Billy Porter Made History at the Emmys—and He's Only One Step Away From an EGOT

Porter is the first out gay Black man to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Music artist, Music, Font, Performance, Event, Talent show,
(Image credit: Rachel Luna)

At last night's Emmy Awards, Pose star Billy Porter made history. Winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, he became the first out gay Black man to take home that trophy—and, after winning a Tony and a Grammy for his performance in Kinky Boots, he stepped ever closer to completing the industry's highest accolade, the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Can someone please give him the Oscar he deserves and seal the deal?

As Vox reports, Porter's speech was one of the night's most powerful. Quoting James Baldwin's essay "They Can't Turn Back," he said, "It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as if I had a right to be here." Porter added, "I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

Porter went on to address the people of the entertainment industry, calling on them to use their gifts to effect change. "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 ever stop telling the truth," he said.

Porter's outfit was more than worthy of the monumental night, too: He wore a Michael Kors couture suit which, Kors told the Hollywood Reporter, "took over 170 hours to hand embroider," adding, "the pinstripes were created using 51,510 mini crystals for the jacket and 79,200 for the pants."

Sam Ratelle, Porter's stylist and creative director, told the magazine, "Given that he were to win an Emmy award, I want to make sure that these photos are iconic for the rest of his life and history because we’re going to see them for a while." And a moment for the history books it was—and an impeccably styled one, too.

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.

subscribe here

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.