Billy Porter Feels Free After Unveiling HIV-Positive Status

More than a week after going public with his diagnosis, the Pray Tell depicter on ‘Pose’ admits to Jimmy Fallon that he has ‘never felt joy like this before.’

AceShowbizBilly Porter is living his best life after unveiling HIV-positive status. More than a week after he made public his diagnosis, the Pray Tell depicter on “Pose” raved he finally feels “free.”

When appearing in the Thursday, May 27 episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon“, the 51-year-old opened about his life since making the revelation. “I’ve been positive since 2007. And, you know, having lived through the AIDS crisis, it was heavy for me. It was a heavy year, 2007,” he began. “I lived with the shame of it for a really long time and last week I released that shame, I released that trauma and I am a free man, honey! Free!”

“I’ve never felt joy like this before. And, you know, we talk about it in the Black church. You know, this joy that I have – the world didn’t give and the world can’t take it away,” the actor further told Jimmy Fallon. “I got it. I got some joy now. It really feels good, it really feels great.”

When asked about why he did not tell his own mother of his diagnosis, Billy spilled, “You know, growing up in the Pentecostal church, there’s such a stigma surrounding it.” He further explained, “Having lived through it, I was supposed to know better, [but] it happened anyway.”

“There was just so much going on, and my mother received so much persecution because I was gay, and I just didn’t want her to have to go through that again,” the Emmy award-winning star continued. “It’s sort of like a second coming out and I didn’t want to go through that again and my sister and I have vowed we were just going to wait till she was dead. And she went into a nursing home six years ago, and she ain’t going nowhere. She’s full of life! So it’s time to tell her.”

Billy came forward with his HIV diagnosis in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Revealing that he had been “living with that shame in silence” for the last 14 years, he wondered, ” ‘Why was I spared? Why am I living?’ ” He then acknowledged, “Well, I’m living so that I can tell the story. There’s a whole generation that was here, and I stand on their shoulders. I can be who I am in this space, at this time, because of the legacy that they left for me.”

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