If you thought Billy Porter‘s strides for the LGBTQ community could not get any wider, then you’ll be find out that he is far from done. With his first Emmy nomination, he is breaking new ground as the first openly gay Black man to be nominated for a lead acting role.
In addition, Porter’s star vehicle, FX’s hit series Pose has proven to be an important feat as it has made history by casting the most transgender actors in television history. Now the show is getting recognition from viewing audiences, as well as the Television Academy. According to Deadline the show has scored an Outstanding Drama Series nomination.
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Porter, who plays outspoken ballroom emcee, Pray Tell, said that when he found out that he was nominated, he could finally exhale.
“I just haven’t been breathing for the past day,” he said in anticipation for the Tuesday announcements of nominees. “So today, I was able to breathe — that was my first reaction!”
Though Porter is no stranger to making headlines, he noted that he never thought that a show like Pose would ever be a reality, but now he believes anything is possible.
“There was no context for this,” he went on to say. “I said the same thing about marriage equality. When we were growing up, there was no context because you could never see it. I’ve always had huge dreams but I realized now that my dreams have been springboarded off of things I have already seen. They weren’t about dreaming the impossible. They weren’t about dreaming things that didn’t exist. Ryan Murphy, Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, FX — everybody involved in the show taught me how to dream the impossible. The sky is the limit now, honey!”
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Pose is currently in its second season and the trailblazing star could not be more proud about how far he has come. With his 50th birthday on the horizon, he knows he was has a purpose bigger than himself.
“[I] came up in the ’80s and lived through the plague and I’m here for a reason,” he said. “I’m here so I can be on this other side to tell this story about this world. We’re here. We’ve always been here and we’re not going anywhere. Get used to it.”
The Emmy Awards airs Sept. 22 on Fox.