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.”
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 19, 2021
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.
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.
article cc: people
read the full “hollywood reporter” article: here