Mykki Blanco is a figure in the rap industry that transcends boundaries. He is a rapper, poet and performance artist, and at times identifies as transgender and multigendered. On Friday, making a brave disclosure about his personal life on Facebook, Mykki Blanco revealed he is HIV positive and has been so for the past five years.
He shared on his Facebook wall:
Ive been HIV Positive since 2011, my entire career. f--k stigma and hiding in the dark, this is my real life. I'm healthy I've toured the world 3 times but ive been living in the dark, its time to actually be as punk as i say I am.
"No more living a lie," he added in the comments, "HAPPY Pride," followed by a suggestion that the music industry would not welcome his disclosure.
Blanco's post received an outpour of support and gratitude from his fans, with many commending his courage and thanking him for dispelling myths about the disease. Responding to one commenter, the multitalented artist explained: "thank you its just today for everyone else knowing but its been 5 years for me, meds, garlic, limes,yogurt lol world travel. I just cant be an image living in fear having people call me brave and it being a lie."
Blanco — whose real name is Michael Quattlebaum Jr. — took to Twitter to address those who supported his announcement.
[Cover image via Mads Danquah/Flickr]