- Billy Porter is the first black openly gay man to feature on the cover of Essence magazine.
- The July/August 2020 cover follows his feature as the first male-identified cover star of Allure magazine.
- In his interview he speaks about standing up for himself and the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
Billy Porter has made history as the first black openly gay man to appear on the cover of Essence.
According to Out, this is after he featured as the first male-identified cover star of Allure magazine in January. The Pose star, interviewed by Tre' vell Anderson, spoke about everything from finding his true self to the Black Lives Matter movement. "Activism is in my DNA," he says during his interview.
View this post on Instagram
At every stage of his nearly 30-year career, @TheeBillyPorter has challenged norms. Today is no different. He is ready, as always, to start the conversations that bring about a reckoning—from the need to vote to the recent protests to the numerous murders of Black trans women. “What we’re seeing is a tipping point. But not just a tipping point over what has happened recently. It’s a tipping point 300 years in the making,” says the 50-year-old multihyphenate in our new issue. Tap the link in our bio for more on our July/August 2020 issue with #BillyPorter. Chief Content & Creative Officer: @MoanaLuu Deputy Editor: @alliemcgev Talent: @theebillyporter Writer: @rayzhon Creative Director: @nialawrence_nyc Entertainment Director: @corimurray Photographer: @jdthecombo Videographer: @jeanlondondia Fashion Stylist: @jasonrembert Groomer: @melissa.dezarate Barber: @fadedaddynyc Producer: @jbthegawd Social Media: @randa_writes Executive Producer: @nonepix
About the wave of change sweeping the US amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, he speaks of having open conversations about slavery: "We're like a dysfunctional family who keeps secrets and doesn't want to talk about it.
"They don't want to talk about the actual thing. They want to act like the actual thing never happened, so that there's never a healing that can take place. White people are so afraid that we want vengeance that they can't acknowledge the truth.
"But we don't want vengeance," he says. "We want our rights. We want equality. We want to be treated like human beings. We want to know that we can walk out of our houses and not be under threat of death every single day simply because of the colour of our skin."
He also speaks about standing up for all Black lives, including black trans lives, saying far too often "the filth was coming from my own" quoting Black gay writer James Baldwin.
"'It took years of me vomiting up the filth that I was told about myself, and halfway believed, before I could walk around on this earth like I deserve to be here,'" he recites. "But the filth was not only coming from white people. The filth was coming from my own."
READ HIS FULL INTERVIEW WITH ESSENCE HERE.