'Pose's Billy Porter Is First Openly Gay Black Man With This Emmy Nod

Billy Porter is making history for his role on Pose.

After the 2019 Emmy nominations were announced on Tuesday (July 16), it became apparently that Porter's honor for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series as Pray Tell makes him the first openly gay black man to receive the title. "My breath is taken away. I’m so thrilled. It’s an amazing feeling," Porter told PEOPLE of the news while on vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts. "I feel really blessed to have lived long enough to see this day, to see the world transform in this way, where our story gets to be told on this level with this kind of juice behind it, Ryan Murphy behind it. It’s really life-altering."

While this marks Porter's first Emmy nomination despite three decades in the business, the 49-year-old actor said that it came at the perfect time. "Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen," he admitted. "We’re always right where we’re supposed to be, and I would never have been ready before now."

If you haven't caught onto the Pose bandwagon, Porter's character Pray Tell serves as the ball emcee in the Ryan Murphy-helmed series, which received a nod for Outstanding Drama Series. Throughout the show, viewers watch as the New York City ballroom community navigates through the late '80s and early '90s to fight for equality, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and fierce runway looks.


Photo: Getty Images


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