“You can’t be on the sidelines anymore — nobody can,” says the Pose Emmy winner, who narrates the four-part series on LGBTQ historical figures.
The first time Pose Emmy winner Billy Porter felt a connection to LGBTQ history, he was taking part in it.
In his late teens, Porter joined fellow cast mates from a Montclair State University production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for New York City’s Pride event. He heard shouts of “ACT UP! Fight back! Fight AIDS” as he found himself marching alongside the organization, which continues to combat the AIDS pandemic. Porter didn’t know what the group was at the time. He just knew he needed to be there. “You were in the middle of it. You had to be,” he tells EW. “There was no other way. Folks were dying.”
Today folks are dying in another pandemic, and Porter notes, “You can’t be on the sidelines anymore — nobody can.” That’s why he hopes Equal, a four-part HBO Max docuseries he narrates, can play some part in the current moment. As a member of the Broadway community, it was the nonprofit organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that would teach the young Porter how to be an activist. As he puts it, they “taught me how to show up.” Equal, which chronicles the LGBTQ civil rights movement leading up to the Stonewall Riots, can now serve by further “activating” the public ahead of a presidential election…