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My Fabulous Disease

The "My Fabulous Disease" Holiday Spectacular!


A Video Blog

By Mark S. King

December 7, 2011

My mother's home here in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been fraught with excitement the last few days. Christmas decorations littered the living room, the almond scent of cookies filled the air, and last-minute phone calls and arrangements made it all feel like a major production was underway.

And there was. The event that had everyone scrambling was held on a Sunday afternoon, when siblings and extended family arrived for the taping of "The 'My Fabulous Disease' Holiday Spectacular."


Episode 40: The "My Fabulous Disease" Holiday Spectacular!

Now just take that in for a moment. My family was enthusiastically participating in a video about my life with HIV. And they were much more concerned with choosing a fun holiday outfit than being publicly associated with their HIV-positive relative. For them, the interviews I would do with them about my HIV status, well, that was the easy part. They had no problem being candid about my HIV, as you will see.

I am an extremely blessed and fortunate man.

"The King Family"

"The King Family"

When I was young, I remember watching "The King Family" on television, a big happy bunch that sang really well and wore lots of matching outfits. I was starstruck, and always wondered if that King family might bear any relation to mine. And if they didn't, would they let me come be on their show anyway?

Well, today, I'm proud of my own family for displaying our dubious talents, and by going a big step further by discussing the importance of supporting those of us living with HIV/AIDS. For far too many, the difficulty in disclosing our status -- or the result of doing so -- has distanced them from the people they need most during times of challenge. Whatever the reason, if you need to feel a little family warmth and acceptance during this holiday season, by all means, check out the video.

The Holiday Spectacular includes some family greetings, a cooking segment with Mom (you'll want that divine almond scent wafting through your home, too), a little philosophical drag, a surprise here and there, and even an appearance by the big man himself, Santa Claus.

You may remember my mother from "What it Feels Like for a Mom," a surprisingly candid video interview she did for me on Mother's Day last year. You might also remember my gay brother Dick, who made an It Gets Better video with me. He was also one of the main subjects of the award winning "Once, When We Were Heroes" posting I made for World AIDS Day several years ago. But today, you're also going to meet sisters, nieces and in-laws who have special holiday greetings just for you.

Mark's Family

Enjoy the holiday special, my friends. And as always, please be well.

Mark

p.s. As promised in the video, here is the recipe for Mom's Christmas Cookies. I'm certain they're fantastic for your T cells.

(Note: Mother uses a MIRRO Food Press, a device that must have been manufactured during the Eisenhower era, judging from the faded instruction manual she still keeps handy. I found one on E-Bay for you for less than four bucks, or you can use a more modern appliance, if you must. I don't guarantee the cookies will taste the same!)

Time: 10-12 minutes...      Temp: 375F...      Yield: 7 dozen

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tspn salt
1/4 tspn baking soda
1 tspn almond extract
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
Green food coloring

  1. Cream shortening, adding sugar gradually
  2. Add unbeaten egg, dry ingredients, flavoring, and a few drops of food coloring. Mix well.
  3. Fill the cookie press and form cookies on ungreased sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake.
  4. Frost and sprinkle something fabulous on top of them (my suggestion, not hers).

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See Also
More Inspiring Stories on Family and HIV/AIDS
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Marna Mon., Dec. 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm EST
This is absolutely precious!
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Comment by: Laura (Fort Worth, Texas) Mon., Dec. 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm EST
You did a wonderful job uncle Mark, this was a very good video.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Kaye Wed., Dec. 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm EST
Will you please be my family too?
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VIDEO BLOG:
My Fabulous Disease


Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.

Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.

Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!


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A Place Like This by Mark King

View an excerpt of Mark's book

To read PDF, click here


Interviews With Mark:

Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)

This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)


Articles by Mark:

Meth Burial (May 2008)

Outliving My Father (May 22, 2001)
Mark recounts how years of caring for friends dying of AIDS prepared him for taking care of his dying father
From The Advocate

AIDS Always Benefits from What We Don't Talk About (April 2001)


For the rest of Mark's articles, click here.


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