Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker has been a regular contributor to PositiveLite.com since its inception in 2009.  Many of his pieces on fashion, style and pop culture for PositiveLite.com have also been reposted on numerous sites around the world. 

Being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1983 (when it was literally a death sentence) he initially chose to keep it to himself and continued to forge an extensive career in the fashion industry. It was not until the death of his grandmother (the love of his life), also in 2009, that he became comfortable with the idea of coming out regarding his HIV status. “For me, it was yet another ordeal I had to learn to live with while I continued to hope for better days ahead. Like other unpredictable and disturbing events that had occurred in my life, I have done my best to not let it fully define or consume me. I have however, recognized it as a part of who I am and made the necessary concessions over the years in my efforts to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life.” Philip has now been “undetectable” for nearly ten years. 

He officially moved from Winnipeg to Toronto in 1990 and continues to make a life for himself, which is an ongoing work in progress. Recently, Philip chose to combine his professional and personal passions into the pet industry by forging a unique ambience and perspective in managing and buying for an independently owned full service pet shop, naturally, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. He is having the time of his life!

Fall trend report

published: September, 08, 2017 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

PositiveLite.com style advisor Philip Minaker: "The major trend of this season is indeed the seventies and all they had to offfer."

Fall trend report

Fashion designers draw inspiration for their collections from a variety of subject matter: - A trip abroad or for the love of their homeland. - A work of art, a movie or a story that moves them. - A vision of the future or of a bygone era. - Or perhaps…what’s currently going on in the world. Whether it’s a fantasy or interpretation of reality, making fashion relevant and appealing is a tough task. The challenge, season after season, is to make fashion reflect the times in which we l

Stripe Teasers

published: April, 12, 2017 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Photography, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker: "For Spring/Summer 2017 designers have opened up a Pandora’s Box of stripes guaranteed to suit your aesthetic and lifestyle needs."

Stripe Teasers

Stripes are big this season! And not just as a trend. Forget about the typical Spring Nautical influence as well as the Finding Waldo look. For Spring/Summer 2017 designers have opened up a Pandora’s Box of stripes guaranteed to suit your esthetic and lifestyle needs.   Vertical, diagonal or horizontal, subdued to vibrant, solid or patterned and even crafty to techno the options are endless. And the idea of mixing and matching also has been reworked to create a standout look that de

Form & function in men's spring style.

published: March, 13, 2017 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker reports on this spring's casual looks for men.

Form & function in men's spring style.

Many of us have opted for a less structured approach to dressing that accommodates our lifestyles. Incorporating clothing specifically designed for workouts and other athletic activities into our work, casual and social wardrobes has become a new standard of dressing. And since it has begun chipping away at sales in casual (think jeans) and ready to wear commodities it has created one of its own. Pieces specifically designed for true sportswear have now expanded into everyday wear. Whether fo

Check it out!!! 2016 fall styles!!!

published: October, 28, 2016 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Opinion Pieces, Philip Minaker

PositiveLite.com's Philip Minaker with an overview of 2016 fall fashion trends.

Check it out!!! 2016 fall styles!!!

A new season has arrived and that means a new approach to dressing. For many, Fall denotes change and new beginnings. Commencing a new academic year during our youth is probably the reason why many of us have taken a particular shining to Fall. Despite the anxieties that we may have initially experienced, including what to wear, we began to embrace the possibilities of new opportunities enthusiastically as the years advanced. For many, translating fashion into personal style is a process, l

Looking good is the best revenge - the swimsuit edition

published: June, 27, 2016 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Philip Minaker

PositiveLite.com's Philip Minaker with some easy ways to feel and look really, really good this summer.

Looking good is the best revenge - the swimsuit edition

It’s really no big secret. The key to really looking great is to feel great. And since summer is now upon us, there is an easy remedy to mutually spark up the external and internal you. Simply dive into the great outdoors and soak up some of that sun! Besides transforming your skin color from pasty white to a flattering tan, your body also naturally absorbs a healthy dose of the Sunshine Vitamin known as Vitamin D. Mild sun exposure can indeed boost the immune system, warding off a multitud

Living with HIV – and building a stronger mental state

published: May, 04, 2016 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

Our Phillip Minaker talks to Toronto doctor in psychiatry Adriana Carvalhal, who says “Resolving detrimental behavior such as trauma, addiction, depression and violent behavior that are deep rooted requires the assistance of a trained professional”.

Living with HIV – and building a stronger mental state

“New treatments and their outcomes changed the disease. The focus shifted to building a stronger mental state to combat the personal struggles with being diagnosed as positive. Finding the roots of mental disorders and various addictions can prevent these issues from interfering with a healthy future as an HIV-positive individual”.  Over 35 years ago a new virus crept into our mindsets and began to impact the lives of millions of people around the world. The human immune system was unabl

Life’s a drag

published: March, 11, 2016 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Television, Opinion Pieces, Philip Minaker

RuPaul returns to TV in a new season - and our Philip Minaker is a fan!

