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Billy Porter’s Emmy win makes history
Via Instagram @theebillyporter

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win acting Emmy

The Pose actor quoted James Baldwin in a rousing speech

Last night (September 22), TV’s biggest stars flocked to Los Angeles for the 71st Emmy Awards. It was a big night for Phoebe Waller-Bridge whose shows Fleabag and Killing Eve both scooped awards. But it was a historic night for Pose actor Billy Porter, who became the first openly gay black man to win the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series.

Making his acceptance speech, Porter declared: “The category is love y’all, love!” Quoting author and activist James Baldwin, the actor continued: “I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed that I have lived long enough to see this day. James Baldwin said ‘it took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed, before I could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here’. I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right.”

The actor concluded: “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.”

The multi-talented performer, and fashion icon, is now just one win away from achieving the coveted EGOT – a combination of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award – after previously taking home a Tony and a Grammy for Kinky Boots in 2013 and 2014.

Although he sadly didn’t repeat his 2019 Met Ball entrance – on the shoulders of six shirtless men – Porter was impeccably dressed in a custom, shimmering Michael Kors suit, with a Stephen Jones hat nodding to this summer’s revered yeehaw agenda

Writing on Instagram ahead of his win, Porter said: “Growing up, there was never representation of someone who looked like me. Y’all don’t know what this moment means to me. Here’s to celebrating 50 years of life, 30 years of hard work, and learning to embrace the JOY! This isn’t for me… It’s for US!”