When Billy Porter received his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Sunday night, he made history as the first openly gay black man to win in that category. And he taught a little history, too. The Pose actor — wearing head-to-toe sparkles and a hat so massive it matches his larger-than-life personality — made sure to take every last one of us to church before sharing his gratitude. “James Baldwin said, ‘Took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself, and halfway believed, before I could walk around this Earth like I had the right to be here,’” he quoted, adding, “I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right!” In Pose, Billy plays the dynamic Pray Tell, who guides his found family, even as he grapples with the turmoil of the AIDS epidemic. Billy Porter continues his legacy of making sure all of his successes leave the door open for more LGBTQ+ people of color to walk right in. He now officially has an Emmy, Tony, and a Grammy, so prepare to see him in a movie theater near you.
Billy Porter. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images