Articles tagged with: Felix Garmendia

Celebrating International Women's Day with inspiring dolls

published: March, 09, 2018 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Current Affairs, Women, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Barbie released dolls celebrating diverse leaders for International Women’s Day and New York guy Félix Garmendía says the idea is "absolutely brilliant."

Celebrating International Women's Day with inspiring dolls

I heard yesterday about the new Barbie collection. I am not particularly a toy enthusiast but a friend posted this new Barbie collection on my Facebook page. The reason why my friend posted it on my page is because this new collection, consists of 17 inspiring women. From all the inspiring women chosen, Frida Kahlo, my favorite artist, is one of them. Frida Kahlo and her doll The posting produced a few comments from some of my friends. Very interesting observations that raised questions

The Pierrot necklace

published: February, 08, 2018 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "Thanks to Pierrot, I am reminded that there is STILL beauty and blessings in my life, here in this wonderful and magical place called New York City."

The Pierrot necklace

When I started studying my undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Puerto Rico, I fell in love with a sad character from 17th century France. I ran into my first “Pierrot,” one day taking a leisurely walk on the historic Old San Juan. Jewelry has always fascinated me, as a child I remember playing with my parent’s rings. It was a lazy balmy afternoon in 1980, when I decided to take the bus to the historic Old San Juan area. Once there, I went into a very pretty jewelry/ a

When HIV is not your only battle

published: January, 08, 2018 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Newly Diagnosed, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "I will not let fear stop me again from living my life."

When HIV is not your only battle

I wonder if I will finish this piece. Have you ever wondered when you are sad, if writing about it will help you find peace? I have, and it has been my experience that spending the time, effort and contemplation to express these feelings definitely helps. I’m not unfamiliar with sadness. Like every person with a chronic illness, I have my long dark nights when I feel like I’m wandering around, lost, in the dark. I am bipolar, so sadness can be a bit difficult to battle. Like I have ment

¡Feliz Navidad!

published: December, 07, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Spirituality, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

From New York, Félix Garmendía: "Every sundown is counted, every smile is felt deeply and appreciated, every new day is a gift full of life..."

¡Feliz Navidad!

As a secular humanist, I have no particular spiritual connection to Christmas, but I do enjoy very much the atmosphere that surrounds the whole phenomenon of Christmas every year (“don we now our GAY apparel….”). In my neighborhood, Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, the main commercial street gets decorated with beautiful lights everywhere. It’s a playground of traditional consumerism and yet also a festive and exciting time for many, many people -- even jaded New Yorkers. I re

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

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