Rapper Mykki Blanco has announced on social media that he is HIV positive, MSN is reporting.
Blanco, who is openly gay and often appears on stage and in public in women’s clothes, announced on his official Facebook page that he has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“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.”
Michael Quattlebaum debuted his persona, Mykki Blanco, on YouTube in 2010, according to Music Times. Since then, he’s released a handful of EPs, including his most successful album, 2014’s Gay Dog Food. He released his latest album, Michael, earlier this year. The song for which he’s perhaps best known, however, is “Wavvy,” which comes from his 2012 EP Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss.
In a 2013 interview, Blanco discussed the difficulties of being himself.
“My main trials and tribulations have come from thinking ‘Will people understand that I’m doing different things at once?’ One day I may choose to do a photoshoot in full drag, the next shoot I may be an alien, or I may choose to perform out of drag. A lot of people want musicians to have one image. If I had chosen to do that in a gimmicky way, it may have made things easier at first, but I would’ve lost out in the end because I would be a prisoner of a persona.”
Being one of the few openly gay artists working in the rap community, Blanco also has to deal with the problem of homophobia in the African-American community. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, so deep is the problem of homophobia in the black community that producer Lee Daniels and actor Jussie Smollett of Fox’s Empire — a show about a family of rap industry moguls — have received death threats over the gay storylines in the show.
Still, reactions to Mykki Blanco’s HIV announcement on Facebook have been largely supportive.
“good for you mate–i’ve never heard your music, i don’t have HIV myself, but your honesty can’t have been easy: i admire the s**t of you”
“Kick a** dude, good for you for having the courage to say it. Much love and respect. Silence = death”
As of this post, Mykki Blanco’s Facebook announcement that he has HIV has gotten over 11,000 “Likes.”