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Billy Porter says ‘Pose’ is changing roles for gay, black men for the better

The actor stars as Pray Tell in Ryan Murphy's hit show

By Steve Brown

Words: Steve Brown

Billy Porter says Pose has changed the way gay black men are perceived in the media.

The TV and Broadway actor stars as Pray Tell in Ryan Murphy’s hit series – which follows the underground world of 1980s ball culture, set at the height of the Aids epidemic.

Although being nominated for a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award for his role, Porter believes the show has had an international impact on the way gay black men are portrayed in the media.

While speaking at the 92nd Street Y community centre, he said: “You get used to being (cast as) the funny friend.

“You get used to the industry cutting your dick off because you’re a queen.

“When we have these moments where we can create a space that shows African American men trying to figure out how to love each other as opposed to how to kill each other.

“I am so grateful to be a part of what I see as the change.”

US audiences will be tuning in for the season two finale next week but UK audiences still do not have a release date for the next season.