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“Visibility matters”: Reporter Marc Malkin came out as HIV+ to honor his gay uncles

This profile is part of Queerty’s Out For Good series, recognizing those who came out to make a difference. The series will run throughout October in honor of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

Name: Marc Malkin, 49

Bio: Entertainment writer and awards show red carpet fixture. Malkin grew up in New York where he launched his career in entertainment journalism at Premiere. He’s since moved to the front of the camera, becoming a popular personality for E! News. In 2018, he joined the staff of Variety as lifestyle editor. He two Emmy nominations along the way.

Coming Out: Malkin’s never hid his sexuality, publicly sharing stories about his personal life. He wed husband Fabian Quesada in 2014, immediately posting the images. He’s also written tender recollections from his teen years of his two gay uncles who died from AIDS complications. Malkin has also helped other celebrities come out of the closet, including Wentworth Miller. But coming out has many facets, and in June 2018, Malkin surprised by coming out again, this time, as HIV+.

In an Instagram post, Malkin shared anecdotes from his first AIDS LifeCycle ride, talked about being positive himself.

Related: Prominent red carpet reporter Marc Malkin comes out as HIV-positive

“On this beautiful day of LGBTQ pride, I have something to say for the first time in such a public forum,” he wrote. “I am HIV-positive.” Malkin went on to reveal his own battle with crystal meth addiction through the 00’s, and receiving his HIV diagnosis shortly thereafter. He stated that coming out as HIV+ was meant to honor his uncles and to show the world he had no shame in his status.

View this post on Instagram

I am back home. Back home after riding my first @aidslifecycle. The ride has left me with many things, but probably the biggest gift I have received is the inspiration to live my truth. On this beautiful day of LGBTQ pride, I have something to say for the first time in such a public forum. I am HIV-positive. In short, I lived much of my thirties in confusion, depression and a search to find myself. I partied too much. I struggled with crystal meth. I was diagnosed with HIV about nine years ago. Today, I am sober and living with HIV. @haircoloristfabian came out as HIV-positive recently on Facebook. My dear friend @karljschmid did the same on Instagram. These two amazing men sparked the inspiration to come out about my status. AIDS/LifeCycle convinced me it was time. Visibility matters. Just ask the men on the ride who told Fabian that his story inspired them to ride. So, here I am celebrating LGBTQ pride and honoring my Uncle David and my Uncle Arthur by standing up and saying, “I am HIV-positive.”

A post shared by Marc Malkin (@marcmalkin) on

Making a Difference: Malkin made clear that he came out as HIV+ to help end the stigma that still looms over the disease. He wanted people who know him from his life on the red carpet that he still leads a happy, healthy life, maintains a happy marriage and a successful career. He came out as a former addict for the same reason: that people would follow his example to get help in personal battles against substance abuse and go on to live a fabulous life.

Words of Wisdom, as told to Queerty:

“For me, coming out as HIV+ is about visibility. It is about showing the world that I am not ashamed of my status, that I am a survivor, that I am healthy and I am strong. We are only as sick as our secrets and this secret was killing me—not physically, but emotionally. I lived in fear of people finding out. I lived in fear of people founding out and judging me. Coming out as HIV also coincided with me coming out as being in recovery. I lived in fear of people finding out I was an addict. I lived in fear of people founding out and judging me. My fears about coming out as positive and ask addict in recovery were unfounded. I’ve received nothing but love and support. But more importantly, I’ve heard from others who are positive who have thanked me for having the courage to be out and have told me I’ve inspired them to do the same. Coming out was good for me and I hope good for others.”