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Billy Porter Makes History With Lead Actor Emmy Win

On Sunday, Porter became the first openly gay Black man to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role on 'Pose.'
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Billy Porter accepts the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award for 'Pose' onstage during the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
By Sydney Scott · September 22, 2019

On Sunday, Pose star Billy Porter made history, when he took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Pray Tell on the hit FX series.

Porter is the first openly gay Black man to win the award.

Porter quoted James Baldwin as he accepted his award, telling the audience, “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.”

Porter’s win puts him on the road to EGOT glory.

In 2014, Porter won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for Kinky Boots. In 2013, the actor also won a Tony for his portrayal of Lola in the Broadway musical. And, with Porter’s talent, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see the actor pick up an Oscar soon.

In his speech, Porter also called on artists to continue “telling the truth” with their work.

“I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” the actor said. “We, as artists, are the people who get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet,” he later added. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.”