billy porter has a secret to share

when it was revealed that billy porter‘s character “pray tell” in pose has hiv,
he acted those scenes passionately.
the tears felt real and being the cancer sign that i am,
i picked up on his emotions that this was something personal for him.

i was right because billy revealed his storyline on pose is actually based on current events

“I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate,” Billy Porter says of playing his HIV-positive character, Pray Tell, on Pose, while no one on the show knew of his own diagnosis.

In a candid new essay for The Hollywood Reporter, published Wednesday, the 51-year-old actor reveals for the first time that he was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2007 — which he calls “the worst year of [his] life.”

“I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway,” writes Porter. “I was on the precipice of obscurity for about a decade or so, but 2007 was the worst of it. By February, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By March, I signed bankruptcy papers. And by June, I have diagnosed HIV-positive.”

As the Pose star recalls, “The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years.”

“HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment,” Porter adds.

He goes on to say that “everybody who needed to know, knew” about his diagnosis “for a long time,” except for his mother.

“I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasn’t certain I could if the wrong people knew,” he writes. “It would just be another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession. So I tried to think about it as little as I could. I tried to block it out. But quarantine has taught me a lot. Everybody was required to sit down and shut the f— up.”

powerful.
you have to get to a point where you’re honest about yourself first before you can be to others.

i’ll never forget two gays telling me to go out there and fuck everyone.
if i catch hiv,
it’ll be okay because there are pills i can take.
that always bothered me how reckless some folks can be.
if i didn’t have a mind of my own,
i’m sure i would have taken that advice.
i’ll never forget how fucked up i was when i had my own hiv scare.

Do folks realize the mental and spiritual anguish that can come with being diagnosed with HIV?

it’s not easy as taking some pills and walking out the door.
it’s more than that and it’s silly to believe otherwise.

i’m happy that billy was able to share his truth today.
hopefully,
it can help others recognize their own truth as well.

lowkey: that show on netflix,
“halston” by ryan murphy,
is gays fuckin’ damn near any and everywhere.
no protection.
it’s crazy.

article cc: people

read the full “hollywood reporter” article: here

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.

20 thoughts on “billy porter has a secret to share

  1. I was diagnosed this january.

    I couldn’t believe it because i always did everything right… i thought.

    Everybody keeps telling me how i’m gonna be fine, and i’ll probably be fine… but me mind just doesn’t see it that way.

    Especially since my diagnotic is AIDS not just HIV+.

    Everything is so scary right now.

    And doctors say it’s only one pill per day but they don’t tell you what that pill is going to do to your body (hello gynecomastia).

    And since my cd4 count is low (diagnaosed at 151, two motnhs after it dropped at 129 even though i’m on ART and my VL went from 91000 to 220) i’ve so many skin problems, nothing serious, but too many. And it’s a permanent reminder of what i got.

    The worse thing you feel like you can’t even complain because you did it to yourself.

    And who is going to love you again ? You’re a damaged good. And how do you deal with the stigma ? You can even freely talk about it because your friends can’t undertsand and you don’t know anybody else around you dealing with this shit.

    I guess it’s my karma or something. But what i’ve done that is so bad to deserve it ? I should have been more careful… i thought i was.

    Damn i swear it’s hard but i could be worst so i try to stay positive… emphasis on try.

    1. OK i realised i went too personal here, sorry. But it was so liberating to just express it all. And it’s esaier with strangers

      1. Thank you for sharing.Just like you feel liberated from sharing,I have no doubt you will inspire others to share their status and feel liberated.

        It’s not Karma and you didn’t deserve it.

        Be strong and stay positive❤.

      2. This touch me…prayers for strength and healing bro. God Bless you, Keep fighting you are beautiful and not your condition. ❤️

      3. Listen, Louis. I contracted HIV from my lover almost 25 years ago. He lied, I trusted, and almost destroyed me. That SLIME BALL of SHIT went on with his life and at one point wanted to act like he didn’t give it to me. I was in the airport in Dallas for work, and saw Iyanla Vanzant’s book In The Meantime and I read Audrey Lorde Zami. Both of those books gave me a new perspective on life. Also, I read the Seven Stages of Grief. Pick-up a few books that will help you to self-reflect and heal. Guess what you wake-up and keep going. After awhile time starts ticking away and you realize, you are here on this earth for a reason. Take your meds. Rest your body. Don’t take no raw dick, I don’t give a dam about PREP. Accepting another man’s dna into your body is significant. Anal sex you always have some form of a tear and that allows his semen to get into your blood. DNA is what makes us. And, everybody DNA ain’t good for you. Don’t worry about if someone will want you or not. God loves you man. With God by your side everything is small.

    2. ^omg louis,
      i’m so sorry to have to read this.
      i hope you have a strong circle and the right energy around you.
      words cannot express or make things better,
      but i pray for your inner strength and peace.

      sending love and prayers your way.
      hug

    3. Man I’m so sorry to hear that and you made me cry like seriously.

      No it is not your karma and you are no different than any of us. Ive had my shares of slips up and shit as much as I try I could be in a relationship and let my guard down and next thing I know my cheating partner could pass it on to me.

      I’m sorry you have such a hard time adjusting to the meds but please know that you are not damaged goods. I know many people who are positive and although it’s a struggle at first you will adjust man.

      Ive dated three guys who were undetectable and the relationships were just like any other. They were all assholes but I guess I have a type lol.

      Virtual hug and love from me and know that you are worthy, special, you exist and you matter!

      Stay strong, keep pushing it’ll get better and know that you are thought of by this guy here.

      Love you brother!

