In commemoration of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (April 10), gender-fluid rapper Mykki Blanco has released a music video for “Hideaway,” a track of her 2016 debut studio album, Mykki.
“When we chose to stigmatize those living with HIV, we do a disservice to our own humanity,” Blanco states in a voiceover. “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. Love and happiness, compassion: they’re birthrights of the human condition. Thirty-seven million people living with HIV deserve that, just like anyone else.”
Blanco became HIV-positive in 2011, but concealed her status until 2015. “I thought if I came out, I was immediately going to get shunned, that all my opportunities were just going to whittle away,” she told W. She proved herself wrong, as she career has only thrived after opening up about being HIV-positive.
Lyrically, “Hydeaway” is about a couple — one HIV-positive, one HIV-negative — living in denial, circling around a romance. “That feeling of shame, of hiding, of having love only exist in a bedroom,” Blanco said, “I know what that feels like.”
“It is really cool to create a work that has a consciousness to it — that’s not only politically relevant but relevant about a subject that people still to this day are just afraid to talk about.”
The video was directed by Daisy Zhou and is a collaboration with W Magazine and amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research). Check out the clip below.