Billy Porter Discussed Homophobia In The Black Community With Billy Eichner: ‘We’re Human Beings First’

Back in June, Pose star Billy Porter posted a 16-minute video to his Instagram, entitled “This is my message to America,” where he discussed, among other topics, violence against Black transgender and gay people within the African-American community. When asked on Thursday by Billy Eichner, who was filling in for host Jimmy Kimmel during a summer-break episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, what inspired him to post the clip, the Emmy winner responded:

“I am Black first and growing up gay in the Black community, it’s a very homophobic community across the board. With that said, as the world has changed and as the world has shifted, the Black community is changing and shifting.”

After posting the video, Porter was told how much “Black straight man actually love him and someone needs to tell him,” so he offered an addendum to make his language more specific. “I’m talking to homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic people in general, specifically Black people, in this instance, because Black trans women are dying at the hands of Black cis men at such an alarming rate that it is the highest violence on record,” he said.

Porter doesn’t pay much attention to social media (“I’m 50 years old, I don’t do it like that”), but he still heard about the pushback to his video and he’s willing to “receive when I am tone deaf.” Admitting you’re not 100 percent right about something? Porter really doesn’t spend a lot of time on the internet. The actor is hopeful things are changing for the better, “but we can’t do it until we embrace and love each other through our differences; because of our differences. Love the humanity in every single human being. We’re human beings first, that’s all I’m trying to say.” Watch the entire interview above.