Pose star, Broadway icon, fashion muse, and recording artist Billy Porter is featured on the Jul/Aug 2020 cover of Essence, making him the first gay man in the magazine’s history to appear as a cover model.
My masculinity was in question from the moment I could comprehend thought,” Porter told Essence. “I was never masculine enough by society’s standards to walk the earth. … It took years of me vomiting up the filth that I was told about myself, and halfway believed, before I could walk around on this earth like I deserve to be here. “
Added Porter: “I’m very excited to engage in this conversation and have Essence have my back because it’s those of us in positions of power in our community who can change the conversation. I’m so moved by the olive branch that this is saying to the world and to our community collectively, that LGBTQ+ Black people are Black people first and we need to be supported and honored too. Stop killing us like everybody else is.”