|At the TRL group photo, ALC 12, 2013.|
On Saturday, I re-certified to lead AIDS/LifeCycle training rides along with several other so called veterans. The question posed to us was, why are you returning? My answer was that when I’m out on the road, I’m proud to wear my TRL jersey. It means to me that I’m supporting the LA Gay and Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the riders who make ALC possible, and the image of gay, lesbian, transexual, bisexual, and allied riders and roadies who participate in the event.
Its a way to show that we’re members of the community and we deserve love and support. Even as we’re making strides to earn that support, we still have a long way to go. Think about the tragic events unfolding in Iran and Uganda, most of the Arab world, and even in Russia. Although we’re curing homophobia here in the United States, our public officials often remain unrepentant about their own personal homophobia and ignorant and cruel about the needs of transgendered youth (even California officials).
Yet, speaking out works. Simply coming out decreases homophobia and encourages support for gay rights among non-allies. I’ve always thought that being out is the single most important thing we can do to support gay rights. I’m not alone. That was the message Harvey Milk presented way back in 1977. Think about how far we’ve come since then.
That is why I’m a training ride leader. Every time I’m wearing that jersey, the love bubble expands a tiny bit further. One day it will completely envelope California. Then Europe and the US. Then the rest of the world.
Why will you become a ride leader?