Billy Porter is now the first gay man to cover Essence magazine.
The 5-year-old graces the magazine’s July-August issue, in which he was described as national treasure by award-winning journalist and podcaster Tre’vell Anderson.
Porter speaks passionately of the current moment, saying:
White people are so afraid that we want vengeance that they can’t acknowledge the truth. But we don’t want vengeance. We want our rights. We want equality. We want to be treated like human beings. We want to know that we can walk out of our houses and not be under threat of death every single day simply because of the color of our skin.Of course, a variation on the same sentiments holds equally true for our LGBTQ+ brethren, and as one who sits at the intersection of those identities, Porter is the perfect person to remind us of that fact. Also true is that the intersection of a racial uprising with the 50th celebration of Pride presents a prime opportunity to remind ourselves that any movement for Black lives must include all of them.
He went on to speak in the emotional conversation, saying:
“‘It took years of me vomiting up the filth that I was told about myself, and halfway believed, before I could walk around on this earth like I deserve to be here. But the filth was not only coming from White people. The filth was coming from my own. I’m so moved by the olive branch that this is saying to the world and to our community collectively,” he later adds, in reference to the cover, “that LGBTQ+ Black people are Black people first and we need to be supported and honored too. Stop killing us like everybody else is.”
See the campaign below: