In Quotes

On the eve of ‘Pose”s final season, Billy Porter reflects on his journey and newfound power

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“I got into this business in the ’80s. I just turned 51 last year. I turned 50 the day before I won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. There was never, ever a space in my brain to dream what Pose is, what Pray Tell is. I spent the first 25-plus years of my career trying to fit into a masculinity construct that society placed on us so I could eat. Pose, and Pray Tell in particular, really taught me to dream the impossible. I say this all the time. And I just, you know, finished watching the season finale, so I’m very emotional. But the idea that the little, Black church sissy from Pittsburgh is now in a position of power in Hollywood in a way that never existed before. You can damn sure believe that I will be wielding that power and there will be a difference and a change in how things go from here on out…Remember that old saying: You don’t give somebody the food, you teach them how to fish so they can do it for themselves. That’s the gift of this – of this, of being in this space, is that we’ve all now been empowered to go out and continue. I’m going to steal from Vice President Harris: You know, we may the first, but we’re definitely not going to be the last.”Emmy & Tony Winner Billy Porter, discussing his career, and the effect Pose has had on his stardom. Porter, MJ Rodriguez, Dominque Jackson and the rest of the cast discussed the show’s enduring legacy at a press conference on the eve of the final season, which premieres May 2.