Image Source: Getty / Laurence Griffiths
Billy Porter wore many hats: Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning actress, singer, and fashion icon, but most of all, she didn’t rot. Ahead of his recent memoir, There is no protection, which will come out later this month, Billy opens up about how a trauma -filled childhood has helped nurture his art and purpose. In a conversation with News on CBS Sunday Morning, Billy shared that he never imagined his life opening up the way it was, especially with a child who was constantly harassed and beaten by classmates. “I was born unreasonable. I was born gay, and I listened. And it’s always painful, like, having to go to school every day; ‘So what’s going to happen now?’ Up to the fifth grade showed talent, ”Billy told CBS News reporter Seth Doane. “And then all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, well, you know, leave him – he can sing!’ That’s my show. I was like, ‘Oh shoot, well, let me sing! I’ll keep singing so I can stop beating.’ “
While Billy finds a safe haven on stage, the house is a different story. The Broadway veteran said he endured sexual abuse at the hands of his stepfather from the ages of 7 to 12. “I didn’t know it was an abuse until I was older. and 20, “he said. Nowadays, Billy is living his best life, finding healing, strength, and freedom of dependence. Earlier this year, Billy revealed his HIV diagnosis in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter after hiding it for 14 years.
For three seasons, Billy stole the show as an HIV -positive emcee Pray Tell in Pose, a celebration of New York City’s trans and queer nightlife in the 1980s, where she says she helped make peace with her own experience of HIV. “What has taught me in this moment is to dream of the impossible, because the impossible is possible,” he said. “it possible. If you had told me in 1982 that my Black church sissy ass would be famous for being my sissy, I would have laughed in your face! You know what I mean? ”