Billy Porter Makes History with Essence Cover

After becoming the first Black gay man to win an acting Emmy and the first male-identified cover star of Allure magazine, Billy Porter has made history yet again by becoming the first openly gay cover star of Essence magazine.

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At every stage of his nearly 30-year career, @TheeBillyPorter has challenged norms. Today is no different. He is ready, as always, to start the conversations that bring about a reckoning—from the need to vote to the recent protests to the numerous murders of Black trans women. “What we’re seeing is a tipping point. But not just a tipping point over what has happened recently. It’s a tipping point 300 years in the making,” says the 50-year-old multihyphenate in our new issue.  Tap the link in our bio for more on our July/August 2020 issue with #BillyPorter. Chief Content & Creative Officer: @MoanaLuu  Deputy Editor: @alliemcgev Talent: @theebillyporter Writer:  @rayzhon Creative Director:  @nialawrence_nyc Entertainment Director: @corimurray Photographer: @jdthecombo Videographer: @jeanlondondia Fashion Stylist: @jasonrembert Groomer:  @melissa.dezarate  Barber: @fadedaddynyc Producer: @jbthegawd Social Media: @randa_writes Executive Producer: @nonepix

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The cover story, titled “Why Billy Porter is a National Treasure,” details Porter’s relationship with his identity as a Black gay man and his feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We’re like a dysfunctional family who keeps secrets and doesn’t want to talk about it,” Porter said about America’s history with racism. “They don’t want to talk about the actual thing. They want to act like the actual thing never happened, so that there’s never a healing that can take place. White people are so afraid that we want vengeance that they can’t acknowledge the truth.”

“But we don’t want vengeance,” he continued. “We want our rights. We want equality. We want to be treated like human beings.”

He discussed the importance of inclusion of all Black lives in the movement, in particular the lives of transgender women.

“Stop killing us,” he said. “Our trans women are out here dying at the hands of our own. We can’t ask for anything more than what we’re ready to give. It starts with us first, and I’m calling it out.”