Articles tagged with: Felix Garmendia

How I define myself

published: October, 31, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "The way we relate or identify to another human being, should always include a kind and proper choice of words."

How I define myself

There are many ways to refer to somebody when you can’t remember their name or you might be identifying someone in a picture. We all have defined ourselves by different circumstances in life. Some of those definitions are temporary, others like race, sexual orientation and personal beliefs seem to be more lasting in most people. Have you ever wondered what would be your answer if somebody asks you out of the specific context of a conversation a simple 3 word question? – “What are you”?

An atheist wonders about praying

published: September, 28, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Spirituality, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "One of the things I have learned to understand is the ultimate rule of kindness."

An atheist wonders about praying

As an HIV-positive man who happens to be wheelchair bound, I have been told recently a lot by friends that they are praying for me. Those who are aware of the fact that I am a non believer, immediately follow their kind gesture with an apology like, “I know you are an atheist but...” Atheism is not a religion and I call myself a non believer of the prejudicial, judgmental, bigoted idea of “God”. I have encountered since I was a child, many situations and postures, many of them conf

As long term survivors we have a duty to educate.

published: September, 05, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

From New York, Félix Garmendía: "The years have filled my heart and mind with stories to tell the new generation of HIV positive people. Stories filled with HOPE, not despair..."

As long term survivors we have a duty to educate.

Today I was thinking about how the face of HIV has changed. I was telling my husband a story that I had long forgotten. In 1989, after 3 years of absolute celibacy, I found myself suddenly in a relationship with an HIV negative man. The terror of HIV loomed everywhere but I decided that, as scary as being tested was, I needed to do it. I tested HIV-positive on December 19, 1989 and had been in my new relationship for less than 3 months. Testing positive in 1989 was pretty much a “death

¡QuE viva la vida! (Long Live Life!)

published: August, 03, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, General Health, Mental Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "It’s not just another day, it is also one precious day less. I am going to make it count!"

¡QuE viva la vida!  (Long Live Life!)

I am finding it difficult to write at this moment in my life. Every time I try to do so, my mind goes blank. The reality is that for the first time in a long time, I am scared. I have noticed that there’s a feeling of sadness pervading my mood these days. The loss of friends by natural causes and by life choices, my elderly mother’s issues and the deterioration in my mobility all contribute to this feeling of malaise. I am having dreams that are very vivid and intense, where I am still

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

published: June, 29, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "Every day we have left is one more day to dare ourselves to love and be loved."

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

HIV has taught me several things. I actually believe that HIV changed my life forever with a mix of sad and beautiful memories of fighting for my life, after receiving a “death sentence” back in the late 1980s. I mean this literally, I was told over the phone that I had, at the most “6 months to a year to live”. Getting a death sentence is probably one of the most terrifying things I have ever confronted so far. The bleak circumstances surrounding my death sentence were very poignan

To the healing hands of my caregiver

published: June, 01, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Félix Garmendía

Félix Garmendía: "Thank you to all the hidden heroes behind the scenes, thank you to all that give the best they have to enhance the quality of life for those of us LIVING with a degenerative disease."

To the healing hands of my caregiver

As a long-term HIV survivor, I have realized that it’s becoming increasingly less likely that HIV will kill me. I just came from my regular doctor checkup last week. After 30 years carrying HIV, I am undetectable and have 937 T cells. I can remember when 937 T cells were enough for four people. I can’t help but think about those who didn’t make it. I am also reminded of the countless family members who lost precious loved ones. We were not allowed to have “spouses” then. The best ph

Greece: in the arms of the gods

published: April, 18, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Félix Garmendía tells of the special connection he feels with Greece.

Greece: in the arms of the gods

Grecia, Oct 24, 2012. I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation. Sometimes it sounds to me like a punishment, sometimes like another opportunity to evolve. When I was a child I had a dream that recurred often. In that dream, I could not see myself but there were several things that were very clear. I was standing on a cliff high above a very beautiful blue ocean, there were white buildings that contrasted with the ocean’s water. I also remember a very comforting island breeze flowing t

Passing the torch in high style.

published: March, 20, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Félix Garmendía recalls Bill, the man who taught him that self presentation is self celebration -- and that both are important.

Passing the torch in high style.

I used to see him very often in the neighborhood. I didn’t even know his name but there was something about this man that was very pleasant and captivating. My husband, Denis and I used to comment on how handsome and dapper he always appeared. He was a really sharp dresser, a very elegant man with a well-crafted retro sense of fashion. With his linen suits, alligator shoes, ascots, and meticulously crafted handlebar mustache, he was always a sight to behold. Every time he crossed our path,

The secret in Johnny's eyes

published: January, 06, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

As New York poz guy Félix Garmendía relates, sometimes a chance meeting can put us back in touch with what's best and most important about others and ourselves.

The secret in Johnny's eyes

I enjoy the holiday season but as a secular humanist (i.e. pagan, lol), I don’t attribute any spiritual weight to the season. Yes, I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year and I also enjoy eating potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce on New Year’s Day. I do admit however that I haven’t quite figured out Kwanzaa yet. Even though I’m not particularly spiritual when it comes to this season, I’m all for the “tidings of comfort and joy” part of the season. A few days b

Home base or jail cell?

published: October, 04, 2016 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Our NYC guy,Félix Garmendía tells of the social isolation that often comes with disabilities and of what he did to beat that isolation back.

Home base or jail cell?

Isolation is a very common problem for a disabled person. Our lives changed forever the day we became disabled. Although I’ve been disabled for years, a turning point occurred when I became 100% wheelchair bound about four years ago. I have a progressive, degenerative neuromuscular condition called “Inclusion Body Myositis.” which primarily involves gradual destruction of the muscles in my arms and legs. Four years ago, I had a bad fall that rendered me unconscious and I ended up in the

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