Billy Porter has responded to Jonathan
Van Ness' reveal that he's living with HIV.
Porter on Sunday won an Emmy for his
portrayal of Pray Tell on FX's Pose, making him the first
openly gay man to win the award in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a
Drama Series category.
In the show's first season, Porter's
character watches as his boyfriend succumbs to AIDS and dies. He
later finds out he also has the virus.
In his memoir, Over the Top: A Raw
Journey to Self-Love, Van Ness revealed he's living with HIV. Van
Ness, 32, told The New York Times that he was diagnosed as
HIV-positive at age 25 after he fainted at a hair salon. He explained
that by coming forward he hopes to break down the stigma surrounding
Backstage at the Emmys, Porter praised
Van Ness' coming out, saying that “visibility is the point.”
“We need to see what it look like,”
he told reporters. “We need to take the stigma away from it. And so
it's people like Jonathan who allow for the stigma to be taken away …
It's not all sadness, just like our show.”