and ride (on an actual bicycle) 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness for this disease that still claims the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans every year. I'm asking for your support with a donation to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center offers sexual health and prevention services, mental health services, addiction recovery services and housing services (to name just a few) to thousands of vulnerable, HIV-positive and at-risk LGBTQ youth and young adults every year.
It is SO important that we do everything we can to fund these critical programs: because for some of these people, there is literally nowhere else to go. I've seen first hand - I've experienced first hand - the hopelessness and consequences of not knowing who or where to turn when in crisis. So, please take it from me: the people who will be helped by your donation deserve the hope, the help, the chance to live a healthy and productive life, that your donation will make possible.
Several years ago, my boyfriend was diagnosed with HIV. He struggled with substance addiction and depression and, overwhelmed by the shame and stigma of an HIV+ diagnosis, and not knowing the extent of the support that was available to him, he chose to take his own life.
Now, I'm not saying that the Los Angeles LGBT Center could have saved him - I can't know that.
What I am saying is that the programs and services The Center offers were made for people just like him.
What's I'm also saying is that making sure that as many people as possible know about the life-saving, and life-affirming work that is done at The Center every single day is a deeply personal mission for me.
And so, I'm going to ride. To raise awareness... To raise money... To spread the word... To spread joy and hope and love up and down the California coast and beyond...
But I need your support.
Please donate generously. Whether it's $10 or $1000, every dollar raised supports the critical, life-saving and life-affirming work of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
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