Mark S. King

Mark S. King

Mark S. King and his very funny site "My Fabulous Disease" must share some DNA with Positive Lite, because his light-hearted approach to living with HIV feels just like family. "My Fabulous Disease" has the authority of Mark's lifelong HIV activism mixed with the wit of your favorite gay uncle.

Review: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ is Trans Film Noir

published: October, 09, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Movies, Women, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King reviews the new documentary by David France.

Review: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ is Trans Film Noir

Marsha P. Johnson, in a photo from the new documentary. Victoria Cruz, a dogged crime-victim advocate in New York City, has taken on one last case before retirement. She wants to solve the mysterious 1992 death of Marsha P. Johnson — a trans woman like Cruz herself — who’s body was pulled from the Hudson river after disappearing the evening before. The cause of death had been ruled a suicide, but that doesn’t wash with Marsha’s friends or with much of the LGBT population of New Yor

The terrifying crystal meth story I have never told

published: August, 21, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, General Health, Health, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Mark S. King

Mark S. King shares "one terrifying night during my #Meth #Addiction that I must share to get well."

The terrifying crystal meth story I have never told

When my guard is down, it comes to me. It flashes across my mind, an uninvited assault, sometimes when I am beginning to drift off to sleep or, more cruelly, when my mind is enjoying a pleasant reverie. It is then that the dark memory rushes in like a raid. He lived in a house with nice furnishings. That reassured me when I arrived for the hookup, given that so many of the other crystal meth addicts I encountered were barely holding on to the remnants of their lives. The others might have a s

‘Blood disgust’ is nothing new to people with HIV

published: July, 12, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King: "Unrealistic fear of HIV blood isn’t limited to the history books. HIV criminalization... preys upon outdated fears and public disgust with people living with the virus."

‘Blood disgust’ is nothing new to people with HIV

It is coursing through our veins, sustaining life and fighting disease, and yet we fear it. The sight of a few drops can make an adult faint. A bucket of it in a movie is the very definition of horror. Even as Donald Trump contributes his perverted, sexist new layer of blood revulsion (through a history of insults that include journalist Megyn Kelly’s bloody “whatever” and his most recent fabrication about a “bleeding” face lift that cable news anchor Mika Brzezinski never had)

Taboo sex, racism, and gay men: a chat in black and white

published: July, 03, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

In this interview by Mark S. King, Charles Stephens provides a searing indictment of racism among gay men and within HIV organizations. If you consider yourself a white ally to people of color, the level of your real commitment is about to be challenged.

Taboo sex, racism, and gay men: a chat in black and white

Detail from Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s “Untitled,” courtesy of Autograph, London In thirty years of HIV work alongside black advocates, I have rarely written on the topic of race. It makes me uncomfortable, or perhaps I feel unequipped, unqualified. But it’s that very hesitancy, according to black gay academic Charles Stephens, that only makes racism worse. Charles, the founder of the Counter Narrative Project in Atlanta, proved to be the perfect person with whom to chat about race (and

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

published: June, 21, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Aging, Activism, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King with a fascinating glimpse of activist icon Larry Kramer's softer side.

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

Larry Kramer, Kelsey Louie of GMHC, Mark S. King, and Larry’s husband, David Webster. (Photo: Nathan Perkel) The new POZ Magazine feature article, “Finding Larry Kramer,” tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the iconic activist found his way back to GMHC nearly thirty years after the organization kicked him out for being such a pain in the ass. It is an intimate look at an American hero and lion in winter. I had the pleasure of writing the story, which meant meeting both Larry an

Those offended by #NoJusticeNoPride should learn LGBT history.

published: June, 15, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Community Events, African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Legal, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King: on the racist LGBT response to #NoJusticeNoPride

Those offended by #NoJusticeNoPride should learn LGBT history.

No Justice No Pride protesters blocking the Capital Pride Parade. (Photo: Dylan Comstock) Hell hath no fury like a privileged white gay man who has waited too long for the next pride parade contingent to sashay by. When #NoJusticeNoPride blocked the DC Pride parade route on June 10, causing an hour delay to an already epic three-hour parade, you could hear the ice cubes impatiently rattling in Bloody Mary glasses for blocks. Revelers at three locations on the route were forced to co

AIDS, Love and Desperation at the Louise Hay Ride

published: May, 30, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Media, Mark S. King

Mark S. King: "Her message of self-love and unconditional acceptance—of our lives and other people—resonated like a beacon to the frightened gay men of Los Angeles."

AIDS, Love and Desperation at the Louise Hay Ride

“The One You Need To Let Go Of The Most,” by Jason Fritz & Matt Momchilov, based on images from the Louise Hay Ride. The hall, an auditorium in a West Hollywood park, was filled to overflowing. Hundreds of people, nearly all of them gay men, were crushed together in folding chairs, seated on the floor, or crowded in overflow areas by the doors. I sat fidgeting in my seat, a first-timer to this event, and beside me was my brother, Richard. His lover, Emil, diagnosed with AIDS for a co

A Second Chance at Death

published: May, 03, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King reflects on how his experience of the "plague years" of HIV have better prepared him to face his own mortality.

