Billy Porter breaks his silence.
During an appearance on “The Tamron Hall” show, the “Pose” star opened up about his HIV-positive status.
The 51-year-old tested positive for HIV in 2007 and shares how he grappled with feelings of shame following the diagnosis.
“The shame is debilitating… The shame engulfed me,” said Porter. ” I had stomach issues for 14 years and nobody could figure out what or why. My stomach just felt like it was always in knots. It felt like there was a hand on my heart squeezing every day, all day, every morning…Shame is a destroyer. It destroys everything.”
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Hall shared that Porter actually called her weeks ago to share what he had been holding in for the past 14 years.
“The [phone] conversation was just as tearful as the interview,” shared an insider. “He came to grips with how it was all coming out, and he was very emotional. He didn’t want the story to get lost. There was a sense of relief.”
For Porter, art truly does imitate life as that his character on “Pose”, Pray Tell, is also HIV-positive.
“That’s what I speak of when I speak of the gift that ‘Pose’ has been for me – the idea of understanding that trauma is not something that you compartmentalize, and keep moving forward.”
He also adds that the pandemic and his therapist forced him to “sit in it.”
“She said, ‘Billy, you have been able — in action — to manifest a life for yourself, while your mind is still stuck in the trauma. We got to catch your mind up to your actions,’” the actor continued. “That is what ‘Pose’ has done for me … It made me sit in it. Sit in it, and go through it, so that I can heal and maybe be a blessing to someone else.”
Following his transparency, Porter has received an outpour of support from fellow entertainers including Big Freedia, Leslie Jordan, Nia Long, Naomi Campbell, and his “Pose” co-star MJ Rodriguez.
We commend Billy Porter for being brave enough to share his story in an effort to help others!
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