Scroll To Top

Pose's Billy Porter Is Emmys' First Gay Black Man to Win for Lead Drama

Pose's Billy Porter Is Emmys' First Gay Black Man to Win for Lead Drama

Billy Porter
Getty Images

Porter quoted James Baldwin when he made history by winning the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. 

"The category is love, y'all, love!" Billy Porter said when he took the stage at the Emmy Awards on Sunday.

He had just become the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Pray Tell in the landmark FX series Pose.

"I am so overwhelmed but so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," Porter, a Tony winner for Kinky Boots, continued.

"James Baldwin said, 'It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I'd been taught about myself and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.'"

"I have the right, you have the right," Porter said, pointing to the audience. "We all have the right."

Pose, which is headed into its third season, made history when it premiered for casting more transgender actresses than any series before it and for telling the stories of so many trans people who created the Ball culture that proliferated in the '80s and '90s. The series is also groundbreaking in terms of its honest, heartrending depiction of the AIDS epidemic.

Watch Porter's speech below.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreAdvocate Magazine - Gio Benitez

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Tracy E. Gilchrist