Rolling Out

Mykki Blanco opens up about coming out as HIV positive

Photo credit: Mykki Blanco’s Facebook (Mykki Blanco)
Photo credit: Mykki Blanco’s Facebook (Mykki Blanco)

Rapper Mykki Blanco made headlines across the nation back in June when he revealed that he’s HIV positive, making him one of the few black artists in history to ever do so. Now, Blanco is opening up about his big revelation and not only what it meant to him but his fans, as well.

In a new interview with HIV Plus Magazine, Blanco says that he just decided in the moment to come out as positive with a Facebook post.

“I did it on this whole emotional whim,” Blanco says of his coming-out. “But I think afterwards, when Newsweek and Time magazine — who have never heard of me before — are writing about it, I’m like, ‘Oh, wait, maybe it’s been a while since someone’s done this.’”

But the moment did more for Blanco than just raise awareness about him. He says it also helped him to see himself in a more positive light.

“I actually feel like a good person. And I don’t think I had felt like a good person in a really long time,” he said before beginning to cry in the interview.

That joy and positivity is a stark contrast to what Blanco says he felt when he was first diagnosed with HIV.

“I thought the world was over,” he recalls. However, he says, “I was not entirely surprised because I knew what I was doing in that period of my life — it was a very dark period — and I knew what I was doing to contribute to the high-risk behavior that led to it happening.”

Blanco explained that he engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors because of the emotional trauma he held onto after enduring child abuse as a youngster. He says he suffered from “feelings of low self-worth,” of “never being good enough,” and a “sense of abandonment.” He also claims he sought “emotional love through physical love.”

Blanco explained that he planned to remain mum about his HIV status until he was 40, but he decided to come out after realizing it wasn’t right to lie to his fans who had admired his bravery for so long.

“How s—-y and how deceived would they feel if, 20 years from now, they found out I was HIV-positive but I was too afraid of the stigma to come out about it?” he asks. “What kind of fraud would I have been to all the people that supported me? All the people that are trans and positive? Who are gay and positive? Who have supported me and bought my music and come to my shows? I couldn’t be honest with myself enough, to love myself enough, [so] that self-love could then be encouragement or inspiration to them? No, no, no. Honestly, truthfully, I think I have too much integrity for that.”

“I did it for love. I did it for myself,” he added. “At a certain point, my real life has to be more important than this career. And at a certain point, my own happiness and my own loneliness, it overcame me.”

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