What I demand is your respect for my humanity.
June 14, 2019 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Justin Kirkland interviews Billy Porter for Esquire: Three decades after Billy Porter’s career began, the people who once brushed him off for auditions are doing double takes. He’s caught the attention of fashion gurus with bold and stylish moments on the red carpet. And now that people are listening, he has a few things he’d like to share: memories of breaking free from abuse and his own doubt. Words about respect and acceptance. But most of all, what he's sharing makes one thing clear—Billy Porter didn’t evolve into this phenomenon. It took thirty years for the world to catch up.
posted by ChuraChura (8 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Billy Porter’s ministry is such a good ministry. May it grow ever stronger and brighter.

Also, those pink Oxford boots are amazing.
posted by Ruki at 11:47 AM on June 14 [9 favorites]

This role and the acclaim that comes with his major celebrity status is a long time coming, but Porter reminds me four times that he does not want to seem like he’s filled with hubris. I try to explain that if he were to be a little prideful, that would be fine. I encourage it, because nothing is more entertaining than when Porter goes into performance mode a foot and a half away from you.

It is an absolute crime that there is no cast recording of Shuffle Along. We saw him in it in 2016, and the day we saw it, there was this couple sitting behind us chirping about how they should be "getting a discount" because Audra McDonald was out that day and her understudy was filling in. My husband leaned over and hissed in my ear, "Do they not realize they're about to see Brian Stokes Mitchell AND Billy Porter in the same show?"

We were three rows from the stage and he pinned us in our seats with this...I present for your consideration:

I've Got the Lowdown Blues

Billy. Fucking. Porter. Ladies. And. Gentlemen.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:27 PM on June 14 [18 favorites]

Enjoyed this a lot, thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:28 PM on June 14

I recently shot behind the scenes of Pose for a WaPo article that came out last Sunday to correspond with the debut of Season 2. And got to spend a bit of time with Billy while doing so. He was amazing to watch and shoot and talk to during rehearsals and filming, and even more incredible to sit in on the interview with him and hear him talk about his life and journey. He is a force and deserves it all.
posted by chris24 at 3:38 PM on June 14 [25 favorites]

Billy Porter singing during a commercial break at the Tonys here.
posted by carmicha at 8:20 PM on June 14 [11 favorites]

Also, related to the ballroom community, there's a restored version of Paris is Burning premiering today before going to wider release. Here's a recent interview with director Jennie Livingston about it in which she mentions Pose.
posted by carmicha at 8:25 PM on June 14 [8 favorites]

Billy Porter is stunning. I wish I could pull off a quarter of that level of fabulousness, and I'm so excited that he's finally getting some recognition. I've only seen two episodes of Pose, but now that it's on netflix I'll finally have access to it.

I remember seeing Paris is Burning in the theater when I was a young dyke in high school, and how much it meant to me just seeing a queer community celebrating itself and not having to make straight cis people comfortable, even with everything that was going on at that time.

Thanks for this post, ChuraChura. It really made my whole morning, and now I'm going to peruse Billy Porter's instagram for even more fabulousness.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:52 AM on June 15 [4 favorites]

I vaguely remembered a Billy Porter special on PBS (looks like it was Live from Lincoln Center, and not posted anymore, darn it), but I did find this:

American Songbook - Michael Feinstein shares the stage with violinist Joshua Bell, Billy Porter, Larisa Martínez, and Songbook Youth Ambassador Brighton Thomas for spirited conversation and unique renditions of “Somewhere”, “Edelweiss”, “New York, New York” and “My Romance.”

Thank you for this, ChuraChura - I really like Billy Porter and am always happy for a chance to spend more time with him.
posted by kristi at 10:08 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]

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