Let’s get two things straight: My first name is pronounced like the bird from the baseball team the Baltimore Orioles (not like the Oreo cookie), but I spell it without an “e” at the end. My parents are from Cuba, but I was born and raised in New York City. I’m glad we got that over with…
My professional life has been kind of eclectic: from editing The Complete Dog Book for Kids to associate editor of the AKC Gazette; from business director of publications for the ASPCA to executive editor of Pet Business; from editor at large for LGNY (now known as Gay City News) to editor in chief of LGNY Latino (now defunct); from managing editor of DiversityInc to deputy editor of POZ.
My personal life has been sort of ordinary (for an almost 40-year-old gay Latino from New York City who also happens to be a former Marine), except for being diagnosed with HIV in 1992 at the age of 22. I’m unfortunately far from being the only HIV-positive person on the planet, but the virus has added yet another layer of difference between me and most of society.
At this point in my journey, I have the privilege of being able to combine the professional and the personal. In September 2008, I started writing Oriol’s POZ Blog about my experiences with HIV. In the October 2008 issue of POZ magazine, I wrote an article titled “Coming Out Again” about how I came out to my family in 1996 as being gay and not again to them until 2008 as being HIV positive.
After all of the above, I suppose it’s obvious that my interest in fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues also includes issues related to HIV/AIDS, people of color and Spanish-language media. Blog tips are welcome!