Photography: Benedict Brink
LGBT activist and BULLETT favorite, Mykki Blanco, had released a powerful new video for his 2016 single, “Hideaway,” in honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Having announced his HIV status via social media in 2015, Blanco has since been an outspoken advocate for destigmatization and visibility. The visual, directed by Daisy Zhou and produced by amfAR, shows Blanco navigating a painful relationship, illustrating the track itself, which touches on “that feeling of shame, of hiding, of having love only exist in a bedroom,” said Blanco. “I know what that feels like.”
— mykki blanco (@MykkiBlanco) April 10, 2017
Along with the video, Blanco released a statement reflecting on his own experience with HIV.
“I thought if I came out, I was immediately going to get shunned, that all my opportunities were just going to whittle away,” he said, of his initial fear to disclose. “When we choose to stigmatise those living with HIV, we do a disservice to our own humanity. As someone who has lived healthily with the disease for five years now, I know all too well the fear of persecution and shame, and what that can do to one’s character and their life.
The rapper also urged the importance of destroying stigma, detailing the reality of the living with an incredibly vilified disease.
“There are nearly 37 million people living with HIV worldwide,” he explained. “37 million people deserve to live in a world where they aren’t judged for their status. Love and happiness, compassion are birthrights of the human condition; 37 million people living with HIV deserve that just like anyone else.”
Thank god for Mykki Blanco. Watch “Hideaway,” below.