Billy Porter Wins Best Actor and It Was Definitely Overdue

Trailblazing actor Billy Porter swept this year’s Emmys nominations by being the first openly gay actor to win the award for “Best Actor in a Drama” from his outstanding performance in FX’s show Pose.

Porter, who identifies as a gay cis-male, has played a monumental part in today’s pop culture movement towards LGBTQ acceptance. Just to give you a short summary: Pose is a show that revolves mostly around transgender women who are apart of the ballroom culture in New York City during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80s and early 90s. Porter, who plays Praytell, plays a key part in the show illustrating the prominent relationship between transgender women and gay men in their community. His character also has HIV and struggles to accept his diagnosis while navigating through a society that wasn’t as accepting back then.

The significance of Billy Porter’s win and his heavy influence in pop culture made this Emmy very well overdue, but not just because Porter deserved it. The hundreds of LGBTQ actors and actresses who don’t get their recognition for their hard work is very well overdue.

This win signifies a change in what America thinks about the LGBTQ community. We have prominent figures in Congress, Hollywood, and the streets of America making change for a community that still struggles to be accepted by the masses. They are still ridiculed in pop culture and by a man who we call the president of the United States. 

Porter’s win is trailblazing at it’s finest. To be the first openly gay male to win an award that many people of color and of his sexuality are rarely given is a milestone. It serves as an example that shows on television that illustrate the day to day lives of millions of people in the LGBTQ community doesn’t go unnoticed. It empowers people to share their stories through films and television shows because viewers are investing their time to be educated.

As an ally, I am more than proud of Billy Porter and Pose’s success. It made me want to learn more and appreciate more about this culture of people who rarely get any notoriety for their achievements and struggles. The times are changing, and more than happy to be apart of it.

So congratulations to Mr. Porter and the rest of the Pose cast. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.