“Pose” star Billy Porter created history at the 2019 Emmy Awards by being the first openly gay black man to win the trophy in the Lead Actor in a Drama category.
Porter won for his role as ballroom emcee Pray Tell in “Pose“, which revolves around New York’s underground balls that celebrated the LGBTQ community in 1980s and 1990s.
He beat out Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), and Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”).
“The category is love. I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” Porter said as he danced his way to the stage to accept the award, and rejoiced the moment by stretching out his arms.
The whole cast of “Pose” and his fellow nominees were cheering for him.
He quoted James Baldwin, saying: “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.”
The actor went on to thank people who got him to where he is today, “including his mother, sister, husband, manager, publicity team, FX and his ‘Pose’ family”.
He then gave a special shout-out to the co-creator of the show: “Ryan Murphy! Ryan Murphy! Ryan Murphy! You saw me and believed in us! Thank you!”
Murphy also looked emotional seeing Porter win the award.
Porter concluded with a passionate plea.
“We as the artists are the people that can change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth,” he said.