Billy Porter brought his unique flair to one of New York’s most famous landmarks this week to kick off the city’s LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations.
In a patchwork denim suit and platform shoes, the “Pose” actor and singer stopped by the Empire State Building on Thursday to light up the historic skyscraper a rainbow of colors.
By all accounts, Porter’s performance was a celebratory affair. Still, his brief remarks alluded to the recent surge in anti-LGBTQ legislation in conservative US states, much of it centered on drag performers and the transgender community.
“Even though we’re being attacked, that’s because the change has already happened,” Porter told the crowd, which included representatives from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups The Trevor Project And The Stonewall Inn Gives Back initiative.
“I’ve lived long enough to know that love always triumphs. We’ll be fine. We must keep fighting. We have to keep going. We must continue to be present, and that’s what it’s for. Happy pride and protest.”
After Porter flipped the Empire State Building’s iconic light switch, he was joined by members of the Gay Male Choir of New York Citywho performed a rousing rendition of his 2019 single “Love Yourself.”
Porter’s performance comes at a productive time for the entertainer, who became the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2019.
Last week he received the Excellence in Acting Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival in Massachusetts. The ceremony was followed by a screening of his latest film,Our son“, starring Luke Evans.
And earlier this spring, he embarked on his first-ever headlining tour in support of the forthcoming album.Black Mona Lisa‘, which is slated for release later this year.
New Yorkers hoping to catch a glimpse of Porter can do so if he is one of this year’s members Grand Marshals at the city’s annual Pride March, scheduled to take place on Sunday.