Billy is so done living in disgrace as he shared how he's prepared for whatever comes straightaway.
The Emmy-chosen one Porter was an honoree at The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS occasion in West Hollywood Park, Calif., on Friday. He wore an exquisite Viviano Sue layer rose-bordered tuxedo dress as he discussed his fearless choice to come out as HIV positive in May this year saying he had it since 2007 and ‘lived in disgrace’ as of not long ago.
He told PEOPLE at the event that life has been liberating since he opened up his diagnosis. “There is a shame component with being Black, with being queer, with having HIV that is silencing and destructive.”
“I am no more silenced, I am no more shamed, and I’m ready for whatever comes next,” the actor added.
He then gave credits to Elizabeth Taylor for becoming a role model for him and many others worldwide who has the same diagnosis as him, “As a young queer black man my soul was shook when my first friend died of Aids. Then Elizabeth Taylor showed up.”
“She showed up and she spoke out for all of us. She taught the world what real love looks like. She taught so many of us how to stand up and use our voices and speak truth to power and effect change,” he continued.
“In 2007 I had a secret that was so shameful that I held it for 14 years. I had all the information; I was supposed to know better, and I got this s*** anyway. Shame is a silent killer. And I ain’t going out like that.”
He additionally said he received “wonderful feedback” from many individuals who were inspired by his story and felt seen soon after his HIV revelation.
“I think it’s important that those of us who have a platform use our platforms in ways that move difficult conversations forward,” he told the publication, “And that can be transformative in some way and make a change, make a difference.”
In May, Porter uncovered that he first tested positive for HIV in 2007 in a paper for The Hollywood Reporter and called it his “worst year of [his] life.” It drove him to live with the diagnosis in silence for the next 14 years.
Reactions to Billy Porter's Life After Revealing He's HIV Positive
It is said HIV still exists. There must be more done ! I think people should be tested before they have sex. Sounds silly to most people.— Irene Chrissi (@IreneChrissi) September 18, 2021