24 03 2009

This is important.

It is the end of March, which means some things are looming.

Passover is in about two weeks. Do you have your matzah ready? Looking for a radical social justice haggadah? Go here. (It’s choose your own adventure-style. Be aware, it is not a Zionist haggadah, and if you’re bringing together a group of people with mixed politics on Israel, it’s worthwhile to plan ahead and choose readings wisely.)

Shortly thereafter is Easter. Which means right around the corner will be more cheap chocolate than you can ever consume. Don’t forget to brush your teeth.

Then comes April 15. Don’t forget to do your taxes. (Reminder to self.)

But what I’m really concerned about here is June. June is sneaking up on us, with its sunshine (or gloom, if you’re in SoCal) and warmer days and all sorts of loveliness. You know what else is in June, though? The California AIDS LifeCycle.

This multi-day, many-hundreds-of-miles ride raises an incredible amount of money and support for organizations doing important work in San Francisco and Los Angeles to advance the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS, and to support people living with HIV and AIDS.

This matters. I don’t even know how to begin to try to convince people of that, it’s so incredibly obvious to me. These are peoples lives on the line. Young black women form the demographic group with the fastest increasing rate of HIV infection. It is, sadly but not surprisingly, the same kinds of people and bodies that are routinely neglected by society and especially our healthcare system that are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS. It is women’s bodies, and queer bodies, and black and brown bodies, that bear the brunt of this epidemic. These peoples lives matter, and there are thousands of people who will hop on bikes, or into the cars and trucks that transport the support staff, to form a community working to save those lives, to make them better, more stable, more full, more vibrant.

I’m not riding, and I’m not on the support staff this year (although I’m thinking about doing it sometime in the future). However, one of my nearest and dearest friends has been doing the ride for 3 of the last 4 years, this will be her 4th. Her name is Dusty Klass and she is, by every measure I’ve found that matters, a really incredible individual. And she spends a huge chunk of her life training and preparing for this ride. She blogs about her movement here, so you can even see how much time she spends training. You can see what she’s doing to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS.

What are you doing?

You can support her, even $5 would make a difference, and both she and I would be super grateful. I’ve already donated (although I kept forgetting, and her reminder today was the kick-in-the-pants I needed to actually grab my debit card and do it), so I know exactly how little time it takes. I know that things are tough right now for a lot of people, but really… five dollars? More, if you can afford it. Please.

You can do it from her LifeCycle Bio page, and it only takes a minute.

If you’re lucky, you might even get more artsy sepia shots of her bike shadow.


Image description: Photograph of the shadow of a bicycle and rider against the pavement of a street.




One response

24 03 2009

I have no words (that’s a lie, obviously). I am incredibly grateful. If I had to fly to Baltimore for a bone marrow transplant, you might just be the friend I’d take. I’ll explain that further for you someday if you’d like.
You’re beautiful,

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