Billy Porter recently made history when he became the first openly gay black man to receive an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Although it is a first it was not a surprise; his performance on FX's Pose as Pray Tell, the bombastic master of ceremonies at the underground balls that pulsed beneath New York City's nightlife in the Eighties, is quite unlike anything else on television, even during the era of Peak TV. Of course, Pose is already history-making, even without award recognition, as it boasts the largest cast of LGBTQ+ individuals and transgender individuals ever assembled for a series. Last week, series creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy interviewed Porter before a sold-out crowd at the 92nd St. Y. It was a fast-moving 90 minutes of thoughtful, profound and at times hilarious conversation as Porter reflected on his career, his recent status as a fashion icon and the impact that Pose is having on the world. “I’m here to celebrate my good friend, Billy Porter,” Murphy said at the start, to thunderous applause and the first of many standing ovations that night.
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