    4. It’s not the end of the world boo, but I guess it’s easier for me to say bc I got diagnosed with HIV at the tender age of 18 (I’m 34 years old now). I had the same thoughts you did. I thought it was my “Karma” but I was like, what the hell did I do that was so bad in my 18 years. This disease just made me stronger and it will make you stronger too! The best thing you can do is continue to live life baby!!! Live it like you’ve never lived it before! Stay healthy and happy boo!

    5. Louis, let me be a personal testimony that YOU WILL be fine. It is not the “death sentence” that it used to be, and today it is referred to as HIV syndrome. I was diagnosed in November of 2007, a few weeks before my birthday. I was 20 years old. I can relate to a lot of what Billy Porter (and many others) have gone through. It can paralyze your mind if you allow it to. For many years my mind imprisoned me. The “I should have known better”…”why me?”…”my family deserved better than this”…”will I wake up in the morning?”. I had so many thoughts and emotions. I can even relate to your AIDS diagnosis. After years of not thinking about it, not taking adequate care of myself, and trying to push it out of my mind, I landed in the hospital for almost a month with a cd4 count of only 23. Had another week gone by I’d definitely have been dead. Almost 14 years after my diagnosis, and 7 years after nearly dying, I am healthier than I have ever been and the diagnosis does not imprison me anymore. The more I decided to shine a light on it and talk to family and close friends about it, the more I found out others (many in my inner circle unbeknownst to me) that could relate. It happened, it was horrible, it was traumatic, I grieved, BUT it made me a stronger man. YOU ARE NOT alone, YOU ARE NOT damaged goods, YOU ARE loved, YOU WILL continue to live beyond it, YOU WILL find those who can understand, and YOU ARE worthy of and DESERVE happiness.

    6. Please please seek out a therapist if you don’t have one already. Family and friends can only understand so much and you need that independent outlet.

      I’m sure there may even be support groups in your city you can attend as well.

  2. Louis,

    I pray that you have the strength to fight the good fight & stay mentally & physically strong. I got my diagnosis in ’94 and yet I’m still here. Like you I thought I was careful and I beat myself up plenty in the beginning. I felt what you feel but somehow I did find someone who was able to get past my diagnosis and we will soon be together 22 years. It’s ok to feel what you feel – God knows my emotions ran the gamut. But always remember – you are worthy and someone out there will value your worth.

    Sending love & prayers and a hug your way bruh.

  3. You have to keep finding the strength and clarity to keep going. Believe me you’ll have moments when things gets tough, lonely and dark, but you will get through it.

    Don’t allow this to be the definition of who you are. Take it one day at a time, and stay connected to yourself and the higher being. You got this and you are loved!

  4. Thank you all. Yall made me cry, like loud ugly out of breath cry ☺️

    I told my family and some friends the day I got my results. I told my mother 2 months after that. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I feel like I let her down. She took it as well as she could. But she so scared now even though she tries to hide it and I blame myself for that.

    None of us was prepared to deal with it so nobody knows what to say or how to act. They try to decide between asking me how I feel everyday and acting like nothing happened to make me feel “normal”. I guess we’re just all adjusting to the new normal the best we can.

    They’re very supportive and I’m grateful for that. But I feel like I’ve always have to tell them I’m good even when I’m really not because I don’t want them to worry about me. They didn’t ask for it, they shouldn’t have to deal with it. So I smile and keep smiling.

    The truth is, sometimes it can be very lonely even surrounded by family and friends

    I try to stay as healthy as I can. But now every little stuff I’m scared like “am i dying ? Is the treatment working”. I know it’s crazy but I can’t help it 😅

    Anyway, this is my life right now. I’ve good days and bad days. I just wish I had more people around who could relate to this.

    I’m glad I shared this. Reading all of you gave me hope and perspective. I know it will get better. I just have to believe it now.

    Again, thank you so much to you all. I’m receiving all the love, the prayers, the positive energy and the hugs. You helped me more than you could know.

    Love 💞

    1. Thank you for receiving the love Louis! Your story really did touch me and I hope that you do get better physically and emotionally as well.

      I will say that although you don’t want anyone else to carry this emotional weight with you especially mom, it’s okay to be honest and let them know that hey today is really not a good day, I feel down because of it and talk about it. You will find more relief in expressing it rather than hiding your feelings behind a smile.

      I know it’s not easy but a lot of people relate to what you are going through.

      The last guy I dated I saw a big lump behind his neck which he hid by wearing bandanas all the time, I asked him about it and he said oh it’s nothing I’ve had it since 2016. I asked him if he’d gone to the doctor about it and he said no it’s fine and whatever it is “we are gonna die right?” It really broke my heart that a young man could think like that but I think he knew deep inside what was going on because no one should not have visited the doctor since 2016. He broke up with me when I tried to get to close because he wanted to deal with it in private.

      Anyways my friend please take care of yourself and talk about it as much as you can with your support system it’s very important.

      Sending you love brother!

    2. Hey, bro, I don’t know you or anything, but I’d love to chat with you over the phone. Venting is great, and even doing it on here is pretty good, but sometimes hearing a voice on the other end and letting everything out without fear helps, too. If you want to chat offline, I’d be more than honored to be an ear whenever you need.

    3. Oh, you are always gonna feel like that. I get seasonal allergies and my dramatic ass be like, yup, I’m dying lol. You get use to it. You’ll be fine. Having HIV is no longer a death sentence. My Dr. told me at 18 to look at it as like having diabetes lol and that’s what I do. They have to take insulin everyday and I have to take a pill. It’s more to it but just don’t think about death all the time. In a year or so you will be like, damn I was tripping for nothing lol

  5. The morale in this comments section is great to see. Prayers up for Louis and everyone else. Stay positive, and proactive, cus life is short for all of us.

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