September 8, 2018

#2018USCA Through the Eyes of Social Media Fellow Arnoldo Galindo

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NIKKI CALMA!!!!!!! What an amazing woman!!! I am really grateful that I was awarded this social media fellowship and gave me the opportunity to meet with her and get to cover her story. All that she has accomplished and all that she is and has been. She is a dedicated HIV + Trans Woman who is part of the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community and has done monumental work and helped establish programs to literally save peoples lives and pave the way for younger folks. Nikki talked to me and Kavon (my social media fellowship partner) about the times when the epidemic hit and there was nobody helping out the API community and it was being ignored by the government. Many of her friends were passing away she described that literally you would go away for a week and two friends would pass away, and the next week it would be the same. They had to do what they could to help each other out and survive. Whether it was alcohol, drugs, sex work, dancing, art, performances, creating different personalities, taking people into their own homes. I identified with Nikki when she described herself as NOT BEING A LEADER I dont feel like Im a leader either but Im also NOT A FOLLOWER I try to follow my own moral compass. She said we are WARRIORS and we do what has to be done. This is completely true… (I dont like idealizing wars and violent soldiers because I'm anti war) BUT WE REALLY ARE FIGHTING A WAR against a virus… a war that has had thousands of casualities and left its scars on us… but because of Warriors like Nikki this is a battle that we will soon WIN!!!! #2018USCA #2018USCAfellow

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