I walk for Kurt; an uncle who passed away in 2005 because the stigma stifled him from reaching out.
I walk for knowledge; to shine light on a disease so utterly misunderstood by the general public. Did you know that folks who are HIV+ can have a long and vibrant life? That with well-managed HIV it is possible to be untransmissible?
I walk for health; to provide testing services to at-risk people no matter if they can pay or not. Pivot is the last free testing program in the city.
I walk for prevention; for the ability to get people both a prescription for PrEP or PEP and the financial assistance to pay for it.
I walk for my friends; spunky soulful people - some of whom have HIV.
I walk for my clients. For the ones I've seen grow, and the ones I've seen slip away, even with supports. For the ones who thank me for the accountability I ask of them, and the ones who detest me for it.
I walk for equity and justice. HIV became an epidemic because it reared its head in populations considered inferior at the time. Queer people, people of color, trans people... Decades later, these demographic groups are still at increased risk as fallout from lack of timely intervention from the medical community because they weren't the norm.
I walk for resistance. The future of HIV/AIDS funding from the federal government is at risk. We will not let them cut our services.
I walk for affirmation. So people of all genders and sexual orientations can receive medical care that doesn't shame them for who they are.
I walk for harm reduction. For services that meet people where they're at.
I walk for inclusion, because my diverse workplace is precious to me.
I walk for my coworkers, who bust their booties every day. Whose work is often taken for granted by the clients they serve. Who face compassion fatigue and burnout because facing trauma and oppression so regularly is exhausting.
I walk for funding, because our work is worth it.
On September 8th, I will walk for these reasons. Monday through Friday every week, I work for these reasons. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your donation.
Your contribution is tax-deductable! CAP tax ID :93-0903383
*Full disclosure, if I raise $500 I get two days of vacation*