Last year, rapper and queer performance artist Mykki Blanco took a leap and made one of the toughest revelations of her life.
She took to Facebook last July to declare that she had been diagnosed with HIV back in 2011 and had been living with the secret ever since. Blanco, who stopped by The Huffington Post Wednesday to discuss her new album “Mykki,” explained that she was “risking it all” when she opened up to the world about her HIV-positive status.
“I really thought that I was going to jeopardize and lose everything entertainment-wise,” she said. “I mean, who did I have as an example of who came out positive and actually still thrived in their career?”
But Blanco knew she had to make the revelation despite the stigma. After years of hiding her status, she decided she was “tired of living this shadow life.”
I was tired of meeting guys at parties or clubs or bars and being like, ‘... Guess what? I’m positive. Can you not tell anyone?’ I got tired of having friends, best friends, good friends come over to my apartment and then me hide my medication in the hamper because I didn’t want them to know.
After opening up about her status, she was ready to exit the music business and try living life outside of the public eye.
“I was willing to walk away before it happened,” she said. “I was willing to come out with it, get myself a boyfriend and go back to college and become a journalist and live a normal life somewhere in like Atlanta or Maine and make soap.”
But once she came out as positive, she was surprised by the outpouring of well wishes that flooded her Facebook after the announcement.
“It changed my life. It made me have more faith in people. It made me have more faith in humanity. I didn’t realize that people could be so good,” she said.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Mykki Blanco here.