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“Pose” Star Billy Porter Makes Emmy History

Out gay actor continues to reach new heights

“Pose” star Billy Porter receives an Emmy award from John Oliver.
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Billy Porter made history all over again.

Just months after the “Pose” star became the first out gay black person to be nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Series, he took things a step further on September 22 when he beat out Jason Bateman, Bob Odenkirk, and Sterling K. Brown to win the award.

Porter, now the first out gay black man to receive an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series, showed raw emotion during his acceptance speech.

“I am so overwhelmed but am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” Porter said. “James Baldwin said, ‘It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.’”

He continued, “I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right!”

The decorated actor is now inching closer to EGOT status, having landed an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony. And although he has yet to nab an Oscar, he has still found ways to make his presence known at those awards: He donned a tuxedo dress at the Oscars in February.

In the groundbreaking FX show “Pose,” Porter portrays a character in Pray Tell who emcees balls and serves as an elder and friend to the folks living in the House of Evangelista. Pray Tell learns he is HIV-positive and struggles to effectively maintain his lively personality while simultaneously dealing with emerging health issues. Porter masterfully captures the intersection of Pray Tell’s social life, health woes, and love life, which ends up creating an emotional rollercoaster that is only expected to escalate in the season(s) to come.

Porter, as usual, stood out in a big way during the Sunday night awards show with a crystalized outfit and a black asymmetrical western cowboy-style hat. (We promise he didn’t get the inspiration from homophobic Bronx City Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr.) He has been unafraid to confront gender roles on and off television screens and is unapologetically living in his own skin as he reaches new heights.

“I know that being black and gay and out and being in this position and speaking in the position that I get to speak from is the change,” Porter told the press shortly after receiving an Emmy. “I hope that young queer people of all colors can look at me and know that they can.”

Porter was also nominated for a Golden Globes award earlier this year for the same role on “Pose.” Porter’s previous awards stem from his performance in the musical “Kinky Boots,” for which he won a Tony in 2013 and a Grammy in 2014.

Posted 6:07 pm, September 23, 2019
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