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Running miles, saving lives, being queer!

Alright queers, let's do this (again)!! This time, bigger and better. Not only will I be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 13, 2019, but I'll be running the New York City Marathon 3 weeks later on November 3, 2019. I'm doing this for so many important reasons: 1) I'm running with TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) to raise critical funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) which works to save lives and put and end to new HIV infections in Illinois. 2) I'm running to be a visibly trans and queer role model. How many young trans kids can go watch another trans person - with a trans flag emblazoned on her jersey - running down the streets of Chicago in front of 2 million people? Trans kids need role models and I want to be that role model! 3) I'm running to inspire queers everywhere. Running saved my life, maybe it can save yours.


I want to share a story that I posted right before I ran (and finished) the 2018 Chicago Marathon: "The first race I ever ran was the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day, 1996. I was 12 years old and I ran with my Dad, who always inspired me to be the best runner I could be. I was tall and lanky and awkward and I was, as the kids would call me for 2 decades: "a fa**ot". I couldn't shoot a basketball or kick a soccer ball to save my life, but I could run a 5-minute mile. In middle school and high school, I became a Runner™ and finally found refuge from the thoughts that would haunt my confused, adolescent mind for the better part of two decades: "are you actually a girl?"


I've run so many races I lost count; I've won medals and championships, I've run 2 marathons, I've helped set school records, I've run a sub-2:05 800m, and I nearly ran a sub-1:30 half marathon. These challenges pushed my body and mind to the limit, and, to be quite sincere: they probably saved my life. The kept me going in the face of that creeping darkness in my heart. They allowed me an escape when the torment of being a boy was Just. Too. Much. The sound of my breath, the beating of my heart, the pain in my calves - they all reminded me that there was a reason to stay alive.


But none of these challenges compared to the challenge of the past 2 years: becoming the woman I always knew I was.


My legs are still there, strong as ever (if a bit older and slower), reminding me that any (every?) struggle in my life can always be overcome if you just slap on a pair of running shoes and disappear into the morning mist. I am so fucking eternally grateful to have found a wonderful, queer, and affirming running community with T2, and grateful that, 22 years later, this old lady's body is still putting in the miles; even if those miles are a lot slower today than they were in the late 1990s. THANK YOU to everyone who has pushed me this summer to revive that running spirit that I knew was still deep inside me.


Mama is back. She’s feeling alive as fuck. This is a life worth living. Bring on the Chicago Marathon."

 

HIV/AIDS doesn't make headlines often these days, but that doesn't mean it's been cured or that it doesn't change people's lives every single day. In 2015, 921 Chicagoans got the news that they are living with this incurable disease: a record low since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, but still, far too many than should get that news. AFC is depending on me (and you) to support people living with and affected by HIV. They're making sure that people living with the virus have equitable access to housing, health care, case management and other supportive services. I care deeply about AFC's work, and that's why I'm running 26.2 miles in October (and again in November)!

 

Help me cross the finish line, and help thousands of people across Illinois live better lives. Donate to my T2 campaign today. Just click the DONATE TO ME button to the right to get started.

 

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TEAM TO END AIDS
200 West Jackson Blvd. | Suite 2100 | Chicago IL  60606
312-690-8850 (T2EA) | http://www.aidschicago.org

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