Michael asked that we post some more about him, from a personal perspective. Before becoming a victim of the US “justice” system, Michael was an award-winning wrestler on a scholarship at Lindenwood University (St. Charles, Missouri) studying Broadcasting, which he hopes to continue during and after getting out of lockup.
Below is a statement Michael wrote for this site and our upcoming zine about Michael and HIV criminalization.
February 19, 2016
I am Michael Johnson. Nickname: Personal Trainer Tiger Mandingo. Now I will talk to you about me. I got the nickname Tiger from a lucky shirt I would wear to wrestling meets. That’s where people started calling me “Tiger.”
A friend of mine called me “Mandingo,” then I looked up the word and found out it came from Africa; that is why I added it to my personal trainer name.
I believe the more of us that come together in the situation, the more we will bring the true justice out of my situation and none of us will go through what I’m going through now.
I was raised by my mother Ms. Johnson with four older brothers, Brandan, Stephen, Donovan, and Derrick. When I was growing up my mother provided us with what we needed.
Sometimes it was tight but we made it through the hard times.
In my past experience I knew education was the way to have a positive future for my family.
I also suffer from dyslexia and a learning disability, so I worked extremely hard to graduate.
I feel that the phylogenetic testing should be talked about because it should have been administered from the beginning of this situation. I ask people that support me to learn and educate yourself more on everything that has to do with HIV.
I graduated from Warren Central High School in 2010. The same year I won state in wrestling. As a senior I became a state wrestling champion in 2010 and Indiana’s Athlete of the Year.
My goals were to get my bachelor degree in video broadcasting and win more wresting titles. Being an Olympic Gold Medalist is one of my big goals for my future that I was working to make happen before this situation.
In October of 2011 my son was born and he changed my life. I’m a loving, devoted father who wanted to better his life by going to college.
I got a half-scholarship to Lincoln College. I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. I also won a national title in wrestling in 2012, the same year I graduated from Lincoln College.
From my success I received a half-scholarship to Lindenwood University.
Being HIV-positive has caused a negative effect on my life and my family. I never want anyone to have to go through this type of pain.
Michael was a National Title-winning wrestler in 2012, before he was taken away by the State. Read about his victory here.
See Michael competing, and winning, a state title while at Warren Central High in 2010:
Find the below and other personal training/workout vids at Michael’s YouTube channel.