Author: Ari Desano

By Dan Allen After a three-year hiatus wrought by the pandemic, AIDS/LifeCycle returned triumphantly in 2022, raising $17.8 million in critical funds for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV and AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and smashing the previous AIDS/LifeCycle fundraising record by more than a million dollars. “The AIDS/LifeCycle community is one of love, joy, and togetherness,” says Ride Director Tracy Evans. “I don’t know that any of us realized just how important this week is every year. After three years away, it was like the best family reunion you have ever been to.” The…

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My journey with the Los Angeles LGBT Center began as most journeys do—at a drag show hosted by AIDS/LifeCycle. My current Cycle Rep Erik Zamora, whom I became friends with through a mutual friend, invited me to the event at Micky’s in West Hollywood and, honestly, I felt bad saying no so I decided to actually go—alone!— which, if you know me, is very, very rare for me to do. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I tell you that night changed my life. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence performed the most moving number I…

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I haven’t been this sad or this mad (or this appalled by Presidential callousness) since the early days of the AIDS epidemic. It was the mid-1980s, and I was a young lawyer living in Washington, D.C. Then we were fighting another pandemic: AIDS. It was hitting hard, and my friends were dying in droves while President Reagan and the federal government either did nothing or made things worse. Since COVID-19 began sweeping across the U.S., it has been hard not to reflect upon those early days of AIDS. Wondering how things might have been different if the government had responded…

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With Simply diVine 2020 canceled due to COVID-19, we’re asking our community to support the community of food and beverage vendors who have given so much to our community and this event through the years. Food Vendors Akasha Restaurant Takeout and Delivery Border Grill Border Grill and Socalo GoFundMe Encouraging gift card purchases to help pay hourly staff: http://www.bordergrill.com/shop/gift-cards/ Socalo Border Grill and Socalo GoFundMe Encouraging gift card purchases to help pay hourly staff: https://www.toasttab.com/socalo/giftcards Bourbon Steak Takeout and Delivery Chef Michelle and Company Connie & Ted’s Connie & Ted’s GoFundMe Crossroads Kitchen Takeout and Delivery Offering meal kits to…

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I wanted a job with a purpose and an impact, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the most impactful non-profit organizations existing. The COVID-19 pandemic has really shown me just how resilient our staff at the Center can be. Normally, I am responsible for helping to craft and facilitate programing for youth at the Center that will help build leadership and communication skills. We want them to build community with one another and to grow confident in their own skills and abilities.  For the past five weeks, we have been working to make sure we can still provide…

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By Greg Hernandez As a graphic artist with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Marketing & Communications team, Takashi Sato usually spends most of his workday behind a computer designing marketing materials. But during the coronavirus outbreak, Sato is one of the Center employees voluntarily spending part of their workdays at the McDonald/Wright Building, helping to screen Center staff and clients who access the Center’s health clinic and full-scale pharmacy for COVID-19. The Center is one of the few Federally Qualified Health Centers with providers who specialize in primary care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and people living with…

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Riding 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles is how the AIDS/LifeCycle community has joined together every year since 1994 to raise millions for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. But then came COVID-19, forcing organizers of the bike journey to cancel this year’s ride scheduled for May 31 – June 6. Despite the cancellation, many participants are still raising much-needed funds through the innovative My 545 challenge launched this week. Instead of actually riding a bike outdoors, the virtual campaign gives participants the opportunity to take on a different physical…

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Despite the uncertainty being caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the LGBT community still needs to make sure it is counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. And doing so has never been easier. A Census form can be completed by mail, by phone, or online, according to Maria Melo, policy and operations manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Public Policy and Community Building department. “Given the current COVID-19 situation where resources from the federal government are being allocated to states to respond to the crisis, we are reminded now more than ever on why we need to be counted,” Melo…

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Celebrating its 51st year of helping LGBT people thrive, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has set a goal to raise $51,000 ahead of the family-friendly LA Big 5K on Saturday, March 7. This is the Center’s first time participating in the iconic run through Los Angeles, which is open to everyone of all abilities. To date, the Center’s 5K contingency—known as the Center Crew—has raised nearly $20,000. Proceeds will benefit the Center’s vital programs and services. “The new year and the new decade are in full swing, and our eyes are set on the next wave of the LGBT movement.…

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