The Life of Billy Porter

"It's when we are visible that we have the power to create empathy." Billy Porter made history as the first openly gay black actor to win the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for “Pose” — this is his story.

Posing for history

He is the first black and openly gay actor to have won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He is Billy Porter. He was born in 1969 in Pennsylvania and grew up with his parents and sister. In 1987, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. At 25, he began a career as a comedian on Broadway. Theater was the thing that encouraged me to dream beyond my circumstance, outside of my circumstance. In 1997, he released his first album. At 44, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola, a drag queen, in Kinky Boots.

In 2016, he supported the Trevor Project which focuses on suicide prevention services among LGTBQ+ teenagers. At 47, he married the man with whom he’s been sharing his life for the past 8 years. In 2018, he landed the role of Pray Tell in the hit series Pose, which depicts the daily life of young gay men and transgender women. At 49, he caused a sensation at the Oscars with his tuxedo gown. A few months later, he wore a dress inspired by a uterus to support the right to abortion, amid threats to reproductive rights in several states. The day after his 50th birthday, Billy Porter won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in Pose.

“I hope that young queer people of all colors can look at me and know that they can. I was told that who I am was never gonna work. I was told that who and what I am would never be successful. Period. That’s what I was told. I did not believe them,” Billy Porter concludes.


10/07/2019 10:19 AM
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  • 33


  • Darren F.
    10/07/2019 10:53


  • Oscar A.
    10/07/2019 13:27

    What is up with that hat. ? Hahaha. Is he also a pirate ?

  • Brut
    10/07/2019 13:38

    Porter is set to direct an episode of FX’s “Pose” during its third season:

  • Jaime G.
    10/07/2019 14:09

    Give a Fk if you’re a Homosexual!!! You are not special!!! Duuuuh!! Just go do a good job without mentioning your lifestyle choices you fools!

  • Dolma T.
    10/07/2019 14:46

    He is him

  • Elina L.
    10/07/2019 21:06


  • Nilmarie R.
    10/08/2019 06:29


  • Nevin S.
    10/08/2019 15:46

    What happended to your previous hero- Jussie Smllette

  • Brenda J.
    10/09/2019 20:31

    Is he the first black, first gay, or first gay black artist to win?

  • Mary R.
    10/10/2019 01:53


  • Randy T.
    10/10/2019 23:51


  • Lenetta L.
    10/11/2019 03:19


  • Tracy L.
    10/12/2019 00:46

    Love Pose and Billy!

  • Aubrey W.
    10/12/2019 12:46

    When he says "Good" with that lip curl......OMG!!!!!!

  • Ben S.
    10/13/2019 00:03

    Wherever floats ur boat .. do ur thang pal...x

  • Allan D.
    10/13/2019 16:48

    I liked his brief roll on the get down.

  • Licia W.
    10/14/2019 14:57

    Judge not to be judge I like his attitude yassssss!!!!!!!

  • Thomas Y.
    7 days

    He about to play cinderella God plz come back

  • Wayne M.
    5 days


  • Marlene P.
    5 days