“Pose” actor Billy Porter who plays the HIV-positive character Pray Tell in the FX series is covering The Hollywood Reporter and sharing that he’s been quietly living with HIV since 2007. The 51-year-old revealed that he’s been silent on his diagnosis because of “shame” and “embarrassment” in particular when it came to his mother.
According to Porter, he didn’t want to subject his religious mother to further persecution “because of his queerness” so he decided to “let her die” without knowing—but his resilient mom is very much so still alive and he finally gained the strength to share the news, first with her and now the world.
While sitting alongside his friend/ frequent collaborator Ryan Murphy who joined him for moral support, Porter told The Hollywood Reporter;
Billy Porter reveals he’s been living with HIV: “I was trying to have a life & a career, and I wasn’t certain I could if the wrong people knew. It would just be another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession” Porter opened up about his HIV-positive status for the first time since being diagnosed fourteen years ago: “There’s no more stigma—let’s be done with that.”