For the past few years, I've had the chance to join thousands of New Yorkers in the AIDS Walk event, usually held in mid-May. Each year I walk, I remember and honor my Uncle Alan, who died of AIDS-related complications when I was young.
What I would give to have him here today, and to have been able to share our journeys as we came out, as the world around us evolved to be more inclusive, and as the voices for equality became louder than he could have ever expected back in the '80s!
But this issue is so much bigger than Uncle Alan or me or New York, especially this year. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 walk has been delayed until June 7 and will only be held virtually, as we all fight to flatten the curve and stem the tide of the coronavirus.
But that doesn't mean the fight against HIV and AIDS is over or that we can relent from our mission to support those living with it.
Every year, AIDS Walk has been an integral part of fundraising for Gay Mens' Health Crisis (GMHC), an organization that for decades has played a critical role in the fight against HIV and AIDS in New York. I've had the chance to volunteer at GMHC numerous times, and have been simply blown away by the wonderful people working there, and the wonderful people receiving services...and I can say without a doubt, the money makes a huge difference. Whether its diagnostic testing, education, family and career counseling, putting food on the table or helping clients get ready for job interviews, GMHC is helping our community address HIV and AIDS at every level.
But the Walk also raises money for medical staff and for many other services that focus on supporting those living with HIV or AIDS.
Which is why it is so important to understand that just because we can't walk together this year, the fundraising must continue!
Please join me in giving whatever you can to support this fight, and if you have the option from your employer, please consider a matching donation! (And if you do that, just let me know so I can keep track!)
Thank you so much for your support and generosity -- it means so much.