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Billy Porter Is 'Grateful' to Be Recognized as an Icon in the LGBTQ+ Community: 'I'm Really Humbled'

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Source: Jamel Martin of JMartinVisuals

May 13 2024, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

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Billy Porter has become an icon in the LGBTQ+ community — something he is still coming to terms with.

"I'm grateful, honestly. I'm really grateful. I'm really humbled by it. I'm first generation post-civil rights movement. I'm a child of the sixties. I came out in 1985 and went straight to the front lines to fight for our lives. Activism is in my blood. I don't consider myself a community organizer; I feel I enhance the boots on the ground, if that makes sense. The work I do helps uplift and bring to light the people who are on the ground," the actor, 54, who was honored at The Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis) Voices Gala, exclusively told OK! on May 9 in New York City.

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Source: Jamel Martin of JMartinVisuals

Billy Porter at The Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis) Voices Gala in NYC.

"I'm grateful that who I am and what I represent is useful. I'm grateful for that," he continued.

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The Pose alum has dabbled in many different things — from acting to singing to writing a memoir and appearing on Broadway — and he's only getting started.

"Do good things, show up. I could never have imagined this," he said of his success. "I'm starting my own foundation, and I'm trying to get into that space. I moved here December 27, 1990, to be in the original cast of Miss Saigon, and it was Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actors Fund together that taught our entire community and an entire generation how to advocate. It's because of those two institutions that I'm here at all — that I know how to show up at all."

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Source: Jamel Martin of JMartinVisuals

Khary Lazarre-White, Ai-jen Poo, Billy Porter, and Jason Warwin at The Brotherhood Sister Sol’s Annual Voices Gala.

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As Porter becomes more and more famous, he's gotten to hear other inspiring stories from his supporters. "It's amazing, it's tricky, it's trippy. I'm grateful that it's happening," he noted. "You have to receive it. I receive it and I'm grateful and then I have to continue to move forward. It's not something I think about often. I receive it and hopefully use it to better others. It acts as validation and fuel for me to continue to keep showing up."

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Billy Porter is focusing on his production company.

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Going forward, Porter is hoping to work on some more big projects, including focusing on his production company. "We're selling ideas into development. I'd really like to get my own stuff green-lit. I can be in charge of telling the stories that aren't being told. I'm ready to be at the forefront of that because I have a vision and it's time," he declared, adding that he will walk into any doors that "open," especially if that means working with Ryan Murphy again.

"If he calls, I will answer," he added.

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Billy Porter said it was 'lovely' to be honored at the recent event.

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Since the Cinderella star is all about giving back and making a difference in the world, it made sense he was presented with the esteemed June Jordan Clarion Call Award at the Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis) Voices Gala in recognition for his remarkable achievements and fearless support in advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights.

"It's moments like this and organizations like BroSis that stand in this gap where our children need us," he explained. "There's a lot going on right now. Historically, it's the people of colored children, it's the BIPOC who always fall between the cracks. This is an organization that supports those communities and helps make a difference in individual lives — and that's just magical."

"It's lovely to be honored," he concluded about Voices, which is BroSis’ signature annual benefit highlighting the organization’s commitment to helping youth develop into critical thinkers.

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