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Billy Porter Is First Black Gay Man to Win Acting Emmy

Billy Porter

Well, I’ll be damned! Billy Motherfucking Porter is an Emmy winner. The actor took home the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award Sunday night for his role as Pray-Tell on Pose, and he was sure to not squander the moment. 

Taking the stage in his custom, couture Michael Kors suit — emblazoned with 100,000 crystals — the legend of stage, and now the small screen, quoted James Baldwin. 

“‘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,’” he said. “I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right.”

Porter made history as the first Black, gay actor to win an Emmy. 

In his acceptance speech, he first recognized the other men whom he was nominated alongside, which included Bob Odenkirk, Jason Bateman, Kit Harington, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sterling K. Brown. 

“It is an honor to be up here breathing the same air that y'all breath,” he said before thanking his mother, who was his date. 

Porter then thanked his fellow cast members, before turning his attention to the man who made Pose come to life with his industry clout. 

“Ryan Murphy, you saw me,” he said. “You believed in us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Before leaving the stage, Porter then shared a message for fellow artists. 

“We are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet,” he said. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don't stop ever telling the truth.”

Sunday night’s Emmy win makes Porter just an Oscar shy of EGOT status. 

RELATED | Billy Porter Suits Up in Couture and Crystals for the Emmys

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