LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Award-winning entertainer Billy Porter sat down with WHAS11 before his performance at the Louisville Palace in May and talked openly about his life and career. But one question was never answered.
What does "pride" mean to Billy Porter?
"You know, I was told that my queerness would be my liability. And quite frankly, it was for decades," he said. "And so I had to find a place, a space where I could choose myself anyway."
You may know Porter as a Grammy, Emmy and two-time Tony winner but success hasn’t come easy for the red-carpet fashion icon. He grew up in the church and came out when he was 15 years old.
It was when he started living his truth that he found his voice that helped him thrive both personally and professionally.
"The choice to step into my authenticity and my voice...would pay off after a while," he said. “Sometimes we have to step in the fullness, into the fullness of our own power. And sometimes that's hard to do."
Even though he found early success, he believed that he was destined for more.
“I'm 53 now, but it was in my early 30s. And, you know, my Broadway stuff, I had been on Broadway for a decade. I wasn't really happy with the trajectory of where my life, my career was going with the kinds of roles that I was being offered and seen forth," he said.
And those lessons he’s learned through advocating and speaking up for himself are why he feels Pride Month is so important.
“It's important every day, it's not important for just a month," Porter said. "But please understand, this is every day, every day that we must engage in our truths, and make sure that the world around us respect, respects our humanity.”