Billy Porter. Picture: Instagram
Billy Porter. Picture: Instagram

Billy Porter: My cousin told me he'd kill me for being gay

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Jul 11, 2020

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Billy Porter was once told by his cousin that he'd "kill [him]" for being gay, as he explained how "homophobic" the community he grew up in could be.

The 50-year-old actor is openly gay, but has said his experience with homophobia growing up made it difficult for him to accept who he is, because he was threatened by family members because of his sexuality.

He said: "My experience in the '80s was my cousin saying that if I ever turned gay, he would kill me. So yeah, sometimes my trauma shows."

Billy said the Black community he grew up in is "very homophobic", but credited those in the community with "changing and shifting" the narrative to be more accepting in recent generations.

He added: "Growing up gay in the Black community, it's a very homophobic community across the board. With that said, as the world has changed and as the world has shifted, the Black community is changing and shifting.

"I know it's hard to hear but I have worked my whole life to be in a position where I can speak from authority, where I have a platform to speak."

And the "Pose" star urged people to "love the humanity in every single human being" without being prejudice.

Speaking during an appearance on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!', he said: "But we can't do it until we embrace and love each other through our differences; because of our differences. Love the humanity in every single human being. We're human beings first, that's all I'm trying to say."

Meanwhile, Billy has recently been open about his battle with "PTSD triggers" amid the coronavirus pandemic, because it reminds him of the AIDS crisis.

He said: "I've been having PTSD triggers this whole time [as this pandemic is] very reminiscent of that time. The difference is it's not just one group of people. Yes there are disproportionate groups but it does at this moment still cut a wide swathe across everybody. Something that took four years for our government to respond to, took about four weeks. I'm praying for that vaccine, child."

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