Félix Garmendía is a poet, HIV+ survivor, and disabled due to Inclusion Body Myositis. He has been married to his husband and caregiver Denis since 2012.
Garmendía writes about LGBT issues, which are very close to his heart. His life was carved around the experiences of surviving his early years in conservative Catholic Puerto Rico of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. He arrived in Manhattan, New York City, in 1988. His poems narrate his life as a gay activist, a poet and a storyteller in the face of illness and intolerance.
He is winner of the 2022 Rainbows in Chariots award for outstanding LGBT cultural contributions from those with different abilities, from Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture warriors) and the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network (ILGCN): “for making beautiful rainbow contributions to photography and poetry; for confirming those LGBT cultural workers in wheel chairs, prostheses for arms or legs, those who are blind or deaf, or have other disabilities are indeed major pioneers of LGBT culture and heroes of our time; for confirming that LGBT culture is a mighty weapon against homophobia, intolerance, ignorance, invisibility and silence; and for proving the fact that when the colors of the rainbow are stretched over geographic and psychological barriers, they grow not weaker but more brilliant for any one willing to look up to the sky.”