I got this email from my friend Scott, his was the first gift I matched. He wrote:
Here is my story.
I was working in a grocery store when I was a senior in high school. The
AIDS epidemic was just beginning. Newsweek or Time magazine had a cover
story of the new Gay Cancer that doctors could not figure out. I was the
fist male checker the store had ever hired and that magazine was in the
checkout rack. It was a time when I was struggling with my own sexuality
and hearing customers comment on that magazine cover, often for my benefit,
Just a couple of years before that my father had been in Washington D.C. on
business. When he returned, he declared that they could have dropped a
bomb there and wiped out all of the queers. That was 1979 and he had been
there during the Gay Rights march on Washington.
When I moved to Madison I looked for an organization that I could volunteer
for that might make a difference. At the time AIDS was still looked on as
a gay disease. I volunteered with them for several years and somehow still
felt immune to its devastation. I hadn’t lost any friends or knew anyone
personally with AIDS. Then one night when I was passing out condoms at one
of the bars an AIDS Network client came up to me and thanked me for all
that I was doing. That really hit home.
I don’t do much volunteering there anymore, but still support them as much
as I think I can. Now, I do have friends that are HIV positive and
probably more that I don’t even know about. I know how important
organizations like AIDS Network are to their lives.
When I heard that my friend Peter, who I hardly ever see, was riding in the
ACT 6 AIDS Ride this year I thought this would be a good year to start
contributing to that event as well. So I'm sending $100 to AIDS Network,
600 Williamson Street, Madison, WI 53703 and asking that it be credited to
Peter Jones. Maybe sometime I’ll try to do the ride myself.