I did something today that I should have done a long, long time ago.

On September 23rd, I will be participating in the 2013 AIDS Walk here in Portland, OR.

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And I am now reaching out for donations and such.  You can click the graphic above, the thermometer on the sidebar, or click here: My Personal Donation Page.

If you’re not sure about that, that’s fine.  I still want to tell you why I’m doing it.

I just completed a manuscript for my MFA.  In this manuscript, I go into vivid detail about the life I had when I first came out of the closet.  My first love, the man who took my heart the very first time, was Thomas.  When we met, he was at a very dark place in his life, and part of the story I told in that manuscript has to do with what it was like living with a man who was, by all accounts, dying from AIDS right here in America.

That experience is best left on the pages of that manuscript, which may at some point see the light of day.  Today, though, and for now, he is the reason I have registered for this walk, and why I hope I can support the team I have joined.  All of the proceeds will go to the Cascades AIDS Project, a non-profit organization that does all the things for a person living with HIV should have support with.  From prevention training, to testing services, to support after a positive diagnosis, this organization is very much like the organization who helped me help Thomas in his last days, and the same organization that helped me find my way out of a very dark part of my life.

I should have been doing things like this all along.  Every time I stepped up to the plate, though, and almost took the plunge and did what I should and give back to organizations like CAP that have existed in nearly every city and place I’ve lived in the past fifteen years, I stopped short.  I wasn’t ready to spend time putting one foot in front of the other with Thomas on my mind.  That all changed for me with the completion of this manuscript, and finally getting down in words what I had endured, what I had learned, and where I came from as an adult gay male.

I would love to have you walk with me, as with every dollar that is raised, someone else may receive the help, support, and guidance through the organizations that serve the community I am part of.

Help if you can.  It would mean the world to me.

 

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