Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ohio PRIDE

This picture for Columbus, Ohio PRIDE was posted online today and I loves it. 


I thought someone would have created a meme by now but nothing seems to have popped up or gone viral.  Allow me to jump start things:











Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thank you ALC!

I'm coming out of my post ALC blues.  Or trying to.  We were warned that once the ride ends many riders have trouble getting back to the grind and feel out of sorts for several days following the 7-day journey.  It's been true the past few days as seen by me lying listless on the couch.

I think this year more than last, I felt the power of community, friendship, and struggle in a way I hadn't allowed myself before.  The ride was spectacular in every way and is one of those things you have to experience to truly appreciate its impact.

I've tried to write this entry several times this week, hoping to express my experiences, and just can't seem to find the words to say thanks.  Below is a great video to sum up the week.  My team, the B-List, can be seen at minute 6:30 crossing the finish line:


Three quick things I want to leave with you gentle reader:

My Ugly Cry
One thing I've reflected on a lot the past few days is my ugly cry at closing ceremonies.  Me and a few of the B-Listers stayed behind to cheer on the last riders as they rode over the finish line.  A handful of those riders were older (60-70+) with bodies that seemed contorted from early trials of AIDS medications.  I have to imagine that these are the same pioneers of my community that had to watch their friends die one by one around them.  And they continue to fight, riding with pictures pinned to their jerseys and lists of the names of those they've known and loved, taken by the disease.  This is for you Danny, Robert, David, Thomas...  My experiences with AIDS is vastly different from those who lived through the early days of the epidemic and the idea of losing even one of my friends breaks me.  Hats off to those who never backed down and who continue to press on.

Knife Fight
It's astounding to me how quickly you can bond with someone you hardly know just by sharing in a powerful experience such as ALC.  My B-Listers, my donors, my cheerleaders have been so important along this trip.  I can't help but take inventory of all those paths I've crossed in my life, those who have stood up for me, supported something I champion, or even just returned my phone call.  And I have to wonder if I've been a good friend/brother/son to anyone when they've called on me, because showing up really is the most important thing to success.  I deeply appreciate everyone's support and through these trials I see those that are my friends and those that I could call on in a knife fight.  If you can't fight the fight, help someone who is.  

Talk Amongst Yourselves
Us 2500+ riders have traveled through California, much of that path through the farmlands of the Central Valley.  What I love about this ride is all the small towns we hit, pumping money into the meager economies, and the discussions the force of our presence elicit with the locals.  Lorri Jean, the CEO of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, shared a story with us one night in camp.  She said that while we rode through Bradley, a town with a rough population of 100 persons, a woman came up to her and said that she had been watching ALC ride through her town for 20 years but had never spoken to anyone until now.  Her son had died of AIDS in the 1990s and when he came to her in his final days she sent him away, telling him how ashamed she was of his "lifestyle".  The woman said that she has never been able to forgive herself for turning her back on her only son in his time of need and found comfort knowing there was a loving community out there (like ALC) that cared for him when she wouldn't.  If you have the means, I highly recommend putting some good out in the world.  You never know who will benefit from it. 


Team B-List - June 8, 2013