I’m a roadie now!
Last year, you helped me ride from San Francisco to LA to make AIDS/HIV a thing of the past. This year, I’m hitting the road again… but this time, as a roadie! While I won’t be on a bike, I’ll be there every step of the way, making sure cyclists have what they need to complete their journey.
As many of you know, life interrupted my training this year, but ALC is a cause so close to my heart that I didn’t want to let that stop me from joining. Roadies are an essential part of making this event happen - and they fundraise too! Your donations will still support the same life-saving services offered by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
When I began training in 2017, I wasn’t a cyclist. The idea of our first ride, just 8 miles, felt daunting. But by June of 2018, I was riding nearly 100 miles a day when I traveled from San Francisco to LA with over 3,000 other cyclists and roadies. Why do something that crazy? Because together, we raised 16.6 million dollars for AIDS/LifeCycle.
Last year, I set a goal of $5,000. I recorded a holiday album with composer Andrew Scott Bell and we raised over $3,000 of that by Christmas! By the time I crossed that finish line, I had raised $7,000. This year, we released new holiday tracks and got well over the $1,000 mark. But I want to top that. Together, you can help me cross that $5,000 mark by June 1st… and help make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past.
Why I’m Riding
In 2018, I got a taste of the ALC Community when I joined the ride and encountered hundreds of amazing men and women every day. A group of individuals as strong as they are loving, committed to serving their community and erasing the stigma attached to AIDS.
A few years before I joined, I lost a very dear friend of mine who was living with HIV. I carried that loss with me, as many who knew him do. He was so vibrant and full of love, and when something like that happens, it’s hard not to feel helpless and angry and sad. But what made grieving even more difficult was the stigma that came with HIV. Were we allowed to talk about it? Would that be disrespectful to him, to his family?
In 2017, I attended the AIDS/LifeCycle candlelight vigil and held a candle in his honor. I was immediately overwhelmed by the community and love that surrounded me. I knew then and there that I wanted to ride in 2018. I also knew that fundraising would mean having an ongoing dialogue about HIV. One of the biggest gifts that came out of my experience last year was being able to do just that - work towards erasing the stigma that surrounds it. And of course to raise money for the life-saving services offered by my local LGBT center.
This June, I will again join thousands of other cyclists and roadies on a journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a 7 day, 545 mile ride to end AIDS. Please give what you can. Your help is what will get us there.