Author, activist Mark King to speak in Oklahoma City February 23
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
My Fabulous Disease: Chronicles of a Gay Survivor
Years ago, I was fortunate to be invited to the NLGJA (National Lesbian, Gay Journalists Association) Media Convening sessions. It was a great experience as long as I could get away from the office for the four or five days of the event.
I got to travel, usually to the East Coast, and the hotel and travel were paid for; what a deal, right? Right. What I didn’t realize until after the second convening event I had been invited to was that the best part wasn’t the free travel, room, board, etc. It was the relationships I found while convening with my peers in LGBTQ journalism.
I met some of the top news people in our field and many people in the medium-sized media, such as The Gayly.
I was surprised to meet so many bloggers. I believe the first Convening event I attended was in 2015, and it seemed like there were more bloggers than other media representatives. Looking back, I see why. These writers were like machines in the amount of stories they could churn. I was pretty impressed.
I met a fantastic man named Mark King at the first Convening I attended. He wrote about being HIV positive in a blog he titled My Fabulous Disease. I have always been someone who fights stigma, and I remember thinking, good for him!
Not only is he a GLAAD Media Award-winning journalist whose blog chronicles his life as an HIV-positive person, but he is also an addict in recovery. Most of our readers know I am also in recovery and keep no secrets about that fact.
I got to know Mark. Yes, he is a great writer and has been writing about gay life, sex, and survival since testing HIV positive in 1985. He is the brains and historian behind My Fabulous Disease and quite an LGBTQ and HIV activist.
He also has a beautiful soul, and I think the world of him.
His blog, My Fabulous Disease, has been nominated seven times for a GLAAD Media Award, winning in 2020. King has also been named LGBTQ Journalist of the Year by NLGJA, the association of LGBTQ journalists.
Mark currently lives in Atlanta with his husband, Michael. They lived in Baltimore for a time, where I was lucky enough to be invited into their home one night for dinner.
The following info is the info Mark sent to publicize his speaking engagement. I hope everyone reading this will be able to attend. He is intelligent, quick-witted, funny, and super easy on the eyes!
Mark S. King, the enormously influential LGBTQ activist and essayist, will publish My Fabulous Disease: Chronicles of a Gay Survivor on September 1, 2023, with a foreword from Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis. The anthology spans four decades of King’s profoundly personal writing on sexual politics, the twin epidemics of addiction and AIDS, and how the writer has navigated sex, love, and family as a gay man living with HIV for nearly forty years.
The sum of King’s award-winning essays is a manifesto of survival but also suggests a man giggling through a graveyard. Joy, farce, and cheeky optimism permeate even the darkest episodes of King’s life. His blend of inspiration, confession and candid transparency has made King one of the LGBTQ community’s most trusted and treasured storytellers.
Mark S. King has been writing personal reflections on gay life, sex, addiction and his family since shortly after testing HIV positive in 1985, only weeks after the test became publicly available. “I wanted to put something down on paper while I could,” King explains, “something that said we were here, and this is how it felt. No one is more surprised that I’m still writing it down.”
The result has been nearly four decades of moving, sometimes hilarious accounts of what it was like for a young gay man to make it out of the 1980s alive – and what came next.
King’s ongoing blog, “My Fabulous Disease,” has seven GLAAD Media Award nominations, winning for Outstanding Blog in 2020, the same year King was named LGBTQ Journalist of the Year by NLGJA, the LGBTQ journalist association.
Advance praise for “My Fabulous Disease: Chronicles of a Gay Survivor” includes kudos from Cleve Jones (When We Rise), Peter Staley (Never Silent) and Sean Strub (Body Counts). Jones called King “one of our most thoughtful and articulate advocates,” while Staley credits King’s “queer attitude, humor, and heart of gold.” Strub named King “the Mark Twain of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
“My Fabulous Disease: Chronicles of a Gay Survivor” was published in paperback and ebook format last year by Ingram, with initial book launch events scheduled for Atlanta, Washington DC, and Ft Lauderdale.
A Special Community Event with Activist and Long-Term HIV Survivor Mark S. King author of My Fabulous Disease: Chronicles of a Gay Survivor
Friday, February 23, 2024
7:00pm Readings by community leaders
Evolve Church 3208 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73112