I never really understood the phrase "chosen family" until I realized I had one all along. I guess I finally had my ruby slipper moment in October of this year when I finally came out to my family. It didn't go as well as one would hope for. Disowned by my father, it felt as though my world had fallen apart.
I shouldn't have been surprised, but my circle of support came through for me in ways that I could never fully express how much it means to me. This circle of love has reminded me that we're always stronger together. Fighting for love, justice and the greater good. With this immeasureable amount of support on my side, I've never felt more powerful and with that, I've signed up to ride in the AIDS/LifeCycle for the very first time.
From 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. I could not be more honored, excited and scared sh*tless to 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.
I ride for those who have been affected by this epidemic. I ride for those have died fighting for our rights. I ride for the truly amazing LGBTQAI+ people that have helped me get to where I am today. I ride for those who have ever felt alone simply because of who they are. I ride for the 16-year-old Daniel's out there, on the verge of suicide because they didnt think that life would ever get any better.
This journey will be one of the most challenging feats I have ever experienced. And, it's only with your help that we can help those in need. For my first ride, I'm aiming to raise $5000.00. You know, cause I never do anything half-assed :) Anything and everything helps, no gift is too small. Join me and this wonderful community of riders, volunteers and advocates focused on helping those in need, ending stigma and working towards a future without HIV/AIDS together.
I've learned that from my pain comes my power. And my power is so deeply rooted in all of you. LET'S RIDE.
aka The Dapper Daniel aka DZ aka Baby Daniel aka xoxo, Gossip Girl
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