Pose star Billy Porter is getting real about straight actors playing gay to the straight actors who have done it. And we thought bumping into someone we shagged in the supermarket was awkward.
“Being black and gay and out came with a lot of unemployment,” said Porter, at a round table for the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a double layer, the layer of being a person of color in this industry then the layer of being a queen. Nobody can see you as anything else.”
Porter expressed his feelings in front of fellow actors, Stephan James, Diego Luna, Sam Rockwell, Richard Madden, and Hugh Grant; both Grant and Madden have played queer parts, while Luna has just been cast as a drag queen.
Porter went on, “If ‘flamboyant’ wasn’t in the description of the character, no one would see me, ever, for anything, which wouldn’t be so enraging if it went the other direction, but it doesn’t,” said Porter. “Because straight men playing gay, everybody wants to give them an award: ‘Thank you for gracing us with your straight presence.’ That gets tiresome. So here I sit, I can’t get the gay parts, I can’t get the straight parts.”
While Hugh Grant averted his eyes and scratched his nose, and Madden sat stiff-faced. Y’all now know what you did.
Porter goes to explain how he reached a point where after another rejection, he pulled his car over to the side of the road and sobbed, saying he felt “I just can’t keep begging anymore”.
The next day, Ryan Murphy called to discuss Pose.