Billy Porter accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for "Pose" at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Billy Porter says his pop music career was sidelined in 1980s as people had a problem with his homosexuality.

During the New Yorker Festival in New York City, Porter opened up about his struggles in his initial days in the showbiz, reports deadline.com.

"It (music industry) was hugely, violently homophobic. It just was never about the music. It was about trying to fix myself so other people would feel comfortable around me," Porter said.

"Where am I fitting in?" he asked himself. "I became a character actor to hide behind little weight and work so I could eat," he added.

He also recalled when when he filed for bankruptcy and had no apartment or health insurance for 13 years.

"But the calling in my life is where I am now," he said about his role as Pray Tell in drama "Pose", a show that celebrates diversity.

"We must speak life into ourselves, even when everyone around us is doing the opposite.I never saw anything that looked like me, and visibility... when we see ourselves reflected bac… is so important," added the "Emmy Award-winning actor.

He is also set to direct an episode of the upcoming third series of "Pose".

The 50-year-old actor is to make his TV directorial debut on an episode of the upcoming third series of the FX drama and he can't wait to get started.

He told Variety: "I've been directing for 20 years in the theater, and I'm directing an episode of season three myself. I'm trying to be the head b***h in charge, hunny!"