Image credit: Essence Instagram account (@essence)
“Pose” actor Billy Porter marks a milestone in his three-decade-long career as he becomes a cover model for Essence magazine — the first time a gay male has done it.
Porter is the cover model for the Jul/Aug 2020 issue of the magazine, and in it, he talks about growing up as someone who does not fit society’s traditional view of masculinity. He says his masculinity “was in question from the moment [he] could comprehend thought” and that it would take a long time before he could live as someone who is proud of who he is.
In the Essence feature, Porter also acknowledged his privileged position and how he can use this to change the conversation around the Black community and Black LGBTQ people. As the article points out, this is because of the “epidemic-level rates” of murders of Black trans women, most of whom are killed by Black men.
“Our trans women are out here dying at the hands of our own. We can’t ask for anything more than what we’re ready to give. It starts with us first, and I’m calling it out,” Porter declares.
The magazine feature also talks about Porter’s crusade to get as many people to vote in the presidential election coming this November. Porter acknowledges that the way the system is set up, one needs to be in power to affect real change, so he calls on everyone to get registered and vote.
Porter became a household name thanks to his role as Pray Tell in the FX series “Pose,” a role for which he won an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama. He also won a Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in “Kinky Boots.”
Recently, Porter released an empowering anthem with The Shapeshifters titled Finally Ready. Finally Ready is a “declaration of Pride, of breaking free from past traumas to take a chance on love.” Watch the song’s official music video below:
He also release this amazing song “Love Yourself” with his Pose family last week and I just love it. Check it out below:
Billy Porter is likely the first gay male that we know about to pose for the cover of Essence. I’m sure there have been others but they were just in the closet, lol!
I’m betting he’s the first openly gay man on the cover,not necessarily the first gay man.
I hate to be negative and I’m sure I’ll catch all kinds of flack for saying this, but oh God…what a load of disco-fied, drag queen flavored, stereotypically predictable dreck that could only come from a gay dude. I’m gay and a musician/songwriter/vocalist and I’m just saying someone with his obvious talent could do something that could have so much more impact but to me it’s all lost in the ‘been done to death’ disco formula framework to the point I couldn’t listen to the whole thing…
AGREED David!!….SO over this guy and his “getups”…been there SO done that!!!..Guys who come out at a “Late Date” can look pretty ridiculous and the message gets lost between ALL the glitter and heels!
Remember, the Poet…W.H.Auden? He set-the-record-straight…
“Poet, First”: “Quean, Second”
For, Billy Porter …
it is: “Quean First and everything else, second.” Porter gets it wrong!
As an Addendum:
If Essence Magazine is dedicated to the Black Woman and indirectly to the Black Community… at large…
…wouldn’t it have been more logical to have a Black Lesbian on the front cover…instead of a Black Quean?
Davin: As you probably know, gay men are not monolithic in our thinking, styles, accomplishments or interests. You are who you are and Billy is who he is. Don’t try to put us all in one box and expect us to be the same. I celebrate Billy and his accomplishments!
“I hate to be negative”.. well don’t.. Your negative comments are not helpful.. Racist, self-hate ,and negative attitude gay men are the worst .. These individuals need to look within and stop throwing stones at others .. You know who you are.. Kudos for Billy Porter ..
I know several openly gay males who feel this crap is forcing more of the stereotypical flaming gay male, and since that’s predominately what is forced on the public that’s what they think all gay males are, and are shocked when they find out their favorite non gay acting (insert profession here) is an insatiable bottom who is the center of attention (wink wink, nudge nudge) on his days off, LOL.
LOVE AND LIGHT TO YOU ALWAYS……….You are so right!
Here’s the thing…you start with “I hate to be negative”, not dealing at all with the main point of the article, any of his accomplishments, however to find THE one thing to drag. That’s really great, mature. I hope it made YOUR day at least. Did it make you feel good? Sheesh, we can really use one less mean queen in the world right now when we are dealing with the likes of Donald Trump, which was clearly pointed out in the article by way of Billy’s Essence article. Let’s keep that in mind, and keep it positive, uplift our… Read more »
if you hate to be negative, why are you? you don’t have to post
Porter has ‘talent’, really? I guess being annoying is some kind of talent.
He capitalized on the American dream. He utilized his talent and creativity at the perfect time to become the success story he’s living. Way too flamboyant and colorful for my liking but deserving of the piece of pie he earned. Wishing him nothing but the very best!!
I don’t really follow much gay stuff like this anymore, but he’s a most positive force, love how he’s utilizing his well-crafted platform for positive-progressive change. How he’s managed to make what society calls “strikes against you-black & gay” perhaps/most likely etc., he’s flipped the shit out of his odds in the face of his/our adversaries. That, is what matters to me at this time with this man and men like him.
Billy porter is too flamboyant