Billy Porter Is First Openly Gay Black Man To Win the Emmy’s For Lead Actor In A Drama.
Who is Porter?
An American Broadway Performer, born in the 1960s, in Pittsburg Pennsylvania is a theater artist, pop singer, and actor. He attended the Musical Theater program at Pittsburg Creative and Performing School. Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and achieved fame performing on Broadway before starting a solo career as a singer and actor.
Porter is openly gay. Porter and Adam Smith were married on January 14, 2017.
Quick Glance into his Career:
- Porter played Teen Angel in the 1994 Broadway revival of Greasel.
- Other shows he has been in include Topdog/ Underdog at City Theatre.
- Porter wrote and performed in his one-man autobiographical show, Ghetto Superstar.
- Porter has also appeared in a number of films. Also, played a major role as Shaniqua, a drag queen who befriends Angel and Lee.
- He also appeared in Ru Paul’s Show.
- He has had a musical career with three solo albums released, Billy Porter on DV8/A&M Records in 1997, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul in 2005 on Sh-K-Boom Records and Billy’s Back on Broadway in 2014.
- In 2018, Porter starred in the FX show, Pose in the role of Pray Tell. In 2019, Pose earned its renewal for a third season after airing just one episode from the second season.
The Drama Actor, ringing in two momentous milestones:
- Making History Nomination as the first Gay Actor in the lead – actor – drama – series category.
- His 50th Birthday!!
He continued to make fashion waves that year when he wore a fitted tuxedo jacket and a velvet gown by Christian Siriano with 6″ Rick Owens boots to the 91st Academy Awards.
Porter attended the 2019 Met Gala and embraced the Camp: Notes on Fashion theme by being carried on a litter by six shirtless men while sporting a “Sun God” ensemble.
The outfit was designed by The Blonds, and it included a bejeweled catsuit outfitted with 10-foot wings, a 24-karat gold headpiece, as well as custom gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and fine jewels by Andreoli, John Hardy, and Oscar Heyman.
Billy Porter is the first openly gay black man to receive an Emmy nomination in the outstanding lead actor in a drama series category.
Porter, 49, continues to shatter ceilings as he pushes for inclusivity in the industry not only with his style but with his work on screen.
The star is the first openly gay black man to receive a nomination in the outstanding lead actor in a drama series category for his starring role as ball emcee Pray Tell in Ryan Murphy’s FX drama. And, he said on the Emmys red carpet, he’s fully celebrating this incredible moment.
I am fully celebrating this incredible moment. “All of my dreams are coming true right now,” he said. “I’m grateful that I’ve lived long enough to see the day where I can stand inside of my authenticity and have it be perceived this way. It’s gorgeous and it’s a blessing.”
He told about Emmy’s red carpet look, Porter — who set the Internet ablaze when he wore a black tuxedo. He added that his fearlessness with fashion grew from wanting to start a dialogue about shifting the perception of what men should be wearing on the carpet.
“As a man, I really want to make a different kind of statement and show up in a way that could also be transformative, that could also be political,” Porter recently told PEOPLE of his style. “My goal was to be a walking piece of political art.
When I show up that’s what my goal is. Put a man in a dress and it’s controversial, doesn’t make any sense, but okay. Let’s keep having this conversation until we can change something.”
He also credits working on Pose, for shifting his perspective on his own red carpet style. According to Porter:
“I realized how gender fluid my impulses, my whole life has been. I didn’t really understand that until Pose happened,” he shared.
“It kind of cracked my brain open and helped me get to a different space and understating about myself, the dilemmas I was putting on myself even just about what I can wear, what was acceptable, what was masculine enough, what was acceptable.”
The win made him the first openly gay black man to receive the honor in the category.
“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself, and halfway believed, before I was could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here,” Porter told the crowd, quoting James Baldwin. “I have the right, you have the right ― we all have the right!”
The significance of Porter’s win did not go unnoticed by fans and LGBTQ advocates, who began tweeting their praise immediately after the announcement.