in quotes

Billy Porter just paid an emotional tribute to this screen legend…

Elizabeth Taylor. Via Shutterstock.
“You know, I have been gay a long time. I’ve been out since the ’80s, when it wasn’t so popular. HIV was around, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first people in the public eye with celebrity to show the world how to love, to show the world what unconditional love looks like. And all these years later to be honored in her name is… takes my breath away. Well I’m an artist, right? And I’ve been an artist all my life. And I haven’t always had a platform where anybody cared. I’ve always been the same person, I’ve always been doing this. The world has caught up. The world has changed. There is an evolution that’s going on. We’ve come a long way. And I know sometimes that’s hard to see because there’s so much negativity, but we also have to remember how far we’ve come. And I want to make sure that there’s a focus on that coming from me. And change, change has happened and change will continue to happen. The world only spins forward. It’s an emotional time, and emotional in a good way. In a really good way. To be seen, inside of a space where I was not for a long time and not only not seen, but dismissed from the conversation…it is breathtaking to me that in the choosing of myself, in the choosing of my truth and my authenticity, my life has transformed and it’s magical! You know it’s really, really magical and that’s all I can say!”–Actor and activist Billy Porter, paying tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor became one of the loudest voices advocating for LGBTQ rights and AIDS research at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. She subsequently raised millions of dollars for the cause. In the same interview with Entertainment Tonight, when asked what Porter would say to Taylor, he uttered simply “Thank you.” Porter himself came out as HIV+ earlier this year and received the Commitment to End AIDS Award from the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation this month.