Op-ed: How Riding Makes The Problem More Visible
I work in media, specifically in LGBT media, and I’ve met countless members of our community who inspire me — many of whom are HIV positive, and many who dedicate their lives to fighting the epidemic.
Working in media gives me the opportunity to help them tell their stories, and for me, riding is a continuation of that.
Yes, I ride for the end of AIDS. But I also ride for visibility and for community. Throughout my life I’ve learned what happens when communities are invisible. I’ve experienced ignorance, and I’ve seen the devastating effect it has when combined with fear.
These elements are what have led many of our LGBT youth to take their lives. This stigma is also largely responsible for the rising rates of infection among men who have sex with men, youth and people of color. Raising visibility through participation in Cycle for the Cause and raising money for the NYC LGBT Center’s HIV/AIDS related services that provide support 365 days a year is, for me, an obvious choice.
But for anyone considering participating in a ride like this, if you’re on the fence, I urge you to dive in! I participated last year for the first time, and I can honestly say one of my proudest moments was arriving with fellow riders at the Center’s doorstep on the third and final day. It’s a bond I had heard everyone talk about but didn’t fully understand until I woke up on the fourth day and realized my family of riders had all gone home.
Being on this journey with my Cycle for the Cause family is something I’ve been looking forward to for the last year. I hope you’ll join us.
AMBER HALL is an executive producer at SiriusXM and a member of team OUTSPOKEN. Support these riders and the Center’s HIV/AIDS-related services by visiting CycleForTheCause.org.