Mykki Blanco has revealed she is HIV positive in a courageous announcement posted on Facebook last night. The rapper and performance artist, who confessed her intentions to quit music earlier this year, wrote: "I've been HIV Positive since 2011, my entire career. Fuck stigma and hiding in the dark, this is my real life. I'm healthy I've toured the world 3 times but I've been living in the dark, it's time to actually be as punk as I say I am."
Blanco responded to comments in the post declaring "no more living a lie", and thanked her fans for their overwhelming and touching support. She also spoke again of her wishes to move away from the music world, hinting that this public announcement could have a serious impact on her career: "The music industry ain't gonna like I admitted this so if a curator could help me move more into the art world that would be awesome."
The announcement came on the eve of Pride weekend in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Blanco wished her fans a "HAPPY PRIDE", and her bravery is sure to have sparked fires in the hearts of those who live under the dark shadow of HIV. The performer repeatedly clarified she was not 'ill', had been touring, and had built a successful multi-faceted career since her diagnosis, proving that the secrecy of HIV can often mean it is misunderstood. Although LGBT rights are continually gaining positive traction in this world, this disease has been left teetering painfully on the line of taboo and hushed words. Let's hope Blanco's loud, proud and phenomenally brave statement is a leap forward.