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.
Randy Phillips rocketed to YouTube fame when he came out to his dad on YouTube the day Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed. His coming out video has millions of views and he may have just as many loyal followers. Having a strong moral sense of responsibility, he wanted to do something good with his newfound fame:
I kind of wanted to parlay what little bit of attention I got from YouTube into something I think is a taboo for our generation. Not very many people in their early 20s like to think about AIDS. We kind of think we have it under control, but we don’t. It’s still very big and it shouldn’t be a taboo. It should be something we talk about and discuss and fundraise for and fight and be active in our communities. So I wanted to change this into something good.
Randy goes on to talk about his mother’s reaction to his coming out, her perception of gay people, and how he’s grown and changed after just one day on the AIDS/LifeCycle ride. Continue Reading to watch Randy’s story.