Billy Porter made history last night at the Emmys as the first openly gay black man to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in Pose. He now has the EGT: Emmy, Grammy, Tony. Three down, one to go. During his acceptance speech, he quoted James Baldwin:
“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”
James Baldwin wrote that in “They Can’t Turn Back”, an essay published in 1960, before Billy was born. He absorbed that work though, and through his own work, he’s been able to honour Baldwin’s. And pass on the message to someone out there watching and absorbing. This is the best kind of legacy. This is what it can mean to be seen.
Speaking of legacy though – how about the legacy of a winning outfit? We talk about this all the time after award shows: what goes into choosing an outfit that could become immortalised? It has to be memorable, obviously. But it can’t be too of-the-moment in trend. Billy’s was perfect. A pinstriped sequined suit will never be out of style. And that hat will never, ever not be life.
It wasn’t just Billy though. The entire Pose cast elevated that carpet – from Indya Moore’s corset to MJ Rodriguez’s perfectly straight hair to Angelica Ross’s pink train, every outfit worn with pride. This is the “right to be here” that should never be again be taken for granted where red carpets are concerned.
So let’s get into the rest of the carpet. As always, Duana and I are blogging through the night and morning to bring you full Emmys coverage. We love your tweets and emails, we love it when you yell at us, we love every angle of the discussion. Please keep refreshing through the day, we’re going as fast as we can!
Yours in (Emmys) gossip,