Ahead of the release of his HBO Max series, , Billy Porter sat in the hot seat with BuzzFeed to answer all of your burning questions…
The Pose star answered everything from what was the most challenging scene to shoot on the show…
Billy Porter: I was 49 years old when I shot that. And being a person whose masculinity has been in question since the moment I could comprehend thought…I was never masculine enough to be the object of anybody’s affection in anything ever, so I didn’t know how to engage that way. And it really freaked me out.
What did he think when he found out he was the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for lead actor in a drama series:
Billy Porter: Everybody told me that my queerness was my liability and I would never have mainstream crossover success unless I butched it up. My masculinity was always in question so, I win! I did it anyway, being myself. And I hope that gives inspiration to other people to be themselves as well. That’s the only thing we got.
His favorite red carpet outfit:
Dan Macmedan / Getty Images
Billy Porter: I would have to say the Oscars tuxedo dress is my favorite because it is the moment that launched it all. So, that’s my favorite.
What his first Pride event was like:
Billy Porter: I was 19 years old and I was doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Montclair State [University], New Jersey and the chorus boys invited me to gay pride. I arrived in front of St. Patricks [Cathedral] on 5th Avenue and 50th Street across from Saks Fifth Avenue. My friend Michael Del Bianco pulled me into the line, threw a t-shirt over my head that said, “Silence equals death” and we started marching down the street in a group, chanting, ‘Act up, fight back, fight AIDS!'”
Who is his unsung LGBTQ hero?
Billy Porter: Bayard Rustin was one of the architects of the civil rights movement. He was the man who put that March on Washington together. He is the man that taught Martin Luther King Jr. about nonviolent resistance, the nonviolent movement, civil rights movement, and he was put out because he was gay. Black people at the time thought that gay and Black weren’t the same thing and he needed to have a seat, and he did.
…and so much more! But, you’ll have to watch the video to find out what else he shared about his life, career, and marriage to his longtime partner Adam Smith.
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