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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > Issue 496: Summer of Pride > Billy Porter

Billy Porter

Janet Mock speaks to the leading man of Pose on his unparalleled fashion, making history, and why episode six will forever be their tribute to the lost generation of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Denim sleeves; denim skirt, price on request, both FORBIDDEN DENIMERIES. Necklace, price upon request, ANDREOLI USA. Gloves, price upon request, WING & WEFT.

I’m Pray Tell on Pose; I’m queer, I’m out, I’m fabulous, I’m a leading man and I’m running shit. I don’t have to adhere to any of these rules and I can go onto these red carpets and play because it doesn’t matter. Y’all weren’t casting me as that, anyway, and I still survived and I’m still here. So I need to do it the way I want to fucking do it.

“I thought, ‘You’re a faggot, you can’t do that!’ But yes, I can. Yes I can, and yes I will. I want to be the person,” proclaims actor Billy Porter as he crosses New York City the morning before a day on set for the second season Ryan Murphy’s season Pose. “I want to be one of the people that is at the forefront.”

Recognised across the globe for his Emmy-nominated turn as Pray Tell, the experienced ballroom emcee who’s here to “teach the children”, it’s not just Billy’s turn on the show that’s got us all talking. Away from the television screen and on the red carpet, the actor has turned out lewks that almost, just almost, upstaged Lady Gaga recently at the 2019 Met Gala.

But alongside looking fierce and turning heads, the looks come with a hidden message from Billy: I am living my truth, and your gender boundaries of masculine and feminine don’t belong anywhere near me.

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About Gay Times

Over the next 3 months, Gay Times Magazine will be celebrating the very essence of Pride – featuring voices and experiences of the entire LGBTQ initialism from all over the world. In our first volume, covered by Billy Porter, Valentina and Bretman Rock, we’re looking at the fluidity our modern community enjoys. These are people who have either fought for, given visibility to, or celebrated their power to express themselves in the most authentic (and downright fierce) way possible. Not only that, but they do it unapologetically, and with two fingers up to the patriarchy that governs what is considered ‘normal’. We also have a special extended travel section on everything New York City World Pride, giving you insight into the great metropolis that witnessed the birth of Pride. What’s more, there are interviews with the team bringing Tales of the City back to Netflix, making sure the enduring spirit of the queer community is front and centre. Elsewhere in the issue Ryan Jamaal Swain talks Pose, privilege and Pride; L Devine on bringing her sexuality front and centre in her music; Dustin Lance Black on his lifetime of activism; Angele Anang on being the first openly trans winner of Drag Race; Ryan O’Connell on why disabled people shouldn’t be used as ‘inspiration porn; plus fashion, opinion and art from all over the world.