This week, guest videographer and editor Matthew Ladensack and I are accompanying the more than 2700 riders and volunteers of the AIDS LifeCycle and collecting their stories. If you’re not familiar with ALC, it’s the world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser where riders bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles over the course of 7 days. We won’t be riding bikes, but will be riding with the Press Corps, a group of reporters, photojournalists, bloggers, etc., to help document the ride.
Also, AIDS/LifeCycle is offering I’m From Driftwood readers a discount if you register for next year’s ride. The regular $85 registration is only $45 if you go to the AIDS/LifeCycle site and enter “IFD” in the code box of the registration page.
Dwayne Carl has a message for the world, and churches in particular: “I’m HIV-positive; GET OVA IT!” Dwayne’s been active in the church community his entire life and HIV-positive for 10 years. He has seen first-hand how stigma in the church community unintentionally helps spread the deadly disease:
Gay men who are in the church who want a position of leadership, in order to get that they will marry a woman and unfortunately then have relations with men outside of that relationship and sometimes they slip up and have unprotected sex, causing them to have HIV, they’re not gonna go back to their wife and use a condom. Okay, now she’s HIV…believe me, I go in some of these churches and speak and I have so many of these stories from black women.
Dwayne left one church after not being allowed to apply for choir director simply for being gay. He had some resistance from his next church about his HIV status but Dwayne pushed back this time. Continue Reading to watch Dwayne’s story.
Dwayne wrote a book titled, “Out of My Second Closet: I Have AIDS, Get OVA It.” You can read more about it and purchase it on his website.