In a look that was sure to deliver a silent speech, we heard very clearly. At the 91st Oscars, Billy Porter hit the red carpet in a custom C. Siriano Velvet Tuxedo gown. The gown was indeed undeniably daring, yet so elegant with its sharply tailored shoulders, tucked waist, and luxurious crushed velvet fabric tailored even more to Porter’s beautiful spirit and unapologetic persona. Seen in various beautiful roles to take risk and be whom ever he so desires, as we see as the Godfather in hit TV show POSE, it hasn’t always been that way for him. Porter spoke with VOGUE Magazine in what was a heart wrenching moment about the coming of The Oscars moment.
“I’ve always been inspired by fashion. My grandmother, my mom—they were always stylish. I grew up loving fashion, but there was a limit to the ways in which I could express myself. When you’re black and you’re gay, one’s masculinity is in question. I dealt with a lot of homophobia in relation to my clothing choices. [Even] when I had my first working contract at A&M Records, I was silent for a long time. I was trying to fit in to what other people felt I should look like. When I landed a role in Kinky Boots, the experience really grounded me in a way that was so unexpected. Putting on those heels made me feel the most masculine I’ve ever felt in my life. It was empowering to let that part of myself free.”
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