Billy Porter says sharing his HIV status has been ‘freeing” | OUTInPerth

Billy Porter

Actor and singer Billy Porter says public sharing his HIV status earlier this year has been a positive experience, one he describes a “freeing”.

Porter was an honouree at the 2021 Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS in West Hollywood last week.

“There is a shame component with being Black, with being queer, with having HIV that is silencing and destructive,” Porter said. “I am no more silenced, I am no more shamed, and I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

Speaking to People magazine Porter said he’d met many people who had told him that his story had uplifted them and given them the courage to speak about their own status.

“I think it’s important that those of us who have a platform use our platforms in ways that move difficult conversations forward,” Porter said, “and that can be transformative in some way and make a change, make a difference.”

Fans can find out more about Billy Porter’s journey through life in his upcoming autobiography Unprotected: A Memoir. 

Back in July Porter shared that he was living with HIV and had first been diagnosed 14 years ago. He kept his status a secret, and the writers of his hit TV show Pose were unaware of his status. In the show Porter’s character Pray Tell discovers he has contracted the disease, the show is set in the 1980’s and 1990’s when there were few effective treatments for the virus.

Since the show wrapped Billy Porter has been keeping busy appearing in the TV musical Cinderella, popping up in Lil Nas X’s latest video and walking a lot of red carpets during awards season.

OIP Staff

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