BILLY PORTER MAKES LGBTQ+ HISTORY AT THE EMMYS
By Erin White
September 23, 2019
The second of two Black men to make history at last night’s Emmy’s was theatre legend, Billy Porter. Nominated for his spectacular work on FX’s Pose, Porter became the first openly gay man to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Cheered on by his Pose cast members, Porter accepted the award by evoking the immortal words of James Baldwin’s 1960 essay “They Can’Turn Back.”
“It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had a right to be here.”
“I have the right,” Porter re-affirmed. “You have the right. We all have the right.”
Thanking his manager, husband, and Pose family, Porter left issuing a call to action for all of us: “We are the people,” he said. “We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.”
Billy Porter’s Emmy win brings him one ‘O’ away from making history as an EGOT.