Billy Porter breaks 14-year silence and reveals HIV-positive diagnosis

·2-min read

Billy Porter has broken his 14-year silence and revealed his is HIV-positive.

The Pose star opened up about his diagnosis in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and said he had "lived with that shame in silence" since 2007.

The Tony Award-winning star said he didn't want to make the news public until recently because he felt that HIV would be "another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession".

"There's no more stigma - let's be done with that. It's time," Billy stated.

The 51-year-old said he had been trying to "block out" the diagnosis for years, and he felt deep shame over contracting HIV as he was "the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway".

"I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasn't certain I could if the wrong people knew. So I tried to think about it as little as I could. I tried to block it out," Billy shared.

He said he chose to go public with his news after speaking with his mother, who didn't know her son was HIV-positive.

"I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was the statistic that everybody said I would be. So I ripped the Band-Aid off and I told her. She said, 'You've been carrying this around for 14 years? Don't ever do this again. I'm your mother, I love you no matter what,'" the star recalled.

"It's time to grow up and move on because shame is destructive - and if not dealt with, it can destroy everything in its path," Billy shared, noting that now he's announced his diagnosis, he now feels free.

"It's my own shame. Years of trauma makes a human being skittish. But the truth shall set you free. I feel my heart releasing," he added.

The Like a Boss star also took to Twitter to share his interview with The Hollywood Reporter and wrote: "My truth. In my time. Thank you."