Pose's Billy Porter Earns Historic Emmy Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Billy Porter Wins Emmys Pose

The category is: making history.

Pose star Billy Porter took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at Sunday night’s ceremony, becoming the first openly gay African American actor to win the award. (In fact, he was the first such actor to even be nominated in the category.)

“I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” Porter said after dancing up to the stage to accept the award and rejoicing with arms stretched out wide, with his Pose castmates cheering from the audience. “We, as artists, are the people who get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet,” he later added. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.”

Porter stars in the FX drama as Pray Tell, the emcee of New York City’s underground “balls” that celebrated the best and fiercest of the local LGBTQ community in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The actor previously won a Tony in 2013 for his role in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, and then a Grammy the following year for his work on the Kinky Boots cast recording — so now he’s just an Oscar short of achieving EGOT status.

Pose is up for a total of six Emmys at this year’s ceremony for its freshman season, including Outstanding Drama Series. Season 2 wrapped up in August; the series earned a Season 3 renewal back in June.

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