Life’s a drag

Fasten your seat belts and start your engines Squirrels! Another season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has hit the Boob Tube. Yes, indeedy, Season 8 started with a new crew of a dozen Drag Queens vying for the title of The Next Drag Superstar.   The first episode not only introduced the new cast of characters but also marked the 100th episode and 100th Drag Queen to sashay into the limelight and into our mindsets. Adding to the jubilation was the return of the previous season winners who participa

Spring awakening

published: February, 26, 2016 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Philip Minaker

Our style guru Philip Minaker on how to look good in the months to come

Spring awakening

Each season fashion designers put a fresh spin on various themes that become synonymous with the times in which we live. Whether they are romantic, sporty, nostalgic, futuristic, androgynous or inspired from different parts of the world we integrate these various influences into our own wardrobes that inevitably depict our own true sense of style.  Colours, fabrics and silhouettes are key components derived from these various trends that are important to take into consideration. Selecting wh

Reality check

published: November, 03, 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Theatre, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker on drag sensation Roy Haylock, better known as his stage persona, Bianca Del Rio.

Reality check

“If Phyllis Diller and Don Rickles had a love child it more than likely would have been Roy Haylock” .  Try as you might, it is difficult to name more than a dozen that have participated in a talent based reality TV show that have managed to attain staying power and international acclaim in the last ten years. Granted, there are many that have capitalized on their exposure and taken a huge giant step forward in their given field but stardom in the true sense of the word has eluded most

Summer coolers

published: July, 29, 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Philip Minaker

Our style guy Philip Minaker reviews what’s hot in swimwear

Summer coolers

Okay! It’s now time once again for a little fashion sense with a whole lot of eye-candy! Swimwear is an essential staple for any summer wardrobe so let’s explore what’s hot. And with all the options available, show and tell has never been better!  Regardless of whether you chose to just soak up the sun or expand on your workout regime with summer outdoor activities, you will want to don the most appropriate trunks.  Function as well as colour, silhouette and proportion are the key f

Spark it up!

published: May, 04, 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Philip Minaker

Wondering what to wear this summer season. Fear not! Our fashion guy Philip Minaker says go with a more relaxed look

 Spark it up!

Wondering what to wear this season? Fear not! Whether you are feeling the need to do a complete wardrobe overhaul or just spark up your favorite pieces there are plenty of options that will not only spark up your look but your attitude as well.  The major trend to dressing this season is a more relaxed attitude. A key component to creating this vibe is to simply wear shirts untucked and sleeves rolled up. Tapered shirts with contoured hemlines will show off that hot physique of yours and are

Moschino lives on

published: March, 05, 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

Our fashion guy Philip Minaker gets excited about a new line of men’s and women's fashion from an old name, the original Moschino having died from AIDS in 1994

Moschino lives on

From time to time various fashion designers have been selected to breathe new life into European designer brands that have lost their namesakes. Rarely do a select few manage to ignite the spark from the greatness the brand once had and run with it. Whether they relate to the mindset of the original designer or channel their own ability to absorb the nuances that are well documented in the labels archives it's a difficult balance to create collections that are still relevant and appealing. 

The gayest city on the planet is . . .

published: August, 14, 2014 Categories // Community Events, Pride, Travel, Lifestyle, Opinion Pieces, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker on how his home-town of Toronto hosted World Pride in style this summer.

The gayest city on the planet is . . .

Throughout the summer months, cities across North America take their turns in celebrating Pride. From the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in late June right up until those first signs of Fall in September each city puts their own spin on the progress we have made as a community. Local and international progress is recognized to show that despite the diversity of those that fit into the LGBT name and more we are indeed a unified front whose agenda has evolved from a gay rights initiative in

C.mon. Lighten up!

published: May, 12, 2014 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Philip Minaker

Fashion news. Philip Minaker says its spring - and what better way to celebrate a new season than to spark up your look

C.mon. Lighten up!

Rejoice! After that long and nasty winter we all endured in southern Ontario, spring has finally arrived. And what better way to celebrate a new season than to spark up your look. There is an abundance of exciting colours this year that can easily transform your dull drab look and attitude into the effervescent being you are indeed meant to be. Whether you decide to mix a variety of bold colors together or simply opt for a floral shirt that can work wonders under a suit or liven up your favor

On becoming a Pet Shop Boy….

published: March, 18, 2014 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Pets, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker changes career tracks. Guess what he’s doing now?

On becoming a Pet Shop Boy….

We all have our various “break throughs” or as Oprah puts it, our “Aha moments”, when we realize that there is a great need for change in our attitudes, perspective and in the ways in which we live our lives. Equipped with a new mandate we diligently work towards transforming our lives in a new direction. We relish the opportunity as a fresh start and begin to look forward rather than behind us as we strive to move forward rather than wallow in despair, frustration or even worse…bitt

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