Billy Porter Becomes The First Black, Openly Gay Actor To Win An Emmy Award In A Leading Category

He also was the first to be nominated.

Billy Porter stopped the show at the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night (September 22), and no, we’re not just talking about his Michael Kors suit featuring $55K worth of diamonds.

Porter, who slayed the annual awards’ red carpet with his fit, closed out the otherwise majorly whitewashed night by making history. The Pose actor became the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama. 

“God bless you all. The category is love, you all, love. I’m so overjoyed and so overwhelmed to have lived to see this day,” an excited Porter told the audience.

Quoting the late writer James Baldwin, he revealed that it took him many years for him to believe he has the right to exist. “I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right,” he continued.

It was also Porter’s first time being nominated for an Emmy, period.

Porter was up against Ozark’s Jason Bateman and Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington. He is also now just one award away from an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony winner). In addition to his Emmy victory, he previously won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album both for Kinky Boots.

Congrats Billy! You are a trailblazer for so many.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.