Help send a missionary to Oakland (updated)

This picture from the August 4, 1978 Newsweek shows me boosting a fellow religious zealot over a wall during "boot camp".

This picture from the August 4, 1978 issue of Newsweek shows me boosting a fellow religious zealot over a wall during "boot camp".

I really want to attend the 2009 Rethinking AIDS conference, to be held in Oakland this fall, but am not sure I’ll be able to afford it since Michael has just been laid off from his job.

Asking for money is not a new experience for me. Getting it, however is another story. My first attempt at mission work was as a teenager. I spent a summer in Brasil building a dormitory for Teen Missions.

In the decades since then I’ve helped raise tens of thousands of dollars on behalf of other gay and AIDS-related causes, as well a political race for city council.

I didn’t raise enough money to pay for that trip to Brasil and I don’t expect to for this conference either, but I’m still willing to ask for help. I expect it will cost $700-800 to go.

If anyone can spare a few bucks, I promise to report on the experience here. I will also post a full accounting for donations and expenses, and in the extremely unlikely event more is donated than is needed to pay for airfare, lodging and conference fees (really, who are we kidding?), I’ll donate the balance to Rethinking AIDS. Fair enough?

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UPDATE:  For a variety of reasons, I no longer plan to attend the RA2009 conference and have received no donations to do so.  I’ll leave this post up as wishful thinking and for the sake of former notoriety.

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4 Responses to Help send a missionary to Oakland (updated)

  1. John says:

    Jonathon,

    My offer still stands to let you stay in the extra bed in my room at the very nice Jack London Inn on the same block as the conference for free. I just checked travelocity and orbitz and got the same lowest fare of $280 round-trip. I’m sure they wouldn’t deny you entrance to the conference if you just showed up and was unable to pay the registration fee. If your interested you could go on the optional outing with me and other survivors to key gay nightlife spots on Friday, November 6th to peacefully “Act Up” as living proof, hopefully wearing matching t-shirts if I can afford to get them made, announcing the conference and inviting last minute skeptics to come on Saturday and Sunday. David said they might consider a lower at the door entry fee for last minute local interest. I’d love to have you there, and as you know, the time is NOW! Peace and Love Always, John

  2. Tijo says:

    Glad to see you back and posting. I finally stopped coming by here thinking maybe you were too busy to write at all. I thought about emailing you a couple of times but I’m one of those “leave it alone and the cat will come out from under the porch when it’s ready” kind of people. Good luck on meeting your goal here. Keep writing.

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