Thank you for joining me in this cause!
June 2nd - June 8th, 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?
Read my blog below about why I am riding, and, later, my effort to prepare to complete the ride.
My Personal Web Log
Why I am riding and fundraising.
In 1981, the CDC was first alerted about a disease that was killing gay men. At that time the press was calling it "the gay cancer". I was 11 years old, not yet out, and didn't know anyone with HIV or AIDS. Since that time, I have met many people with HIV and have seen a few die from AIDS.
Back in the 80's, then President, Ronald Reagan, refused to speak about HIV/AIDS and refused to acknowledge the dire situation that this disease had on the gay community and the poor communities of color. There was fear that spread within the gay community and there was shame placed on those who became "positive" with the virus. I grew up, came out, and had relationships during this time.
Many of the comments while coming out, were that now I had to be safe, now I had to be careful, because only now was I endanger of becoming positive. AIDS was a stigma that was not separated from the gay experience.
Well, we have come a long way. Sadly because of AIDS, many in the gay community doubled down their fight back. Some groups fought to make sure that the government would support efforts to find a cure (thank you ACT-UP). Many people came out because they had contracted AIDS and could no longer hide who they were.
Things have changed and, now, we are at a point where people who are positive are able to live with undetectable traces of HIV, which doctors have not defined as a cure. There is a daily pill that can help prevent the spread of HIV. And there is less of a stigma having contracted HIV, And even less of a fear for being gay.
During this time, in the LGBTQ+ we have had many other fights and have gained some power. A few people would say these gains were sped up by the onset of AIDS, even though the movement for equality was already in motion. Stonewall was in 1969, pride parades had started in 1970, Harvey Milk defeated the Briggs initiative in 1978, but Lawrence v Texas, eliminating state laws outlawing homosexuality, wasn't until 2003, and gay marriage became the law of the land only in 2015. And we continue to fight for many other equal rights.
There is still a fight to eradicate HIV and AIDS, through medication, education, and prevention. There is still a fight for recognition and equality. There is still a fight for LGBTQ+ people of color who are oppressed even more than their white counterparts. And it is because of these fights that I have decided to participate in the Ca AIDS/Lifecycle in 2019.
The AIDS/Lifecycle is a fundraiser for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in which participants raise funds by committing to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles (545 miles) in 7 days.
I have been out since I was 20 years old. I have participated in many gay sporting events over the years, which have been celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community and the love of sports. But now I also want to give back. By riding in the AIDS/Lifecycle ride, I want to not only do MY part in helping raise funds and awareness to stop HIV and AIDS but also to raise awareness of the full LGBTQ+ community, especially those not as privileged as me.
Finally, this is a fundraiser and I have pledged to raise $6,000, and I am asking you to help me to make that goal. I have only been riding since January 2018, so this is a new endeavor for me. So I will need your help in raising the funds for the ride, as I raise awareness and my ability to do the ride. The bike, the clothes, the sleeping bag, and the support I have covered; however, the money that you donate goes to help with the cost of the ride AND mostly goes to the LA LGBT Center and the SF AIDS Foundation.
So please go here and contribute as little or as much as you can, and check back later for more updates on my progress in getting ready, my discussions about raising awareness, and the fundraising support.
by Jeffery Freitas on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 @ 6:50 AM