Billy Porter made history at the 2019 Emmy Awards after becoming the first openly gay black man to win in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category.
Last night, the small screen star earned the prestigious gong for his role as ballroom extraordinaire, Pray Tell, on groundbreaking television series ‘Pose’ which boasts the largest recurring LGBTQ cast of all time.
Taking to the stage to accept his award, Porter moved the audience with a powerful speech.
“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here,” the 50-year-old said, quoting US novelist James Baldwin. “I have the right, you have the right - we all have the right!”
“We, as artists, are the people who that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet,” he continued. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.”
The cultural significance of his win didn’t go unnoticed by viewers across the globe either, as social media users flocked to Twitter to celebrate.
“The world is changing right before our eyes,” one wrote. “Thank goodness.”
Another added, “Billy Porter with the best speech of the night... maybe the decade.”
While a third reminded fans that the actor is just one letter away from achieving EGOT prestige, all he needs to bag is an Oscar, writing, “Billy Porter was born to EGOT!”
The world is changing right before our eyes. Thank goodness. ❤️— Ro. (@RoTheWritr) September 23, 2019
Billy Porter. We are so lucky.— Jeffrey Masters (@jeffmasters1) September 23, 2019
Billy Porter gonna EGOT— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) September 23, 2019
Billy Porter was born to EGOT! 😍— Dossiemae (@Dossiemae1) September 23, 2019
Billy Porter with the best speech of the night...maybe the decade. #Emmys— Kozza (@Kozza) September 23, 2019
And we here for it all !! 🥰congratulations #BillyPorter you slay us all 🔥— Womanontherise (@Selfempowered) September 23, 2019
Well deserved. Week after week he's fabulous.— Emi (@shruburbia) September 23, 2019
But it isn’t just his award that deserves a shout-out, as the star also delivered yet another winning red carpet ensemble in the process.
Porter paid tribute to Studio 54 last night in a bespoke Michael Kors suit.
Not one to shy away from a little sparkle, the blazer alone boasted 51,510 miniature crystals while the trousers dazzled with a further 79,200 - a look which took over 170 hours to create.
If that wasn’t enough to steal our attention away from the awards proceedings, his custom Stephen Jones hat sure did.
“Billy has a lot of life, so fittings were filled with laughs... Billy’s proven that there are no more gender rules on the red carpet, or otherwise,” Michael Kors told The Hollywood Reporter. “He wears what he loves and looks fabulous doing it.”
His latest fashion triumph comes just days after London Fashion Week where the actor stole the spotlight in a series of show-stopping looks.