I am participating again in the Cascade AIDS Project: AIDS Walk Portland on September 23, 2012. This year I am organizing my school’s team of walkers, something I am very proud to be able to do!
Personally, I walk because it gives me a chance to feel as though I am actually making a difference, even if it is only in one life, in one day. I personally love being able to fill the gaps in knowledge for teens and adults for that matter, in what HIV/AIDS is, how it is and IS NOT transmitted, that anyone can be affected and how it’s no longer a death sentence. Sharing that knowledge with people has given me more intrinsic rewards than anything I have ever done in my career.
I walk for my children. Working with HIV/AIDS populations have provided me an opportunity to model respect and the power of being informed to my children while also providing them the opportunity to be exposed to such a diverse group of individuals. My children have been set on a path of health and personal responsibility and that is something I can never replace.
I walk for my best friend, my friends and others like them living with HIV or AIDS. I can’t walk in their shoes, but I can damn sure walk for them.
Today, you can sponsor me here: http://www.aidswalkportland.org/cap/participantpage.asp?uid=7311&fundid=3069
If all of my followers donated just one dollar to sponsor me, I would meet my goal. If you donate more than a dollar, you are a rock star. Anything helps! The Cascade AIDS Project does amazing things.
And for this one dollar, I didn’t show you any starving children or mistreated animals. That is worth a dollar isn’t it?
Don’t make me break out the Sarah McLachlan….I’ll do it.
I am coming up on a year of being actively involved in LGBTQ, AIDS, HIV, DADT, and related advocacy topics; oddly enough it coincides with World AIDS Day, this Thursday. As I read the news and reflect upon my year I have come to the conclusion that there is NO WAY I am done. Article after article that I read is about George Michael and his current bout with Community Acquired Pneumonia and his PR team SCREAMING “It’s not AIDS!”
George Michael was the first man I ever wanted to marry (besides Michael Jackson, but that’s a whole other article….) I remember singing in the bathroom, curling my hair with my Aunt Susie singing, “Wake me up before you go go” and “Careless Whisper.” I remember GUSHING over the cover of Faith. I bought that single 3 times and the album twice. When he finally came out, I thought “Of course he is! That’s why I love him!” It all made so much sense. I have shared him and his wonderful Greek cheeks with my own daughter age 11, via “Last Christmas” and youtube. I hadn’t really thought about how I had let my happy place, my “volunteerism” fall to the wayside as I adjust to a new town and school, culture and routine. I have gotten lazy about what makes me purr, what makes me happiest. That little voice inside of me that SCREAMS make it right for everyone, COMBAT ignorance!
I digress 😉
Given George Michael’s past, his lover’s deaths at the hands of AIDS, and his refusal to be tested, I say irresponsible. Maybe it is AIDS. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it brings to my attention the fact that there is still so much stereotype, misinformation, and stigma attached to having AIDS or HIV that I can’t stop now. More must be done. The media can’t win. Ignorance and fear can’t win! No one should be scared to know their status because of what may be thought of them, because AIDS is not a death sentence, unless you ignore it.
So, it is perfectly circular and fantastic in its own tragic way that George, his current illness and World AIDS Day should come about and reinvigorate my spirit and need to educate and advocate.
Thanks George, I just needed to have faith. Get well soon. ❤