A Second Chance at Death

The angel visits, in the 1993 Broadway production of Angels in America. We all know how this ends. Despite the avalanche of articles on aging with HIV or advice about how to avoid long-term side effects or even news of progress toward a cure, nothing will change the inevitable. None of us will get out of this alive. And, in one of the bitter ironies of being a long-term survivor, my experiences during the worst of the plague years have become a handy point of reference. I have learned imp

Sean McKenna: Life with AIDS isn’t so damn ‘fabulous’

published: April, 25, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Living with HIV, Mark S. King

Sean McKenna interviewed by Mark S. King: "I want respect and services before we die. I want services for homebound long-term survivors."

Sean McKenna: Life with AIDS isn’t so damn ‘fabulous’

Last December I attended the most moving, transcendent World AIDS Day program I have witnessed in years. That’s not saying much, of course. These evenings are usually well-meaning but maudlin, featuring tearful eulogies while we hold up candles that drip on our fingers and we revisit personal losses that I put to rest a long time ago. Okay, clearly I have issues with grief. But this event, organized by long-term AIDS survivor Sean McKenna in New York City, inspired and reawakened somethin

The irony of aging: the HIV/AIDS seniors conference

published: March, 27, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Conferences, Upcoming Events, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King reports on the upcoming HIV/AIDS Seniors Conference in Fort Lauderdale and has his fridge raided by Nelson Vergel.

The irony of aging: the HIV/AIDS seniors conference

Thirty-two years ago this month, I received a phone call from a nurse at my doctor’s office telling me that I had tested HIV positive. We didn’t schedule a follow-up visit or begin a treatment plan, because there wasn’t a single medication approved for the virus, which had only been identified the previous year. The story of those times is achingly familiar to many of us. I lived in two-year increments, waiting for whatever illness would signal the beginning of my decline. I spent a lot

That time 37 years ago I won a car on The Price is Right

published: March, 16, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Media, Mark S. King

Mark S. King: "Year after year I’ve seen that video and find myself pulling farther away from the image on my television screen..."

That time 37 years ago I won a car on The Price is Right

When I was nineteen years old, I vacationed to Los Angeles and won a car on “The Price is Right.” In the following years, if I really liked you and wanted to impress you — or give you a small, wacky glimpse of my life — then at some juncture I’d say “So hey, have you ever been to Los Angeles?” Or, “Did I ever tell you about the car?” It was a long time ago. Thirty-seven years. I have a videotape of the entire episode and it gets trotted out and viewed from time to time. Now

What If I Told You the Project Inform Staff Was Hilarious?

published: March, 01, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Mark S. King

As Mark S. King explains, HIV work can be hard but the people doing it have always found ways to have fun and stay sane

What If I Told You the Project Inform Staff Was Hilarious?

Throughout the earliest years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, I deeply admired the fierce intellect of the late Martin Delaney, the researcher and advocate who, among many other historic accomplishments, founded Project Inform, the HIV treatment advocacy group with intimate ties to the community. What I did not know, however, was that his staff called him “Bunny.” A sense of humor helps, especially when you work for an organization with a mission statement that addresses an enormous and someti

Examining death, including the one I caused

published: February, 01, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Dating, Activism, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King: "Did you ever end a relationship once you realized you were going to survive AIDS? I did, or at least thought so, until my actual motives were revealed in my ex-partner's book."

Examining death, including the one I caused

Chris Glaser, author of The Final Deadline: What Death Has Taught Me About Life (left) My memorial service will be fabulous, I can assure you of that. I first outlined it during the initial, deadly wave of AIDS in the 1980’s, and have edited it here and there over the years, updating the songs I would like played or the video footage shown. Focusing on the spectacle, though, may just be avoiding the facts: if it’s my memorial, that means I’m dead. And death is a subject about which I h

The Compassionate Truce of Tim Murphy’s Novel ‘Christodora’

published: December, 13, 2016 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

"I spent most of my time reading Christodora in a reverie, spellbound by its intimacy and its characters," says Mark S. King.

The Compassionate Truce of Tim Murphy’s Novel ‘Christodora’

In the towering new novel Christodora, author Tim Murphy (below right) harnesses decades of personal and professional experience as an HIV journalist into a story that sweeps back and forth between the last several decades and beyond. It has the scope of great literature, but Christodora is also a deeply personal chronicle from a man who knows his terrain. The book’s namesake is a century-old apartment building in New York City’s East Village, silently weathering the indignities of t

Sleeping with President Donald Trump

published: November, 23, 2016 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

"Our new president is smirking at his inauguration." Mark S. King on the nightmare that won't go away.

Sleeping with President Donald Trump

I am on my feet at the Thanksgiving table, and my fists are slamming into the linen napkins. Silverware is quaking, pottery is rattling. The force of a particularly hard blow to the tabletop sends a dinner roll catapulting from the bread basket. My screams are borrowed from post-election protest marches. They are deafening and unending. Fight him. Reject hate. Protect ourselves. Surrounding the table are members of my family, some red and some blue. They pay me no attention. They are chattin

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