Otis Morgan,42, is a nurse who will make the over 500-mile bike ride from the Bay area to Los Angeles starting on June 3.
But it is the approach to funding his sponsorship that has impressed people.
Dressed in lederhosen and surrounded by men in drag who look like the Von Trapp children, Morgan strums his guitar in a sing-along to the tune of “Do-Re-Mi” from the legendary musical “The Sound of Music.”
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Otis got involved with the charity as an adult after years of fearing he would test positive.
“As a child I assumed I wouldn’t live past my 30th birthday…I knew that I would die of AIDS,” Morgan told Gay Star News. “Though sexually active, I didn’t get my first HIV test until I was 24. My fear of being positive outweighed my curiosity that I might be negative, which sent me into spiraling shame.”
Those fears were put at ease with a negative result, “That was around the first time I did the ride, then named California AIDS Ride, in 2000. Facing that fear and testing negative reminded me how lucky I was (because it was luck). It inspired me to help the cause on a bigger level.”
In the last eight years, Otis has raised over $150,000 for the charity.
AIDS/Lifecycle is June 3 – 9, 2018 from the Cow Palace in Northern California to Grand Park in Los Angeles.