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Billy Porter Reveals He’s Been Living With HIV for 14 Years

Billy Porter Reveals He’s Been Living With HIV for 14 Years. In 2019, Billy Porter made history for his Emmy-winning performance on ‘Pose.’. Porter played Pray Tell, an HIV-positive character on the FX series. . Porter played Pray Tell, an HIV-positive character on the FX series. . Now, he has revealed to 'The Hollywood Reporter' that he drew from his own experiences for the role. Porter was diagnosed with HIV in 2007. He stayed silent for 14 years because he’d been conditioned to feel “shame” over the diagnosis. . The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already (accumulated) in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years … HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God's punishment, Billy Porter, to 'The Hollywood Reporter'. For Porter, his ‘Pose’ character was a “surrogate” for his own status. . In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Porter to pause and process his feelings. . Now, he’s ready to tell the world, “this is what HIV-positive looks like.” . I survived so that I could tell the story. That's what I'm here for … I’m the vessel, and emotionally that was sufficient -- until it wasn't … It's time to grow up and move on because shame is destructive -- and if not dealt with, it can destroy everything in its path, Billy Porter, to 'The Hollywood Reporter'

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