During a recent appearance on The
Tonight Show, out actor Billy Porter talked about his recent
revelation that he's HIV-positive.
Porter, 51, discussed his HIV status in
a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter.
He told The Tonight Show host
Jimmy Fallon that he was diagnosed in 2007.
“I've been positive since 2007,”
Porter said. “And, you know, having lived through the AIDS crisis,
it was heavy for me. It was a heavy year 2007.”
“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,” he said as the studio audience cheered.
“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. I got it. I got some joy now.
It really feels good. It really feels great,” he said.
Porter is best known for playing Pray
Tell, who is HIV-positive, in the FX drama Pose. In its third
and final season, Pose takes place at the height of the AIDS
crisis in New York City.
He told The Hollywood Reporter
that 2007 was his lowest point, explaining that he was diagnosed with
type 2 diabetes, filed bankruptcy, and learned he had contracted HIV
in the first six months of that year.