Billy Porter is speaking his truth.
Emmy-winning actor, Porter, 51, was diagnosed in 2007 after a routine test. He shares his story with The Hollywood Reporter. He held this secret until the pandemic, in which during this time he and his husband rented house on Long Island, which ”created a safe space for me to stop and reflect and deal with the trauma in my life.”
“There’s happiness, yes; there’s surface joy, but there was also a feeling of dread, all day, every day,” Porter told the Hollywood Reporter. “It wasn’t a fear that [my status] was going to come out or that somebody was going to expose me; it was just the shame that it had happened in the first place.
“And as a Black person, particularly a Black man on this planet, you have to be perfect or you will get killed. But look at me. Yes, I am the statistic, but I’ve transcended it. This is what HIV-positive looks like now.”
Porter said he is now healthier than ever, thanks to quarterly doctor visits and medication.
“There’s no more stigma — let’s be done with that. It’s time. I’ve been living it and being in the shame of it for long enough,” he told said. “And I’m sure this will follow me. I’m sure this is going to be the first thing everybody says, ‘HIV-positive blah, blah, blah.’ OK. Whatever. It’s not the only thing I am. I’m so much more than that diagnosis. And if you don’t want to work with me because of my status, you’re not worthy of me.”