The category is: Billy Porter just won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 71st Annual Emmy Awards! As the last hour of the ceremony picked up its pace, the Pose star was announced as the winner of the category by fellow actor Kerry Washington.
Decked in a sparkling Michael Kors custom suit, an excited Porter joyously made his way to the stage before sharing how happy he is to have lived long enough to see this moment where an openly gay black man receives a lead actor award at the prestigious Emmys.
“I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to live long enough to see this day,” he said as he started his acceptance speech. “James Baldwin said, ‘It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.’ I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right!”
Porter went on to thank the fellow nominees, his mother, his Pose castmates and those who supported him in his 30-plus years in the entertainment industry. The actor drove it home by stressing the importance of being an artist in the world.
“We are the people. We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and the minds of the people who live on this planet,” he stated. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.”
Aside from becoming the first openly gay Black man to win Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Porter rang in his 50th birthday earlier this week. Talk about a gift! Watch Billy Porter’s historic acceptance speech below.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) September 23, 2019