• Emmy Awards 2019: Billy Porter becomes first openly gay man to win best actor in a drama

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    LOS ANGELES -

    Billy Porter took home the Emmy for best lead actor in a drama Sunday night – and made history in the process.

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    According to The Associated Press, the "Pose" star is the first openly gay man to claim the coveted award, which he earned for playing Pray Tell in the FX series.

    "The category is love, y'all – love!" Porter said after he took the stage for his acceptance speech. "I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day."

    >> Watch the speech here

     

    Porter, who previously won a Tony and Grammy for his role in Broadway's "Kinky Boots," continued with a quote from writer James Baldwin.

    "'It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had the right to be here,'" Porter read before adding, "I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

     

    Porter went on to thank his family, manager Bill Butler, "Pose" casting director Alexa Fogel, series co-creator Ryan Murphy and his co-stars.

    "Oh, my goodness," Porter said. "We are the people. We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t stop ever telling the truth. I love you all."

    He then quipped: "They’re telling me to please stop. God bless you."

    Other nominees in the category included actors Jason Bateman, "Ozark"; Kit Harington, "Game of Thrones"; Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"; Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us"; and Sterling K. Brown, also of "This Is Us."

    Read more here.

    – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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