Actor Billy Porter Reveals He’s HIV Positive

“Pose” star Billy Porter has revealed publicly that he is HIV positive, which he’s known about since 2007 when he was first diagnosed.

Porter wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter, where he stated, “I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasn’t certain I could if the wrong people knew. 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.”

Billy went on to reveal that he used Pray Tell, his HIV-positive character on the FX series, to say everything he’d been wanting to say in his real life. He added that no one involved with the show knew about his status.

Porter, who is an Oscar shy of an EGOT, spoke about keeping his diagnosis from his mother, stating, “HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment.” He then recalled the conversation of telling his mother over the phone, where she responded, telling Billy, “You’ve been carrying this around for 14 years? Don’t ever do this again. I’m your mother, I love you no matter what. And I know I didn’t understand how to do that early on, but it’s been decades now.”

Billy went on to speak about the release he felt after speaking his truth, stating, “This is for me. I’m doing this for me. I have too much sh*t to do, and I don’t have any fear about it anymore. I told my mother — that was the hurdle for me. I don’t care what anyone has to say. You’re either with me or simply move out of the way.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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