Billy Porter Gets Walk of Fame Star: Being Queer ‘No Longer My Liability’

Actor Billy Porter received his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Thursday, giving a moving speech about his journey to self-acceptance
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Actor Billy Porter wore white to receive his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Thursday, sharing a kiss with husband Adam Smith as it was presented to him, reports The Daily Mail.

In a moving speech for the occasion, Porter spoke of how far society had come in accepting him as a performer.

“I’m grateful to have lived long enough to see the day where my queerness is no longer my liability but now it’s my greatest superpower,” he said. “I’m grateful for the healing power of love. I’m grateful that the universe has imbued me with the courage to dare to be audacious enough to stand firmly in my own humanity—no matter how under attack it is now—and has always been.”

The Pose star continued, “You know, I heard a lot of things in my life. ‘You’re too black. You’re too gay, too loud, too extra, too flamboyant. Homosexuality is an abomination. You are an abomination. You will never be blessed.'”

The Emmy-winner, who revealed last year that he was diagnosed with HIV in 2007, also told the crowd, “And in honor of this World AIDS Day, I’m grateful to stand in front of the world as an out, loud and proud representation of what being black, queer and HIV positive looks like in 2022.”

Porter posed on his side, pinup-style, next to his star for a photo call, his delicately pleated floor-length dress cascading on the red carpet around him.

There were also speeches from Bill Butler, Porter’s manager of thirty years, and his sister, Mary Martha Ford. “You aren’t too big,” Ford said. “You aren’t too grand. You’re not too much. Your gifts have made room for you and have brought you before great people.”

lliam Ellis Porter II, 53, started out treading the boards on Broadway, where he became a star—winning the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots—before striking out on his own as an actor and singer.

Porter starred in all three seasons of Pose, was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, and won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

He won a second Tony Award in 2022, for Best Musical as a producer for A Strange Loop.

Porter grew up in Pittsburg, where he has said he was sexually abused by his stepfather.

In 1992, Porter appeared on Star Search, winning $100,000, and sharing the episode with an unknown Britney Spears. Of the prize, he said, “After taxes, it was $44[k], and then I didn’t have a financial person to talk me through it,” he told Jimmy Kimmel. “I’m from the hood, so I didn’t know what to do. I should’ve bought an apartment in midtown… And I got my teeth fixed. So thank you, Star Search, for my teeth.”

He has released four albums, appeared in films from 1996’s The First Wives Club, 2021’s Cinderella, and 2022’s Anything’s Possible, his directorial debut. His many TV credits include the 2015 TV special, Billy Porter: Broad & Soul, Pose, which ran for three seasons starting in 2018, and a role as himself on Gossip Girl in 2021.

In 2021, Porter revealed that he had been diagnosed with HIV in 2007.


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