Portland, OR. “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact” is the theme for World AIDS Day. The annual commemoration is coming up on December 1st, but there will be no big in-person gatherings where supporters unite, as seen above. There will the first-ever nationwide AIDS Memorial Quilt display. Each year, sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt travel to communities throughout the country for in-person displays. In 2020, it’s not possible due to Covid-19. Organizers explain, “While nothing can replace the beauty of seeing the Quilt in-person, our hope is that this first-ever, 50-state AIDS Memorial Quilt virtual exhibition, helps use the power and beauty of the Quilt to help our nation heal and remember during these difficult times.”
Each display is hosted by a Quiltmaker, community organization or business and includes touching narratives that connect each display to the lives memorialized and their work around HIV/AIDS. The exhibition is free to the public through March 31, 2021.
The National AIDS Memorial has worked together with Quilt partners from across the country to create this exhibition which includes digital images from thousands of hand-sewn Quilt panels, each visually telling the story of loved ones lost to AIDS.
Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) is also marking World AIDS Day. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV transmission, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
From Cascade AIDS Project:
2020 has been a year like no other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community has faced increased challenges in housing, mental health, food security, and access to healthcare. CAP has responded by providing emergency housing and rent assistance, telehealth services, food delivery, and virtual support groups.
Check out the video below that gives a great overview of the programs CAP offers and shows how your support of CAP directly impacts people’s lives.
While we have been able to provide much-needed relief to hundreds of Oregonians and Washingtonians throughout the pandemic, the need for these services has not diminished. Rather, there are still so many of our friends and neighbors who need access to compassionate healthcare and critical wraparound services. Because of that, we are asking for your help this World AIDS Day so we can continue providing these services, especially as the nights grow longer and colder and access to safe, dry, and warm housing is imperative. If you feel compelled, please consider making a gift to support these programs.
Portland, OR. Supporters can sign up online for this year’s AIDS Walk which is scheduled for September 12th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the walk will take place wherever participants are. Following the virtual program, participants will choose a suggested walking route that is the same distance as the walk would be if we could be together. In the Portland/Vancouver area, CAP is creating multiple suggested routes for walkers to choose from; elsewhere, walkers will be encouraged to create their own routes.
All participants are encouraged to wear their favorite face covering and maintain a safe physical distance from others!
For 35 years, CAP has called upon thousands of community members, advocates, and activists to step up and take a stand against HIV transmission. Though this year’s event may look a little different, organizers say it is still critical that people show up to walk (in a safe and physically distant way) in an effort to remind our communities that HIV has impacted each and every one of our lives in some way.
Portland, July 26th, 2015. Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) hosted the fourth annual “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament and the names of the teams had a real TV tone: The Golden Girls, Baywatch, Orange is the New Black, and The Big Bang Theory! The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Aydian Dowling, (on the right) one of most prominent faces in the trans visibility movement. The family-friendly tournament featured drag queens, music, and general hilarity at Erv Lind Stadium in Normandale Park. Bat ‘n Rouge raises funds to help those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Aydian is From Eugene and was a recent contender for the cover of Men’s Health magazine. He was also recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. (More about his story below)
The Orange is the New Black batter faced off with one of the umpires.
The “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament was hosted by Portland drag legends Carla Rossi and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were cheerleaders. The tournament is the vehicle though the fun is anticipated to come from the good-natured spectacle of the characters, peppered with comedic relief and spicy banter. The goal was to raise $20,000.
The Bay Watch team has a great time on the field.
About Aydian Dowling from Men’s Health:
Nearly 1,000 men entered this year’s Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Search, all with a story of personal transformation to share. But Aydian Dowling, one of the 10 semifinalists in the contest, has a transformation tale that’s a bit unlike any other contestant’s.
Event leader, Andrew Shayde posed with Aydian Dowling, calling him a cool cat on instagram.
The 28-year-old from Eugene, Oregon is vying to become the first transgender man to be on the cover of Men’s Health—a feat that would have seemed unthinkable 25, 10, and even 2 years ago. But in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner has undergone a male-to-female transition, Amazon’s trans-centric series Transparent is the reigning Golden Globes winner for best comedy, and trans actors have prominent roles in major movies and TV shows, like Laverne Cox in Orange Is the New Black.
Dowling, who won the readers’ voting portion of the Ultimate Guy contest and its reserved spot in the top 10, is hoping to make a similar wave. “Having a trans person on the cover would tell people that no matter who you are, you can be the man you want to be,” he says. “It’s fully possible if you put the time and effort and balance it takes to find the man in you.” (Want to know who else made the cut? Meet the Top 10 Ultimate Men’s Health Guys.)
It took 21 years for Dowling to find that man. Dowling was born female, and says “there were definitely signs” that he identified as male at an early age. “I just wanted to act a certain way,” he says, “but I was told that was not how girls act.”
At 13, Dowling developed a crush on a girl, and at 16, had come out as a lesbian to friends and family. By 21, he was dressing in masculine clothes, but it wasn’t until his then-girlfriend asked the pivotal question—“Have you ever wanted to be a boy?”—that Dowling gave any thought to being transgender. – Men’s Health
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